9 August 2007
An electronic bulletin for adults who are vulnerable because of disability
and for their families, friends and supporters who care about them
This bulletin is best read in Mozilla Firefox or Netscape. You may download Mozilla free from
It is usually possible to learn more about each item by clicking on the live link (underlined).

Please note that we (or OAARSN or the University of Guelph) do not necessarily endorse announcements or opinions that may be posted in this bulletin. We will make reasonable efforts to check sources.

More about this series of bulletins may be found at the end, including links to past bulletins.


NEW BOOK in August 2007

Pathways to Inclusion: Building a New Story with People and Communities
by John Lord and Peggy Hutchison

Captus Press, ISBN 978-1-55322-165-4 (2007 Forthcoming)
Approx. 270 pages, 500 g, 6 X 9, $29.50 (US$26.75)
Read more from the publisher

An examination of various perspectives on disability that provide insightful discussion on the current need for social innovation to move vulnerable citizens from areas of exclusion to social inclusion.

Pathways to Inclusion offers a straightforward approach to addressing the organizational strategies that have been used in the past and highlighting areas for change. Human-services organizations are examined, pinpointing common characteristics that have led to improved quality of life for the disabled.

Highlights of the book include:
• a discussion of discriminatory social policy,
• characteristics of pathways to inclusion, and
• an explanation on the need for social innovation.

Well-researched, with clear dialogue, and interspersed with insightful anecdotes, Pathways to Inclusion is designed to inspire change within both human-services personnel and the greater community.

This text should be an invaluable resource to educators, advocates and practitioners in the fields of Disability studies and human services.

Oregon Profs Develop Email For Those With Cognitive Disabilities
Two professors at the University of Oregon have launched a simplified e-mail program aimed at people with cognitive disabilities. The program, dubbed CogLink by its creators, has no Inbox or Outbox, no list of messages sent and received, and no icons to show what's been replied to or forward. Instead, there's just a simple list of e-mail buddies, to show whether you've e-mailed someone on your list and if they've written back yet. The software is the brainchild of UO computer science professor Stephen Fickas and McKay Moore Sohlberg.
The program works by setting up a buddy system. Users give the tech support staff a list of the people they want to have contact with, and only e-mails from those people get through, protecting them from spam and viruses. CogLink also keeps the confusion of e-mail to a minimum by reducing the choices users have to make. For example, no "Send" button appears on the screen until an e-mail has actually been composed. Fickas said the market is full of high-tech gadgets created for people with disabilities, but that they don't always help. "One of the things I've learned is that people abandon this stuff at a pretty high rate. It just doesn't end up getting used. Everyone gets excited, but then it gets put in the closet," he said.
With input from users who had suffered from traumatic brain injuries, the academics created a pilot project that attracted a U.S. Department of Education grant. Once they'd finessed the software, they followed the people using the program for several months and confirmed that they continued using it and improving their skills. CogLink has also proved a boon to older people who don't have brain injuries but aren't familiar with more complex computer programs. The program has a monthly subscription fee of $10 that provides users with technical support that includes adding or subtracting people from their buddy lists. Sohlberg and Fickas aren't stopping with this success. They're working on a new project, TeenLink, that will bring the e-mail to youth with special needs. They'll create programs that can be tailored to help, say, autistic youth, improve their communications skills. "Now we're really interested in learning whether you can use it like a training program," Sohlberg said.

Visit the Families Matter website 
to find the story called, "What does his future hold?" a scanned version of an article in the national Rehab and Community Care magazine.



Please send submissions for this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and Bulletin Board in plain text format by email to with "announcement" at the beginning of the subject line.
Please provide details of the following as BRIEFLY as possible: 
Name of Event
 Main Speakers and Topics of Event 
 Date of Event 
 City and Location of Event
 Contact information to learn more about event
 URL Link for more information/registration 

 Please Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments


Spectrum Art Shows – Shining a Light on Autism Spectrum Disorders
Kerry’s Place Autism Services, Kingston has organized the 3rd Annual Spectrum Art Shows, which are being held across Kingston this summer.  The shows provide an opportunity for local artists with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to showcase their talents, while raising awareness in the community about this developmental disability. 

The shows will take place at the following locations in Kingston:
Wednesday, July 25, 12:00-8:00: D. Michelle Reid Studio and Gallery, 36 Hatter St.
Thursday, July 26, 10:00-6:00: D. Michelle Reid Studio and Gallery, 36 Hatter St.
Friday, July 27, 1:00-9:00: D. Michelle Reid Studio and Gallery, 36 Hatter St.
Wednesday, Aug. 1, 9:30-9:00: Cataraqui Town Centre, 945 Gardiners Rd.
Friday, Aug. 10, 2:00-10:00: Chapters Community Room, 2376 Princess St.
Saturday, Aug. 11, 9:00-6:00: Chapters Community Room, 2376 Princess St.
Thursday, Aug. 16, 5:00-10:00: Loblaws, 1048 Midland Ave.
Friday, Aug. 17, 10:00-7:00: Loblaws, 1048 Midland Ave.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tiffany at Kerry’s Place Autism Services at (613) 384-7800 or

Weaving the Ties That Bind: online course on facilitating social support networks
PLAN Institute for Caring Citizenship offers online course in October 2007
Facilitated social support networks are an effective way to address the isolation and loneliness of many people living on the margins of our society. These networks (also known as “circles of friends”) are proven to contribute to the health, safety and well being of individuals who are vulnerable as a result of age, disability or social circumstance.
Self-paced--approx 20-25 hours.

Click for more information
Click here to register

Wednesday, August 22, 20071:30pm–4pm
A Community for All…Share Your Vision!
A forum for people with disability experience

Training Room, 2nd Floor
Kitchener City Hall
Everyone is included.  Human rights are honoured.  All are valued, have access and are treated with dignity.  Each can participate and contribute.
RSVP by Wednesday, August 15, to Susan Mainland at 519 579-1096 ext. 3005 or email
Sign language interpreters are available upon request.  Let us know what accommodations can be made to make it easier for you to participate. 
Presented by the Disabilities and Human Rights Planning Group with assistance from the Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo/ Community Information Centre of Waterloo Region.
Appreciation goes out to the City of Kitchener for providing space for the community forum.

August 25, 8pm, in Mississauga
"Broken Speech" a play based on the true story of Tony Diamanti
—a 47-year-old man living with cerebral palsy—who also stars in the play. Tony travels in a wheelchair, and speaks by using a head pointer to spell what he wants to say on a letter board. He valiantly and courageously takes each day's dose of life along with a large serving of humour!  Tony's story moves and teaches each and every individual who experiences it. This is a powerful play, which has demonstrated its ability to change attitudes about people with complex disabilities.  The DVD will be used to encourage more performances--and therefore to reach broader audiences.
MultImedia Studio Theatre (MiST) at the
University of Toronto Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road North. Please see for the map, and note that the building on the map is labelled "CCT Building and MiST."
Please click here to learn more about you can help to professionally produce a DVD of Broken Speech which can be used as a tool to encourage schools, community groups and other venues to host a live production of Broken Speech in order to continue the important process of altering attitudes and perceptions about people with disabilities.

CBC Passionate Eye Documentary on Using Comedy to Fight Mental Illness and Stigma
Airs nationally on August 30 at
9 p.m. On CBC’s Doc Zone

Cracking Up is a life-affirming documentary about people with mental illness who embark on a quirky quest to become stand up comics. The film follows 11 courageous people who suffer from mental illness as they pursue a year of stand up comedy. Part fun and part therapy, the course, entitled Stand Up For Mental Health is the brainchild of Vancouver counselor, stand-up comic, and author of The Happy Neurotic: How Fear and Angst Can Lead To Happiness and Success David Granirer. “It’s like ‘The Full Monty’ except people want us to keep our clothes on”, he says.
Doing stand-up comedy has had an amazing effect on the people in the course. For the first time in their lives, they have embraced the word crazy, and learned to laugh at their mental illness – and their audiences are laughing right along with them.  They have discovered a talent they never dreamt they had.
For more information

September 7, 2007, 9:30am-5pm, in Vaughan
Join John O'Brien as he shares with members of IFCO what is working well; what is not and what to watch for as we continue our work to make Individualized Funding in Ontario a reality!  We hope this meeting will recharge your energy as we head into a Provincial Election in October, and help move Individualized Funding forward in Ontario! We have asked John to help us determine what to advocate for during the election. Costs $20.00 per person (lunch will be included) and subsidies are available. If you are not yet a member of IFCO, please add $15 for membership to your cheque for registration.
Click for more information and how to register

September 8th, 2007, 9:30am-5pm
, in Vaughan
Thinking about the future with COURAGE
Location: City of Vaughan Police Community Room, 2700 Rutherford Rd.  
This exciting one-day event is intended for family members and people with developmental disabilities and their friends to explore their ideas about the future.  John has a gift for provoking thought and action in families about what really matters. Families from all over the world say that hearing him speak was very helpful in shaping their vision of the future.
The morning will be dedicated to having John share the stories he has about facing the future with courage. The afternoon will be focused on dialogue in small and large groups around some of the themes that arise in the morning. There will also be stories from individuals and families who have done courageous things. These stories will stimulate your own thoughts and dreams about what is possible and what are some of your next steps.
Click for more information and registration form

Friday, September 14, 2007
, 9:30am–3:30pm, in London
Offered by Regional Support Associates
Individuals with intellectual disabilities may experience sensory sensitivities or processing problems, which can impact on behaviour. This workshop will provide information about identifying and investigating sensory experiences and strategies to handle sensory challenges.
Cost: $50.00  Click for details and registration form
See info on all RSA workshops

September 27 & 28, 2007, 9:30am–3:30pm, in London
Offered by Regional Support Associates
People with higher developmental needs (severe disabilities) make up a smaller portion of those who receive support in our field, yet are often those who demand the lion’s share of resources. This session will seek to help caregivers Aim Higher with respect to the famed “Three ‘S’s” of support for the person with higher needs. Discussion will centre on understanding what constitutes higher needs, tips for helping people move toward independence, providing an enhanced environment, and avoiding potential difficulties.
Cost: $100.00  Click for more and how to register
See info on all RSA workshops

September 29-October 2, 2007, in Kitchener
A Comprehensive Biomedical Treatment Approach
Conference for Autism, PDD, AD(H)D, & Behavior Disorders
Offered by the Great Plains Laboratory
Please click for full information

October 12, 2007, 9:30am–3:30pm, in Woodstock
PROMOTING COMMUNICATION: A Speech-Language Pathologist Speaks Up on Every Day Encounters
PRESENTER: Aren Hutton, BA (Hons.), M. Health Sc., S-LP (C), Speech Pathologist
Offered by Regional Support Associates
Communication is the base of human interactions. Often, people with intellectual disabilities feel isolated due to their communication deficits. During this workshop you will learn how to identify your client’s level of communication in addition to some tips to encourage positive interactions during every day tasks.
Cost: $50.00  Click for flyer and to register
See info on all RSA workshops

Friday, October 26, 2007,  in Waterloo
3rd Annual “Learning Outside the Box” conference
Our topic this year is ASD with Marg Spoelstra and Leslie Broun.
Watch for more details to be posted during August.

November 15-16, 2007, in Trenton
Advocates for Community Education (A.C.E.)
4th Annual Self-Advocates Conference
Keynote Speaker: Dave Hingsburger
Click for full details
Contact: Angela Clarke, Outcome Support Facilitator
phone 613.475.5557
fax   613.475.9854


Looking 2008

May 27-29, 2008
, in Detroit

“Everyday Freedoms”
International Conference of Center for Self-Determination
”Cutting Edge in a City with an Edge”
Detroit Marriott, Renaissance Center, Detroit, USA

Conference Highlights:
§                            Discussions about meaningful lives, real freedom,
§                            Community membership, income asset & development
§                            Aging with dignity & freedom
§                            Recovery in the context of self-determination
§                            Families truly supported to best assist in developing self-determined lives
§                            International perspectives on these issues as well as discussions of what system change requirements are needed: what works and what interferes
For more information, please visit
Catch up on the latest Center news with the May 2007 e-newletter.



We know that some vulnerable adults and their families and caregivers are heroically using what resources they have to achieve some successes with their challenges. Some can report remarkable progress. We invite you to share your challenges, dreams and success stories, if you think others might help or benefit.
If you wish, we will not publish your name or email address. You may send a message to


This bulletin is for everyone who is vulnerable because of any kind of disability, and for their families, friends and supporters. We can share dilemmas and difficulties as well as bright ideas and successes. There are announcements of events and special projects, discussions of issues and concerns, and links to useful books, websites and other resources. Our focus is mainly on Ontario, but we have wider contacts as well.

You are receiving this bulletin because you attended the Guelph Spring Conference on Creative Supports in April 2005 or expressed interest in resources coming out of that conference. Or you may have been a member of our PLN Listserv, for people concerned with Personal Support Networks. Or someone on the List has suggested that you could be interested. We hope you will continue on the Aroha Listserv, recommend it to others, and contribute news and ideas that we may share. Please click for a technical note on how to maintain your membership of the Aroha Listserv and how to unsubscribe if you wish.

Please send news, announcements and comments to We welcome news items, announcements of events, new information, discussion questions and comments, and accounts of experience.

The Aroha Listserv and Creative Supports Bulletin are linked to the OAARSN website (Ontario Adult Autism Research & Support Network) which is hosted at the University of Guelph. Click to reach OAARSN's main page

Previous Creative Supports bulletins may be found by clicking on the following links:
July 14, 2007
June 26, 2007

May 10, 2007
April 18, 2007
April 12, 2007
March 22, 2007
March 3, 2007
February 20, 2007
January 30, 2007
January 18, 2007
December 26, 2006
November 20, 2006
November 7, 2006
November 1, 2006
October 7, 2006
July 2, 2006
June 28, 2006
May 20, 2006
May 14, 2006
April 2, 2006
March 20, 2006
February 16, 2006
February 10, 2006
February 4, 2006
January 18, 2006
November 12, 2005
October 10, 2005
September 18, 2005
August 15, 2005
August 1, 2005
July 6, 2005 

Gerald & Elizabeth Bloomfield
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
{return to the OAARSN Bulletin Board}