19 September 2007
An electronic bulletin for adults who are vulnerable because of disability
and for their families, friends and supporters who care about them
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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.


The Ontario provincial election campaign is an opportunity for citizens to air neglected issues.
One example is the petition about Passport funding ..... We also publicize events that could increase community capacity to include people who are vulnerable because of disability.

PASSPORT FUNDING: more dollars needed and a fairer, clearer process in allocating them
More than a year ago, the Government of Ontario began to offer a form of individualized funding to 
"to provide opportunities for individuals who have a developmental disability and who have left school to find more ways to participate in their communities. Through Passport, participants can receive funding for activities that encourage their personal development and help them achieve their potential."
Read more about Passport on the Ontario MCSS website.

The Passport initiative has been welcomed by self-help and family support groups as another step towards direct individualized funding that respects the rights and abilities of people with disabling conditions to be included in their communities. However, questions have been raised about the process of allocation and the variable ways in which the Passport initiative may be administered in different regions of Ontario. Family Alliance Ontario has taken the lead in gathering information and suggesting how families and friends can state their concerns to the Government.
In the latest round of applications, for funding to start this month, there are widespread concerns about a serious shortfall in funding. For examples:
In Hamilton, 174 applied for Passport, and only 6 were funded.
In Niagara, only 1 funded.
Eastern Region, Ottawa area, only 24 funded.
In Peterborough, 102 people applied and only 7 were funded.
In Toronto, over 400 applied, and 33 funded.
In London area 262 applied and 11 funded.
Durham Region, 8 were funded.
Windsor-Essex 120 applied and 6 funded.
Information meetings and workshops have been organized and self-advocates, family members and friends are urged to add their voices to the movement for more funding for community participation and inclusion. 

Since we posted this item about a week ago, we have heard from people and families in great need who have been turned down more than once for Passport funding. For one example: Read tragic story of Loren Boyd

One mother, whose autistic son is just 21, further suggests:
"I think we should also ask the government to show us a profile of those who received funding, i.e., not names, but a
description of the needs that are being satisfied, the context of services already accessed by the recipient, the amount of funding allocated to the individual, and the types of supports that will be purchased with Passport money. They need to justify their strategy for funding allocation."

Please read the open letter at: and send a signed copy to the Premier, the Minister of MCSS and to your own Ontario MPP this week. The letter is composed by leaders of the Family Alliance Ontario and Hamilton Family Network who suggest FAX-ing the letter to arrive early this week. "We are asking people to share copies of the letter with all their friends and relatives and neighbours and for each person to sign the letter and list the name of their city or town. The letter may be put on websites and sent to the media. If you send the letter to the media please include contact information so they can contact you." The letter is a template, which you could adapt to include more information about the needs of people you know. Or you could compose your own letter.

These are FAX numbers for Premier McGunity and Minister Meilleur
Honourable Dalton McGuinty
Premier of Ontario
Fax: 613-736-7374

Honourable Madeleine Meilleur
Minister of Community and Social Services
Fax: 613-744-0889
Click here to find addresses, phone and fax numbers for Ontario MPPs

You could also express your concerns to all Ontario candidates in this election-- about Passport and also wider issues of fairness and social justice for Ontario's vulnerable citizens. Do you agree with these points by the Family Alliance Ontario?

Family Alliance Ontario

Ontario Elections 2007

What issues are most important to families?

1. Families want appropriate budget allocations for individualized funding. In 2007, the Ontario government allocated only $6 million to the Passport program. It should have been at least $60 million to begin addressing the needs.

2. Families want alternatives to services that group and segregate people with disabilities. This year, the Ontario government committed an extra $191 million to those services but only $9 million for self-directed supports.
Families want funding for people to rent or own their homes like other citizens in their communities.

3. Families want fairness. For years, the Ontario government has denied wage increases to support workers hired by families while granting increases ("wage gap funding") to staff hired by service agencies.

4. Families are opposed to forcing people with disabilities into nursing homes (long-term care facilities). More than 1000 people with disabilities in Ontario are in LTC facilities.

5. Families want the government of Ontario to honour families, to invest in people, and to work closely with primary stakeholders — People First Ontario, Family Alliance Ontario, and affiliated independent family networks.

For more information visit


ONTARIO RESOURCES AND OPPORTUNITIES is a web-based service designed for families caring for children and adults with developmental disabilities to easily access respite workers and respite services within their local community and anywhere across Ontario. What was once a service feature offered only in one city is now being replicated across the province so families in Ontario can have better access to respite services. is funded by the Ministry of Finance and supported by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Ministry of Community and Social Services. Check it out and let us know its value for people who live with autism!

“More residential options for community living”
is the focus of the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services "Spotlight on Transformation" bulletin in August 2007:
“A goal of Ontario’s developmental services transformation is to provide adults with a developmental disability with more residential options so they can live more independently within their communities. During last year’s public consultation, we heard examples of creative living arrangements that are working well and we listened to suggestions about innovative residential models and partnerships that could be explored.

”What does innovative residential model mean?
The term term refers to a type of accommodation that has been developed to provide individually-tailored supports to help adults with a developmental disability meet their goal of living more independently (or inter-dependently) in the community. Here are some examples of innovative residential models:
  • a home co-ownership situation;
  • a rent-to-own arrangement (i.e. where a private investor buys the home or makes the down payment and the individual pays rent towards the mortgage with the intention of eventually becoming the owner);
  • a co-operative home; or
  • a garden suite.
“Eligible individuals or their families, together with a service provider, can develop a proposal for an innovative residential model for their community. The proposal must be submitted to their local regional office of the ministry for consideration for funding.”
Click here to reach both Word and PDF formats, together with links to earlier bulletins.

Connections: A Guide to Transition Planning (Central West version: Dufferin and Wellington Counties and the Regions of Halton, Peel and Waterloo) May 2007.
Connections is a self-help manual on transition planning written specifically for parents - to help you plan and make decisions for the future that are right for you, your child and your family. There is a lot of information in Connections - how to develop a transition plan, suggestions for building your child’s self-reliance skills, ways to access adult services in the communities in Central West Region, timelines for applying for programs and suggestions for you, the parents, to connect with other parents to make this process more manageable. This guide will help you plan for the time when your child is no longer in school every day and seeking supports from the adult service system.
Click here to download from The Developmental Services Access Centre - Waterloo Region (DSAC)



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


Register now for October 2007
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

Tuesday September 25, 7-9pm, in Waterloo
Disabilities and POVERTY
Kitchener-Waterloo Riding All Candidates Meeting
Income is an issue when disabilities and health challenges add to daily costs of living, especially when there are barriers to employability and as people get older. The Government of Ontario plays an essential role in developing standards and supporting the community support structures for an inclusive accessible community. The MPP that represents us is an important part of our local solution. Bring your questions, concerns and ideas to present to the candidates. Information will also be presented on the Electoral Reform Referendum
Terrace on the Square, 100 Caroline St. Waterloo
Hosted by Chartwell Select Terrace on the Square
Sponsored by K-W Access-Ability, CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo
If you need Mobility Plus please contact KWAA 519- 885-6640 as soon as possible.
For information contact:
Social Planning Council of KitchenerWaterloo
Phone: 519 579 1096 Ext 3005        email
This event is part of the Social Planning Network of Ontario 2007 Poverty Reduction Campaign

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
For parents, care givers, educators, and practitioners. The goal is to improve the health and well being of individuals using integrative medicine and, in particular, biomedical treatment options.
An excellent opportunity for those seeking evidence to support the use of various biomedical treatment options.  We will be discussing the role of nutritional deficiencies and supplements, special dietary interventions, food allergies, heavy metal toxins, enzyme deficiencies, inborn errors of metabolism, immune deficiencies, the role of micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal tract and more.  In addition, several parents will be presenting their very different journeys of the treatments that helped their children recover. 
Physician training is offered on Monday, October 1--for licensed physicians and practitioners only. The prerequisite for this training is day 1 and 2 of this conference or other biomedical training. All practitioners are encouraged to participate in the entire conference.
Please click for full information and how to register

Brantford Make Poverty History group announces three upcoming events.
“The Economics of Poverty”, on October 1, is a talk with Jim Stanford looking at workers’ shrinking slice of the economic pie: why it’s happening, and what we can do about it.
To Register call, email or fax your registration by Sept. 28th, 2007 to:
Carrie Sinkowski, The Sexual Assault Centre of BrantPhone: 519-751-1164 ext. 206, Fax: 519-751-4187

An annual walk against sexual violence, on 27 September, is co-sponsored by the Make Poverty History group. On October 3, a discussion will be held on vibrant communities: the concept, the organisation and how to reduce poverty in Canada.

Thursday, October 11, 2007, 7-9pm in Toronto
The Surprising Gift of Fragility in Community
L'Arche Forum presents Professor Amy Laura Hall (professor of Christian Ethics at Duke University)
"What does it like today in North America to live in a family, a community or a neighborhood obviously marked as vulnerable?...Without romanticizing either poverty or disability, Professor Hall will suggest that life and love are often freely given in the midst of overt fragility...." 
Click for the brochure

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

October 12-13, 2007, In Edmonton
AUTCOM's Annual Conference goes International in 2007:
Living Life to the Fullest with Autism: A celebration of ability, acceptance and understanding of autism for individuals on the autism spectrum, families and professionals

Keynote Speakers: Estee Klar-Wolfond: The Selling of Autism - How we can change language and referencing into a more effective future for accommodations for autistic people; Sharisa Kochmeister: The Doors are Wide Open! - Effective communication set me free; Gail Gillingham Wylie and Lincoln Grigsby: Stepping in the World of Quantum Physics - Reducing anxiety through the SCIO. "One of the most inspiring and galvanizing events I've experienced!!" The Autism National Committee (AUTCOM)! is the only autism advocacy organization dedicated to "Social Justice for All Citizens with Autism" through a shared vision and a commitment to positive approaches.
Contact  Gail Gillingham at

Saturday October 13, 2007, 10am to 5pm, in Guelph
Families for a Secure Future Leadership Series
Workshop Facilitator: Judith McGill
25 Somerset Drive, Guelph
Having some form of Individualized Funding (including SSAH) can be extremely helpful in building a meaningful life for you or your son or daughter.  Support Workers are critical to making good things happen.  They can play a significant role in moving one’s life forward and helping you or your loved one to feel that they have access to the “good life”.
That is why it is important to take time to reflect on finding the “right match” between your needs or your son/daughter’s needs, the candidate and the job. When there is not a good match and the staff is not working out it can create a lot of turmoil in your family. The interview process can help you to screen out unsuitable candidates.  It can be designed to assist you to learn a lot about the candidate during the interview process before making a hiring commitment.
Click for details and to register

October 16-20, 2007, in Minneapolis
Closing The Gap - Assistive Technology Resources for Children and Adults with Special Needs

Pre-conference October 16-17.
Click on title for details of 200 presentations, plus workshops and exhibits.

Tuesday, October 16, in Brantford
Caring for Others, Healing Ourselves
with Heather Summerhayes-Cariou
Offered by the CMHA-Brant County Branch
Please click on title for more

Saturday October 20, 2007, 10am to 5pm, in Pickering
Families for a Secure Future Leadership Series
Workshop Facilitator: Judith McGill
Durham REGION- Rougemont Co-op, 400 KINGSTON RD, Pickering
See note on workshop under October 13 in Guelph
Click for more information and to register

October 25-26, 2007, 9am to 4pm, in Guelph (Orchard Park)
Facilitation Workshop: Building a New Story
A New Story across Canada involves the creation of individualized supports
and strengthening communities through the presence and participation of all citizens.
Led by John Lord and Charlotte Dingwall
whose approach to training recognizes that
all of us can benefit from the skills of listening, planning, group work, collaboration and
--the essence of facilitation.
Click for brochure and registration form
Relevant to this workshop
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)
Approx. 270 pages, 500 g, 6 X 9, $29.50 (US$26.75)
Read more from the publisher

October 26, 2007, in Waterloo
3rd Annual “Learning Outside the Box” conference
Shifting the Mindset: Enhancing Potential for the ASD Learner

Opening Address
Key Issues Facing Educators and Families of the ASD Learner
with Margaret Spoelstra - Executive Director - Autism Ontario
Keynote Presentation
Essential Elements of Positive Practice
with Leslie Broun - Autism Education Specialist - Geneva Center for Autism
Click for full conference details

November 8, 2007, in Waterloo
Dimensions of Suicide - Exploring Cause and Effect
4th Annual Conference

To obtain a brochure with full details, please contact Pualine Potzold,
and also ask her about Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training ASIST workshops in 2007-8:
Pauline Potzold, RN., C.P.M.H.N. (C)
Community Liaison & Education Facilitator,
Grand River Hospital
Psychiatric & Mental Health Program

P.O.Box 9056, 835 King Street West,
Kitchener, Ontario N2G 1G3
Phone:   519-749-4300 Ext. 2333
Fax: 519-749-4301

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:

August 20, 2007
August 9, 2007
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
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