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


The Star featured stresses on Ontario's home-case system on 22 October 2007.

Home-care system stretched to limit
"Some 770,000 Ontarians -
hospital patients sent home early, the disabled and seniors trying to remain in their homes – are expected to use home-care services this year... Advocates, nurses and health-care academics agree the province's home-care system is stressed. Health Ministry figures show the number of clients has jumped 75 per cent over the past four years, while funding has risen 30 per cent."

Here are two letters commenting on this issue with reference to home-care for people with disabilities.

Homesick for home care - comment - Homesick for home care
October 24, 2007

Many older adults and people with disabilities have, for years, felt abandoned by this province. With home care providing up to only 80 hours of care the first month it is available and up to 60 hours for every month thereafter, it is clear that most people could not possibly manage with what amounts to less than two hours of help a day.

Add to that the rigid criteria people must meet to obtain home care, and the desire to cut whatever people do receive as quickly as possible in the interests of "efficiency," and you have what we have now: a disastrous failure of public policy.

Frail older adults and younger people with disabilities are being forced into nursing homes because of this failure to provide in-home care or attendant care tied to supportive housing. Nursing homes, as we now know, have become dangerous dumping grounds for every type of disability – not to mention vectors for infectious diseases.

Taxpayers are tired of seeing their money go into the pockets of private home-care and nursing home corporations, while their "services" are understaffed and they are providing substandard, sometimes life-threatening care. So why do politicians continue to call for more nursing home beds – as if infusions of more cash have been shown to actually improve conditions there?

If we put our time, money and energy into developing the creative alternatives to nursing homes that other countries have, perhaps we could also match their much lower rates of institutionalization. And that means home care – better funded, non-profit, community-based – and a great deal more of it.

Patricia Spindel, Professor,
University of Guelph-Humber,

Anne Wojtak of the Central CCAC is quoted by the Star as saying, "few complaints have been lodged with the Central CCAC ... the Central CCAC has served 37,000 clients and received about 750 complaints".
Quite frankly, even one lodged complaint is one too many. The fact that the Central CCAC has received "about 750 complaints" indicates that there are serious issues with Ontario's home-care system. It's common knowledge that for every complaint reported, there are at least 10 more that went unreported. Therefore, numbers used by the Central CCAC are only the tip of the iceberg.
It has been our experience as a network supporting families regarding education, health, community and social services, etc., that there are far too many individuals and families for whom the home-care system is failing miserably and for them to file a complaint takes far more courage than they feel they can muster. While "many patients have no idea who to call within the system" to file a complaint with the CCAC, explains York University professor Pat Armstrong, there are other reasons why it doesn't happen as frequently, including the reason that people fear repercussions such as having their CCAC services cut back or entirely removed.
It's about time that Health Minister George Smitherman stop his hyperbole and political grandstanding and finally make good on liberal promises for increased home care funding to help older people remain in their homes. We challenge the Health Minister to ensure that not only seniors but also adults with developmental disabilities be provided with the individualized supports they require in order to remain in their own homes. It's about time that adults with developmental disabilities are able to remain in their homes rather than be institutionalized in long-term care facilities which is the reality for increasing numbers of adults with developmental disabilities, some as young as in their 20's. How is this living "with dignity"?

Janis Jaffe-White
Toronto Family Network


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


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

To obtain a brochure with full details, please contact Pauline 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 10, 2007, 9:30-11:30 am, in Kitchener
Planned Lifetime Networks Fall 2007 Workshops

Speaker: Fatima DaSilva
Click for flyer with more details; pre-registration necessary and donations welcome.

November 14, 2007, 7-9 pm, in Kitchener
Evening of Success Stories about Community Participation
Click for flyer

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


November 17, 2007 in Toronto
Integration Action for Inclusion conference
"Putting Inclusion into Action"
A conference for people who care about inclusion in school and community
Harbourfront Community Centre
Click for brochure

November 17, 2007, 9:30-11:30, in Kitchener
Planned Lifetime Networks Fall 2007 Workshops
Speaker: Peter Brennan of Amy, Appleby and Brennan
Click for flyer with more details; pre-registration necessary and donations welcome

November 18, 2007, 10am-4pm, in Newmarket
Families for a Secure Future AGM
Featuring the film My Life My Choice
by Inclusion Press
that profiles seven adults with disabilities living Person Directed lives

and the work of the Windsor Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports
Click for information flyer

November 22, 2007, in Ottawa
End Exclusion! Building an Inclusive and Accessible Canada
"There are no insurmountable obstacles to prevent Canada from taking a World Leadership Role in providing disabled persons with the practical means for greater independence."Obstacles, 1981
We want to create an INCLUSIVE and ACCESSIBLE Canada so everyone can belong and participate!
Click for the website

November 24, 2007, 9:30-11:30 am, in Kitchener
Planned Lifetime Networks Fall 2007 Workshops
PLANNED LIFETIME NETWORKS: What are networks? How do they work? How do my family and the focus person benefit? 
DISABILITY SAVINGS PLANS – 2008?: What will it look like? How will my family and the focus person benefit? When will it be available?
PASSPORT: What is it? How do I access it for my focus person?
Speakers:  A Panel of Family Members, Focus Persons and Community Members
Click for flyer with more details; pre-registration necessary and donations welcome

November 28, 2007, 7.9pm, in Waterloo
All About Me: an advocacy seminar/workshop
by Beverly Grant, parent of three special needs children (the youngest with autism)
Click for flyer for more about who will benefit and what you will learn
Please pre-register; $5 fee at the door for materials
Seminar will be offered again on April 23, 2008

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
Click for more information




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

What does an Ontario parent do after she has tried everything?

I am writing to you because I am hoping to connect with parents with a similar history of events, parents of young adults with autism (not Aspergers).   

My daughter is 19. We have fought both school boards for most of her life to no avail….IPRCS, Appeals, Special Education Tribunal. We have gone to court. We have joined other parents in a lawsuit against the government. 

We have filed a Human Rights Complaint. Still we have had no supports and no services. 

My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers in April and I have again gone through another hell because the situation here is just as dire for seniors with a disability.

I feel like all three of us, my daughter, my mother and myself, are in limbo.

Now that my daughter is an adult (over 18) I am being directed to an agency where we first started on this road fifteen years ago. I can’t even get information about programs or services that may be coming available or may be out there and more able to help us unless I go through them first. I find this very difficult, traumatic to say the least.

I have been a good advocate for my child. I knew what she needed and I was relentless, yet the powers that be still won and they have continued to offer us nothing.

I have tried to find an independent facilitator but have reached a dead end. Individualized funding is a great idea (if you can get the funding and show that you can use it and keep it) but there are no resources here that I know of to support creative programs that would offer more than babysitting for my daughter.   

We need a support group for families of young adults with autism 18 and over in this community but question is, where are the families? How do I find out? Suggestions on how to find these parents would be appreciated. 

We know that some 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, as an adult or caregiver living with autism, to share your perceptions, problems and success stories, if you think others might help or benefit.

If you have suggestions for this parent, please write to OAARSN at


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:

October 18, 2007
October 5, 2007
September 19, 2007
August 30, 2007
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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