18 February 2008
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.


Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship for two people in our Creative Supports network

Two of the 13 people honoured in Ontario are members of our network. The Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship honours people who have made outstanding contributions to their communities over many years. They demonstrate citizenship in action. They are recognized for outstanding achievement, and their lives serve as an example to all Ontarians. They are individuals who have made their communities better places to live.

Molly Brucea resident of Nepean whose personal crusade on behalf of her son has resulted in hope and a better quality of life for many others with complex disabilities.

Judith Rosenberg
– this Guelph nurse and mental health professional founded and directs the Spark of Brilliance program to help persons with mental health issues heal and recover through their creative spirit.

Congratulations for this recognition!

Read more about this award

Vulnerable Adults: What are the Safety Checks?
A discussion paper by Gail Jones about the extent of abuse of adults with disabilities by their caregivers, and prompted especially by the tragedy of Tiffany Pinckney, a young woman with autism in Mississauga who was neglected by her sister and starved to death in 2005. Gail is Director of Community Supports with Kerry's Place Autism Services and knew Tiffany.
The author invites discussion "to create increased awareness and discussion about the issues relating to safety mechanisms for adults who are vulnerable due to severe/multiple disabilities and potential life circumstances." She points out that we need a balance between "protection when needed for adults who are vulnerable" and encouragement for the "autonomy, rights and freedoms that people with disabilities have worked so hard to achieve."
Click on title to read the discussion paper. Click here for a note about Tiffany's death

“Keep it Simple, Keep it Flexible; 27,000 Families Deserve the Best”

Special Services at Home Provincial Coalition (SSAHPC) released new position paper January 15, 2008. Alison Ouellette and Beth French, Co Chairs , SSAHPC. Please click on title to read the paper on the SSAHPC website.

Financial Planning

In our past bulletins we have noted progress of plans for the Registered Disability Savings Plan. Click for a description of the RDSP by the Canada Revenue Agency and a discussion by PLAN, the organization that spearheaded advocacy of the RDSP
However, families should be cautions about this form of financial planning and when it will be available. Click for the February bulletin of the Special Needs Planning Group.



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


Announcing Series of Events
The first two initiatives below are for children and in a limited geographical area, but may stimulate useful programming ideas for adults and for elsewhere....

Parents and Professionals Together

A series of workshops in Guelph, of interest to parents, caregivers and professionals working with children with special needs:
February 28: How to find and train respite workers
March 6: Understanding behavioural challenges
March 27: Dealing with people unaware of a child’s needs
April 10: Sleep difficulties
April 24: Spark of Brilliance—for all ages
Click for flyer with more details


Spark of Brilliance is delighted to announce a new Guelph-based initiative designed for children with autism and developmental challenges, to experience the joy of the arts, together with their families and supportive professionals!
Click for schedule
Click for letter

PLAN Institute offers
Weaving the Ties That Bind
Online Training Course for Facilitating Social Support Networks
"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."
Click on title for details of availability and to register--for April, May, September, October, or November.

Regional Support Associates (mainly in SW Ontario)
continues to offer a broad range of educational programs for front-line staff and managers.

Winter workshops in 2008 are about:
Fostering healthy relationships
Moving towards increased independence
Preventing sexual offending behaviours
Good Grief
Advanced topics in behaviour analysis
Click for full details


Announcing Individual Events

February 19, 2008,  7-8:30pm, in Ottawa
Lifetime Networks Ottawa sponsors mini-workshop
on the new Registered Disability Savings Plan
at 406-1390 Prince of Wales Drive
Click for full information: free but you must pre-register
Visit the Lifetime Networks Ottawa website

February 27 PLAN offers a workshop on
Home Options: One-hour Tele-Learning Workshop
offered by Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) of BC by phone for cost of $30
Two time-slot options: 12pm to 1pm and 4pm to 5pm Pacific Standard Time. Registration limited to 12 participants in each session. Phone 604 439 9566 for more information.

March 4, 2008,  7-8:30pm, in Ottawa
Lifetime Networks Ottawa workshop
on the new Registered Disability Savings Plan
at 406-1390 Prince of Wales Drive
Register early: limited to 10 participants
Click for flyer with details including fees

Monday, March 10, 7pm, at Kitchener Public Library
John Lord and Peggy Hutchison talk about their book
Pathways to Inclusion:
Building a New Story with People and Communities
in the KPL’s Learning for Wellness series
The authors look at how our communities accommodate people with disabilities and discuss how society needs to change so our more vulnerable citizens move towards social inclusion.

Read Ted McCartney's review of this book for OAARSN
Copies of the book will be on sale.

March 10-12, 2008, in Delta BC
Changing the World One Person at a Time: The Canadian Experience

  • Share what’s been learned in Canada regarding the provision of
  • person-centred options that have been sustained over time
  • Provide inspiration, valuable start up knowledge and guidance to
  • individuals, agencies and systems beginning such work
  • Help organizations change from "fixed" service models to entirely
  • individualized supports
  • Explore the elements necessary for high quality personalized supports,
  • and the safeguards to ensure this occurs
Please click on title to reach website
Sponsored by Community Living
British Columbia, BC Association for Community
Living, Canadian Association for Community Living

April 10-11, 2007, 9am to 4pm, in Toronto
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

April 23-24, 2008
Stages of Autism: Adolescence and Beyond
2nd Biennial Conference
In Hamilton Convention Centre
Message from Michelle McIntyre, event organizer: "The first Stages of Autism: Adolescence & Beyond Conference attracted 300 parents, educators, service providers and healthcare practitioners from all over Canada and the US. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to attend a unique conference that will provide an open forum for discussion and cover a multitude of topics related to adolescent and adult Autism Spectrum Disorders."
Click for links to full conference information

Thursday April 24, 7 to 9 pm, in Guelph, discussion of
Spark of Brilliance announces a new initiative for children and their supportive/families allies living with autism and developmental challenges!
KidZCreate will be launched in the spring of 2008! Highly qualified Creative Mentors will be facilitating workshops in creative expression, learning about nature, experiencing music and sounds, working with creative materials, and much more!

Spark of Brilliance along with Trellis and KidsAbility and will be meeting with families, children and supportive professionals on Thursday April 24 from 7 to 9 pm at 8 Royal Road to present our program and generate dialogue that will enable us to provide the very best in creative programming! Please click on link for more.

May 25, 2008, in Guelph
, organized by the Schizophrenia Society.
Evergreen Community Centre. Registration
Program 3pm, including an address by Dr John Lord,
followed by the Walk and refreshments.
This will be the tenth anniversary since the concept of Walk of Hope was introduced in

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

June 9-11, 2008, in Honolulu, Hawaii
International Conference on Diverse Abilities & Innovative Supports 2008
Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Community
Join us as we explore topics such as:
Dual Diagnosis * Direct Support Worker Issues & Solutions
Supervision & Management * Clinical Issues
International Best Practices * Self-Advocacy/Independent Living
Autism/Aspergers * Employment * Caregiving
Find out more from
1-888-542-8555 CRA, 373 JaMax Dr., Hillsborough, NC 27278

June 13-15, 2008
, in Waterloo
International Conference 2008 presented by Laurier Centre for Music Therapy Research
Making Connections:
Exploring the relationship between music therapy and music education

Music Therapy keynote speaker, Dr Amelia Oldfield of the UK, is specialized with music therapy with autistic children.  Pre-Conference workshop June 12, 2008
Click for full information



A Place Called Home--second edition now available

Alison C. Ouetllette is happy to announce the newly updated and revised second edition of “A Place Called Home” this month. It describes the journey of the Ouellette family and their son David’s quest for an everyday life, and contains new stories of a life unfolding, photos and contributions by friends and family.
Read this testimonial by Jan Burke Gaffney, Hamilton, past president of Family Alliance Ontario
Although the Ouellette family story is so beautifully told in this moving memoir; the impact of their contribution is not chronicled.   The author, Alison Ouellette, was and continues to be a leader in the family support movement.  Her work in Pilot Parents, Extend-A-Family and Special Services At Home Provincial Coalition; her awards such as the Family Alliance Family Leadership award, reveal a life on the front lines of the disability rights struggle.  The hundreds upon hundreds of persons with disabilities and their families who have benefited from Alison's work are not in this book but have had their lives touched and improved by her work.  The inspiring story of her son David has taken her on speaking tours throughout Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Thousands of families will continue to fight for their children with disabilities to live lives of their own choice because they have heard her message which urges us all to "Never Give Up! "  
If you are interested in this new release, you can order copies through Alison’s or David’s web site. There is an order form there for you to download. or

Thinking creatively about new opportunities
for person-centred and self-directed lives.......... just published

Strategies and formal agreements developed by
Services for the Autistic in its role as housing trust

GSA has functioned as a housing trust since 1997, its mission to help adults with "Autistic Disorder" to live in their own homes with dignity and safety, supported by family and friends--and with self-directed planning, individualized funding, and infrastructure services as needed.

Other families and organizations, concerned with persons who have other special needs, are interested in following the paths pioneered by GSA, so we have compiled this 120-page guide to the various agreements and procedures, with some explanatory text.

A new resource that is valuable for anyone who is trying to direct their own person-centred life, and for their families and friends.
Contents: (click the links to reach an excerpt)

Please click on this link for the flyer


We welcome news, announcements, ideas and comments related to creative supports. Please send material to

For a note about technical aspects of the Aroha Listserv, please click on

Gerald & Elizabeth Bloomfield


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.

Previous Creative Supports bulletins may be found on the OAARSN website, 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

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

Gerald & Elizabeth Bloomfield
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
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