24 March 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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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.


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.


Toronto Rehab Scholarship in Rehabilitation-related Research for Students with Disabilities
Toronto Rehab is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for its $20,000 Scholarship in Rehabilitation-related Research for Graduate Students with Disabilities. This innovative scholarship is believed to be the first-of-its-kind in Canada. Please click on title for full information and applicaiton forms.

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:
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.


Announcing Individual Events

March 29, 2008,
9-11:30, in Kitchener
Major Future Planning - Today Is Not Too Soon
Offered by Planned Lifetime Networks
Click on title for full details. Preregistration necessary; $10 donation appreciated

April 2-4, 2008, in Toronto

Designing the Change You Want to See
Intensive course at Ryerson University limited to 25 participants
John O'Brien, Jack Pearpoint and Lynda /Kahn
Click on title for details

April 5, 2008, 9-11:30, in Kitchener
Registered Disability Savings Plan
Offered by Planned Lifetime Networks
Click on title for full details.
Preregistration necessary; $10 donation appreciated

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 12, 2008, 9-11:30, in Kitchener
Wills, Estate Planning, Henson Trusts
Offered by Planned Lifetime Networks
Click on title for full details.
Preregistration necessary; $10 donation appreciated

April 19, 2008, 9-11am, in Kitchener
Public Guardian and Trustee--Power of Attorney, Capacity, etc
Offered by Planned Lifetime Networks
Click on title for full details.
Preregistration necessary; $10 donation appreciated

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

PLAN Institute: 6th Annual Leadership Training
in Vancouver,
June 2-6, 2008
Leadership Training will be of interest to families,
disability leaders and their supporters who want to:

  • Explore a new conceptual understanding of disability for the twenty-first century
  • Create a good life for their family member with a disability
  • Learn the nuts and bolts of building an organization based on relationships
  • Construct a vehicle for independent advocacy and strengthen your ability to negotiate and relate to service  providers, bureaucrats, lawyers, financial and estate planners
  • Revitalize the family/parent movement in your area
  • Integrate values into action
  • Learn how emerging insights into caring citizenship are relevant to the contributions of persons with disabilities
  • Join in a week of reflection, nourishment, learning and inspiration.
  • Attendees will be surrounded by the personal stories, insights, practices, techniques, and expertise of the PLAN Institute team comprised of families, facilitators, board members, volunteers and staff.
For further information and to pre-register please visit or contact PLAN Institute at 604.439.9566

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

Toronto Summer Inclusion Institute 2008
Hosted by the
Marsha Forest Centre
Ryerson University
, Toronto July 12 -17, 2008
Click to view pamphlet



Facilitation Leadership Group--Winter 2008 Newsletter
Reflections by John Lord and Charlotte Dingwall on their first year of training people to build capacity for community change.

Guide to Personal Care and Property for Adults with a Developmental Disability
Just published by The Ontario Partnership on Aging and Developmental Disabilities, the guide provides information about: Substitute decision-makers, power of attorney for personal care, power of attorney for property, Guardianship, and Income and Taxation issues. The Guide can be accessed and downloaded at or ordered at a cost of $5.00 from: Ontario Partnership on Aging and Developmental Disabilities, C/O Toby and Henry Battle Developmental Centre, 927 Clark Ave, Thornhill, On L4J 8G6

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. 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.

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

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 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:

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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