8 May 2008
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.

Seeking mothers to tell their stories of creating quality lives with adult sons or daughters with special needs

Amy Baskin, co-author of More than a Mom: Living a Full And Balanced Life When Your Child Has Special Needs, is writing an article for More Magazine (a national Canadian magazine aimed at women age 40 and up).
Amy would like to interview some women (at least 40 years old) who have an adult son or daughter with special needs and who have created innovative quality living and life options. 
The focus of the story is more on the women's experience, rather than the "how to" aspect of how to create such options.  Questions would include:  How did you envision your life would change when your child became an adult?  How did it actually change?  What advice would you give to moms of teens worrying about the future etc?
The interview would take about 30 minutes by phone, and can be scheduled in the evening if needed. If you are interested please contact Amy Baskin by email at

It has become known this past week that there is no new money for the Passports initiative for 2008 in Ontario. This means those on the waiting list will not be considered and there will be no new individuals funded.  To stop funding a program that has been so helpful and yet so underfunded already is very worrisome. If you are concerned about the Transformation agenda and ensuring people have choices, consider going to this event on 26th May. 

An Invitation To: Ontario Families to Respond and Participate
The Issue:

        Thousands of Ontario Families are supporting an adult at home with a Developmental Disability. In May 2007, the Minister of Community and Social Services announced a $200M budget for Developmental Services. Out of that budget only $9M went to people with developmental disabilities and their families to hire support workers to enable their child to participation in community life. The remainder of the funding went to the "revitalization of traditional agency infrastructure and wages." The Minister promised a "transformation" of developmental services to enable people with developmental disabilities to live more meaningful lives of independence and citizenship. Pouring millions of dollars into the old system and then allowing the largest provider of support in this province ‘the family’ to reach a crisis will not accomplish ‘transformation’.
     The Passport Program, the only program that provides direct funding to persons with developmental disabilities and their families to hire support workers to enable participation in community life, has been devastatingly under funded. Across the province the statistics are available, in Toronto 400 families applied and there was funding available for 33 people. Our children are leaving high school at age 21 and ending up at home on the couch. Parents are quitting jobs and redirecting respite funds and retirement funds to hire support to insure their son’s and daughters have some meaningful daytime activities or are simply ‘safe’ at home on the couch.
The Response:
      Christine Elliot, M.P.P. Whitby-Oshawa has listened to our concerns and will enlist the support of Sylvia Jones, M.P.P. of Dufferin-Calendon and opposition critic, to bring this crisis up with questions during the morning session of the Ontario Legislature on
Monday May 26, 2008.   There will be a press release prior to the session to inform the broader community of this crisis and to encourage public support for thousands of Ontario families who simply want a life for their children when high school ends. Support to help insure they are off the couch and out in the community and participating.  
The Invitation:
      Families are invited to come to Queens Park on May 26, 2008 at 10:00AM to fill the gallery at the Ontario Legislature and support Christine and Sylvia in raising questions about the issues related to the Passport Program.
Please RSVP your attendance at Queens Park
by May 19th.
RSVP to:

Cindy Mitchell                                              Helen Dionne
Passport Funding Action Group                  Durham Family Network
(905) 723-8111                                           (905) 436-2500 ext 2222
e-mail         e-mail

Some Passport Funding Statistics
This information was provided to Family Alliance Ontario Fall 07 by Alex Bezzina ADM Program Management Division for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services/Ministry of Community and Social Services.
Applications                              2890
Passport funding granted        254
On Waiting List                         2636

Information provided from CSCN—Community Services Coordination Network
in Southwest Region: 
An allocation of $139,558.00 was announced for the 5 Counties.
Applications Received by June 15th by county as follows:
          Elgin:                      17 new +   4 =  21  (4 applications on file since Aug. 06)
          Oxford:                   12 new +   6 =  18
          Huron:                    13 new +   1 =  14
          Perth:                     12 new + 48 =   60
          London-Middlesex:  51 new + 98 = 149
Total Applications:  262  (105 new applications; 157 on file since Aug. 06)
The following is a breakdown by county of the allocation, including the number of individuals we expect to serve with this allocation:
          Elgin:                      $17,125.00   (1)
          Oxford:                   $20,872.00   (2)
          Huron:                    $13,008.00   (1)
          Perth:                     $14,676.00   (1)
          London-Middlesex:  $73,877.00   (6)



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

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.

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