Idea of a day conference on

CREATIVE SUPPORTS FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS

When: late April 2005: probably Friday April 29

Where: In Guelph (using Ignatius Hall)

Why:

  1. to inspire and nerve people to implement person-centred and self-directed plans
  2. to share a full range of creative individualized strategies that work
  3. to power a concerted and collaborative process involving all parties (persons, families, communities, agencies and Governments) concerned with support persons who are vulnerable because of disability 

Who:

Persons and families who live with autism and other challenging conditions (including physical disabilities, mental health, cognitive and sensory impairments), agency representatives, community friends and advocates who care.

We plan to reach those who cannot usually attend similar events, by:

  1. Assisting persons and families who could not otherwise afford to take part
  2. Making electronic and print resources that can be shared and studied by people who live too far away to attend. 

How:

  1. Opening and closing plenary sessions—keynote and call to action
  2. Four concurrent workshops
  3. Poster sessions and brief presentations on a whole range of living supports from which persons and families may choose to suit their situations and needs
  4. Informal connections and discussion
  5. Video record of poster presentations and summary highlights
  6. Process of consultation and resources beforehand and afterwards on e.g., the OAARSN website

We plan a special contribution by making a record of the event and encouraging a process of consultation that will last into the months and years following the conference and extend far beyond those who attend.

Role of Guelph Services for the Autistic:

    • Willing to lead in promoting event, application to Trillium, and local conference arrangements in a location which is fairly convenient within southern Ontario.
    • GSA efforts will be justified as persons and families feel empowered to move ahead in implementing their person-centred and self-directed plans.
    • We dedicate the meeting in honour of Malcolm Jeffreys (1944-2003) of Windsor Community Living, who encouraged our group of families as he helped so many others.
    • The conference builds on GSA’s experience with the ASPIRE project (Autism Support Project: Information, Resources, Empowerment) since 2002.

Organizations Invited to Collaborate in some way (* indicates agreement already)

  • Community Living Ontario
  • Individualized Funding Coalition of Ontario
  • Kerry’s Place Autism Services (*)
  • Waterloo-Wellington Autism Services (*)
  • Families for a Secure Future (Wellington-Dufferin) (*)
  • Planned Lifetime Networks (Waterloo-Wellington) (*)
  • Family Alliance Ontario
  • Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy
  • Ontario Network of Independent Living Centres (* Niagara)

Conference Outline
:
8:30-9:00 Registration: fruit, muffins, coffee, juice
9:00 Welcome and introduction of keynote speaker
KEYNOTE ADDRESS integrating various elements of support: 
JOHN LORD of Kitchener on 
“Values, principles and processes that work--the why of creative supports:
individualized supports build community and inclusion.

10:30: break

10:45-12:00: FOUR CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS ABOUT CREATIVE SUPPORT AREAS:

I: BUILDING SUPPORTS WITH INDIVIDUALS
“Nothing about me without me”, “deep listening” and “why support networks are good for our health and our communities.”
Led by JUDITH SNOW of Toronto

II: CREATING MEANINGFUL LIVING SPACES
“Making housing into my home” led by BARB LEAVITT of St Marys-Stratford, perhaps with an associate who has personal experience    

III. BUILDING MEANINGFUL Supports for work and recreation experiences, led by PEGGY HUTCHISON (Brock University, St Catharines), perhaps with a facilitator or a person with a disability she works with

IV: HOW COMMUNITIES AND FAMILIES CAN MAKE CREATIVE OPTIONS WORK IN ONTARIOLed by Marlyn Shervill and Michelle Friesen of Windsor


12:00 to 1:00:
Lunch and time to visit/discuss poster exhibits
These and the short presentations in the afternoon illustrate creative strategies and success stories developed by groups or families. These are some examples we know ourselves, but we want to include many more:
-ways of "deep listening" to vulnerable persons who do not speak
-helping self-advocates to direct their own supports
-creating and maintaining circles of support to supplement and succeed living parents
-circles of support for vulnerable persons who have no family
-creative options to have a home of one's own
-independence technologies
-recruiting volunteers to be informal friends
-ways to screen, train and appreciate excellent volunteers
-bridging gaps between adults with special needs and their neighbourhoods and communities
-supporting adults who want to continue learning, formally and informally
-enabling people to develop micro-enterprises
-lifesharing communities in households or larger units
-planning good lives now, to be effective through future transitions when parents can no longer support vulnerable adults
-how brokerage works
-what aroha/microboards can do

1:00–2.45: Short presentations (15 minutes each) in either whole group (6 presentations) or in four area workshops (24)… as above. Details still in preparation.

2.45: Break

3:00-4:00: Plenary keynote session with action steps:

JOHN LORD on “What it means to be creative and innovative”
so people go home charged up with practical skills for being creative.