3 March 2003
PLN LIST is an email bulletin begun in 2001 for exchanging news and views about strategies of building and maintaining personal support networks for people with disabilities, and associated issues. PLN List came into being at the time Planned Lifetime Networks was incorporated in the Waterloo-Wellington region of southern Ontario. Members of the List are now distributed in communities across Canada, with some in other countries too.
PLN LIST is a free service maintained by Elizabeth & Gerald Bloomfield and hosted by the University of Guelph with technical support by Peter McCaskell. We welcome items of news and comment which should be sent to email@example.com. They will be grouped in batches for posting from time to time. Frequency depends on the volume of material submited and the urgency of announcing meetings or recommending advocacy.
a. If you wish to join or leave the PLN List, please send a request including your first name and last name and your email address, to firstname.lastname@example.org with "PLN" in the subject area.
b. When you have ideas and announcements to share with others, please send a message to email@example.com with "PLN" in the subject area.
ONLINE ON THE OAARSN WEBSITE
PLN Bulletin is now posted on the OAARSN website, so that past issues are indexed and accessible through Internet searches. While OAARSN is devoted to adult autism issues, some parts of the website are of more general interest to folks concerned about inclusion, self-determination and a good life for all who live with disabilities.
See the OAARSN Bulletin Board:
2. Announcements of Events
3. AROHA ENTITIES FOR PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT AND SUPPORT
4. Perspectives on Abilities and Inclusion (documents of personal experience)
NEWS FROM PLAN AND ITS AFFILIATES
News from Planned Lifetime Networks (Waterloo-Wellington-Oxford)
PLN (WWO) is a non-profit organization
incorporated September 11, 2000, with charitable status from January 1,
2001. Most of its members are in the Region of Waterloo, in the cities
of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.
PLN now has a new brochure, and a new phone number, postal address and email address. It has begun a newsletter and plans several workshops this spring.
News from Vickie Cammack,
1. John Ralston Saul, patron of PLAN and its Canadian affiliates, recently made a speech in Kitchener in which he used PLAN concepts and principles and introduced himself as its patron. He has committed to deliver two lectures for Philia (likely to be in Halifax and in Calgary).
2. Mark Kingswell presented a lecture for Philia in Vancouver. 150 people came to hear him in the evening and explored the application of Philia the next day. He was joined by B.C.'s Minister of Child and Family Development and social visionary Milton Wong. There are many wonderful things to report about this event but for me the defining moment was when this renowned philosopher took on the question of what is a person. After his deliberations he determined that "we become a person when we put ourselves in the presence of others." This certainly fits with our experience at PLAN, doesn't it? There is a reading from Mark's book The World We Want in PLAN's operations manual.
3. Training update: leadership training is filling up and we have two facilitator training sessions set for the spring. The first is in Kelowna where 35 people are registered. According to Barb it filled easily and OLNA will generate some revenue from the event. Next facilitator training is set for Edmonton in May. We are co-sponsoring a course with the University of Calgary and Douglas College on Individualized funding. We will be presenting the seven steps in Yellowknife and Amsterdam this spring. We have two future planning scholarship series in the works with two local associations for community living. Nicole and I are presenting at the Quebec provincial association in May. We are gearing up for a facilitator institute in mid September.
4. PLAN has begun working with Jeff Dobbin from Toronto on a CD-ROM based around A Good Life. Work continues with Force Four and the National Film Board on the documentary Weaving the Ties. The NFB is planning on mounting an interactive web site around the production. It promises to be a fabulous tool for all of us. The site could be up by the fall and the film finished the following year.
5. PLAN Institute is beginning a two month process to develop a business and communication plan development. This feels like a coming of age for the Institute. The interest in our collective work abounds. Our challenge is to find ways to respond to this interest in ways that result in lasting and wide spread change. it's critical we define exactly how we are making a difference. I have decided that in the end there is only one outcome that counts in our work: the number of networks we have built and families who have peace of mind as result. All other activities support this outcome. I hope we can all focus our efforts on facilitating relationships. They really are what counts!
PLAN offers workshops on various topics, including:
A GOOD LIFE: for you and your relative with a disability by Al Etmanski. Burnaby, BC: Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, 2000. Read OAARSN review
CELEBRATING OTHER GOOD IDEAS AND NEWS
1. At New Year, JUDITH SNOW of Toronto
announced the formation of the International
2. Special Services at Home Family Network Project
in Thunder Bay, Ontario
What this means for families and
support workers and the community in general is that Nicole will be able
to continue providing the bi-monthly newsletter sharing information, training
sessions to families and support workers (e.g. Positive Behavioural Support
Strategies, CPR/First Aid, Back care/lifting transferring, etc.), and the
resource for families wanting to connect with each other. This past year,
we connected over 35 families ia email and or telephone to support each
other through various hurdles/challenges. It's been an amazing year, and
the project is certainly a one-of-a-kind initiative for Ontario families.
ISSUES AND ADVOCACY
Children Get Boost:
orphan child of medicare
3. Canada's 2003 federal budget brings some good
news for families of people with disabilities:
b) A new $1,600 child disability benefit, effective July 2003, is now available for families of low and modest income. The eligibility requirements are identical to those for the disability tax credit. The full benefit will be given to low-income families receiving both the child tax benefit and the national child benefit supplement. After that, the new CDB will be reduced based on family income.
c) Starting in 2004, the federal employment insurance program will be expanded to allow "compassionate care leave to those who must look after a gravely ill child, parent or spouse."
Of course these provisions will not help every person or family who is vulnerable or stressed because of disability. The first is for families with sufficient past incomes to have RRSP and RRIF funds. The second is only for lower-income families who certainly need it and more. And the third is for family members who have jobs from which they can take leave: many caregivers of children and adults with severe disabilities have had to limit or give up waged or salaried work that counts for EI.
Read the budget
In other disability-related budget
news, Stewart Lewis of Investment Executive writes that:
"With this budget, the federal government has established a technical advisory committee on tax measures for disabled people. It will advise the federal ministers responsible for finance and the CCRA. Over a period of 18 months, the committee will look at three key issues: DTC eligibility, particularly for people who suffer episodic and mental conditions; the list of daily activities used to determine eligibility; and identification of professionals used to determine eligibility.
"In August 2002, the federal government issued a response to a report by the House of Commons committee on the status of persons with disabilities regarding DTC eligibility, which resulted in an uproar. The committee's chairwoman, Toronto Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, alleged that the government had ignored eligibility recommendations made by the committee."
1. Caregivers and personal assistants: how to find, hire and manage the people who help you (or your loved one!). By Alfred H. DeGraff, 2002. For our review
2. National Organization on Disability (N.O.D.) has produced its first Emergency Preparedness Initiative Guide for Emergency Managers, Planners & Responders. Now online at http://www.nod.org/pdffiles/epi2002.pdf
3. "THE ENABLELINKER":
The December issue drew attention
** Reactions to the Romanow Report
4. The Beaumont Foundation is giving out $350 million over the next five years in computer equipment to underserved populations, including people with disabilities. They have three types of grant programs, but people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply for the individual grants (roughly $2000 per individual). Contact http://www.bmtfoundation.com/grants/ or call 1.866.505.COMP (2667).