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 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.

Click for our archive of past PLN bulletins

a. If you wish to join or leave PLN LIST, please send a request including your first name and last name and your email address, to with "PLN" in the subject area.

b. When you have ideas and announcements to share with others, please send a message to  with "PLN" in the subject area.

19 January 2004

Look up  link to list of earlier bulletins for announcements and news that may be still current.



An interesting academic article describes several relevant projects in which the authors were involved with their daughter who has special needs, and with other families: 
"Community-based cooperative ventures for adults with intellectual disabilities," 
by Carolyn Lemon and James Lemon, The Canadian Geographer,  Volume 47 Issue 4 Pages 414-428, December 2003.

When people with intellectual disabilities gain some influence over the running of their own households and the organisation of their workplaces, their lives can improve markedly. But success depends on community support not only from their families and social workers, but also from nonprofit groups and public services such as social housing and public transit. Dominant trends among institutions in the social sector responsible for meeting the needs of people with intellectual disabilities have produced models that focus on deficiencies, individualisation and service. Through cooperative structures and entrepreneurial activity, projects in community economic development have attempted to replace these models with an emphasis on capacities, collectivisation and care. We describe projects engaged in by community-based cooperatives in Toronto that demonstrate this approach and encourage those with disabilities to live interdependently and to participate as partners in their own businesses.

Specific projects described are: The Home in the Annex Cooperative Corporation, Lemon & Allspice Cookery that is a legal partnership employing eight people, and the Common Ground Cooperative Inc. that raises and administers funds to support the cookery and potentially other model projects.

The authors's conclusion provokes thought:
"The key words found in so much of the North American literature on intellectual disabilities are consumer choice, self-determination, self-advocacy, clients' rights and person-centred planning. We believe that greater benefits to people with intellectual disabilities can arise from cooperation, group determination and advocacy, human rights, community participation and community-centred planning, that is, at the same time, fully conscious of individual needs and in which individuals play central roles." 



1. Visit the new United Family Congress website
The UNITED FAMILY CONGRESS was formed by group of parents with medically exceptional dependents during the 2003 Ontario election and as an outcome of an all-candidates’ debate held in Barrie, Ontario. One valuable feature is pro bono legal advice by Ellie Venhola, a lawyer with Community Legal Clinic (Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes) based in Orillia, Ontario. You are invited to sign an electronic petition in favour of Individualized Funding and the following UFC goals:

  • To ensure that each and every family caregiver and their dependants living with an exceptionality have their personal needs met.
  • To provide a forum for sharing information about issues of common concern and connect families of exceptional dependants so that they can offer each other strength, confidence and knowledge. 
  • To encourage the participation of families in each town, city and region with our mission.
  • To facilitate and promote a provincial and national collaborative, interactive relationship with all
  • exceptionality-related organizations and to participate in developing social policies based on their experience and beliefs.
  • To ensure standards of social policies for individuals living with exceptionalities are set so that all supports, services, education and treatment are accessible and in a manner consistent and compliant with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

  • To promote the benefits of an inclusive and integrated society to our communities, organizations and the government.


Planned Lifetime Networks (Waterloo-Wellington...) 
holds evening meetings on the 2nd Monday each month, alternating discussion of chapters in A GOOD LIFE with business meetings. For more details, phone 519-746-1188 or email

Thursday January 29, 2004, 7-9 pm in Mississauga
Public meeting -- Peel Family Network 
Guest Speaker - Marilyn Dolmage
Topic - See the Strengths and Aim Higher: Inclusive Education NOW
Also - Meet families and hear the latest news about activities of the Peel Family Network and developments in the Ministry of Community, Family and Children's Services.
Click for details

February 18, 2004, 7-10 p.m., at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre 
Toronto Family Network seminar: 
**Education Law & The Ontario Human Rights Code:
A Review of the Ontario Human Rights Commission Report on Education**
Click for flyer

February 20 to 22, 2004 at the Inn on the Park in Toronto.
"Expanding Individualized Funding: The Time is Now!"
The goals are:
- To develop an action plan for implementing IF in Ontario; and
- To develop strategies for building the capacity of families & communities for citizenship & IF.
Key stakeholders from all parts of the province are invited to think carefully about who needs to be invited in order to create and train a diverse, energetic and motivated leadership team. 
Click for updated information
Email or call Barbara in the Individualized Funding Coalition office at (416) 447-4348
Click for IFCO website

March 19-21, 2004, in Syracuse NY
Ableism? Classism? Racism? Homophobia? Sexism?
How can we address all of these issues without add-on programs and disjointed initiatives?
Common Solutions: Inclusion and Diversity at the Center
An exploration of how schools and communities can address social justice issues in integrated ways through curriculum, pedagogy, school climate, teacher/staff training, advocacy and policy-making. 
Keynote speakers: James Banks and Norman Kunc
Also post-Conference sessions on March 21.
Click for flyer

April 28 - May 1, 2004, in Atlanta, Georgia
3rd Annual Immersion Learning about Self-Determination
Offered by the Center for Self-Determination in partnership with the Georgia Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Click for program details
Registration Questions?   Kris Copeland or 734-306-9641
Center for Self-Determination's E-Newsletter

April 30 - May 2, 2004, at Gananoque
**The Art of Advocacy: Every Parent is an Advocate**
FAO/IAI  Annual Conference
Key Note Speaker:  Judy Finlay on "Why a Strong Family Voice is Essential to Advocacy
in Ontario." 
Click for full details

See details of more events on OAARSN Bulletin Board and Calendar, and our archive of past OAARSN news bulletins.

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 
 Please Do Not Send Files Or Brochure Attachments



Transition Ontario Project 
January 2004
Please help us create an important online resource. We want to make the
transition to adult life for youth with disabilities (16-29 years) easier.
We are making a website for the province of Ontario with the latest news
about transition to adulthood.  This will include a listserv where people
can talk and share information. People with disabilities, parents and
service providers are working together to make the website and the
listserv.  We hope everyone will be able to use this resource as well. 
This project was started by a group of service providers, parents and youth
with disabilities in 1999. They learned that we need an information
resource in Ontario that has all of the information you would like about
transition, as well as giving you a chance to share your experiences and
asking other people questions about transition.
Click for full bulletin

Family Voice
Creating a Virtual Voice for Canadian Families
A new independent website supporting Canadian families to network and share information, while also facilitating political action to achieve a vision of people with disabilites participating as full citizens.

Emergency Response and Crisis Intervention: 
Project Overview by Nancy Cherry of Waterloo
During most of 2003, Nancy Cherry of Waterloo worked on a project of great importance to the autism community. Its goals may be summarized as:
1. Developing a template for calling 9-1-1 should the primary caregiver be unable to make the call
2. Registering with the police so that when a 9-1-1 call is placed there is an electronic alert displayed that gives background information 
3. Registering with the local hospital or crisis clinic to avoid the intake procedure when dealing with an out-of-control individual who has special needs and may be non-verbal
4. Finding a tracking device to monitor children who regularly wander (and adults who want to develop more independence of movement). 

Among other initiatives, Nancy has researched various possible devices and systems, that would combine all or most of the above features. In one scheme, it could be possible to get a substantial donation of the Research and Development funds if at least 500 families or caregivers pledge to be subscribers at a cost of say $50 per month. 
Read a more detailed report

ASO chapter members were to be contacted by their presidents about this and asked to respond immediately. OAARSN contacts may not have been reached by this means. If this resource could help any sitaution you know about, please contact Nancy at phone (519) 884-3309 or email her at

The "Special Needs" Planning Group
Our mission is to assist parents and other family members of people with disabilities in creating expertly formulated plans which will guarantee an enhanced quality of life for the person with a disability for their entire lifetime, after the parents have gone. There is no fee for service.
Link to website

Click for all the resources of The EnableLinker!
The latest issue includes details of
** Two New Reports on Disability in Canada **
Two new reports on disability are available from Human Resources
Development Canada’s Office for Disability Issues. “Defining
Disability: A Complex Issue” provides a review of, and framework
for understanding, disability definitions in key Government of
Canada initiatives. “Disability in Canada: A 2001 Profile”
outlines some of the key findings of the 2001 Participation and
Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) in a plain language, accessible
format. Both are available on the ODI website,

** Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities **
The Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with
Disabilities was announced in the 2003 Budget to advise the
Ministers of Finance and National Revenue on disability-related
tax measures. On December 22, 2003, the Co-Chairs of the Committee
sent an interim reporting letter to the Ministers of Finance and
National Revenue regarding the status of the Committee's work and
the direction of its current deliberations. For more information,
visit the home page of the Committee's website at (Pour obtenir des renseignements en français, 
veuillez consulter la page d'accueil du site Web français du Comité 
à l'adresse suivante : )


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