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.

This bulletin is best read in Netscape.

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.

11 October 2004

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

If you are concerned with Autism Spectrum Disorders, please note the wealth of news, announcements and other links in the Autism News Bulletins that are archived on the OAARSN website. Click for the list of OAARSN bulletins that are also concerned with general issues of disability and inclusion.


Can anyone recommend any online or direct teen support groups for siblings of individuals with an intellectual disability? 


Ontario's Last Three Institutions for Developmentally Disabled to Close
Social Services Minister Sandra Pupatello has announced that institutions in Smiths Falls, Orillia and Blenheim will be closed by March, 2009. They house about 1,000 people and employ 2,200 staff, whose paycheques are important to the local economies. Over the next three years, the MCSS will spend $110-million on community services for the 1,000 residents, including $70-million to build new housing for them, some of it with 24-hour care. The province also is launching a wholesale review of the system serving people with developmental disabilities. "We will complete a long-standing journey from an institution-based service system for people with developmental disabilities to a community-based system that promotes inclusion, independence and choice," Ms. Pupatello said. Since 1975, 6,000 people have been moved out of 13 institutions to live in communities across the province. The Ontario government now spends more than $1-billion annually to provide financial and social supports to approximately 39,000 adults with developmental disabilities, with most of the money flowing through community organizations. Read Globe and Mail article: "Developmental disability homes to be closed"



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

Thursday, October 14, 7:30-9:30pm in Kitchener
Planning for Our Wills
by Peter Brennan of Amy, Appleby and Brennan
Planned Lifetime Networks Fall 2004 Workshop Series
Planning for Good Lives Now!
St Andrews Presbyterian Church, 54 Queen North, at corner of Weber
Please preregister by phone 519-746-1188 or email

Friday, October 15, 2004, 8:30am-3:30pm, in St Marys
Working for People with Developmental Disabilities
David Hingsburger Conference
St Marys  and Area Community Centre, James St. South, St. Marys
Lunch Provided.Cost $75
Hosted by Community Living St. Marys and Area
Contact Brenda Kaiser @ 519-284-1400 ex. 224 or Marg Angus @ 519-284-1400 ex. 242

October 15 and 16, 2004, in Toronto
Communication Disorders and the Whole Child 
See more information
Organization website

October 17-18, in Hamilton

Canadian National Committee for Police/Mental Health Liaison

3rd Annual Psychiatrists in Blue conference. Click for details

Thursday, October 21, 7:30-9:30pm, in Kitchene
Disability and Income Tax
Planned Lifetime Networks Fall 2004 Workshop Series
Planning for Good Lives Now!
St Andrews Presbyterian Church, 54 Queen North, at corner of Weber
Formore details phone 519-746-1188 or email

Saturday, October 23, 9 am - 4:30 pm, in St. Marys Friendship Centre
Home Sweet Home
One day workshop for people with disabilities, families and service providers to hear about unique and different ways people have created a home for themselves. The first step is having a vision. While this is not a workshop about how to secure funding for individual support needs, it will open minds to what is possible in terms of how people can live.  Click for flyer, map and registration form

October 24, 2004, 9am-4pm, in Toronto
Dr Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child, presents a full day course focusing on children and adolescents who exhibit noncompliance, defiance, oppositional behavior, poor frustration tolerance, intense temper outbursts, verbal or physical aggression, anxiety or marked inflexibility. He will describe a new, effective, practical, and research-based approach that has proven to decrease adversarial teacher-student & parent-child interactions, reduce hostility at school & home, and improve the child’s and adolescent’s capacities for frustration tolerance, flexibility, problem-solving, self-regulation and communication. See full details

Thursday, October 28, 7:30-9:30pm, in Kitchener
Creating Useful Records
Planned Lifetime Networks Fall 2004 Workshop Series
Planning for Good Lives Now!
St Andrews Presbyterian Church, 54 Queen North, at corner of Weber
Formore details phone 519-746-1188 or email

Thursday, October 28 & Friday, October 29, 2004, in London
Adults with Down Syndrome: Moving into the Future
presented by Regional Support Associates
Best Western Lamplighter Inn, London
Click for more information and to register

October 29 and November 26, in London

Suicide Recognition and Response
Workshops by J. Arthur Sheil

Monday, November 1, 7-9 pm, in Guelph
**Vision and Strategic Plan for a Farm Community &
Regional Centre for Autism Spectrum Disorder Expertise**

A workshop offered by Guelph Services for the Autistic and Waterloo-Wellington Autism Services and facilitated by Bruce Kappel. Free, but registration by October 25 necessary as space is limited. Click for flyer

Link to background information about this idea

Email GSA or leave message at phone 519-823-9232.

November 18, 2004, 7-9pm, in Toronto

How to Complain Effectively
presented by Ombudsman Ontario. 
This interactive session will include:
  • learning skills to complain more effectively,
  • how Ombudsman Ontario can help solve problems with provincial services & learning how to make changes so others are treated fairly
When: Thursday November 18th 2004, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Where: Bloorview MacMillan Children's Centre
  (MacMillan site @ 150 Kilgour Road)
Parking: regular parking rates apply at meters (there is heavy construction in area)
Cost: parents $5.00 and professionals $10.00
Childcare: NOT available
How to register: by phone (Pamela Kearns @ 416-425-6220, ext. 3310) or
e-mail (

November 17-20, at Reno Hilton

2004 Annual TASH Conference,

The TASH Conference is the largest and most progressive international conference, known for pioneering strategies and blazing trails towards inclusive lives for people with disabilities and their families. You will not want to miss this invigorating conference, which brings together the best hearts and minds in the disability movement, and is jam-packed with over 300 topic specific breakout sessions, exhibits, roundtable discussions, poster sessions and much more.

Visit the conference website
for updates and complete information.



Closing The Gap Forums

A discussion board exploring the many ways that technology is being used to enhance the lives of people with special needs. Please feel free to participate in the discussions listed below and share this valuable resource with friends and colleagues. There is no fee. Visit: and check out the "Featured Discussions".

Support Worker - Special Needs Headline News & Resources
The Supportworker Newsletter (from Skagway, Alaska) is a weekly review of news and views from across the web. Working with people with disabilities, psychiatric and/or behavior issues can be challenging. It is our goal to assist social service support workers to make more informed decisions and provide better care.

Enabling Families to Succeed:
Community-Based Supports for Families. By Susan Pigott, C.E.O. and Lidia Monaco, Director of Children, Youth and Family Services.
St. Christopher House, Toronto. Presented at Making Children Matter Conference, October 2004. Posted on the website of Voices for Children, "a registered charity dedicated to promoting the well-being of Ontario's young people. We disseminate knowledge and ideas to influence public awareness, policy and practice."

Planning for Success: Adolescence to Adulthood
A publication of Erinoak (118 pages, August 2004) available as an online document in pdf format.
Sections include:
Planning for the future;
Erinoak services;
Common issues of adolescence;
Frequently requested information about funding for children 12-18;
Frequently requested inforamion about adult services (applying for ODSP, borrowing equipment, help with renovations,help with personal care and activities of daily living, job training and other employment supports, options and information for independent living, day programs for those who have left secondary school, recreation and leisure, funding for respite, post-secondary services, scholarships and bursaries, accessible transportation.
Appendices include sources of funding, taxation and rebate information, respite services, important contacts and resources, planning for success--template and checklist, and resource websites, and an evaluation form.


Persons with Disabilities Online
A Government of Canada site "where persons with disabilities, their family members, caregivers and service providers can access a full range of information on disability-related programs and services in Canada."

"Best Practices: Windsor-Essex Adult System for Developmental Services"
The brief written by families of Windsor-Essex Family Network this summer is a result of local restructuring efforts that began in 1996. Today it includes the principles of choice, person-directedness, respect, flexibility, accountability, portability, unencumbered planning, deep listening and citizenship. These principles are valued by many individuals and their families. Whenever we go beyond our county borders, we are told that our system is the envy of individuals and families throughout the province. We are very proud of what has been accomplished. This brief has been sent to our local MPPs, Sandra Pupatello, Bruce Crozier and Dwight Duncan, as well as, the Deputy Minister, Kevin Costante of MCSS and our local Community MCSS Manager.
Best Wishes from the Resource Families of WEFN, Marleen Crawford, Michelle Friesen and Alison Ouellette
Click for full text

From: "Anne Mossey" <>  York Services Support Network
Did you know that there are only 110 days left to claim past Disability Tax Credits, before they expire forever? The Income Tax Act allows people with disabilities or their caregivers who have not claimed the Disability Tax Credit to reassess their income tax returns back to 1985.
On December 31st the new 2004 federal budget will cut off back filing beyond 10 years.  This means that people with disabilities or their caregivers will lose up to 9 years of past tax credits.
People with disabilities or their caregivers, who have not claimed the Disability Tax Credit, should claim it now. It could save them thousands of dollars in income taxes they have already paid. More than 3 Million Canadians have a mental or physical disability and depend on someone for support. A dependent or caregiver may be a senior caring for a disabled spouse or common-law partner, a child caring for a disabled parent, or grandchild, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew. Any one of these dependents or their caregiver are eligible to file for this tax credit. However many of these people are unaware of its very existence.
If you or someone you care for has a mental or physical disability that is severe and prolonged you may claim $6,279 on your 2003 income tax return. Additionally, if they are under age 18, you may claim a supplement which provides for tax credits that are 50% greater. If you have never claimed this credit you can file back to 1985, BUT ONLY UP UNTIL DECEMBER 31ST OF THIS YEAR. 
Qualifying for the Disability Tax Credit is the yardstick that allows you or your caregiver to make further claims for a number of other tax credits, deductions, and programs, such as;  child disability benefits, education and tuition fees, attendant care, private nursing, private hospital, aids to daily living, dentures, hearing aids, prescription drugs, payments to adapt a vehicle, travel expenses for medical treatment, group home fees, prescribed therapy, talking books, tutoring, renovation costs and much more.
If you have not claimed the disability tax it now before you lose those extra nine years. It's not too late, yet.
John Dowson is the Executive Director of LifeTRUST Planning an organization that specializes in future life planning for people with disabilities. He can be reached at 1 800 638-7256 or email
Dan King, MBA, is the income tax and tax credit specialist at LifeTRUST Planning. 416-595-1782 <>
You can help other families by lobbying the government to extend the deadline. In 2003 the federal government initiated a committee to explore issues related to the Disability Tax Credit. If you read their web site  they make no mention that at the end of this year they will be taking thousands of dollars of tax credits away from people with disabilities, and yet this is confirmed in budget documents.  Please ask them to extend the credit adjustment deadline for families with
disabilities by at least one year.    Fax 613-943-5597   Email: 
Mail:  c/o Charles Smyth Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities, 140 O'Connor Street,  Ottawa, ON  K1A 0G5 

Ontario Coalition for Long Term Care Reform
Consisting of over 30 seniors’ advocacy, disability rights, and service provider organizations, as well as individual and systemic advocates, policy analysts, academics, and lawyers, the Coalition believes "in the worth and dignity of every person, irrespective of age, health status, or disability. Our vision is the creation of a long term care system that encourages the empowerment of individuals and families, through choices, involvement, and the promotion of interdependence and self-determination. We envision a greatly strengthened and expanded not-for-profit community services sector, individualized funding, and the building of both formal and informal supports to ensure that individuals remain in their own homes, neighborhoods, and communities throughout their lifetimes.

Mission of the Ontario Coalition for Long Term Care Reform is to promote public policy that strengthens all individuals’ abilities to remain full and contributing citizens throughout their lifetimes, while valuing their worth as individuals.  Our intent is to pursue advocacy strategies that will lead to a long term care system that is increasingly based on principles of not-for-profit services delivery and that stresses interventions that defer, or avoid entirely, the need for institutionalization of any kind."

The Coalition is actively advocating with the Ontario Government to realize this vision. Contact the Coalition for more information and sample advocacy letters.
Ontario Coalition for Long Term Care Reform
P.O Box 11013
97 Guildwood Parkway
Toronto, ON.
M1E 5G5
Fax: 416 261-0264



Wilfrid Laurier University

Attention:  Clients of Social Workers


We are conducting a study on ethical issues in social work with the help of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW). 

Social Workers and clients are being interviewed in order to develop a better understanding of the ethical issues that are confronted by social workers and clients in their daily practices and service relationships, respectively.

* We are looking for current and/or former clients who believe they were treated unfairly or unethically by their social worker.

* Have you every pursued a complaint?

* Would you be willing to share your experiences in an interview?


Reseach Project Title:

A Multifaceted, Action Oriented Study of Ethical Issues in Social Work Practice

$50.00 for an interview of 1 - 2 hours


Catherine Fife, Project Co-ordinator at or

(519) 884-0710 ext. 3301

Note: All information shared is confidential and coded accordingly.


If you prefer not to be involved in an interview but would like to share your experience,

please visit our website at:
if you cannot reach this site by clicking, please cut-and-paste the URL into your browser


This study is funded by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.



PLAN Institute - Online Course Survey 

We know communities become more hospitable, caring and resilient as a result of the contributions of people with disabilities and their families. We also know disability can equal loneliness and isolation without the opportunity for meaningful contribution.

Plan Institute is interested in developing a series of online courses related to the key concepts, underlying values and theory related to social networks and organizational transformation.

Please take a moment to complete the online survey, accessible by clicking on the following link:

Complete as many or as few questions as you like.  Your input is most appreciated.

Nancy Ford, Program Coordinator
PLAN Institute for Citizenship and Disability

Friday, April 29, 2005 in Guelph (at Ignatius College). 

Guelph Services for the Autistic and OAARSN are taking the lead in convening a gathering of Ontario people who want and need to be creative in supporting good lives with and for adults who are vulnerable because of disability. Our experience with folks who live with Autism Spectrum Disorders makes us aware of very complex challenges. We think these are shared in varying combinations by adults with other exceptionalities. We particularly want to encourage self-advocates, families and friends to take part.

  • Our concern is practical--how to plan and implement the elements of a good life for each person and that we can learn from each other's effective strategies and success stories.
  • Our approach is comprehensive and holistic. We hope to put our minds and imaginations around various strategies, to show the connections among them, and to help persons and families think about and choose combinations that may work for them.
  • We plan a process of collaboration in discussion and sharing resources--during the conference and also beforehand and afterwards, using the OAARSN website and other media.
  • We intend to apply for a Trillium project grant that would help, among other purposes:
    • to enable needy persons and families to attend
    • to record highlights of keynote, workshops and poster presentations, editing them into electronic and video resources to share with people and groups who cannot attend
We welcome the following forms of collaboration with other groups:
1. Ideas of good strategies and models that should be included and represented and of needs that could be addressed by this conference. Questions and comments....

2. Display materials illustrating creative strategies and success stories developed by your group or known to you, for the poster presentations and shorter sessions in the afternoon.
These are some examples we know ourselves, but we want to include 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

3. Someone to be the liaison person for your organization or support group, who will pass on news and updates to your members.

4. Letters of support for our Trillium Foundation application--referring to the good features of the event and process in relation to each organization's focus and sense of need. We would like to receive such letters by September 30, please.

5. If we cannot raise enough funds from Trillium, we welcome ideas of other sources of funds.

We look forward to hearing from you and very much hope that you can take part in some way.

Elizabeth & Gerald Bloomfield Click for planning updates and conference program

(Information at this link will be updated regularly, so please bookmark it).



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