PERSONAL SUPPORT NETWORKS
NEWS BULLETIN

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 ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca. They will be grouped in batches for posting from time to time. Frequency depends on the volume of material submitted and the urgency of announcing meetings or recommending advocacy.

This bulletin is best read in Netscape.

Click for our archive of past PLN bulletins



NEWS BULLETIN

29 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.


SPECIAL NEWS AND AN OPPORTUNITY !

Transforming Services in Ontario for People with a Developmental Disability

In May 2004, the Ontario Budget announced that the Government "will be transforming services for people who have a developmental disability in order to create an accessible, fair and sustainable system of community-based supports." In early August, we reported that the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services was setting up a steering committee to advise the Minister on how to proceed with the "transformation" of Developmental Services in Ontario. It was said that "this very important process will profoundly affect developmental services for many years to come." The paper would be "the basis for broad public consultations to be completed by Feb/March 2005." The committee and paper would "define the all-important terms of reference for the broader provincial consultations."

With other advocates, we were concerned that the committee should be fully representative of persons and families who live with disabilities and that its deliberations and recommendations should be open and well reported.

A Preliminary Discussion Paper was released last week by the "Joint Developmental Services Sector Partnership Table." Read the Discussion Paper   Link to associated information on the MCSS website

Responses during November 2004 are invited, especially from groups of people and families concerned with disabilities.

We note that the Partnership Table includes 12 representatives of the Provincial Network on Developmental Services--Community Living Ontario, Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs (OASIS), Community Living Ontario, "faith-culture" agencies (Christian Horizons, L'Arche Ontario and Reena), the Metro Agencies Representatives' Council (MARC), Great Lakes Society, and a francophone representative. Persons and families with disabilities are represented by three members of Family Alliance Ontario and two members of People First. There are also five senior officials of the Ministry of Community and Social Services and one of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

The Discussion Paper's purpose is to raise questions to help people share ideas and make suggestions, initially by November 30. "Feedback will help the Ministry to prepare a draft plan to transform services in Ontario, as the basis for a broad public consultation. It is noted that "the ideas in this document are presented for the purposes of discussion only and do not represent proposed directions or policy on the part of MCSS."

Members of PLN List and disability advocates generally will be pleased by the tone of the discussion paper, with its references to inclusion, removing barriers, building on community, self-determination and choices, individualized funding, and possible alternatives to traditional services.

A vision is proposed, based on In Unison (1998):

Persons with disabilities participate as full citizens in all aspects of Canada society. With commitment from all segments of society, persons who have a developmental disability will maximize their independence and enhance their well-being through access to require supports and the elimination of barriers that prevent their full participation.

A clear set of principles that should be embodied in any transformed system is proposed:
  • dignity and respect
  • building on community
  • fairness and responsiveness
  • accountability
  • practicality
  • sustainability

Questions are posed, to which all of us are invited to respond, initially during November:

  • What should be the roles and responsibilities of different parts of society in supporting individuals who have a developmental disability?
  • What strategies and resources would help individuals receive seamless supports throughout their lives, including points of transition?
  • What supports and services that are currently available work well Dan should be built on for the future?
  • How should a reasonable level of government funding for an individual be determined?
  • Services are changing in Ontario for people who have a developmental disability. What would you like to see happen?
  • What do you think are the priorities the government should address?

What can we all do?

1. Read and think about discussion paper, in your personal and family situation. You might consider the points made in a recent presentation by John Lord who has been so active in the cause of self-determination and individualized funding in recent years. Click to read Citizenship Based Policy Reform

2. Discuss the paper with others who have similar concerns, with a view to presenting a combined submission. That's the kind of response that is wanted this time.  Jan Burke-Gaffney, one of the three Family Alliance members on the Partnership Table, proposes that you send comments to her at hamiltonfamilynetwork@sympatico.ca by November 20, 2004.  If you would like to meet with other parents to discuss the paper and questions please let her know and she will try to connect you. Meetings for similar purposes may be convened in various cities.

3. If you'd like to air your thoughts on this PLN List, please send comments and questions to ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca

4. Think about taking part in the conference CREATIVE SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS which Guelph Services for the Autistic is organizing next April 29, 2005. We think this event is timely and relevant. See more below.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Guelph conference on CREATIVE SUPPORTS FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS
Friday, April 29, 2005 in Guelph (at Ignatius Centre/Orchard Park)

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.
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. Highlights of keynote, workshops and poster presentations will be recorded and edited into electronic and video resources to share with people and groups who cannot attend.  Click for planning updates and conference program
We welcome the following forms of collaboration with other groups:
a) 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....

b) 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

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

_________________________________________________________________________________________

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF EVENTS 

Please send submissions for this news bulletin or for the OAARSN Calendar and Bulletin Board in plain text format by email to ebloomfi@uoguelph.ca 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


Monday, November 1, 7-9 pm, in Guelph
Autism and Community
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 please pre-registrater 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 4, 7-9pm
November 5, 8:30am-3:30pm
Coaching to Inclusion
Guest Speaker - Dr. Thomas Armstrong
Best Western Lamplighter Inn, London, ON
Details for Thursday, Nov 4 program and Friday, Nov 5 program


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 (info@bloorviewmacmillan.ca)


November 17-20, at Reno Hilton

2004 Annual TASH Conference,
BLAZING THE TRAIL

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
http://www.tash.org/2004reno/index.htm
for updates and complete information.


November 24-26, 2004, in Ottawa
National Summit on Inclusive Education
Hosted by Canadian Association for Community Living
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ottawa, ON
Conference brochure
Information schedule
To register Click Here



November 26, in London
Suicide Recognition and Response
Workshop by J. Arthur Sheil

Thursday, December 2, 2004
, 9am-4:30pm, in Toronto
DURHAM ASSOCIATION FOR FAMILY RESPITE SERVICES &
THE SOUTHERN ONTARIO TRAINING GROUP CO-SPONSOR
An Exploration of Some Higher Order Issues of
Restraint as a Human Service Technique

Location:  Room SHE560, 5th Floor, Sally Horsfall Eaton Building,
Ryerson University
Recently, the press, some advocacy groups, and professional organizations have been raising questions concerning the use of restraints in human services.  This workshop provides a forum for concerned individuals, especially service workers, to explore some of these troubling moral questions raised by the use of restraints in human services, especially within the context of the vulnerability of people who receive services.  This is not a how-to-workshop, but rather an opportunity for reflection and learning. Click for information and to register

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 


{return to the OAARSN Bulletin Board}