Plan Institute Newsletter - Spring 2018

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and for your interest in our work! We continue to strive to improve the lives of people with disabilities through education, community-based projects and advocating for policy reform, and we couldn't do it without your support. See some of our current initiatives in Plan Institute at Work further down the page.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter.


The Plan Institute Team

Canada’s taxman shouldn’t decide who has a disability
It has been 10 years since the creation of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), an idea spearheaded by PLAN founders and family members in order to help enable Canadians with disabilities to earn or receive income and to accumulate financial assets without penalty. Al Etmanski, co-founder of PLAN and Plan Institute, and one of those family members who campaigned for the RDSP, reflects on this savings tool and what we need to do to improve accessibility. Read more.
“Lives Too Easily ‘Written Off’: A Family Advocate Argues for Robust MAiD Monitoring”
In this essay by Donna Thomson, author, caregiver, and advocate, she discusses the importance of the Vulnerable Persons Standard (VPS) as a system for monitoring Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in order to protect the lives and well-being of people with disabilities and their families. Read more .
RDSP Q & A: The 10 year rule is almost up. Now what?
Many people started their RDSP in 2008, which means the 10 year waiting period for the first year of contributions is soon up. In this Blog Post, Certified Professional Accountant, Dan MacDonald, answers the following important questions: "Now what? Can I actually take the money out now? What are some things to consider?" Read more.
Filling the Caregivers Cup
Is your cup half full or half empty? I think most of us are familiar with the saying “Is your cup half full or half empty?”. This typically relates to whether we see things in a positive or a negative light. Yet, I often hear caregivers say “my cup is empty” referring to the experience of feeling depleted. Read more.
Upcoming Events
Here's a snapshot of some of our learning opportunities coming up this fall. We are always adding new events and dates so be sure to check our website  for updates.

May 22 / June 5 / June 13
Tele-seminar and Vancouver sessions
The RDSP is a Canada-wide registered matched savings plan specific for people with disabilities that allows savings to grow in a tax-deferred environment and provides matching federal contributions of up to 300% annually.

September 7 – 9
Bowen Island, BC
We invite you to join us for a special weekend retreat that was developed by and for family caregivers to allow for a chance to relax, rejuvenate and connect with other caregivers in a beautiful setting. The weekend involves a gentle schedule of activities including nature walks, painting and collaging, sharing stories, guided meditation, as well as alone time for personal reflection and relaxation. All delicious meals will be included.  

June 7
Becoming well-informed about wills, trusts and estate planning is necessary to secure the financial future of your loved one with a disability. In this course, estate-planning attorney Halldor Bjarnason & Ken Kramer explain how to arrange your estate, prepare a will, and the various ins and outs of setting up a trust specifically for your relative or loved-one with a disability.

Sept 10 – Oct 21 / Oct 29 – Dec 9
6-week Online Course
The best guarantee of a safe and secure future for anyone with a disability is a caring network of family and friends. Building on over 25 years of experience in facilitating hundreds of personal support networks for people living in isolation, this online course uses PLAN’s proven approach to provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a Personal Support Network Facilitator. As a Network Facilitator, you will have the tools to re-chart a life of isolation towards a life at the centre of an active and caring personal support network.
Plan Institute at Work
At Plan Institute our mission is to find ways to help improve the lives of those living with disabilities through education, community-based project and advocating for policy reform.

Here are some of our current initiatives:

To get in touch about any of these initiatives, please contact us at

Did you know that we have Affiliates across the country? Click here to find one of our partner organizations in your area.