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Al Etmanski

Al Etmanski
Al Etmanski is the President of PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network) and has been a leading advocate for people with disabilities and their families in Canada for more than two decades. He is widely recognized as a visionary thinker in areas of social policy, community development and individualizing services for people with disabilities. Al is an author, advocacy consultant and social inventor who specializes in finding innovative, non-governmental solutions to social problems.

Recent Posts

Stash Your Plan in the Cutlery Drawer

Posted by Al Etmanski on March 24, 2017

Imagine a restaurant review that focused exclusively on the cutlery on the table. “What about the meal?” you would ask. Indeed.
Knives and forks aren’t the meal. They are merely a means to a hopefully delicious end. Sadly, in the social justice world there is too much focus on tools and processes.

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Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Posted by Al Etmanski on February 6, 2017

The family arm of the disability movement that I belong to seems to be getting older. The average age of the people at the meetings or conferences I attend is getting higher. There is a certain nostalgia in our deliberations.

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The ‘Crown’ of Lobbying

Posted by Al Etmanski on January 19, 2017

People who are members of disability royalty, and that include staff, funders, policy makers as well as individuals, families, and friends, are by definition in it for the long haul. Their lobbying, petitioning and advocacy will continue for a lifetime. Chances are they will be engaged with the same people and the same departments more than once or twice. That makes it even more important to pay attention to their individual and collective reputation.

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If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It

Posted by Al Etmanski on December 19, 2016

“My name is Liz and I have Down syndrome.”

She strode onto the stage without notes, without preparation, and seemingly without a care.

A hundred pairs of eyes were anticipating her spoken word poetry performance.

A recipe for disaster.

A disaster that I had tried to prevent from the moment she was born.

It was the scene of my undoing.

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The Force That Bounces the World

Posted by Al Etmanski on October 13, 2016

This may be the easiest assignment Vickie and I have ever had.

The good folks at the Plan Institute and Tamarack Institute have asked us to host a webinar series on the ingenuity of people with disabilities and their families.

Easy, because innovation is the core competency of people with disabilities and their families.

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Beyond the Olympics/Paralympics: 5 World Class Brazilian Social Movements

Posted by Al Etmanski on September 13, 2016



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