Al Etmanski is a community organizer, social entrepreneur, and author. He’s been a parent activist in the disability world since his daughter Liz was born. He led the closure of institutions and segregated schools in British Columbia, and founded Canada’s first Family Support Institute. In 1989 he co-founded Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) with his wife Vickie Cammack. While at PLAN he lobbied into existence the world’s first Disability Savings Plan.
Al is a global Ashoka fellow and a member of John McKnight’s Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) network. He has received many awards for his activism including the Order of Canada and the Big Picture award from his peers in the disability movement.
Taking Care - reframing social policy in Canada
Taking care is universal. Everyday, everywhere just about everyone is taking care – of each other and indeed all life. Vickie and Al see taking care as what unites us across ideologies, social change theories and the environmnetal-social divide.
Al’s reputation as a speaker and convener comes from his ability to explore difficult topics with tremendous honesty, warmth, and humor. He is a thought-leader, researcher, and storyteller with the rare ability to both inspire audiences and leave them with actionable change strategies.
Al still accepts a limited number of speaking requests. However he is more interested in highlighting the work of people he writes about or who are examples of the patterns and lessons he describes in his books.
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