Vickie Cammack and Al Etmanski have been engaged as activists, teachers, innovators, entrepreneurs and writers in the world of caregiving and disability for more than three decades.
Vickie was the founding director of Canada’s first Family Support Institute. Al, in his role as Executive Director of British Columbians for Mentally Handicapped People (now Inclusion BC), led the closure of Inclusion's major institutions, segregated schools and sheltered workshops.
They co-founded PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network) in 1989 in response to the question, ‘What happens to people with disabilities when their parents die?’ PLAN has been associated with a number of innovations including: pioneering social enterprise in Canada, instigating the world’s only Registered Disability Savings Plan – today there are more than $2 billion in deposits, stewarding the Representation Agreement, a grassroots alternative to adult guardianship which enshrines in law the legitimacy of caring, trusting relationships to support decision-making, developing a citizen based theory of disability, addressing isolation with a focused and strategic approach that creates durable personal networks/circles of support, establishing Tyze Personal Networks, a social purpose technology business to spread the use of care networks and address isolation.
For the last 10 years, Vickie and Al have been exploring the emerging world of social innovation, to learn how other social movements achieve lasting impact. They are interested in blending social innovation methods with the traditional ingenuity of carers and people experiencing life challenges. They believe caring is resplendent with creativity, tenacity and grace, and want to shine a light on it. Vickie and Al are members of the Order of Canada. They have five children including Liz, an artist and poet who every day illustrates the potential of people with disabilities. Vickie is also a carer for her 92 year old mother. Their books include Safe and Secure, A Good Life and Al’s most recent, Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation.