A Brief History of PLAN

The origins of PLAN began in 1986 with a group of senior parents who wanted to ensure a secure future for their sons and daughters with a disability after they were gone.

These parents met informally to discuss their mutual concerns and to identify potential directions to pursue. It was apparent to them that the present models of service delivery were inadequate to ensure a safe and secure future for their children. They
decided to investigate to identify what groups elsewhere were doing to address this concern.

In 1988 they applied for, and received, a small grant from the Federal Government’s New Horizons Program to help them with their research. They called themselves the Senior Parents Network. Through their research, they discovered innovative programs existed in other parts of the world – in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. These groups had begun using trust monies to provide continuous advocacy and to develop support networks for their children with disability.

It also became clear that the issue of a safe and secure future affected all families with children with disabilities, regardless of the age of the parent. Younger parents too were interested in securing the future of their children. Interest from families with relatives with a disability was strong and enthusiastic. They were eager to develop models of service that guaranteed safety and security and was independent of government policy and resources.

With these models as inspiration the Senior Parents Network applied for a 3 year operating grant from the Seniors’ Independence Program of the Federal government. They were successful in securing the grant. And PLAN was born.

PLAN was incorporated as a non-profit society in May 1989 after three years of research and planning by the Senior Parents Network. Those of us with relatives with a disability are grateful for the vision and determination of this group of senior parents.