An update from Plan Institute & PLAN

Greetings and Happy 2018 from Plan Institute & PLAN,

This past year has seen many changes and exciting initiatives for both Plan Institute and  Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), and we’d like to share an update with you.

For nearly 20 years, Plan Institute & PLAN have worked closely together in the pursuit of a shared vision to securing the future for people with disabilities and their families.

But did you know we are actually two separate organizations?

If you didn’t, you’re not the only one.

And while it didn’t matter for many years, we’ve recently recognized the benefits and opportunities of forging a clear and distinct identity for both organizations. By focusing on our respective strengths, we will be better able to serve the community.

Plan Institute will continue to focus on providing education, support and outreach, as well as engaging in projects across the country and advocating for policy reform at the Provincial and National Level. Whereas PLAN will remain a unique, non-government funded, family led organization in the Greater Vancouver region of BC. This means families and a small group of paid staff collaborating in community building through personal support networks, advocacy and planning support for families, and promoting family leadership on issues that matter. Think about PLAN as a learning laboratory, and Plan Institute as the incubator and amplifier of family inspired lessons to a broader audience.

I will continue to oversee both organizations as Executive Director, providing support and ensuring each organization is able to contribute to the community in the most valued and meaningful way while maintaining our shared vision.

Plan Institute
Stephanie Debisschop, Director of Plan Institute, will continue to lead and support the team towards taking the learnings fostered within PLAN, and sharing them nationally with the greater community by continuing to provide educational resources and initiatives, collaborating on community-based projects, and advocating for policy reform. The three key areas of focus are:

  • Innovation – Engaging in social innovation through community-based projects and partnerships. One of our current initiatives is an online Future Planning Tool for people with disabilities and their families to help them build a plan for the future.
  • Leadership – Providing collaborative leadership by convening a diverse group of stakeholders to encourage public policy reform and system transformation. One of our current projects in our involvement in an RDSP Action Group, set up to help find ways to improve the policy and procedures around the RDSP, as well as access to this incredible savings vehicle.

Rebecca Pauls, Director of PLAN, will continue to lead and support PLAN as a network of families and the team of Mentors and Community Connectors in Metro Vancouver. They will continue to focus on achieving impact in three key areas: 

  • Personal Support Networks – Helping people with disabilities build and maintain networks of healthy, supportive relationships to empower contribution and full-citizenship.
  • Personal Planning and Advocacy – Partnering with families to understand and implement legal, housing, financial and other important types of planning so that loved ones with disabilities are safe and secure for the rest of their lives.
  • Family Support and Leadership – Working together as families and networks to provide mutual support and learning, while also strengthening the disability arm of the family movement.

Although we will continue to work closely and collaboratively with one another towards our shared goals, focusing on each of our respective roles in the community will make our organizations stronger and our goals clearer. Our combined values, beliefs and mission is to improve the lives of those living with diverse abilities and their families. Together we will continue to collaborate, learn from and grow with one another.

We are thrilled at what lies ahead for both of our organizations and we hope that you will stay connected and join us on the journey.

Should you have any questions or comments about any of this information and our organizations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you for your support and interest in our work.


Tim Ames
Executive Director Plan Institute & PLAN

To learn more about our organizations and how you can support us, please visit or