Barb Goode's Victoria book launch

 Self Advocates for a Brighter Future are sponsoring a Victoria, B.C. book launch for The Goode Life: Memoirs of Disability Rights Activist Barb Goode. From their press release:

At 6:00 pm on Monday, October 17th, 2011, the Victoria book launch of “The Goode Life: Memoirs of Disability Rights Activist Barb Goode,” written by Barb Goode with Jim Reynolds, will be held at the new Arts Centre at Cedar Hill, 3220 Cedar Hill Road.  The event is hosted by the self advocacy group, Self Advocates for a Brighter Future (SABF), in celebration of Community Living Month (October) in British Columbia.

Barb has met many of our most influential world leaders.  She was the first self advocate to speak in front of the General Assembly of the United Nations.  She was a key member of the legal team that won the right for people with disabilities in Canada to not be sterilized against their will.  Barb can be credited for sparking the move to plain language legislation in British Columbia.  Since the 1970s, Barb has quietly done more for equal rights in Canada (and around the world) than almost anyone.

If you ask Barb for the highlights of her advocacy career she will say, “Meeting so many interesting people.”  Like many effective leaders, it is her relationships that define her.  She is the ultimate networker.  Barb sums up her career in one short phrase that says it all:  “Doing things people didn’t think I could.”

Barb will be joining us from her home in Burnaby to talk about her world travels, including her addresses to the Supreme Court of Canada and the United Nations, and her never-ending advocacy in support of equality for each person.  Barb will read from her book and copies of the book will be available for sale.

Barb was a 2010 recipient of the Community Living BC (CLBC) WOW! Award.

“The Goode Life” was published by Spectrum Press in Vancouver, B.C.  Spectrum Press is a division of Spectrum Society, a British Columbia agency committed to continuous learning and improvement through research into leadership and best practice.

For more information, please contact Kristen Kay at or at Becon Support Services, 250-727-3891, or Sharon Sinclair at or at Kardel, 250-382-5959.

For more information about Barb’s book and/or Spectrum Press, please visit  For more information about Self Advocates for a Brighter Future, please visit  Special thanks to Saanich Parks and Recreation for donating the use of their room for our event; and the CLBC South Island Community Council for their financial support.

2 Months Later...

Hi everyone. 

Well, more than two months have whizzed by since our Spring Book Launch and things are busy around the Press. We have been selling books on-line, at conferences, and over the phone. Three public libraries have purchased our books for distribution, and many more are showing interest.

If you know of an individual, a library, or a school that might be interested in our publications, please feel free to let them know about this website -

Jenny has been doing a great job packing and shipping, and we are all looking forward to having our stockroom finished in the next couple of weeks. Aaron and Susan and I are busy writing and preparing for some exciting upcoming projects.

We currently have two calls out for submissions. One is for an anthology titled  From Institutions to Individuals: On Becoming Person-Centred, which will be directed to college  students in Community Support Worker, Education Assistant, or Disability Studies programs, and new or experienced community support workers. To get an idea of the type of essays we are looking for, read Susan Stanfield's excellent article of the same title by going to and clicking on the publications button at the top of the home page. You'll find a link to at the top of this page.

This anthology will include about a dozen short essays about useful, best-practice approaches to supporting self-determination and personal network development. Prospective authors can be famous, unknown, academic, friends, family members, interdependent collaborators, or folks with disabilities.  Approaches can be research based or narrative.  The editors for this project are Aaron Johannes and Susan Stanfield, authors of 101 Ways to Make Friends, and Dr Patrick McDonagh, author of Idiocy: A Cultural History. We have extended the deadline for submissions for this project. The new deadline is November 1st, 2011.  Send your articles (by email only) to While unable to accept all submissions, we will try to comment on as many as possible.

We will be also be publishing a collection of stories by people with disabilities tentatively titled Adventure Stories by and for People We Care About! and the deadline for submissions for this book is January 1st, 2012. The stories in this collection should answer the question: What did you do that people doubted you could do and which you are very proud of? Tell your story like you’re sitting around a fire – make it exciting and interesting and don’t be afraid to feel really great about what you accomplished. We want a book to inspire us all.

For the collection of adventure stories, send your submissions  (again, by email only)  to either, or While unable to accept all submissions, we will respond to everyone.

Six minutes to launch...

Wow, this has been lots of fun and lots of work, by lots of people.   Tomorrow we'll be at Heritage Hall at 4:30 for our first book-signing and launch, featuring Barb Goode and her new memoirs.   What a book for a first publication by our press.   We could not be more thrilled or more proud.   

We're spending the day with Norman Kunc and Emma Van der Klift, authors of "A Credo for Support" - a great document of Canadian literature and necessary reading for anyone who supports people with disabilities.   On youtube there is a version read by People First members that is always mind-boggling.   

We're already getting enquiries about the anthology we hope to publish for October, and some really exciting ideas...

Oh the clock strikes midnight and I have to go upload the logo for the very first time.   Our store opens, our logo launches, and we're off...



Jenny has been helping us around the office, but as we continue to get new orders (last month for about 200 books) we've realized we need to have a specific person for some specific jobs.    Jim, our manager of Social Entreprises, interviewed her and she got the job.   Congratulations Jenny and welcome to the team!   One of our Jenny's first jobs is going to be helping out at the book launch next Monday.   

To learn more about Jenny, you could read our recent article about her as "Spectrum's Person of the Month!"


boxes of books in preparation for our May 9th books and logo launchIt's a whole new world of inclusion and interdependence and we're excited to be part of it.   Over the last few years we've been experimenting with ideas from social enterprise and entrepreneurial thinking.   One of the surprises has been, as the only non-profit participants in a two year course for about two dozen people which intended to double our "business" while seizing real-life opportunities along the way to learn about everything from strategic planning to HR to PR to networking and sales techniques, that our sector and the world of business have a LOT to offer each other.   For one thing, they're really nice people.  It's not like that guy with the apprentice show.   They're really not just out to make a buck - they have dreams and commitments and concerns just like we all do - and often they are very similar concerns about the world we all share.   For another thing, they have refreshing accountability.  The accountability, or lack of it, in social services is a whole other conversation but we might simply say we prefer to hang out with people who stand accountable for who they are and what they contribute, who are okay to take a chance and make a mistake and say they're sorry and fix it.   People who don't want to cling to a bunch of old ideas that once seemed innovative.  

Another surprise was that they need us.   Not as a "non-profit" (that took a while for them to figure out and, again, it's another conversation - if everything is to be congruent and we want to position people with disabilities so that their strengths and gifts are apparent do we really want to be known for what we don't do?) but as business partners who know how to excite communities, how to engage staff and discover commitment to a larger goal together, how to be creative problem-solvers and as people who know how to stretch a penny.  

A few projects, three books and a DVD later, we're ready to launch.   Bring it! as "The Rock" says.   So feel free to purchase, to send your friends, to submit your stories and ideas to our press.   Welcome to our latest take on community!

Aaron Johannes, Director of Training, Research and Development and one of the proud parents of Spectrum Press.