ABCD Institute > Institute Faculty > International Faculty > Al Etmanski

Al Etmanski

Al Etmanski is an author, community organizer and social entrepreneur. Since the birth of his daughter, he has been an activist in the family arm of the disability movement. He co-foundered Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), assisting families to address the financial and social well-being of their relatives with disabilities, particularly after their parents die. PLAN has spread to more than 40 locations around the world. He proposed and led the successful campaign to establish the world’s first savings plan for people with disabilities (Registered Disability Savings Plan). He is also co-founder of Social innovation Generation (SiG) and BC Partners for Social Impact.

In addition to his continuing work addressing the poverty and social isolation of people with disabilities, Al is curious about the role of culture (habits, attitudes, beliefs) in helping or hindering social, economic and environmental justice. He is interested in what unites us particularly the omnipresence of natural caring (for each other and our environment) which he considers a universal that transcends ideology and background. When he grows up he'd like to be a peacemaker.

Al was the first Canadian accepted into Ashoka’s global fellowship of social entrepreneurs. He has been a faculty member of John McKnight’s Asset-Based Community Development Institute since 1995. 

​He is the author of three best selling books: A Good Life - For You and Your Relative with a Disability; Safe and Secure and most recently Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation. He blogs regularly at www.aletmanski.com Twitter: @aletmanski