If you would like easy to understand information on the new Registered Disability Savings Plan please visit www.rdsp.com.
Recently, Vickie Cammack, Co-Founder of PLAN was interviewed for an article on the Samara Blog about the RDSP, and the history behind the new plan.
“Public Service Matters” By Steve Gamester – June 24th, 2009
“I think we’ve been successful because we’ve had a hand in the soil and a hand in the stars at the same time.” With that, Vickie Cammack sums up the winning formula that led to the RDSP, a registered savings tool designed for the long term financial security of people with disabilities.
How did the RDSP happen? According to Vickie, it had all the typical policy development ingredients we know and love: multiple consultations, independent research and an expert panel. The original idea, however, was born in the community. This is the other half of the formula: the hand in the soil.
Since it was founded in 1989, PLAN has talked to thousands of individuals with disabilities and their families about what they want in life. Their approach, while simple, was revolutionary. “Traditionally, the attitude towards people with disabilities has been, let’s get them services,” said Vickie, but she and co-founder Al Etmanski found that one-dimensional.
“We asked people to talk about the elements they considered critical to have a good life. Most people talked about close connections with friends and family and the freedom and ability to pursue their interests,” she said. From these consultations, PLAN quickly recognized that financial security was a big part of that equation so began to look for ways to help families achieve it. Eventually that led to the RDSP.
“The original idea was for a tax credit, but it never caught on,” explained Vickie. “Everything changed as soon as we started calling it a Disability Savings Plan.” That concept clicked with people, reminding them of the familiar RRSP and RESP.”