Surrey man honoured again for his work empowering people with disabilities

SURREY — A local advocate and author known for his work to empower people with disabilities is among the latest recipients of the Order of British Columbia.

Allan B. Etmanski, co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), says he is honoured to be recognized for his work but says his passion stems from the selfless, caring people he works with – people he calls "passionate amateurs."

"I love being in the company of people who do what they do not because they’re paid to do it but because they care very deeply about an issue."

Etmanski and his wife founded PLAN after his daughter was diagnosed with a disability. The focus of PLAN was to address the challenge of what happens to children with disabilities after their parents die.

"Twenty-five years ago, when we started, this question wasn’t on the radar screen," Etmanski said. "So we created a whole approach to supporting people with disabilities."

This isn’t the first time he has been recognized for his work. Along with his spouse Vickie Cammack, he was invested into the Order of Canada in February.

"It’s completely satisfying," he said. "It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven or something. But I also know there are so many amazing people who do wonderful work in this area."

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