When it comes to advocating for people with disabilities, Al Etmanski has been a very busy man. For decades, the community organizer, social entrepreneur and author has made activism his middle name, a role he passionately embraced after his daughter was born with Down Syndrome.

Al’s most recent effort (along with organization Disability Without Poverty) is the push for the Canadian Disability Benefit. Intended to tackle the issue of disability poverty, if passed into law, the Benefit will be an historic achievement.

We talk with Al about that initiative – and a lot more – next.


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Social entrepreneur Al Etmanski has been a tireless advocate for decades


Welcome to In the Business of Change, where we speak with social entrepreneurs impacting their communities and the world.  I’m your host Elisa Birnbaum publisher and editor in chief of SEE Change Magazine.

On today’s episode we speak with Al Etmanski about a life and career dedicated to advocacy of the highest order – which explains his appointment to the Order of Canada, among other accolades. In our conversation, Al applauds the changing face of disability, one that, today, sees people with disabilities as empowered agents of change.

We reflect upon his success in introducing the world’s first Disability Savings Plan and examine its status today. Al then discusses his latest book, what’s keeping him busy these days, and why the Canadian Disability Benefit would be an important step towards lifting disabled Canadians out of poverty.

Listen. Learn. Enjoy. Share.

To learn more about the Canada Disability Benefit and how you can support the initiative, check out Disability Without Poverty

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