May 2, 2007

Passport: Getting Ready For Community Life After School

The Passport Program was announced in July 2005 with a $9.4 million commitment. In its first two years, this innovative program helped more than 1,600 individuals with a developmental disability transition from school to community participation. This year, Passport will receive a further investment of $7 million to increase the number of participants to 2,100 by 2008.

Passport provides meaningful community participation supports for young adults who have recently left the school system. Individuals and/or families have the option of direct funding or agency-based programs to choose from.

Passport's key goals are to:

  • Provide exposure to post-school opportunities
  • Assist participants to make the transition from school to life as an adult in the community
  • Promote independence
  • Foster social skills
  • Promote continuing education and personal development.

Passport also includes the Mentoring Initiative that pairs young people with a developmental disability with adult mentors who also have a developmental disability to help provide guidance, skills and inspiration in order to achieve success in life after school. The Passport Mentoring Initiative began in March 2006 with a $250,000 commitment.

Originally introduced in Peterborough, Huntsville, Alexandria and Tillsonburg and Sault Ste. Marie, Mentoring will expand to include Toronto, Peel and Six Nations. This year's Passport funding will expand Mentoring across the province to 200 people.

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