The Passport Initiative
The Passport Initiative
The Ontario government created the Passport initiative to provide opportunities for individuals who have a developmental disability and who have left school to find more ways to participate in their communities.
Through Passport, participants can receive funding for activities that encourage their personal development and help them achieve their potential. Passport also helps to:
- Improve the quality of participation in the community by providing supports that focus on individual goals, work activities and community participation
- Smooth the transition from school to life as an adult in the community
- Promote independence
- Foster social, emotional and community participation skills
- Promote continuing education and personal development.
The Passport initiative is intended for residents of Ontario who have a developmental disability and who:
- Have left school and would benefit from community participation supports; or
- Have been waiting for service and are in need of community participation supports; and
- Are not eligible for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) employment supports.
Participants in Passport can live independently or in supportive living. Priority will be given to applicants who are living at home with their families.
Funding and Application
Individuals and families have the option of receiving Passport funding directly and making their own arrangements to purchase supports and services or choosing to access services through community-based agencies.
To apply for Passport, individuals and their families are encouraged to submit a plan with their completed application form that outlines the type of community participation supports they require and the goals and objectives they expect to accomplish. Plans should be developed in partnership with educators and/or community-based organizations and, if possible, should build on transition plans that have already been developed by an individual’s local school board.
Some funding is available to assist with the creation of personalized plans for individuals who are not already connected to community-based organizations.
A planning guide entitled “Creating a Good Life in Community: A Guide on Person-Directed Planning” is also available to help individuals and families through the process of creating a plan for community participation.
Passport is also beginning to provide in-school mentoring opportunities to give students ages 14 - 21 who have a developmental disability some exposure to experiences and options available to them after they leave school.
Students will be paired with experienced, adult mentors who also have a developmental disability. These mentors will work with them to decide what steps they need to follow in order to develop the skills required to achieve their goals. Through the skills they learn as part of the mentoring initiative, students can be better prepared for the transition from school to life in the community.
Beginning in spring 2006, the mentoring initiative is being introduced in four communities – Peterborough, Huntsville, Alexandria, and Tillsonburg.
If you have questions or would like additional information about the Passport initiative, please contact your local Ministry of Community and Social Services' regional office.