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Passport is a program funded by the  Ministry of Community and Social services for adults with a developmental disability. The Passport Program provides funding for adults with a developmental disability opening doors to support and services that may have been too expensive before.

Anyone who already qualifies for adult developmental support or services through the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services including anyone eighteen-years-old and is still in school can apply to receive passport funding. A developmental disability doesn’t have to hold anyone back from fully enjoying their community.

Just like getting a travel passport means freedom to see the world.

The Passport program means independence. It means to be included.

Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca is your local passport agency we have offices across Northeast Region, including Bracebridge, Parry Sound, Sundridge, Mattawa, Sturgeon Falls, North Bay and  Timmins.

Through Hands, Passport Program funding is there to help young people make the transition from school life to adult life.

Passport provides opportunity for planning and support that focuses on each person’s abilities using their strengths to make it easier to live as their own person at home or in the public. With independence comes inclusion.

The Passport Program is designed to instill confidence in an individual so they are willing and able to build their friendships and professional relationships. This makes it easier to take advantage of everything a community has to offer.

Jobs, sporting events, carnivals a day at the park, or volunteering for charity. There’s a sense of belonging.

Passport supports families and caregivers of an adult with a developmental disability so they can continue in a supportive role. For adults with developmental disabilities the related cost to participating in their communities can be challenging. Funding through Passport covers a wide range of expenses related to community participation. Covered expenses can include: social and recreational activities, public transportation, club membership, admission to a museum or festival and joining a sports league.

Taking classes to learn or improve life skills are covered as well. Anything from cooking classes or a computer course to literacy training or learning personal finance. The expense of having a support worker on hand for these activities is also covered.

When looking for a job there are certain essential skills that employers expect.

Passport will cover the training for those skills, as well as job coaching.

Caregivers need a break every now and then.

Passport will pay for support and help with personal care needs of a person with a developmental disability while the primary caregiver takes a few hours, a night our weekend off.

To help an individual achieve their goals, passport funding can be used to purchase the services of an independent planner or facilitator to work with the person in developing a plan.

This will help identify goals interests supports and services as well as a budget based on approved funds. Another common challenge is administration, scheduling support workers, coordinating services, tracking funding, paying bank fees.

Up to ten percent of a person’s Passport funding can be accessed to deal with administrative costs. It can also cover contributions to the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance WSIB and Vacation Pay. The Amounts of yearly funding that someone qualifies for is determined by support needs, circumstances and available resources. Funding amounts vary in priority is given to those with greater need. Any adult eligible for developmental services and supports through the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services can apply for Passport funding.

A referral can be made by contacting your local Developmental Services Ontario office to complete an application package.

Developmental Services Ontario Northeast Region can be reached at 1-855-376-6376

The Passport Program supports opportunities for adults with the developmental disability to enjoy their independent life. To be fully involved in the community and have a sense of belonging. Give Hands a call to talk more about the Passport Program. 1-800-668-8555. To learn more, visit www.thefamilyhelpnetwork.ca/passport.