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About Sickkids
About SickKids

May 15, 2012

MyEducation Passport helps students self-advocate

By Lucas Bailey

SickKids has released a new tool, MyEducation Passport,  that gives young people a chance to express their detailed learning needs.

MyEducation Passport allows students (or their care providers) to fill out an on-line form that provides a quick summary outlining any learning disabilities and useful strategies. The form can be printed and stored in a pocket or wallet and produced whenever students want to remind themselves of their learning needs and provides them with easy-to-access information when meeting new teachers. The passport can also be emailed so students can provide a digital copy as needed.

“Usually this information is stored in a document that is several pages long,” said Dr. Miriam Kaufman, Adolescent Paediatrician and team lead in the Good 2 Go Transition Program. “Young people can’t easily refer to this, so the wallet-sized passport lets them take the information with them wherever they may need it.”

The idea for the MyEducation Passport came from Dr. Kaufman’s presentation on the MyHealth Passport at SickKids’ Psychology Day in February. After hearing how the health passport provides portable information on individual chronic medical conditions, Jill Haydicky, PhD candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, asked if there was an equivalent for education needs. 

Recognizing the benefit of the passport tool in education, Kaufman asked Haydicky to join a SickKids working group with the goal of making it easier for young people to understand their education information and communicate it to others.

The working group also included Andrea Regina, Psychology Clinical Fellow, Dr. Anna Gold, Psychologist, and Karen Sappleton, Social Worker. Working together, the team had the new version of the passport up and running within a month.

The MyEducation Passport has already received a positive response from school psychologists and OISE researchers. Roughly 70 passports have been generated, and another 30 have been created by health-care providers and educators checking out the program.

The Good 2 Go Transition Program works to prepare all youth with chronic health conditions leaving SickKids with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed outside of a paediatric medical setting. Self-advocacy is an important skill for youths with chronic medical conditions and specialized learning needs. The MyEducation passport supports the self-advocacy goal by making it easier for students to get the most out of their education.