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ErinoakKids contributes expertise to Life Skills Guide for Service Providers

Young people living with disabilities often lack opportunities to develop life skills and peer relationships as they mature. Holland Bloorview researchers have teamed up with ErinoakKids and similar healthcare and service organizations across Ontario to help others deliver away-from-home life skills programs through a comprehensive Life Skills Program Guide.

The guide offers information and tools to help service providers who design and deliver transition-oriented life skills programs for youth with disabilities. Occupational therapists, life skills coaches, therapeutic recreation specialists, social workers and others can use the guide to support and empower youth to have healthy and productive lives as they transition to adulthood. 

The guide is grounded in more than a decade of research by the Ontario Independence Program Research (OIPR) team. This group consisted of researchers and expert clinicians at Holland Bloorview’s Bloorview Research Institute (BRI), McMaster University, and McMaster Children’s Hospital (part of Hamilton Health Sciences), and ErinoakKids. The team studied the key components that make residential immersive life skills programs effective and successful for youth with different abilities. 

At ErinoakKids, our away-from-home life skills program is called the Independent Living Program, which supports clients age 16-19 with skills of daily living to gain greater independence as they embark on adulthood. 

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