Widening The Circle
formerly “The Real Friends Project”
An essential ingredient for adults to make friends is to have connections with other adults wherever they live, learn, work, and play. This is especially true, and challenging, if one of the goals is for relationships between adults with disabilities and adults without disabilities.
Connecting Where Adults Live
We often hear people comment that neighborhoods aren’t what they used to be, that the interactions that were once commonplace are now rare. Check out Support Brokers, another program of The Arc, that assists people in developing relationships in their community and where they live.
Connecting Where Adults Learn
More and more adults with disabilities are attending college. Don’t overlook the possibility of college programs for older youth in transition. Think College at the Institute for Community Inclusion has a list of resources.
Connecting Where Adults Work
REAL Work in the community is an ideal place for adults to meet peers without disabilities. It may take someone a while to understand and fit into the “culture” of a work place, but it is time well spent. The time spent at coffee and lunch breaks, around the water cooler and after work may be the highpoint of many adults’ lives. Significant relationships, including many marriages, have been a result of relationships started at work.
Watch the video from the “Your Next Star” Campaign highlighting how meaningful hiring someone with disability is to both the individual and the employer
Stream January’s webinar “Building Friendships at Work”
Connecting Where Adults Play
In addition to informal interaction that happens and can be encouraged in the neighborhood, adults should be supported to participate in a host of recreational opportunities where people with and without disabilities can participate together.