Pathways to Friendship (Widening the Circle)

Widening the Circle
Pathways to Friendship
The Arc of Massachusetts

What is a friend?

We have chemistry. We enjoy each other's company. We trust, understand, respect, and appreciate each other. We like how we feel when we're together. We are close even when we are apart. We look forward to being together. We commit over some time. We give to each other. We may not give in the same way, but what we give and what we receive is of great value to each of us.

Widening the Circle, which includes Pathways to Friendship, is a collaborative initiative on social inclusion between the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), The Arc of Massachusetts, and several organizations providing residential supports to persons served by DDS.

The Pathways collaboration explores the benefits of relationships between people with disabilities and people without disabilities, and provides information about resources to help interested individuals engage in and sustain those relationships. 

Our partner in collecting information is the Center for Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Research (CDDER), part of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). A report on two years of data can be accessed here.

Join the Pathways to Friendship Facebook Group.

Friendship Develops Where You...

Membership Belonging Valued Roles Strengths Interests



Valued Social Roles: when a person has identified role(s) and contributions that they regularly make within a community that is perceived as important to other people in general society. (examples: choir member, teammate, employee). Valued social roles provide an opportunity for belonging, friendship, and access to "the good things in life."

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