Pathways Guides: (Dis)Ability Awareness

One of the challenges to friendships developing between people with and without disabilities is simply the discomfort—even fear—that people often have when faced with someone with whom they are unfamiliar. Appearances, behaviors, adaptive equipment, communication issues, etc. have all been identified as things that “get in the way” of relationships. Continue reading

Pathways Guides: How People with Friends Are Healthier

Over the last 2 years, The Real Friends Project has provided dozens of trainings and presentations to over 2,000 individuals. The “Introduction to Friends” workshop includes a segment where participants brainstorm and explore various benefits that “friendships” bestow upon people with and without disabilities. Very quickly, people will list the obvious (but important) benefits of companionship, reduced isolation, increased opportunities for activities, sense of self-worth, etc. But it usually takes awhile—and often requires prompting from the facilitator—for participants to list “better health” as a proven and crucial benefit of friendship. Continue reading