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When people with intellectual disabilities are unable to attain or maintain a job, it is most often due to an absence of social skills rather than an inadequacy to perform the work required. Best Buddies introduces socialization opportunities and job coaching, providing the necessary tools for people with intellectual disabilities to become more independent and, consequently, more included in the community.
Best Buddies Citizens
Best Buddies Citizens matches people with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships with individuals in the corporate and civic communities. Friends and family are the foundation that help human beings become successful. Without love, support, and friends, our lives would be empty - a life people with intellectual disabilities have been forced to live throughout history. Since 1993, volunteers are changing lives by simply sharing their time with a new friend.
Best Buddies Colleges
Best Buddies Colleges pairs people with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships with college students. In the past, individuals with intellectual disabilities have not had the opportunity to have friends outside of their own environment. By becoming a College Buddy, volunteers offer a Peer Buddy the chance to explore a new way of life. College chapters have grown from one single chapter at Georgetown to active chapters on more than 425 campuses worldwide.
Best Buddies High Schools
Since 1993, Best Buddies High Schools has paired students with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships with high school students. By introducing Best Buddies into public and private high schools, participants are crossing the invisible line that too often separates those with disabilities from those without. Today, Best Buddies boasts more than 900 high school chapters worldwide.
Best Buddies Jobs
Best Buddies Jobs continues the integration of people with intellectual disabilities into the community through supported employment. The program helps individuals attain and maintain jobs of their own choosing by providing ongoing support and training, enabling people with intellectual disabilities to earn an income, pay taxes, and work in an environment alongside others in the community. Since its inception, Best Buddies Jobs has placed more than 500 individuals in integrated employment positions.
Best Buddies Middle Schools
In today’s middle schools, students with intellectual disabilities often enter the same building and walk the same hallways as their peers, but they are left out of social activities. Started in 2001, Best Buddies Middle Schools is already active on 145 middle school campuses pairing students with intellectual disabilities in one-to-one friendships.
e-Buddies® is an e-mail pen pal program for people with an intellectual disability of all ages (10 years old and up) and peer volunteers from across the United States and around the globe. e-Buddies is a fun and safe way to make a new friend in a secure online setting, and is available to anyone who has an e-mail address. e-Buddies can also be a great teaching tool for a special education classroom that can help teach social skills, as well as literacy and computer skills. Joining e-Buddies is quick and easy. Simply visit www.ebuddies.org to read more and to complete the online application.
View a Comprehensive List of Our Programs Around the World (PDF Format)