Best Buddies in Connecticut

Can You Tell Us a little more about the organization?

Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities.

Our programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.

Whats something your organization has worked on that you are most proud of? Why does this part of the work resonate with you most?

Best Buddies created the 2020 Initiative in 2011, with the goal of opening offices in all 50 states by the end of 2020.

The initiative also includes plans to train 4,000 Buddy Ambassadors, develop 1,000 jobs for people with IDD around the world, and increase the number of school-based chapters to 2,500. As a result of these ambitious expansion efforts, Best Buddies hopes to become a household name by the end of 2020.

How would you say your organization positively impacts the community?

This quote from one of our school participants says it best:

“Best Buddies has shown me what true inclusion looks like. I have learned to share the importance of accepting everyone while embracing our differences.This organization has an indescribable impact on a countless amount of people, and I am so grateful to be a part of it.”

What are you most looking forward to in 2020 for your organization?

To put Best Buddies out of business. Best Buddies envisions a world where people with IDD are so successfully integrated into schools, workplaces and communities that its current efforts and services will be unnecessary.

Until that vision becomes a reality, the organization will continue to educate middle school, high school and college students, community members, corporations and employers about the emotional, functional, and natural needs and abilities of people with IDD.

#AutismAwarenessMonth #Autism #NationalAwarenessMonth

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