Building relationships through ordinary living and active participation with family, friends, and community.

four friends outside walking

Historically, people with disabilities have been removed from their families and communities, confined to segregated programs and institutions against their will. Even as people return to community life, many experience loneliness and isolation. Often their only companions are their family members and paid support staff. Out of 10,000 people receiving Medicaid waiver services in Georgia, only 1,000 are self-directing their services. Thus, the majority of people are not able to choose the types of supports they need to form friendships and to thrive in places in their community. The IHDD strives to support people to fundamentally shift their identity in their community from consumer to contributor and citizen. Friendships and community connections are the most effective ways to protect people from abuse and neglect; when people care, people act.

Ask the following questions in your community:

  • Why and What keeps people apart?
  • What does your community need from you?

How can you implement the following goals in your community regarding individuals with disabilities and their families?

  • Intentional invitations for community members to be in conversation;
  • Discover what you have in common;
  • Recognize each other's gifts;
  • Create opportunities for people living on the edge to be visible as
    contributing members.