Center for Independent Futures

The Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities funded a handful of agencies and groups in Illinois to conduct projects that were designed to increase the inclusion and integration of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in communities across the state, primarily through increasing their social capital and relationships.

The Life Like Any Other Bridge Builders project was designed to identify and train community volunteers to spend time with young adults with developmental disabilities in “mainstream” (non-disability specific) settings and activities. Through the growth of such relationships, the project anticipated an increase in social capital for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

These volunteers, (“Bridge Builders”) were connected with participants who had shared or similar interests through informal social networks. At each of the three project sites, one Community Connector served as the “matchmaker” and provided ongoing support to the dyads. The project proposed to match 20 Bridge Builders with 30 participants across the Frankfort and Evanston, and Little Village/Berwyn sites.

Project details

Funded by:
Subcontract from the Center for Independent Futures through the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities

Aleksa Owen (PI), Tamar Heller, Center for Independent Futures staff and consultants