Friendship is important for all of us! This includes people with and without disabilities. People often feel better and happier when they have friends. As part of a research project about the choices people with disabilities make about work, we interviewed 16 people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). These people also chose family members and professional staff people for us to interview. We asked them how they made decisions about working and making friends.
In this article, we want to share what people with IDD, their family members, and professional staff said about friendships. We will explain how people with IDD described their friendships in both community jobs and sheltered workshops, and how this influenced their choices about working in the community.