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Making Friends: Thoughts From Young Adults with Disabilities

Young adults who are part of the Rockers 'N' Rollers group at the Memphis Center for Independent Living were recently asked to share their thoughts about social relationships. This article lists the five questions they were asked and the responses of five members of that group. The members were Tia (age 17), Mario (age 26), Davina (age 31), Nick (age 28), and Angelica (age 20). The information was gathered by Pamela Momon of the center, which is in Memphis, Tennessee.

For you, what have been the best places to get to know people your age and make friends?


When you meet someone that you think could become a friend, what kinds of things do you do to help that friendship start? How do you keep it going over time?


As you've grown up, have you had any particular challenges to meeting and making friends at different times in your life? How have you responded to those challenges?


If a young person with disabilities wants to have more opportunities to meet people their own age and make friends, what things do you think they could do to help make that happen?


What things do you think schools, youth organizations, and families could do to support young people with disabilities to have healthy and satisfying social lives?

The Rockers 'N' Rollers group instills ideas of choice, change, and inclusion, and assists young adults in community living with a sense of pride, self-motivation, and confidence. It is geared toward self-empowerment through workshops on topics such as housing, employment, and independent living skills, and also focuses on building leadership skills that will empower and strengthen future advocates. For more information visit or contact the center at 901/726-6404.



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Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota ( Citation: Palmer, S., Heyne, L., Montie, J., Abery, B., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Spring/Summer 2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Supporting the Social Well-Being of Children and Youth with Disabilities, 24(1). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration].

The PDF version of this Impact, with photos and graphics, is also online at

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