Why It Matters
Sometimes, people with I/DD do not have as many opportunities to volunteer in the community as they would like. This may happen for several reasons:
- Some people think that people with disabilities can only receive service and cannot give back to others.
- Volunteer groups and coordinators may not have experience working with people with I/DD and may not know how or have enough staff to support them to volunteer.
- Volunteer locations may not be accessible to people with I/DD.
- A person with I/DD may need support with health needs while they volunteer.
- People may struggle to find transportation to or from a volunteering.
- People with I/DD may not know how to express their interest in volunteering or where to find volunteer opportunities in their community.
- People with I/DD may not want to volunteer because they want a paid job.
Many people perceive people with disabilities as the ones in need of service. However, people with disabilities are a key part of civic engagement across the country.
People volunteer every day to build confidence, job skills, and work experience. Volunteering helps job seekers network and build relationships that can lead to employment. It also provides chances to build friendships and networks of support.
People can and should be empowered to give back to their communities. When everyone participates, it’s a win-win!