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Volume 37 | Issue 1 | Winter 2011

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Volume 37 | Issue 1 | Winter 2011 | “More Than "Being There:" Promoting Social Connections Through Inclusion”

In this day and age of evidence-based practices, academic interventions and policies promoting programs and services, it is important to take a moment to consider essential elements of what matters most in the lives of children and adults with significant disabilities, their families, and for that matter, all of us. The health, wellbeing and quality of life for individuals with significant disabilities, at its core, is dependent upon social capital—or the longstanding relationships we have with those in our community. Taken as a whole, the articles in this issue of Connections offer readers an interesting mix from across the lifespan highlighting both research and rich stories about facilitating natural supports leading to high levels of social engagement. The specific strategies described provide proven methods for increasing the social fabric of inclusive environments, whether that be in school, on the job or in the community. 


  • Micah Fialka-Feldman and Alex Cherup, Two Friends Talking About Inclusion.
  • Erik W. Carter, Research Addressing Peer Relationships and Supports: What We Know and Where We Might Go.
  • Pam Hunt, Kathy Doering, Julie Maier, Three Building Blocks for Designing and Implementing Social Supports for Students Who use ACC.
  • Carolyn Hughes, Erik W. Carter, Joseph C. Cosgriff, High School Peer Buddy Programs: Supporting Students with Intellectual Disabilities.
  • Michael Callahan, Natural Supports: A Delicate Balancing Act.
  • Kelly R. Kelley and David L. Westling, Attending College Naturally: The Use of Natural Supports in Western Carolina University's University Participant Program.