Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Who We Serve
The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities.
Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with IDD. For individuals within this community, Best Buddies helps them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communications skills, and feel valued by society.
81% of all revenue goes directly to Best Buddies programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), while only 19% is spent on administration and fundraising.
When people with disabilities are unable to attain or maintain a job, it is most often due to an absence of social skills, rather than an inability to perform the work required. Best Buddies® offers participants socialization and leadership opportunities, as well as job coaching, thereby providing the necessary tools for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to become more independent and more included in the community.
Best Buddies Middle Schools fosters one-to-one friendships between students with and without IDD. Students with IDD are often isolated and left out of social activities. Best Buddies Middle Schools helps to create an inclusive school climate for students early on in their educational development.
Best Buddies High Schools fosters one-to-one friendships between students with and without IDD. The high school years are a time of heightened social and emotional development and can be difficult even for those without IDD. Best Buddies High Schools helps break through social barriers at an important time in a young person's life.
Best Buddies Colleges fosters one-to-one friendships between college students and adults with IDD and college students without IDD. Historically, adults with IDD have been isolated in home or work environments. Best Buddies Colleges is changing this by providing the opportunity for people with IDD to be involved in campus and community life.
Best Buddies Promoters empowers youth to become advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by organizing and attending special events that promote advocacy and bring awareness to the disability rights movement.
Best Buddies Citizens fosters one-to-one friendships between adults with and without IDD in corporate and civic communities. This program helps people with IDD become part of mainstream society and creates an inclusive and diverse community for all.
e-Buddies provides a safe online forum to develop one-to-one friendships between people with and without IDD. Technology is an integral part of society and by participating in e-Buddies, participants can develop the skills necessary to be able to communicate using a variety of sources.
Best Buddies Ambassadors educates and empowers people with IDD through group trainings and workshops to be leaders and public speakers in their schools, communities, and work places. Best Buddies Ambassadors is the next step for the disability rights movement--teaching people with IDD the skills they need to successfully self-advocate.
Best Buddies Jobs is a supported employment program that secures competitive paying jobs for people with IDD, therefore enabling them to work as respected individuals. The program develops partnerships with employers, assists with the hiring process, and provides ongoing support to the employee and employer.
Best Buddies California offers One-to-One Friendship, Integrated Employment and Leadership Development programs – positively impacting nearly 59,700 individuals with and without disabilities within the state.