Piloting the I/DD Peer Mentor Training Curriculum

Through fiscal support from the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities, Community Bridges administered two cohorts of participants in North Carolina. The pilot projects activities included cohort recruitment and selection, 12 weeks of classes led by four instructors (including two individuals with I/DD), stipends for the participants, and assessments and tests. Within a short, two-week application window, over 150 individuals applied to be participants in the Pilots. This shows the desire of people with I/DD to acquire training that will help them advance professionally in the disability field. The cohorts were composed of individuals with various intellectual and developmental disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and cerebral palsy, and focused on providing them with training in the self-advocacy and mentoring skills necessary to support the personal and professional success of others with I/DD. Throughout the summer, the cohort held weekly classes, in which it discussed diverse themes related to the disability community, including independent living skills, self-advocacy, and responding to discrimination in the workplace. Each member shared thought-provoking insights about their personal experiences, how they have dealt with personal issues, and how they can use their lived experience to guide others in a person-centered way.

Participant Testimonials: