Ideas that Work, office of special programs U.S. Department of Education

The contents of this website were developed in part under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M150052. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government or Project Officer, David Emenheiser.

Best Buddies - Wow, that's some great advice.


Last month, I asked for your advice. Many of you shared valuable input that I sent to Ohio Friendship Chapter leaders. Parents, students, teachers, donors, volunteers, and professionals responded and offered wisdom that will keep our leaders in Ohio inspired to continue amidst the uncertainty of this year. Thank you. To take a look at some of the advice, visit our website: and look at our News & Stories section.


I love September at Best Buddies because we celebrate the woman who inspired Best Buddies – Rosemary Kennedy. In 1989, Anthony Shriver started Best Buddies. Having grown up with his aunt Rosemary Kennedy, who had an intellectual disability, he learned that everyone is deserving of friendship and capable of something exceptional. 

But he saw that people like Rosemary were often overlooked or inadequately supported.

While so much has changed this year at Best Buddies, our fight against the inequities facing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) has continued. If anything, it’s intensified. With the onset of the pandemic, our Friendship participants initially experienced negative consequences.

Over the last seven months, we’ve been challenged like never before, and we’re rapidly adapting to meet the new demands of an increasingly virtual world. We have successfully pivoted to delivering quality programs using an array of virtual means. From interactive leadership development classes to workout classes, to the 2020 Virtual Graduation we understand the importance of social engagements that offer friendship and growth.

Our supporters, like you, have made it all possible. Our largest giving association is called Team Rosemary and, like its namesake, Team Rosemary is relentless and dedicated to fostering inclusion – no matter the circumstances. Team Rosemary donors pledge to financially support our mission with generous gifts of $1,000 and above annually.

September 13th would’ve been Rosemary’s 102nd birthday, and as we honor her legacy, we invite you to learn more about Team Rosemary or join our Monthly Giving* program. Help us realize the belief Rosemary inspired: that the millions of people with IDD across our world want, need, and deserve these opportunities for meaningful friendships, employment, leadership development, and inclusive living.

Catlin Skufca
 State Director, Ohio

*For $83/month you will be considered a member of Team Rosemary. You are also welcome to make a one-time gift. Not interested in Team Rosemary? Your gift of $19.89 a month will help us make one friendship match at a local school.


Not your Average Zoom MeetingThese last two weeks we were joined by nine participants from The Up Side of Downs in NE Ohio for self-advocacy and leadership development training. These individuals discussed everything from working with a disability to standing up for their civil rights to be included in our society in all aspects of our society. We also had some laughs and fun along the way. Congratulations to our newest Best Buddies Ambassadors! We can't wait to see what you do next.


Upcoming Ambassador Trainings

October 5th & 12th
6 pm ET via ZOOM

 We have another leadership development training coming up soon! These trainings are for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities looking to build self-advocacy skills. You are encouraged to join us by registering below.

Once you register, you will be sent an email confirmation with the Zoom link. If you have questions, require accommodations or use English as a second language, please Contact Rachel Bradshaw at [email protected] or 614-928-3383.

This event is funded by The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act.


Monthly To-Do List

Enter to win TWO rose gold "Arrows of Friendship" bracelets!

Follow us on all three social media accounts and "like" the post from 9/22 with "Leadership is Necessary" to be entered in a drawing to receive two rose gold "Arrows of Friendship" bracelets designed especially for Best Buddies by Alex and Ani!

Follow and "like" the post below by midnight on October 1st for your chance to win:









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, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

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