Connecting is the area of development that includes relationships with elders, peers, supervisors, family, and other community members who commonly influence behaviors, skills, and attitudes.

What does Connecting look like?

Examples of program activities that would enhance a young person's ability to connect include the following:

  • Mentoring activities that connect youth to adult mentors. These provide guidance and support and build interpersonal skills needed to relate to older people and those in roles of authority.
  • Tutoring activities that engage youth as tutors or in being tutored. Both types of tutoring activities advance a young person's ability to work on group projects, communicate with others, teach, and learn.
  • Develop/find activities in which youth identify resources that allow them to practice conversation and investigation skills with individuals within their communities who they do not know very well.
  • Letter writing to friends, family members, and pen pals to build language and communication skills and encourage connecting to others
  • Attendance at job and trade fairs to begin building a network of contacts in particular career fields of interest
  • Role-playing of interview and other workplace scenarios
  • Positive peer and group activities that build camaraderie, teamwork, and belonging, such as team-building exercises, sports and recreation, designing t-shirts or other apparel that signifies group affiliation, etc.
  • Cultural activities that promote understanding and tolerance.

Test your knowledge by taking our Quiz on Disability History and Connecting!