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Program Evaluations

National Survey of Best Buddies College and High School Programs

Executive Summary of Survey Results from 1994 through 2005

Best Buddies is the only organization within the U.S. and around the world focused exclusively on improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through one-to-one friendships with people without disabilities. Since 1994, more than 21,000 people with intellectual disabilities and their college and high school friends from around the United States have participated in a national survey to determine the quality and impact of the Best Buddies experience.

The results of the national survey point out that everyone who has the opportunity to be a part of Best Buddies is touched by the power of one-to-one friendships. Best Buddies’ friendships create a culture of acceptance and belonging for people with intellectual disabilities in schools and communities in every region of the country. As a result of Best Buddies, people with intellectual disabilities have an increased sense of self-worth and an enhanced quality of life.

Survey Highlights
  • People with intellectual disabilities and the college/high school students who participate in Best Buddies report a significantly high level of satisfaction that has remained remarkably consistent from year-to-year. On average, 90% of the participants enjoy the Best Buddies experience and would recommend it to others.
  • Participants engage in a variety of friendship activities within the community and in their homes that are viewed as extremely beneficial by people with and without disabilities.
  • While in the program, 95% of high school and college students speak to or spend time with their Buddy (a person with intellectual disabilities) at least once a month.

On average, 80% of college and high school students report that as a result of their experience with Best Buddies:

  • They have a more positive attitude about people with intellectual disabilities;
  • They gained a better understanding of the challenges facing people with intellectual disabilities in their schools and communities;
  • They strongly support people with disabilities living in their neighborhood;
  • They have had their lives enhanced by having a friend with intellectual disabilities.
  • They would want their son or daughter to attend school with children who have intellectual disabilities.
  • They are more aware of the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities to hold jobs and live independently in the community.

People with intellectual disabilities are very satisfied with their Best Buddies experience as well. More than eight of ten Buddies indicate that they thoroughly enjoyed their friendships with college and high school students, and would recommend the program to others in their schools and communities.

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