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The Benefits of e-Buddies

Since 1999, agencies and transitional facilities have been successfully incorporating the e-Buddies program into their educational and life skills programs. Computers are an integral part of society and by participating in e-Buddies, consumers can develop the skills necessary to become technology-literate and therefore able to compete for higher-level employment and to communicate using a variety of sources. e-Buddies is also a safe way to make a new friend and connect with someone across the country.

e-Buddies is free for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; there is no cost to sign your consumers up for this program.

Educational Benefits

e-Buddies is a fun and safe way for your consumers to make a new friend as well as develop skills in the following areas:

  • Computer skills
  • Communication skills
  • Reading and writing skills
  • Social skills

By adding e-Buddies to your computer technology lessons, your consumers are more motivated to learn. People that are involved in e-Buddies are more interested in spelling and typing correctly. Instead of typical computer assignments, these e-mails go to friends and your consumers receive positive reinforcement by getting an e-mail in return.

Social Inclusion

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are not always given the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships outside of their families and the people paid to support them. e-Buddies allows participants to connect with a peer in a one-to-one friendship. Many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have fewer chances for social interactions after they leave school. The Internet can become the main way these individuals keep in touch with family and friends. By joining e-Buddies and becoming comfortable with communicating online, consumers are more equipped to stay social in the future. Being included in the community online and forming a new relationship increases self esteem in participants.

Sign up for e-Buddies

In order for e-Buddies to be successful for your consumers you will need:

  • Regular access to computers with Internet
  • Time for each person to use e-mail at least once a week
  • A separate e-mail address for each participant

Each person you sign up will be matched with a peer volunteer from elsewhere in the country. Once matched, they will be asked to exchange e-mails with their e-Buddy once a week for at least one year. e-Buddies participants also have access to our online community where members can come together and discuss their favorite topics.

Click here for instructions on signing your consumers up for e-Buddies.


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