A major part of one’s quality of life is impacted by peer relationships. Connections and engagement with peers open up new opportunities for learning and belonging and fill our need to be a vital and important member of communities. While this is particularly true for students with significant cognitive disabilities, often their peer relationships are limited, variable and dependent on those who are paid to be part of their lives, such as related service providers and paraprofessionals. Research has shown the power of peers for students with significant cognitive disabilities in terms of growth in their communication skills, social-emotional skills, progress on individual goals and access to and using natural supports in their environment.

Resources on Peer Engagement