In the past, people with disabilities were thought to have a lower quality of life. But if you ask Dougie, he’ll tell you he has the “best life ever.” That’s because he enjoys the same opportunities as any of his able-bodied counterparts, including educational activities, social time, part-time employment, and weekly volunteer work.

While we now know it is possible for people with special needs to live fulfilling lives, it is true that they face unique challenges. A disability can make it more difficult to get out of the house, meet people, and find meaningful employment. Furthermore, disabilities are often connected to mental health concerns like depression. So, as a parent, caregiver, and advocate, it’s important to connect your loved one to the opportunities he or she enjoys.

Here are some of the resources we’ve found most helpful as we’ve done just that:

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Disabled Scholarship Opportunities
Educational Issues for People with Disabilities
College for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Students, Families, and Educators

Social Activities
High Functioning Adults with Special Needs Meetups
25 Summer Camps for Individuals with Special Needs
Mobility International USA

Employment and/or Volunteer Work
Job Accommodation Network
Goodwill Industries
The Arc
My Life Without Limits
Ability Jobs