During the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new social support network for individuals with cerebral palsy, autism, and other developmental disabilities was born. Created by Trevor Kelliher, who has cerebral palsy, this free app and social network was designed for individuals with developmental disabilities who want to make friends. Countless studies have been done about the positive impact that friendships can have on a person’s life, but for someone with a disability, learning to build lifelong friendships can mean the difference between an independent or dependent lifestyle. While the pandemic forced many into isolation, as we were all discouraged from leaving our homes or getting out to see family and friends, the All Friends Network was launched as a beacon of hope for those who wanted to find a new way to establish friendships.
The Vision of All Friends Network
Started with the idea of being a first step toward a lifetime solution of happiness and success, All Friends Network has continued growing since the first day of its launch and has no plans on stopping anytime soon. The goal is to help people of all ages, serving a concentration of young adults with autism, cerebral palsy, and other developmental disabilities who want to build lifelong friendships. While this may seem like a difficult plan for some, there are many resources and planned activities in the works for members, as well as a free app called Live-LINK that can be used to help connect all members and provide interactive opportunities and fun.
This social support network was designed carefully to be a safe and friendly environment for members of all ages. The primary objective is to provide the means to meet new friends, cultivate relationships, enhance life skills, and prepare members for a more meaningful, independent, and productive life. This is why we consider All Friends Network to be the first important step toward a lifetime solution. As a social network for developmental disabilities, there are no fees to join or use the AFN Live-LINK app. More opportunities will come available as the network continue to grow, and we are already gaining sponsors and supporters for the organization, including Autism Speaks, Dairy Queen, and a host of other businesses.
Social Events for Members
Currently, All Friends Network is planning on holding monthly social events, some of which already started in 2021. Once we are able to build enough membership volume to support our gatherings, more events will be added. For each real life gathering or event, there will be a small nominal fee to cover the cost of the outing. There will be no money collected for All Friends Network, which operates as a 501- (C)(3) Non-Profit Corporation within the state of Florida. Our team is currently working with vendors to get group discounts to make it more affordable for everyone to attend events if they desire. We will also help cover costs for those who cannot afford to attend the events.
Some of the events we are working on include a pizza night, mini-golf outing, a movie night, and a possible tour at a local museum or aquarium. If you would like to learn more about our social events for members, make sure to contact our team directly for details.
Life Skills Resources for Members
Another layer to our social support network, aside from creating opportunities to build lifelong friendships, is to provide online resources for our members. Educational training videos, small seminars, and even one-on-one sessions will be made available to help increase and improve life skills that can be used to gain more independence in life. We will also be working with an employment agency to facilitate employment opportunities for members looking for job placement. As a social network for developmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy and autism, we look forward to helping our members prepare a professional job resume and assist with interview techniques to use when they apply for a job.
If you would like to join the All Friends Network or would like to hear more about our AFN Live-LINK app and other programs designed to help build lifelong friendships and life skills, give us a call at 941-587-7172 and speak with one of our team members. You can also use our online contact form to request a call back at your convenience.