Peer Support and Cooperatives
Peer support is when individuals with similar interests and/or life experiences offer mutual assistance. In Peer Support Networks, individuals unite voluntarily to help one another by offering mutual support and sharing resources. They are complementary to the public services available to individuals with developmental disabilities. Such networks can be composed of individuals with disabilities, family members or both. A coordinator is needed to advise and organize the Network, though it should ultimately be shaped by the needs and preferences of its members. These networks can range from informal networks to more formal human services cooperatives. HSRI has worked with groups of self-advocates and families around the country to create and support such networks.