What are Social Roles?
Social roles are identities that people engage throughout their lives. They can lead to feelings of involvement and purpose, and generally allow an individual to express what is important to them. They connect people to broader communities of people with similar interests. These roles are active and require participation. They lead to a strong and connected sense of self. The desire to be involved in a larger community, and to give back is not unique to people with or without disabilities. It is a shared human trait. But people with disabilities are often face significant barriers when seeking to engage in social roles. Additional supports may be needed to develop independence within a social role. Skill building to promote succes in new responsibilities, awareness of various opportunities, and to access transportation are some examples. These supports may be provided by family, volunteers, or staff, but limited resources can lead to limited supports. If you are a member of a community organization, consider ways you might provide supports for people with intellectual disabilities to get involved. The list below shares some of the social roles filled by members of our collective. We can’t imagine the Chicago Community without them and we want to thank everyone who acts to support their participation. ArtistDancerMusicianFriendVolunteerLibrary PatronChefPublic SpeakerTeacherCuratorEnvironmental ActivistMember of a ChurchLector in a ChurchMember of a ChoirAnimal CaregiverBrotherSisterSonDaughterUncleAuntAthlete