During the past two decades, important legal and policy gains—including the Americans with Disabilities Act and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities—were made by and on behalf of people with disabilities, affirming their rights to full participation in society. Despite these advances, most people with disabilities in the United States and worldwide continue to live in isolation from the civic, economic, and social mainstreams of their communities.
Given the strong ties between one’s ability to earn income and fully participate in their communities, BBI’s work focuses on two interconnected Innovation Areas: Economic Participation and Community Participation. Through innovative program development, cutting-edge research, and policy guidance in these Innovation Areas, BBI advances the full inclusion of people with disabilities in a global society. BBI believes full community inclusion does not only mean living in the community, but also that people with disabilities have opportunities to be “of the community”—to live in their communities with the rights, privileges, and opportunities that any other citizen may enjoy. BBI works with and in communities, nationally and worldwide, to improve opportunities for economic and community participation among people with disabilities.
As you explore the Innovation Areas and their resources, you will recognize the many connections between Economic Participation and Community Participation. Through this holistic approach, BBI affirms the belief that to enjoy fully inclusive lives, people with disabilities and agencies, policy planners and advocates must view these services and supports as tightly connected and as comprehensive as possible.