Transition to Retirement: A Guide to Inclusive Practice: Adaptations for the Current U.S. Context

Chapter 3: Laying the Groundwork in the Community

Chapter 3 includes an explanation of the difference between volunteering and community groups, and guidelines for how to find suitable groups. The chapter also includes ideas on how initially to approach a potentially suitable group and develop trust and positive relationships, as well as suggestions on judging the general suitability of a group to include a person with IDD.

Adaptations for the Current U.S. Context

Choosing a Suitable Community Group

Chapter 3 of the TTR manual (pp. 33-34) lists several criteria that were used to identify suitable groups, such as:

  • Meeting year round
  • Meeting on the same day, at the same time, and at the same location
  • The group met for at least two hours
  • The group was affordable for the person
  • The group met on weekdays during the day (so the new activity could replace a day of work)

These may be useful criteria in many situations, but in updating the TTR approach for the U.S., the following should be considered:

  • Many sports and outdoor activities (e.g., a community garden) are seasonal. Seasonal activities may be a more important consideration in the U.S. where extreme weather in some states (e.g., very cold winters) can affect many activities. Inclusive community groups that are seasonal should also be supported using the updated TTR approach. The additional support required to rejoin a seasonal community group is set out in our proposed adaptions related to Chapter 8.
  • People who plan to continue to work long term (which we strongly endorse as a legitimate retirement choice) likely will prefer community groups/volunteering that take place out of work hours, on weekends or days off work.