When a child experiences a disability, family dynamics change. Parents can feel isolated as they navigate health, education, and other important decisions on their own. Siblings may find that their peers can’t relate to some of the experiences unique to living with a sibling with a disability. To provide a platform for families to connect around these shared experiences, Bridging Communities was created.

Bridging Communities is a family-led initiative that is responsive to the needs of families in Southern Oregon with children experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities.

From the moment Bridging Communities was launched, it has been shaped by the voices of families in the community. It was these families who worked together to choose the name of the program.

Bridging Communities is guided by the core belief that people who experience disability and their families have the right to live, love, work play and pursue their life aspirations just as others do in their community.


To connect families with resources and each other; and support communities in being welcoming, strong and diverse.


Supported and empowered families engaging in shaping a diverse community that welcomes all.


  • Connection: We connect families to each other so that they feel less alone
  • Discovery: We help families navigate support and services by sharing information
  • Welcome: We assist local communities in welcoming and supporting all families

Because Bridging Communities is family-led, it is constantly evolving to be responsive to the interests and needs of families.  Examples of opportunities that Bridging Communities may facilitate include parent-to-parent mentoring, trainings and workshops, social events, and spaces to connect virtually. Meetings for moms, dads, and sibling groups offer the chance for family members to connect with others who share similar experiences and exchange resources, ideas, and encouragement.

Bridging Communities also works to help make communities more welcoming for the families of individuals living with disabilities. This includes advocacy, community-based events and supporting families in taking on leadership roles that help support inclusive communities. 

All families are welcome at all Bridging Communities meetings and events. We are working to build an inclusive, diverse, community where each member’s voice and experience is valued and respected.


Bridging Communities, along with six other family networks statewide, form the Oregon Consortium of Family Networks (OCFN). We believe:

  • Disability is one of many types of human diversity.
  • Families with high expectations for their children raise adults with high expectations.
  • All families have strengths and valuable experiences.
  • Peer support is sustainable, empowers families and changes lives.
  • Empowered families strengthen communities.
  • The role of service systems is to complement the support that exists in community.


We hope you’ll get involved with Bridging Communities.

Follow us on Facebook to learn about upcoming events and join our private Facebook group for Bridging Communities families.
For more information, contact Stacy Fields or Tara Stoll at Bridging Communities.

OCFN no mission

The Oregon Consortium of Family Networks, a project of the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Office of Developmental Disability Services, is an association of family networks committed to a set of core values. Each member is an independent, family-led organization working in collaboration with community partners and each other.


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