Tina Calabro and Holly Dick, Consortium steering committee members, spoke recently about the history of disability rights to teen volunteers at the Friendship Circle in Squirrel Hill. The teens have been studying disability history through a four-session course called “History of Segregation and Inclusion Among People with Disabilities.”
The Friendship Circle is an organization founded to encourage friendship between teen and pre-teen volunteers and children and teens with disabilities. Participants take part in activities like cooking class, bowling, and other social outings. There’s a separate group for young adults.
The program’s director, Rivkee Rudolph, began Pittsburgh’s Friendship Circle in 2006 in with her husband, Rabbi Mordy Rudolph. Nationally, the Friendship Circle concept began in 1994. The program is based in the Jewish community and activities include celebrations of religious holidays and heritage, but volunteers and participants do not have to be Jewish.
In 2016, the organization moved into the renovated former Gullifty’s restaurant on Murray Avenue. For more information about the Friendship Circle, contact Rivkee Rudolph at [email protected].