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The Benefits of Art For People With IDDs

Encountering and creating art forms can have an incredibly positive impact on the mental well-being of people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDDs). Anyone can explore meaningful new perspectives through regular exposure to art. There are also many artists with disabilities who can offer unique worldviews as well as living examples of what a career in the arts might look like for people who are often excluded from arts industries. Here are just a few of the benefits of art for people who have IDDs—and everyone else:



  • Alternative means of expression. Conventional forms of communication (verbal speech, signing, and writing) can be paradoxically both too limiting and too overwhelming for individuals with IDDs. Creating art offers children and adults alike the chance to express themselves through the colors, textures, sounds, and shapes that speak to them most. Displaying or promoting art by favorite artists can also help people to express themselves vicariously.


  • Autonomy. People who have IDDs require assistance with many routine activities, which may at times feel cumbersome and highlight dependence rather than ability. Conversely, the opportunity to enjoy or make art allows individuals to execute something that is entirely their own, which can be a liberating experience. Individuals with IDDs who choose to make a career from their art can also be empowered to support themselves financially.


  • Opportunity to socialize. Visiting a museum, art gallery, or installation and communicating with artists and visitors about the work provides a chance for people with disabilities to express themselves as well as learn—and teach!—new perspectives. Creating and showcasing their own art forms offers a social platform on which people with disabilities can interact with and gain feedback from diverse groups of people.


  • Exploration of ideas and interests. Many people think of art in terms of paintings, sculptures, and museums, but particularly in today’s digital world, art forms are more innovative and accessible than ever. Adults with IDDs can benefit from exploring fashion, graphic design, photography, digital game development, performance art, music, and more. Those who want to pursue careers in these areas can enter arts industries in a wide variety of ways.


The exposure to and creation of art can enrich the life of virtually anyone on the planet. If you’re the parent of an adult child with IDDs, you can offer them a richer and more empowered lifestyle with high-quality residential support services.




An Enriching Life With Progressive Lifestyles


Progressive Lifestyles, Inc. is dedicated to providing innovative support services for people with disabilities. Our mission is to provide supportive and caring residential opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Oakland County, Michigan.


A primary focus of our organization is to interact with the individuals we support through the “Culture of Gentleness” model. We seek to create a positive environment to help them feel safe and valued while maximizing praise, limiting demands, maintaining consistent structure, and reducing stress during transitions.


We are hiring! No experience? No worries! You bring a warm heart and we'll teach you how to be a fantastic caregiver plus give you skills that you can use to further your career. Apply now!

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