About Friends in Action

Friends in Action’s mission is to enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities by creating inclusive social and recreational opportunities.

Our philosophy

Friends in Action endeavors to combat the social isolation that many people with disabilities experience. This is done through an integrated approach that promotes inclusion practices. Friends in Action recognizes, encourages and promotes a variety of relationships in many settings. Friends in Action believes that accessible activities that address the needs of people with disabilities need to be facilitated in order for more choices to be available.

Our history

Friends in Action was created in March of 2000 by the Portsmouth School Department and a group of parents as a program called the Friends Project. In July of 2012, the Friends Project left the Portsmouth School Department to become a nonprofit called Friends in Action. The Friends Project was started because students and parents were frustrated over the lack of friendships that people with disabilities experience. In 2000, about 25 families from Portsmouth participated. Today, over 100 families from 30 different towns are involved with Friends in Action in a variety of programs.


Friends in Action is funded mainly through private donations and a yearly fundraiser. Private and corporate donations are needed and greatly appreciated.

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