Making Authentic Friendships Connects People With Disabilities Together And Helps Them Develop Friendships

a person holding a phone with the making authentic friendships app open. The app shows a map with several people's location on it.

As we get older, we realize that making friends is not easy. To make things worse, a pandemic, like the one we are experiencing today (caused by Coronavirus), absolutely shuts down any possibilities of going out to a social gathering to interact with people. But pandemic or not, it can be even more difficult for people with autism and other disabilities who may not have social skills needed to interact with others. 

To provide an outlet for people with disabilities to make friends and have a sense of community, Juliana Fetherman created an app called “Making Authentic Friendships” where people with Autism and other disabilities are matched based on age, diagnosis, interests and location. Through this app, adults as well as kids can start to make friendships and meet each other at restaurants, bowling alleys and other similar fun places.

Juliana was motivated by her brother Michael who has Autism. She wanted him to make new friends, and that’s what really encouraged her to build this new platform for people with disabilities. As she pitched this idea to various people, she was surprised to hear their reaction – “why has this not been done before?”

The app can be used either by the individual themselves or by parent or caregiver, in case the individual has severe disabilities.

Watch the videos below for more information and check out Making Authentic Friendships at

Note: At the time of writing this blog, the entire world is practically shut down by the Coronavirus pandemic. Meeting in public may not be an option but this app may be a great way to connect like minded people online and start making friends while staying at home.

Source: ABC7


  1. Hi,
    Thank you we will pass that app on to the folks we serve. We currently serve children & adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities in the Northern Los Angeles area. We are a small company providing assistive technology assessment & training. Currently the oversight agencies in CA have allowed us to provide remote services so we are testing out a number of platforms that are HIPPA compliant. Today is our first day. If successful we may try to reach out to others. We also like to provide information and we often send folks to your blog! So, keep posting and thank you for the info!

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