Stepping Out

Social competency is one of the most difficult skills individuals must acquire in order to develop an independent life. For most of us, this is a natural intuitive process requiring little or no formal training. This is not true for individuals who were born with or later develop special needs that interfere with accurate perception, conceptualization and the ability to effectively organize the world in which they live.

Stepping Out, Inc. is a non-profit organization that was created in 1987 by a group of interested parents, family members, friends and professionals. This organization incurs regular operating expenses, a portion of which is the responsibility of the individual members, who pay a monthly fee, as well as families who contribute with yearly dues. The remainder comes from fund raising and charitable giving. The members presently meet three to four times each month on the weekends in Providence, Rhode Island. Meetings are guided by paid professional leaders with recognized qualifications in these areas.


Social, educational and cultural activities for adults with special needs.

  • Provide enjoyment and learning through shared social, cultural and educational experiences
  • Increase social and leisure skills and the ability to utilize community resources independently
  • Increase the ability and opportunity to form relationships
  • Teach advocacy skills that can be utilized with family, peers and service providers
  • Increase self-esteem, self-confidence and awareness of others
  • Provide information and support to families


The variety of activities have resulted in new friendships and heightened social competency, while providing enjoyment, and continued learning activities. Past activities have included:

  • Weekend camping trips
  • Parties
  • Dances
  • Theater
  • Community service activities
  • Sporting events
  • Educational activities including: money management, sexuality, personal development, civic awareness, cooking, planting
  • Tours
  • Crafts
  • Dinner
  • Museums
  • Zoo trips
  • Hiking
  • Pot luck