Why are Courtney’s House Programs Needed?

An Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability (I/DD) is a term used when a person has certain limitations in cognitive functioning and skills, including communication, social and self-care skills. These limitations can cause an individual to learn more slowly or differently than the typical adult.


According to the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, approximately 1 – 3 percent of people in the U.S. have an intellectual disability. Using that percentage, there are about 2,834 – 8,502 individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in San Luis Obispo County. 

“There are about 2,834 – 8,502 individuals with

intellectual and/or developmental disabilities

in San Luis Obispo County.

These are the people we serve and support.”

These are the people we serve and support. They often find it difficult to focus and accomplish daily tasks. They struggle to communicate and understand social cues. They cannot accurately predict outcomes and are easily victimized. They are vulnerable to unhealthy relationships that may result in physical, emotional or sexual harm.


They are underemployed or not able to find work at all. Having meaningful work is important for everyone. It contributes to our happiness, helps us to build confidence and self-esteem, and rewards us financially. However, those with I/DD experience a high rate of unemployment.


  • About 80% or 8 in 10 people with disabilities were considered to be out of the labor force because they did not have jobs and were not seeking work.


  • About 28% of adults with I/DD have never been in the workforce

These conditions lead to isolation, depression and unhealthy quality of life for the intellectually and/or developmentally disabled, their families and the community at large.

The good news is that training using best practices in a supportive environment can help adults with I/DD overcome these obstacles and learn skills to have healthier,

safer, and more productive lives.

Our programs are answering the need with training based on best practices in an accepting environment.  


Vocational Training Program

The Vocational Training Program at Courtney’s House provides work experience and employment opportunities in a real working kitchen, teaching vocational skills that can transition to employment in the community – in a restaurant or other occupations. All program participants live in San Luis Obispo County and nearly all are living at or below the poverty line.


Our interns develop a pride of place and come to understand that their jobs are important. They enjoy preparing food for our customers, as well as the interaction with customers and fellow interns. They create a positive experience for the community to understand that those with disabilities should and can be provided opportunities and inclusion in our community.


Read more about our Vocational Training Program


Heather is a great success story – read more. 


Social & Life Skills Training

The Social & Life Skills Training Program at Courtney’s House is a safe and supportive environment that enables participants to build life skills needed for everyday interactions at home and work. "Enrichment Classes" are formal social groups that our staff supervise and guide. The program provides a relaxing atmosphere for young adults with I/DD to learn how to understand and respond to social cues, practice communication skills and develop healthy friendships.


The program provides art and music enrichment, outings in town, dinner together and opportunities to meet friends in the community such as law enforcement and fire personnel.


Learn more about the Social & Life Skills Training Program at Courtney’s house. 


Leslie is a great success story – read more.