The Tower Foundation has adopted the definition of an intellectual disability used by the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities:
A disability characterized by significant
limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which
covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates
before the age of 18.
Intellectual functioning refers to general
mental capacity, such as learning, reasoning, and problem‐solving.
Adaptive behavior comprises three skill
Conceptual skills (e.g., language and
literacy, money, time, number concepts, self‐direction)
Social skills (e.g., interpersonal skills,
social responsibility, self‐esteem, gullibility,
naïveté, social problem solving, ability to follow rules/obey laws and
avoid being victimized);
Practical skills (e.g., personal
care, occupational skills, healthcare, travel/transportation, schedules/routines,
safety, money use, telephone use).
Our Funding Goals
For our Intellectual Disabilities category, we have identified four key goals:
with intellectual disabilities are identified early and receive services that
meet their evolving needs.
people with intellectual disabilities are engaged in meaningful, social,
vocational, and educational pursuits.
understand intellectual disabilities and secure needed supports.
embrace persons with intellectual disabilities and provide them with a full
range of supports and opportunities to engage in community life.
While open to creative approaches, some preferred strategies for supporting our goals include:
Screening and Assessment
Community-Based Education and Supports
- Community and Professional Education
- Family Supports