The broad mission of the initiative is to enhance the lives of individuals with differing abilities and their families. The initiative is distinguished from previous efforts, which have largely centered on the educational experience of these individuals, by focusing primarily on the psychological and social/emotional well-being of individuals living with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (such as autism spectrum disorders). A holistic perspective is needed to effectively assess relevant issues and develop comprehensive systems of support. Specifically the initiative incorporates a life-span perspective (i.e., infancy through adulthood, development of individuals with differing abilities, life-planning), recognizes that all individuals are bio-psycho-social and spiritual beings, and strives to create a community based on the core values of equality, respect, self-determination, reciprocity and compassion.
The initiative enacts the SPU mission of engaging the culture and changing the world by intentionally following the model of Jesus, whose gospel was expressed through serving individuals and families in need.
The initiative has four major aims.