2018-09-12 / Federation

Jewish Federation helps those with special needs

The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey is committed to enhancing the quality of life for those in our community with special needs. We believe individuals with special needs should have the opportunity to achieve their highest potential and lead independent and fulfilled lives.

The Jewish Abilities Alliance (JAA) has become a valuable tool for those with special needs and their families. Our JAA program assists families in finding the services they need for their loved ones with different abilities, strengthening their connection and enabling them to more fully participate in their communities.

The JAA is a resource in many different ways: We have a dedicated website where you can find over 400 special needs resources, a community calendar of special needs-related events, and a wide variety of informational content.

But the JAA is not the only way that we support those with special needs. We create inclusion summer camps, assist young adults in finding job coaching, and even hold recreational events.

Our Open Hearts/Open Doors special needs inclusion camp program at the Katz JCC provides accommodations for children with disabilities to fully participate with age-appropriate peers. The majority of the campers receive one-on-one assistance, though some share assistance with other campers.

For employment, JFCS uses a person-centered approach for those with special needs, seeking the best match for the individual based on interests, skills, aptitudes, and ideal work cultures.

And SAIL (a social, recreational, and life skills program through JFCS) has activities for young adults, including recreational group trips (bowling, movies, plays, or sporting events), community outings (parks, picnics, restaurants), or just hanging out with friends playing games or watching movies.

This is only a snapshot of how the Jewish Federation family makes an IMPACT in the lives of those with special needs and their families. Learn more at jewishsouthjersey.org/specialneeds.

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