The JCC's Department of Special Needs provides a variety of terrific recreational and social programs for children, teens and adults. From preschool and day camp to vocational training and family social events, we have it here!
KAT gives children (ages 2 1/2-14) with special needs the opportunity to participate in typical activities at summer camp. With support from a one-on-one inclusion counselor, every child has the chance to swim, enjoy arts and crafts, and play sports alongside typically developing peers. KAT is a very popular program with limited space–registration is based on a lottery system.
Camp Connect, formerly known as SNAP Pioneers, is for children in grades K-4 and offers a 3:1 camper-to-counselor ratio (if needed, a 1:1 counselor is available). This program helps campers connect with their typically developing peers and their peers with disabilities, and it offers activities that may uncover hidden skills, new interests and friendships.
SNAP is a non-inclusion program for children who do not require 1:1 support and wish to participate in regular summer camp. SNAP includes typical camp fun with off-campus adventures. It is divided into Explorers (grades 5-8) and Voyagers (grades 9-12). Throughout the week, both groups go on field trips to destinations like the zoo, DIA, Zap Zone and local parks, as well as participate in volunteer projects to learn the importance of charity, community and team building.
TAT comprises two separate age groups, 15-17 and 18-26, and offers older campers the chance to enjoy summer activities and learn life skills. Two days a week are spent working in various positions throughout the JCC, with trained staff serving as job coaches; two days are for exploring the community and enjoying camp fun; and one day is for developing “soft skills” such as budgeting, nutrition, and personal safety.
The mission of the adult programs is to provide adults with special needs the opportunity to meet with peers, socialize with one another, and above all the opportunity to be respected and valued. Thursday Night Social Group is a social and recreational program for adults (18+) with special needs; Young Adult Social Group is our social and recreational program for young adults with special needs ages 15-26.