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!
All of the JCC's summer programs for children with special needs are built around the concept of an Individualized Camper Care Plan (ICCP), which addresses each camper's specific social, behavioral and communication abilities and goals. The plan also includes all relevant dietary and health information.
Campers interact with a variety of staff throughout their day. The ICCP outlines the needs of each camper to help him/her be successfully integrated into camp activities. The ICCP identifies the specific goals that each camper is working toward to make camp a positive and fun lifelong memory, while placing an emphasis on maintaining those goals that have been achieved throughout the school year.
Parents will meet with the Special Needs department director and program coordinator to discuss expectations for their child’s camp experience. The camper’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), outside service evaluations and health related forms will be assessed to determine what specific accommodations will be incorporated in the ICCP. A laminated copy of the camper’s ICCP will be available at all times.
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.
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 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.
To support the JCC’s mission of inclusion, the Sarah and Irving Pitt Child Development Center seeks to accommodate preschool age children with special needs. A set number of openings exist for these children who would benefit by being accompanied by a dedicated inclusion assistant so that they may participate in our preschool program.
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.