Special Needs

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Keeping Inclusion at the Center

The JCCGW was founded on the belief that communities benefit when all people of all ability levels learn, grow, and celebrate together. Inclusion of those with disabilities has always been at the forefront of our mission, and has made us an area leader in comprehensive special needs inclusion, from our programming to our facilities.

Youth and teens with special needs are embraced in a warm, caring, and supportive environment at the JCCGW through inclusive, innovative programming that enlightens, educates, and boosts self-esteem.

Explore the many ways we Keep Inclusion at the Center for youth and teens with special needs.

Questions about youth and teen inclusion at the JCCGW? Contact us!

College workshops

  • Navigating College Admissions College Workshops
    Tuesday, April 1, 7-9 p.m.
  • Navigating College Admissions for Students with IEPs/504s
    Wednesday, April 9, 7-9 p.m.

Camp JCC

As part of the JCCGW’s wide-ranging efforts to include those with special needs, Camp JCC’s award-winning inclusion program incorporates children and teens with disabilities alongside their siblings and friends. Learn more about inclusion at Camp JCC.

Camp JCC also offers Kochavim, an award-winning summer transitional program for teens and young adults with disabilities that promotes socialization, recreation, and independent living in a welcoming, fun environment. Learn more about Kochavim.

Youth – The JCCGW offers inclusive programs for all youth activities including Kids After School, enrichment classes and KidKoverage days.  In order to accommodate your child’s needs please let us know 72 hours in advance.

Classes

Teens and young adults with a range of special needs have fun, learn, and make new friends with a variety of classes at the JCCGW that enlighten, educate, and boost self-esteem. Offerings include swimming, cooking, and summer camp programs.

For more information on any of these programs please contact the inclusion coordinator Katie Berman at kberman@jccgw.org.

Register Designed for students with special needs aged 18 and up, this popular class teaches participants how to prepare a variety of easy, delicious meals. Curriculum spans health and nutrition, and a different meal is prepared each week that students can easily replicate at home on their own.

Register This class introduces students aged 18 and up to basic swimming techniques and stroke work. Participants should already be comfortable in the water.

RegisterStudents with special needs aged 18 and up are introduced to the basics of swimming in a class that’s as much about learning as it is fun. Participants should already be comfortable in the water.

Social Groups

Created for individuals aged 18 and up with learning, intellectual, and other developmental disabilities, the Hevra social group meets two Sundays a month (with a Saturday night option) for fun, engaging outings. With the help of a skilled group leader, participants plan trips and itineraries while they work on social skills, boost self-confidence, and much more. Past trips include lunch downtown, a basketball game at Verizon Center, and lively musicals. For questions about registration, please contact Katie Berman at 301-348-3735 or kberman@jccgw.org. For questions about the program, please contact Marcy Bennett at 240-283-6031 or mbennett@jfgh.org

Make new friends and enrich Jewish identity with a social group created for individuals aged 18 and up that may have learning, intellectual, and other developmental disabilities but are able to function independently. Meeting twice a month (Sundays with a Saturday night option) with a skilled staff leader, the group provides a comfortable, informal setting for participants to enjoy a variety of activities at the Center or in the community. For questions about registration, please contact Katie Berman at 301-348-3735 or kberman@jccgw.org. For questions about the program, please contact Marcy Bennett at 240-283-6031 or mbennett@jfgh.org.

Gudelsky Exception Swim Program

For over 20 years, the Gudelsky Exceptional Swim Program has been helping children, teens, and adults with orthopedic-related disabilities enjoy aquatics. The program partners professional staff members (a coordinator, physical therapist, and adaptive water instructors) and volunteers with participants to teach swimming basics and help students feel comfortable in the water. For questions and more information, contact Melanie and Herb Dubin at 301-622-1780 or Dubinm5@verizon.net.

In addition to the programs above, the Center provides everyday accommodations to ensure those with special needs feel comfortable, included, happy, involved—and remain safe—at all times. These daily accommodations include:

  • Sign language and oral interpreters
  • Infrared listening system in the Kreeger Auditorium
  • Wheelchair accessibility throughout Center facilities
  • Temporary wheelchairs for ease of movement throughout Center facilities
  • Flashing light alarm system

Volunteers

Volunteers are an essential part of our continuing efforts to integrate children, youth, teens, and adults with special needs throughout JCCGW programming. Opportunities abound for those who would like to volunteer with those with special needs. For more information, contact Melanie and Herb Dubin at 301-622-1780 or Dubinm5@verizon.net.