Within the Boston area there are six agencies that are dedicated to providing support to those of all faiths with disabilities, incorporating Jewish traditions and teachings as a guideline. These agencies range in support from vocational training and education support, to recreation and leisure activities, to independent, supported living agencies. These agencies work closely to support each other’s work and those they serve, while promoting inclusion throughout the larger Jewish community.

One example of this collaboration is the upcoming event Yom Sport 2018 on June 3. This is a day of fun and sports for adults with disabilities. More information on the event can be found here.

In the coming months, we will be highlighting more about the supports these agencies provide and the collaboration between them. In the meantime, to learn more about the services each agency offers, check out their websites:

JCC Greater Boston is a cultural, fitness and social center for the Jewish community. They have programs specific to those with special needs like aquatic fitness, personal training and yoga.

Jewish Family & Children’s Service CHAI Services promotes community, housing, access and independence for people with all abilities. This agency provides support in such areas as housing, employment and case management. They provide expertise in addressing the needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities, mental illness and autism spectrum disorder, while providing services that are inclusive of people with a wide range of strengths and needs.

JVS – Jewish Vocational Services provides support for individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers. They provide skills training, internships, job placement and ongoing employment supports.

Gateways delivers special education services and expertise, while providing support for students with varying learning needs to succeed within Jewish educational settings. They provide support with Jewish education and day school programs and have available ambassadors for inclusion and a teen volunteer program.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters provides such programs as the Friend2Friend program, which establishes one-to-one friendships for adults with disabilities. They also provide support to children with their community and site-based programs, where they match a child between the ages of 6 and 18 with a volunteer Big Brother or Sister.

YACHAD is a global organization addressing the needs of all Jewish individuals with disabilities. They provide such programs as clinical and family services, educational support and summer/recreation programs.

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