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Adaptations is a supportive social community for adults in their 20s and 30s. We offer individuals with a high level of independence a place to socialize, learn, grow, and deepen their connections to one another. Through structured social/recreational and employment programs, Adaptations provides multiple pathways to fostering independence, finding your passion, and experiencing the richness of community.

Our work is guided by six principles:

  • Ensure participants experience a sense of belonging
  • Connect and empower participants to build friendships through facilitated social opportunities
  • Encourage engagement through rich and diverse programming that reflects participants’ interests
  • Create adapted experiences that enable participants to expand their sense of self and abilities
  • Offer customized job-readiness programs to help individuals achieve competitive employment
  • Facilitate local community connections and foster inclusive opportunities for participants to enhance their quality of life

Join our community on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date on all of the exciting things Adaptations members are doing.

To find out more about Adaptations, click the FAQ link below.

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Adaptations FAQ
Adaptations landing


What is Adaptations?

Adaptations is a supportive social community for adults of all abilities in their 20s and 30s, including those with developmental and/or learning disabilities. We offer individuals with a high level of independence a place to socialize, learn, grow, and deepen their connections to one another. Through structured social/recreational and employment programs, Adaptations provides multiple pathways to fostering independence, finding your passion, and experiencing the richness of community.

What types of support does Adaptations offer?

There are three areas of support we currently provide:

  • Social skills–based learning and dating skills, plus opportunities to practice socialization in small and large groups
  • Recreational programs (arts and literature, physical fitness, and cultural or day outings)
  • Skill development for the workplace

How do I join the program?

Step 1: Please contact Isabelle Vrod at to complete an initial questionnaire that tells us more about you. Return the questionnaire to us via email so we can begin to determine if Adaptations will fit your needs.

Step 2: Then, we will be in touch to set up a time to meet in person. If we feel Adaptations may not offer the supports that you are looking for,we will suggest other programs or opportunities which may be more helpful.

Can I try out Adaptations programs before filling out the questionnaire or going through the intake process?

You must be an Adaptations participant before you register or attend any programs. To become an Adaptations participant, please email Adaptations Coordinator Isabelle Vrod at

Are there fees for programs?

There are fees associated with Adaptations programs, generally $10-$25 each. We never want money to be a barrier to programs and we offer scholarships if needed. No JCC or Adaptations membership fees are necessary to join.

I'm not working right now, so I am on a very tight budget. Do you offer scholarships?

We do offer scholarships, which are available to participants who fill out a quick scholarship form. Please speak to Isabelle Vrod ( for more information. A scholarship currently grants you a 50% discount to all our programs (additional assistance may be available on an individual basis). We do not want finances to be a barrier to anyone attending our groups.

What if I'm 40 or older? Is there a place for me at Adaptations?

Yes! We have a 40+ group that meets monthly at the JCC for activities and socialization.

I live in Long Island (or New Jersey, Westchester, etc.). I prefer not to travel alone. Is there anyone I can commute with to Adaptations programs?

We have participants who travel to us from near and far— New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester, and other locations. We can link you to these fellow Adaptations participants if you are looking for a companion to travel with, whether you drive or take the train.

I'm looking at the Adaptations calendar, and don't know what some of the groups are about. For example, what is CASL? What is Lit Club?

In your intake and orientation, the intake coordinator will go through each program description. In the meantime, click here for a description of our programs.

I've been formally diagnosed with a learning disability and have a master's degree. What are people's cognitive levels in this program? Will there be people on my level?

Many of our participants have college education backgrounds. Adaptations participants are are looking to be independent in their lives. We foster a supportive environment at Adaptations where participants build a sense of community. Based on personality and interests, we can help match you up with potential friends at a similar level.

Can I come to everything?

We encourage you to come to as many social programs as you wish, although there are some skills-based and age-based groups which are for a specific population. We will discuss what programs and groups may be the most beneficial to you when we meet in person!

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Adaptations Program Descriptions
Adaptations Programs
  • Relationship Support
  • Social Scene
  • Arts + Culture
  • Fitness + Healthy Living


Creative Alternatives to Social Learning

Licensed drama therapists and trained theater artists lead engaging, interactive activities that inspire confidence and a sense of community.

NeuroQueer Support Group

Are you looking to meet other LGBTQ+ or questioning individuals with disabilities to learn from and share your experiences with? Each month, this support group offers a safe space to discuss and share questions and situations around being LGBTQ+ and having a disability.

This group is for adults 18+ who identify as LGBTQ+ or are questioning their sexual orientation / gender.

Couples Group

Are you part of a couple in which both of you are members of Adaptations? Join Allison Kleinman and Shula Melamed in this safe space to talk about the ups and downs of being together.



Join your friends and other Adaptations participants on Sunday afternoons at one of our most popular programs. Engage in conversation and enjoy light fare in a relaxed, social environment.

Dine Out

Interested in catching up with old friends and making new ones over dinner? Spend an evening dining with Adaptations members at a local restaurant.

End-of-Season Parties

Join Adaptations for our traditional end-of-season parties! Whether it’s on the rooftop, a dance party, or a dinner party, don’t miss these spectacular events with friends from your favorite programs.

Jewish Holiday Celebrations

Join Adaptations for some of the many holiday-themed programs at the JCC. Celebrations such as First Night First Light, Tikkun, Adaptations Sukkot Dinner, Chanukah Lounge, and Purim parties are just some of the Jewish holiday celebrations offered.


Comic Book Club

Are you a little angry at DC Comics over the annual universe shake-ups? Did you know who the Red Hulks were before the reveal? Come discuss and learn about the comic book world with this lively group!

Anime Group

Are you tired of keeping your inner otaku—your obsession with anime—a secret? Do you want to watch anime beyond Dragon Ball or Bleach? Find others who share your passion at Anime Group.

Literary Club

Build a body of creative writing work that ranges from heartfelt to hilarious. Writers hone their craft and express themselves through journal writing, poetry, essays, humor pieces, television scripts, and more.


Circuit Training

Come every week to learn how to train your body into the shape you want. Sign up by yourself or with other Adaptations members to work out with Jamar Grimball, a terrific and talented certified trainer at the JCC Fitness Center.

Teens/Young Adults Special Needs Swim Class

This swim class is for teens and young adults with special needs (age 15–29). This class focuses on basic swimming skills and strokes, including breathing technique and becoming comfortable in the water. We specialize in small class sizes and dedicated instructors. Intake form required. Please contact Caitlin Boker at for more information.

For more information, please email Adaptations coordinator Isabelle Vrod.

Adaptations programs are generously supported by Jack and Shirley Silver and individual donors.

Help us continue to ensure accessible programming for everyone. Please support special needs at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.