Diverse Abilities Programming + Support

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The Jack and Shirley Silver Center for Diverse Abilities (formerly known as The Center for Special Needs) builds and nurtures an inclusive and accepting community where individuals with disabilities and their families have opportunities to make meaningful connections to each other and their communities. We serve as a catalyst and leader for transforming the ways in which the community at large understands and interacts with people with different abilities.

Adaptations
Adaptive
Aquatics
CORE
Lecture Series
Parent Support Groups
Programs
for Siblings
Teens
Resources

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Adaptations (Ages 22+)

Adaptations is a dynamic, supportive, social community of neurodiverse adults with a high level of independence looking to learn, grow, and deepen connections with one another. Are you or your loved one:

  • Neurodiverse and/or have a developmental/learning disability?
  • Over the age of 22?
  • Comfortable in a 12:1 member-to-staff ratio?
  • Have a support system in place such as family, friends, or therapists?
  • Able to maintain a respectful and safe environment for others?
  • Excited to meet new people and try new activities?

Through structured social/recreational programs, Adaptations provides multiple pathways to fostering independence, finding passion, and experiencing the richness of the community. Adaptations is not a clinical program.

For more information, contact Michelle Wexler.

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Adaptive Aquatics Program (Ages 2+)

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Swimmers in our adaptive aquatics program benefit from the Halliwick Concept, a water-based supportive therapy that shares similar goals with physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Swimmers work toward gaining independence in the water and meeting functional living goals on land. We offer 1:1 swim lessons, 1:1 aquatic therapy sessions, and group classes from beginner to advanced level swimming for all ages.

For more information, contact Caitlin Boker.

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CORE (Ages 18+)

CORE is a space for adults ages 18 and up to connect, engage, and grow with one another. Participants can join their peers weekly for a variety of fun, age-appropriate activities such as social media lessons, meaningful group discussions, and trips to local parks and shops. These opportunities give individuals a chance to explore and expand their interests, feel a sense of community, and promote meaningful personal growth and interpersonal connection.

For more information, contact Johva Vargas.

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Lecture Series

The goal of CDA's Parents/Professionals Lecture Series is to educate and inform individuals about a wide range of topics that relate to parenting children—of all ages—who have been diagnosed with challenges ranging from intellectual to neurological.

For more information, contact Hannah Kaplan-Cohen.

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Parent Support Groups

Join other parents of children, from those newly diagnosed through adulthood, who have been identified as having developmental challenges of all kinds, who understand the isolation, frustration, and financial stresses that often face families like yours. Discussions are kept confidential.

For more information, contact Hannah Kaplan-Cohen.

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Programs for Siblings

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SibSpace Support Group

Join our community of adult siblings of brothers and sisters who have been identified as having disabilities or challenges of all kinds. The combined expertise of the facilitators and the siblings' personal experiences provide support, resources, and connections.

For more information, contact Julie Singer.

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SibSpace Mentoring Program

The SibSpace Mentoring Program is for school-age, teenage, and adult siblings of brothers and sisters with special needs/disabilities (also known as "sibs"). This intergenerational mentoring program bridges our current Sibshops and SibSpace communities, connecting mentors and mentees on the basis of their shared sib identities.

For more information, contact Jessica Kruger.

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SibSpace is made possible with generous support from the J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation.

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Sibshops: Kids/Tweens/Teens

Sibshops is a social, recreational program for young brothers and sisters of siblings with disabilities (also known as 'sibs'). At Sibshops, sibs will have an opportunity to talk about the good and not-so-good parts of having a sibling(s) living with disability and learn more about disability and the services their brothers and sisters receive.

For more information, contact Laura Zaugg.

View Programs

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Teen Programming (Ages 14–21)

Our teen programming is for teens of all abilities, providing recreational and community-building opportunities as well as social skills development.

For more information, contact Julie Singer.

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Resources

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Future Planning: Self-Direction + Benefits Guidance

This service helps families and individuals with disabilities navigate the channels of the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and other Federal agencies to obtain much-needed funding and services such as Self-Direction, Medicaid, and OPWDD housing services.

For more info, contact Cayle White.

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Assistive Technology

AT Help offers free Assistive Technology (AT) support to children and adults via Zoom and in person at the JCC. The program’s mission is to guide individuals, families, caregivers, and professionals in the effective acquisition, use, and implementation of AT, which may enhance participation for individuals with disabilities in the workplace, in schools, and within their communities, by addressing learning or productivity obstacles, augmenting communication and daily living skills, enhancing visual or auditory supports, or improving the physical accessibility for interacting within a particular environment.

AT Train is a complementary AT training program, which provides free support for educators, therapists, parent groups, and advocates who serve the needs of individuals with disabilities.

AT Train has been graciously funded by the Omer Foundation, the J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation, and the Flutie Foundation.

For more information, contact ATHelp@me.com.

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Residential Assessment

This valuable tool is for anyone exploring housing options for a family member with a disability. During the course of answering 126 questions, you’ll begin to clarify your housing vision and articulate what will define "home" for your family member: their support needs, the benefits and services they are eligible for, where they will live, and how their new home will support their lifestyle preferences and social activities.

The assessment is also used to identify gaps in your family member’s benefits and services. It is a required first step to joining the Partners4Housing Roommate Matching Pool. There is a one-time $500 fee.

Take the Residential Assessment

Disclaimer: We are committed to helping you create a sustainable housing solution for your family member with a disability, but we cannot guarantee a roommate match or a housing solution.

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For adult inquiries, contact Brooke Sweeney.

For teen inquiries, contact Julie Singer.

For support inquiries, contact Hannah Kaplan-Cohen.

Sign up for The Jack and Shirley Silver Center for Diverse Abilities mailing list.


Program + Classes

Adaptations Comic Book Club Class Pack
Adaptations Comic Book Club Class Pack

In Person + Virtual. DC or Marvel? Batman or Superman? Join Comic Book Club to learn about the world of comics. Learn about the famous illustrators and iconic comic series of the past 50 years.

Buy a class pack and save $5. Dates: 1/7/24, 2/4/24, 3/3/24, 4/7/24, 5/5/24, 6/16/24.

-
-
55.00
Members
55.00
Public
Adaptations Lounge Class Pack
Adaptations Lounge Class Pack

In Person. Everyone's favorite board game meet-up is back and better than ever! Spend your Sundays with Adaptations at the new and improved Lounge. Expect new games, art supplies, and snacks with the same ol' Adaptations energy you know and love.

-
-
165.00
Members
165.00
Public
Adaptations CASL Class Pack
Adaptations CASL Class Pack

In Person. Calling all thespians! Heidi Landis leads group members through engaging, interactive theater activities to learn skills around improvisation, scene work, and more.

Buy a class pack and save $20. Dates: 4/8/24, 4/15/24, 5/6/24, 5/13/24, 5/20/24, 6/3/24, 6/10/24, 6/17/24, 6/24/24.

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-
250.00
Members
250.00
Public
Adaptations Circuit Training
Adaptations Circuit Training

In Person + Virtual. Flex new fitness skills at this engaging circuit training program. Each class will teach you skills related to aerobics and body weight training. This program is run by SPIRIT Fitness Club.

Please Wear:
- Sneakers
- Exercise Clothes

-
15.00
Members
15.00
Public
Adaptations Lounge
Adaptations Lounge

In Person. Everyone's favorite board game meet-up is back and better than ever! Spend your Sundays with Adaptations at the new and improved Lounge. Expect new games, art supplies, and snacks with the same ol' Adaptations energy you know and love.

-
15.00
Members
15.00
Public
Adaptations CASL
Adaptations CASL

In Person. Calling all thespians! Heidi Landis leads group members through engaging, interactive theater activities to learn skills around improvisation, scene work, and more.

-
30.00
Members
30.00
Public
Adaptations CASL
Adaptations CASL

In Person. Calling all thespians! Heidi Landis leads group members through engaging, interactive theater activities to learn skills around improvisation, scene work, and more.

-
30.00
Members
30.00
Public
Adaptations CASL
Adaptations CASL

In Person. Calling all thespians! Heidi Landis leads group members through engaging, interactive theater activities to learn skills around improvisation, scene work, and more.

-
30.00
Members
30.00
Public
Adaptations Literary Club
Adaptations Literary Club

In Person + Virtual. The next great piece of writing could be yours! In Literary Club, you will practice expressing yourself through journal writing, poetry, essays, humor pieces, television scripts, and more.

-
10.00
Members
10.00
Public
Adaptations CASL
Adaptations CASL

In Person. Calling all thespians! Heidi Landis leads group members through engaging, interactive theater activities to learn skills around improvisation, scene work, and more.

-
30.00
Members
30.00
Public
CORE Summer Tuesdays: Music Class
CORE Summer Tuesdays: Music Class

In Person. Each week, our classically trained music instructor will lead the class on a musical journey of diverse genres and themes. Participants will learn how to use a variety of instruments and how to play them together.

Dates: Jun 25 + Jul 2, 9,16,23,30 + Aug 6, 13, 20

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-
810.00
Members
810.00
Public
CORE Summer Tuesdays: Fitness Class
CORE Summer Tuesdays: Fitness Class

In Person. Build your CORE strength with Coach Angela! Coach Angela is a certified CrossFit Level 1 and Adaptive Special Needs Level 1 Trainer with over a decade of experience in the fitness industry. Participants will learn various forms of adaptive fitness to build strength and wellness.

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-
775.00
Members
775.00
Public
Adaptations Lounge: CDA Celebration
Adaptations Lounge: CDA Celebration

In Person. Have you heard the news?! Join us for an extra exciting Lounge to celebrate the naming of the Jack and Shirley Silver Center for Diverse Abilities! In honor of this new era, we invite you to enjoy an afternoon filled with special snacks, engaging activities, and lots of community.

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15.00
Members
15.00
Public
Adaptations 40s+ Social
Adaptations 40s+ Social

In Person. Are you a member of Adaptations over 40? Then this event is for you! Each month, we will participate in exciting events at the JCC and/or around the city, as well as plan our following month's program.

-
15.00
Members
15.00
Public
Adaptations Couples Group
Adaptations Couples Group

Virtual. Are you and your partner looking for a supportive environment to connect with other people who share similar experiences? Join us for our bi-monthly Couples' Group to learn self-awareness, self-advocacy, and interpersonal skills. Couples only need to register once. 

-
20.00
Members
20.00
Public
Adaptations Matinee Meetup
Adaptations Matinee Meetup

In Person. Make the most of your summer afternoon with an Adaptations outing! This month, we will...

Travel Information:

The group will meet at the JCC at 1:30 pm and travel to the park together.

-
18.00
Members
18.00
Public
Adaptations Dine Out
Adaptations Dine Out

In Person. Explore the best restaurants on the Upper West Side with Adaptations! Together, we will learn and practice skills related to dining out and money management while enjoying a delicious meal.

Please Bring:
- Cash for Meal, Tip, and Dessert

-
5.00
Members
5.00
Public
Adaptations Lounge
Adaptations Lounge

In Person. Everyone's favorite board game meet-up is back and better than ever! Spend your Sundays with Adaptations at the new and improved Lounge. Expect new games, art supplies, and snacks with the same ol' Adaptations energy you know and love.

-
15.00
Members
15.00
Public
Adaptations Sunday Trip
Adaptations Sunday Trip

In Person. Uptown, downtown, midtown, and more. Join your Adaptations crew each month for an NYC adventure!

Travel Information:

The group will meet at the JCC at 2:45 pm. The exact location will be emailed to registered participants.

-
20.00
Members
20.00
Public
Adaptations Neuroqueer Group
Adaptations Neuroqueer Group

In Person. Are you a member of the LGBTQIA+ community who is looking to learn alongside others who share similar experiences? Join us for our bi-monthly Neuroqueer Group to learn self-awareness, self-advocacy, and interpersonal skills.

-
10.00
Members
10.00
Public
Adaptations Lounge
Adaptations Lounge

In Person. Everyone's favorite board game meet-up is back and better than ever! Spend your Sundays with Adaptations at the new and improved Lounge. Expect new games, art supplies, and snacks with the same ol' Adaptations energy you know and love.

-
15.00
Members
15.00
Public
Adaptations Literary Club
Adaptations Literary Club

In Person + Virtual. The next great piece of writing could be yours! In Literary Club, you will practice expressing yourself through journal writing, poetry, essays, humor pieces, television scripts, and more.

-
10.00
Members
10.00
Public
Adaptations Dine Out
Adaptations Dine Out

In Person. Explore the best restaurants on the Upper West Side with Adaptations! Together, we will learn and practice skills related to dining out and money management while enjoying a delicious meal.

Please Bring:
- Cash for Meal, Tip, and Dessert

-
5.00
Members
5.00
Public
Adaptations Lounge
Adaptations Lounge

In Person. Everyone's favorite board game meet-up is back and better than ever! Spend your Sundays with Adaptations at the new and improved Lounge. Expect new games, art supplies, and snacks with the same ol' Adaptations energy you know and love.

-
15.00
Members
15.00
Public
Adaptations Sunday Trip
Adaptations Sunday Trip

In Person. Uptown, downtown, midtown, and more. Join your Adaptations crew each month for an NYC adventure!

Travel Information:

The group will meet at the JCC at 2:45 pm. The exact location will be emailed to registered participants.

-
20.00
Members
20.00
Public
Adaptations Literary Club
Adaptations Literary Club

In Person + Virtual. The next great piece of writing could be yours! In Literary Club, you will practice expressing yourself through journal writing, poetry, essays, humor pieces, television scripts, and more.

-
10.00
Members
10.00
Public
Adaptations Matinee Meetup
Adaptations Matinee Meetup

In Person. Make the most of your summer afternoon with an Adaptations outing! This month, we will...

Travel Information:

The group will meet at the JCC at 1:30 pm and travel to the park together.

-
18.00
Members
18.00
Public
Adaptations Women's Group
Adaptations Women's Group

Virtual. Are you a woman who is looking to learn alongside others who share similar experiences? Join us bimonthly for our Women's Group to learn self-awareness, self-advocacy, and interpersonal skills.

-
10.00
Members
10.00
Public
Adaptations Men's Group
Adaptations Men's Group

Virtual. Are you a man who is looking to learn alongside others who share similar experiences? Join us bimonthly for our Men's Group to learn self-awareness, self-advocacy, and interpersonal skills.

-
10.00
Members
10.00
Public
Adaptations Lounge
Adaptations Lounge

In Person. Everyone's favorite board game meet-up is back and better than ever! Spend your Sundays with Adaptations at the new and improved Lounge. Expect new games, art supplies, and snacks with the same ol' Adaptations energy you know and love.

-
15.00
Members
15.00
Public

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