February is National Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion month

February 16, 2018

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Dedicated to offering programs throughout the year that raise awareness and bring people with disabilities, their families, and those who love them, into their Jewish communities in meaningful ways, for Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, National Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion month is an appropriate time to recognize its work and programs.

For adults, JFS offers monthly socialization groups for individuals with intellectual, developmental, mental, and/ or physical disabilities. The Simcha (Joy) and Chaverim (Friends) groups give members occasions to engage with their peers and socialize. Whether planning a movie outing at Cinema Café or a Passover Seder at a local temple, JFS’ work with individuals and their families’ enhances daily living and expands inclusion in the general and Jewish communities.

During the summer, JFS assists the Simon Family Jewish Community Center provide a fully integrated summer camp experience for all children. With specially trained staff, the camp special needs program Yachad (together) offers accommodations for children with a variety of physical, intellectual, behavioral, and emotional needs. This unique all-inclusive experience enables these campers the opportunity to enjoy the fun of all the camp programs. Specialized staff is also available for one-on-one assistance to campers.

In addition, JFS provides case management services for local Jewish people with disabilities and their families. This can include monitoring visits, financial assistance, accompanying individuals to their doctor appointments, and other needed services. JFS also strives to provide support and counseling services to help families cope with living with loved ones who have a disability.

To learn more about these programs, contact Maryann Kettyle, JFS Special Needs case manager, at 757-459-4640, or MKetttyle@jfshamptonroads.org.

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