Extended School Year Services (ESY) is an alternative to summer camp. ESY is for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) who need additional school days to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and prolonged periods of time off will have a negative impact on them. The summer course work is offered in accordance with the students IEP and at no cost to the parents of the child. It must also meet the standards of the State Educational Authority. ESY usually runs half a day for four weeks.
Need more help in your camp selection? Special Needs Kids Info offers an excellent list of questions to ask during your research!
Interested in finding a Jewish overnight camp, but unsure of where to begin? There are a variety of camp options to explore! Foundation for Jewish Camp serves as an advocate and resource for nonprofit Jewish camps and promotes inclusion but does not provide direct service. Through their advanced search option, you can find information about camps throughout the country that have inclusion opportunities.
The David Posnack JCC
Offers Camp Giborim, which means heroes in Hebrew, a special needs program that serves campers, ages 3 to 21, with autism, Down syndrome, developmental delays and various other disabilities. Campers participate in a variety of camp activities. Most groups participate in two field trips per week. A limited number of campers with mild disabilities are included in the general camp population.
The JAFCO Children’s Ability Center
Serves children from birth through age 22 diagnosed with a developmental disability, including autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, Spina Bifida or Prader-Willi. They offer therapeutic services, child enrichment services, family support, respite care, support groups and parent training. They also offer Camp Kehilla, a special needs camp for children ages 3 – 22 with developmental disabilities.
The Foundation for Jewish Camp
The mission of the Foundation for Jewish Camp is to help Jewish camps achieve their mission: to create transformative experiences—and the Jewish future. Their website has a searchable resource directory for North American camps that specialize and are inclusive of campers with special needs. For more information you can call Kate O’Brien at 646-278-4561 or contact her at Kate@jewishcamp.org.
Living Inclusively for Everyone, Inc. (LIFE)
Provides social and recreational inclusion programs for people with developmental disabilities. Offers a free summer camp for adults with disabilities, ages 18 and over.