SUMMER PROGRAMS

There are so many camp choices for children with disabilities! From highly specialized camps to general inclusion programs, there are options for every child. With thorough research, you should be able to find the right camp for your child.

The American Camp Association makes it easy to find a great camp – they have an online listing of special-needs camps that is categorized by types of camps, cost, length of stay, state/region and age.

“Greet all people with a smile.”

Ethics of the Fathers 3:16

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.

Local Resources

Summer 2020 Here is a list of summer programs in Miami Dade compiled by UM CARD.

Camp Experts & Teen Summers

Camp Experts & Teen Summers is a FREE referral service matching the needs of your entire family with the best summer experience: sleep away camps, pre-college, travel, community service, special needs, inclusion programs, academic assistance and more. Visit Camp Experts and KarenMeister.com

Contact person – Karen Meister – karen@campexperts.com – 305-931-5437.

The Friendship Circle Miami is a program that brings together teenage and adult volunteers in helping children, teens, and adults with special needs and their families. These individuals with special needs may suffer from loneliness in addition to their handicaps. They could have the best professional help (doctors, social workers, etc.) but they don’t necessarily have friends! They don’t attend regular social gatherings like most, and their classmates and peers cannot interact with them in the same way as most. They may be missing extra attention, love and friendship from friends and people in their community. In Miami we have two Friendship Circles:

South Dade

Friendship Circle of Miami Beach and North Dade is based on the same philosophy and values. Friendship Circle Miami Beach and North Dade offers programming at the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center and in the North Miami Beach area. Additional programming information found here

The Jewish Community Centers offer after-school activities. Please review the websites as programming changes:

Miami Beach Jewish Community Center 

The Michael Ann Russel Jewish Community Center in Aventura For Summer 2020 Camp Ometz serves campers 14-29 years old. Please contact Camp Director Susie Goldberg at 305-588-6818

And the Alper Jewish Community Center in Kendall

JAFCO 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 Children’s Trust makes a significant commitment to include children with disabilities – and youth with disabilities up to age 22 if still in high school – in all its funded programs and services Use this search page to identify programming

Your local area recreational center also offers inclusive programming:

Miami Dade

Coral Gables

Miami Beach

Miami Shores

North Miami

Aventura

Quick Links

The Federation for Children with Special Needs

Foundation for Jewish Camp

Center of Independent Living

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