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, the right camp can be found.
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 type of camps, cost, length of stay, state/region and age.
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.
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 Marcus Jewish Community Center of Greater Atlanta (MJCCA) has a comprehensive Inclusion Program in their day camps.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Camp Ambassador provides free, personalized guidance to Atlanta families considering Jewish overnight camp. You can also find more information about Jewish camping online.
There are also a few overnight programs in the Greater Atlanta area specifically for children with disabilities.
- Camp Barney Medintz offers the Chalutzim Program for campers ages 10-20 with special needs (offered first session only).
- Camp Living Wonders offers a safe, loving overnight camp experience for high-functioning Jewish children, ages 7-21 years old with developmental disabilities, regardless of affiliation or background.
- Camp Ramah Darom offers a Tikvah program for children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The National Ramah Network offers other Tikvah camps for children with a variety of disabilities.