Special Needs Inclusion (ages 3-13)
Open Hearts/Open Doors

The JCC Camps at Medford special needs inclusion camp program, Open Hearts/Open Doors (OH/OD), provides accommodations that enable children with disabilities to fully participate with age-appropriate peers at camp. Campers in the OH/OD program span a variety of intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and communication impairments.
The majority of our OH/OD campers receive one-on-one assistance, though some share assistance with other campers. Integrated within camp, a trained shadow (advocate) helps each child fully maximize his/her experience. Advocates are hired and trained directly by our leadership staff team. All camp staff receive training from our Open Hearts/Open doors team about creating an inclusive camp environment.
There is no additional cost for a child to participate in OH/OD program as this is made possible through generous donations and fundraising events throughout the year. Please contact Eileen Elias, Director of Special Needs Services at the Katz JCC, at [email protected].

See what our families have to say…

“JCC Camps at Medford is the best 8 weeks of my child’s life every year.  He makes more gains in physical, social, and emotional areas than in 10 months at school!”

“My son has such a great time every summer. Open Hearts/ Open Doors has been great to him, and he loves his 1 on 1 aide.”

“I want to offer a huge thank you to everyone involved in organizing, running and funding the OH/OD program, as well as the amazing folks who coordinate the myriad of responsibilities for the whole JCC Camps at Medford program. I’ve had a glimpse behind the scenes, and what would send most people running away with heads spinning, is handled with grace and a calm that is truly other worldly. Thank you!”

Funding Options

The JCC Camps at Medford is approved through the NJ Department of Children and Families NJ Children’s System of Care. This program provides some funding for qualified children to attend Camp. To see if your child qualifies for services, please contact Perform Care at 1-877-652-7624.

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