Special Needs Inclusion
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].


The JCC Camps at Medford provides teens ages 14-20 with special needs a unique life and leisure skills program called Coolanu. In Hebrew, Coolanu means all of us and together we are helping prepare our teens with special needs for the next stages of life. The program includes a mixture of tradition camp activities such as: Swim Lessons, Arts & Crafts, Recreation, Music and Movement. Additionally, our camp provides activities to that help with social skills, job hunting, and life training. Participants will attend weekly local community based instruction trips where they will practice skills such as budgeting, shopping, planning, speech, and career exploration.
For more information about the Coolanu program, please email us at [email protected]

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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