Special Needs

Special needs senior playing with a dog.

Keeping Inclusion at the Center

The Bender JCC was founded on the belief that communities benefit when all people of all ability levels learn, grow, and celebrate together.

Inclusion of those with disabilities has always been at the forefront of our mission and has made us an area leader in comprehensive special needs inclusion, from our programming to our facilities.


Want to learn more about the Bender JCC’s inclusion programs & resources?
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Explore the many ways we keep inclusion at the Center for adults with special needs!

Fitness Discount

Adult residents of area group homes can benefit from a discounted fitness membership to enjoy the Bender JCC’s Weinberg Health & Fitness Center. Membership includes admission for aides accompanying adults with special needs.

Isadore & Bertha Gudelsky Exceptional Swim Program

Created for children, teens and adults with orthopedic-related disabilities, this swim program partners professional staff members (a coordinator, physical therapist, and adaptive water instructors) and volunteers with participants to teach the basics of swimming and help students feel comfortable in the water. For more information contact Elon Walter at 443-286-9364 or situbuw@aol.com.

Everyday Accommodations

In addition to the programs above, the Center provides everyday accommodations to ensure those with special needs feel comfortable, included, happy, involved—and remain safe—at all times. These daily accommodations include:

  • Sign language and oral interpreters
  • Infrared listening system in the Kreeger Auditorium
  • Wheelchair accessibility throughout Center facilities
  • Temporary wheelchairs for ease of movement throughout Center facilities
  • Flashing light alarm system


Volunteers are an essential part of our continuing efforts to integrate children, youth, teens, and adults with special needs throughout Bender JCC programming. Opportunities abound for those who would like to volunteer with those with special needs. For more information, contact Marcie Blackman.