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 disability inclusion, from our programming to our facilities.

Youth and teens with disabilities are embraced in a warm, caring, and supportive environment at the Bender JCC through inclusive, innovative programming that enlightens, educates, and boosts self-esteem.

Explore the many ways we Keep Inclusion at the Center for youth and teens with disabilities.

Questions about youth and teen inclusion at the Bender JCC? Contact us!

All Are Welcome

The Bender JCC embraces and welcomes the diversity of our community and encourages everyone to seek meaning and fulfillment by participating in our rich programming inspired by our Jewish heritage.

We open our doors to everyone, including people of all backgrounds, religions, abilities and sexual orientations, and interfaith couples and families.

Inclusion permeates our Center. Inclusion is belonging.

Camp JCC

As part of the Bender JCC’s wide-ranging efforts to include those with disabilities, Camp JCC’s award-winning inclusion program incorporates children and teens with disabilities alongside their siblings and friends. Learn more about inclusion at Camp JCC.

Camp JCC also offers Kochavim, an award-winning summer transitional program for teens and young adults with disabilities that promotes socialization, recreation, and independent living in a welcoming, fun environment. Learn more about Kochavim.

Youth – The Bender JCC offers inclusive programs for all youth activities including Club J (formerly Kids After School), enrichment classes and KidKoverage days. In order to accommodate your child’s needs please let us know 72 hours in advance.

Isadore & Bertha Gudelsky Exceptional Swim Program

For over 20 years, the Gudelsky Exceptional Swim Program has been helping children, teens, and adults with orthopedic-related disabilities enjoy aquatics. The program partners professional staff members (a coordinator, physical therapist, and adaptive water instructors) and volunteers with participants to teach swimming basics and help students feel comfortable in the water. This program is offered during the school year only, not in the summer. For questions and more information, contact Emily Wolinksy at

In addition to the programs above, the Center provides everyday accommodations to ensure those with disabilities 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 disabilities throughout Bender JCC programming. Opportunities abound for those who would like to volunteer with those with disabilities. For more information, contact

After School Programs for Teenagers

Real World Ready

Wednesdays | September 13 – November 1, 2023 | 5:00 – 7:00 PM

$160 / members | $175 / non-members

Real World Ready is a program designed for high school students with disabilities. The program will provide life skills, vocational skills, leisure skills, and social skills instruction to teenagers and young adults with disabilities, aged 15-21. These lessons will be delivered in a small group setting with a 2:8 teacher to student classroom ratio.

Registration closes September 27.

If you require any specific accommodations to participate in this program, or have any other questions, please email Kate Falls at

Learn More

Register Now


Empowering Friendship

Tuesdays | November 21, 2023 – January 30, 2024 | 4:30 – 6:30 PM

$160 / members | $175 / non-members

Join the Bender JCC Inclusion Program for an afternoon group dedicated to teenagers with disabilities.

Empowering Friendship is a neurodivergent affirming social skills group for teenagers, aged 13-17. Each week group members will practice a critical skill related to self-esteem and independence.

Registration opens October 6. 

If you require any specific accommodations to participate in this program, or have any other questions, please email Kate Falls at

Learn More

Register Now