If you need help or know someone who does, you can find it here.
Discover programs in Los Angeles that can help you and your family.
- Bet Tzedek
- BJE: Builders of Jewish Education
- Camp Ramah in California
- Conejo Valley Friendship Circle
- Friendship Foundation
- Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles
- Jewish Free Loan Association
- Jewish Los Angeles Special Needs Trust
- JVS SoCal
- Jewish Family Service of LA — Chaverim
- Jewish Family Service of LA — HaMercaz
- Maagalim Community Circles
- OurSpace: The Artistic Spectrum of Jewish Learning for Adults — Valley Beth Shalom (vbs.org)
- Shalom Institute/Shemesh Farms
- The Friendship Circle Los Angeles
- The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles/Los Angeles Jewish Abilities Center (LAJAC)
- The Miracle Project
- Valley Friendship Circle
- Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services
- Yachad Los Angeles
- Zooz Fitness
- What to know about developmental delay
- Advice for Parents of Kids With Autism, From Adults on the Spectrum
- Preparing for Your Child’s IEP Meeting
- Should I consider a Special Needs Trust? How A Special Needs Trust Can Help Your Clients — YouTube
- How to Find Sensory-Friendly Events
- An Overview of Special Needs at SoCal Theme Parks
- P&G debuts disability-friendly Olay packaging, to share design with beauty industry — Cincinnati Business Courier (bizjournals.com)
- Project Connect
The Arc of California launched a 24-hour support line to help individuals with developmental disabilities and those who care for them cope during the pandemic. Project Connect is a free telehealth line available anytime for people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers and other members of their support teams across the nation.
Developed by The Arc of California and the Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare, the call line is staffed by graduate students at the school who are supervised by licensed social workers. Callers receive support, guidance, and referrals. ANNOUNCING Project Connect: Disability Support Phone Line (thearcca.org)
- REACH: A Jewish resource & referral service for individuals with disabilities
- VIDEO: COVID-19: MASKS AND HAND WASHING! Educational Video for Students with Autism & ID (w/Boardmaker) — YouTube
- Assistive Devices or Adaptive Devices? Both terms are sometimes used interchangeably since they both improve peoples’ lives by giving them the tools needed to manage their daily lives. And because all adaptive devices are assistive devices, but not all assistive devices are adaptive devices, it can get confusing. Here are some good definitions:
- An assistive device is any product, or a category of products, that helps people with disabilities achieve their goals. These tools include wheelchairs, wheelchair mounts, communication devices, and much more.
- An adaptive device is a type of assistive device, or subcategory of products, created to make an existing technology accessible. Braille, screen reader software, and switch-adapted products all count as adaptive devices.
Dressing can be challenging for individuals with special needs and physical disabilities. Whether it is a parent dressing their child or an adult with a physical impairment, clothes that meet the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are in demand and the fashion industry has taken note. Simple clothing alterations like magnetic closures instead of buttons, snaps, and hooks on shirts and jackets, as well as softer materials and textures that allow for range of motion, can benefit individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Retailers like Tommy Hilfiger, Zappos, Nike, Kohl’s, and Target are leading the way in designing apparel, shoes, and other products for consumers that are not only fashionable but also allow people greater independence for activities in daily life.
Check out additional companies with adaptive clothing lines:
- Target Kids Adaptive Clothing
- Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive
- Billy Footwear
- Adaptive Seven7
- Zappos Adaptive
- Aerie Slick Chicks Undergarments
- Kohl’s Adaptive
- JCPenney Adaptive
- Find Disability-Inclusive Dolls and Accessories:
Find Disability-Inclusive Dolls and Accessories at This Etsy Shop (lifehacker.com)
- People With Disabilities Are Entitled to a Free Lifetime Pass to National Parks
- Find the Best Sensory Play Items at the Dollar Store
We live in a hi-tech world where new technologies surface all the time. For some of us, new apps simplify life or provide a luxury — we can order our groceries from our cell phones so we don’t have to go to the grocery store. For others, they provide a solution to a problem or satisfy a necessity — they increase reading or hearing ability and promote learning in the case of a disability.
Assistive Technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether purchased from a store or personally customized — excluding medical devices or implants — that amplifies, sustains, or expands the functional capabilities of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Understanding Assistive Technology: Simply Said:
And what is some of the best (and usable) AT developed over the past 10 years?
- Apple’s iPad
- Amazon Echo with Alexa
- Microsoft Learning Tools built into the Office 365 and Microsoft Edge applications
- Be My Eyes app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers for assistance with certain tasks.
- Microsoft’s Seeing Al app that uses the (IOs only) device camera to identify people and objects for someone who is visually impaired. The app audibly describes those objects for the user.
- Xbox adaptive controller
- Google Live Captioning
- Munevo Drive smart glasses that interpret head movements into signals for controlling electric wheelchairs, taking photos, and sending emergency messages.
- Open Sesame allow hands-free control of smartphones, tablets, and computers through a front camera that monitors head movements to upload social media posts, write text messages, make phone calls, and use apps.
An LAJAC case manager is a professional who helps coordinate services of care on behalf of an individual in need. To contact an LAJAC case manager, please complete this intake form.
Today, assistive technologies can help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn more effectively. Ranging in sophistication from “low” technologies such as a graphic organizer worksheet to “high” technologies including cutting-edge software and smartphone apps, assistive technology is a growing and dynamic field.
More examples of assistive technology are:
Assistive Listening Systems
According to the National Association for the Deaf, assistive listening systems can be used by children who are hard of hearing or to enhance the reach and effectiveness of those with hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Read more about other types of assistive technology that make life easier for those with a variety of disabilities:
Text-to-speech (TTS) software is designed to help children who suffer from blindness, dyslexia, visual impairments, learning disabilities, autism, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that affect their ability to read. The technology scans and then reads the words to the student in a synthesized voice.
A mobile handheld device about the size and weight of a paperback book, Intel Reader uses TTS technology to read printed text aloud and features a high-resolution camera that captures printed text, converts it to digital text, and reads it to the user.
For students requiring a multi-sensory approach to literacy learning, this software program helps students who may have a non-print disability or may not typically consider a TTS program.
Some students have dysgraphia or disorders of written expressions, and graphic organizers are very useful in helping them organize their thoughts, map out a course of action, describe objects, and perform other tasks.
For students with mobility challenges, such as paralysis and fine motor skill disabilities, these systems allow for control of a computer, mobile device, or some other technological application by the child’s movement of the device (similar to a joystick) with his or her mouth.