Summer Programs

There are so many camp choices for children with disabilities! From highly specialized camps to general inclusion programs, there are options for every child. With thorough research, you should be able to find the right camp for your child.

The American Camp Association makes it easy to find a great camp – they have an online listing of special-needs camps that is categorized by types of camps, cost, length of stay, state/region and age.

Extended School Year Services (ESY) is an alternative to summer camp. ESY is for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) who need additional school days to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and prolonged periods of time off will have a negative impact on them. The summer course work is offered in accordance with the students IEP and at no cost to the parents of the child. It must also meet the standards of the State Educational Authority.  ESY usually runs half a day for four weeks.

Need more help in your camp selection? Special Needs Kids Info offers an excellent list of questions to ask during your research! 

Local Camps:

Marleen Forkas Camp Kavod at JCC Boca Raton is a premier eight-week summer camp serving children and teens in grades Pre-K through 12th grade with special needs.

JAFCO Camp Kehilla is a summer camp program created for up to 50 children (ages 3 through 22) with a developmental disability. For more information, contact Samantha Sehter at (954) 315-8681 or samantha@jafco.org.

For the full list of the available local camp programs contact the 211 special Needs HelpLine.

Overnight Camps

Camp HASC is a unique summer program which provides over 300 children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities the opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable camp experience. Camp HASC serves the social, therapeutic, academic, recreational, and medical needs of all its campers with a positive, ‘person first’ approach to care. 

Camp Tikah Support Program, is designed for campers with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, Intellectual Disability, and Communication Disorder. Camp Yofi is a nationally-recognized, one-of-a-kind program for Jewish families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder between the ages of 6 and 13. Parents, grandparents, and siblings are invited to attend and all Jewish families, regardless of denomination or synagogue affiliation.

Chai Lifeline, Camp Simcha, Each summer, 430 seriously ill children are treated to an unforgettable, medically supervised overnight camp experience at Camp Simcha, for children battling cancer and other blood disorders, or Camp Simcha Special, for children with chronic illnesses. At these, the only kosher overnight camps for sick kids and teens, campers trade hospital rooms and doctors’ offices for summers of fun and friendship that builds confidence and courage to persevere through adversity.

Easter Seals Camp Challenge provides a unique experience for children over 6 years of age and adults of any age with disabilities and special needs to have the opportunity to actively participate in camping activities, engage in social interaction with peers and achieve life changing experiences. 

Tamarack Camps, Yachad Inclusion program for children in second through seventh grade. Avodah Yound Adult Program for young adults entering tenth grade through adults in their twenties.

Yachad, The National Council for Disabilities, Campers six through young adult for camper, vocational and Israel programs at different locations.