Day Program

Creating an Inclusive Community that Encourages Learning and Friendship




Overview

At our Community Inclusion Center we run a Saturday Program and a Full Time Day Program. Our program will feature Pre-Vocational Training focused on teaching adults with special needs (aged 18 and over) the skills needed to prepare for gainful employment.

Our Day Program is conveniently located at:
Young Adult Community Inclusion Center
415 Rt. 18 South, Suite 4,
East Brunswick, NJ 08816

Why DA?

There are many reasons why you will benefit from choosing our Day Program and Disability Allies as your provider, however, these are just a few that we feel make a big difference:

  1. Warm, Family Environment – We are deeply passionate about the community and the families that we serve, and we make it our number one priority to make sure our clients feel right at home and are comfortable with their surroundings, our staff, and our program.
  2. Experienced Staff and Instructors– We have retained almost all of our Saturday Program staff and instructors to work at our new Day Program. This will allow us to capitalize on the chemistry we have already developed amongst the staff members. Each of our instructors have extensive experience and knowledge in their particular field.
  3. Holistic Approach – We use a multi-disciplinary approach combining recreational and prevocational activities that encourages the development of employable skills, social and emotional skills, and life skills. Our program will encourage our participants to apply what they learn to employment situations.
  4. Open 6 Days A Week With Extended Hours– We do our best to provide consistent support to our clients and their families. We are open 6 days a week, offer extended hours from (3 to 6:30pm) and only close on a few holidays throughout the year.
  5. Encourage Individual Growth – Our professional staff encourage connectivity between individuals which helps to insure exposure to new experiences and friendships.
  6. Our Facility Features – A state of the art kitchen, music and technology rooms along with a spacious recreational area.

Activities

Our Day Program will have a variety of activities to choose from and will provide prevocational training to young adults with special needs in the following subject areas:

Click Here to see a detailed description of our classes.

Life Skills

  • Time Management and setting up a daily schedule
  • Relaxation techniques and stress management
  • Emotional awareness and social skills

Tech and Computer Skills

  • Coding and Computer Programming
  • Graphic Design
  • Word, Excel and Powerpoint
  • Website Design
  • Email Marketing

Fine Art

  • Painting
  • Printing clothing
  • Collages
  • Weaving baskets
  • Jewelry Making

Music Instruction

  • Learning how to play musical instruments
  • Learning to keep the beat and rhythm
  • Music appreciation
  • Singing instruction and Karaoke
  • Individual and group dancing

Culinary Arts

  • Cutting and Mixing
  • Using an oven, stove and grill
  • Learning how to follow recipe
  • Baking cakes, pastries and other treats
  • Major focus on healthy and nutritious meals

Money Management

  • Learning how to open up a bank account
  • Counting money and making change
  • Writing a check
  • Keeping a budget

Recreational Games & Fitness

  • Pool, Ping Pong, Air Hockey and Foosball Table
  • Board Games & Table Games
  • Exercise and Physical Fitness
  • Relay Races

Theatre

  • Writing, reading, and performing skits and plays
  • Write, read, and perform plays
  • Improv
  • Engage in various theatre games

Job Skills Training

  • Exploring different career options
  • Resume Workshops
  • Mock Interviews
  • Applying for jobs on career websites

Language Arts

  • Decoding using an Orton Gillingham Approach
  • Developing comprehension using basic readers
  • Utilizing a book club to understand and appreciate literature
  • Learning how to write poetry and short stories

Schedule

Our Day Program runs Monday through Friday from 9 am to 3 pm and Saturday from 9am to 6:30pm. We offer extended hours from 3pm to 6:30pm on weekdays. Our clients will be able to select any combination of the plans below up to a maximum of (5) days per week.

Plan A – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Plan B – Tuesday, Thursday
Plan C – Saturday Only

Meet the Staff

Erica Ryans

Day Program Manager

Erica Ryans graduated from Rutgers University with a master`s in Social Work. She has served the social work field for over 20 years.

Sonal Gadhavi

Technology & Fine Art Instructor

Sonal is a professional Artist and Designer who holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts & Design with over 15 years of teaching experience. However, her first love is art so as to teach, inspire and acculturate the next generation of young talents. She wants to combine her technical & creative skills in teaching fine arts, computer aided design, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator & Web PDM. She is highly creative, innovative and passionate and uses cutting– edge technology to discover creative ways to assist young adults and organizations in meeting their learning and productivity goals. Sonal has also been exhibiting her art /paintings & illustrations. Her artwork has been described as “a harmonious symphony between abstract and spiritual sensibilities”. She has been working with top notch fashion brands in New York Fashion garment district for over 12 years and designing various collections for Fashion Shows. She would like to share her fashion industry experience in creating innovative problem-solving product design. She is also a published illustrator for a children’s story book on Mindfulness & Yoga. She serves as an Art Commissioner for Woodbridge Township NJ.

Brandon Yambó

Culinary Arts Instructor

Brandon Yambó studied International Cuisine overseas in Puerto Rico. Throughout college, he worked in the oldest bakery in Puerto Rico La Capalana. He attended one of the best culinary schools on the island called Escuela Hotelera San Juan. While obtaining his degree, he did an internship at the Sheraton Hotel Viejo San Juan. After college, he did a second Internship at the St. Regis Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. He worked his way up the food chain from a prep cook to a co-banquet supervisor for two and a half years. Cooking was always a passion for him, and he enjoys teaching others as well. He has always had a special connection to people with special needs because of his brother who has several disabilities. He has been working for Disability Allies for the past year at the Saturday program.

Matt Holbert

Theater Instructor

Matt Holbert is our Lead Theatre Instructor for the Saturday Program and will be joining us full time for the Day Program. He is also the Producing Associate of Dragonfly Theater where he assists various classes. He stage manages every so often and is a lead worship leader for SUS Worship band as well as a leader in the church under the same name. A singer/actor from Metuchen, NJ, his credits range from theater to film/television. Some credits include Dinario Jones in Homicide for the Holidays(Oxygen Channel), Chauncey in Clench(Abu! Film Productions), and robber in Our Lady of the 80s(Hilda Productions). His theater credits include Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope(Ensemble, Freeddom Theater), Little Mermaid(U/S Sebastian, Gretna Theater), Hamlet(Fortinbras, American Theatre of Actors), and Coarse Acting Show(Aperient, Drangonfly Multicultural Arts Center). Matt would like to thank his friends, his family, his mom (who always supported him no matter what, SUS ministries, Catherine & Anna at Dragonfly, and Ross for this wonderful opportunity to teach the best students in the world. Let’s sing! Let’s dance!! Let’s come alive!!! But most of all have fun!!!

Janette Alexander

Life Skills Financial and Social Emotional Instructor and Job Coach

Janette Alexander holds a master`s degree in Human Resources and Marriage and Family Counseling. She works in the healthcare field for 10 years as a Critical Care Respiratory, Technician, and Medical Assistant Skills Educator, FEMA Certified Healthcare Professional. Janette has several years of Mental Health Experience through Christian Counseling, Pre- Marital Counseling, and Life Coaching. Certified in Trauma Response, Crisis Intervention, Group Counseling, Life Coaching and various other social and e>motional counseling areas. Her spiritual foundation is a very important part of her life. Janette enjoys reading, listening to music, watching sports, writing, spending time with family, and event planning.

Brooke Moseman

Reading and Writing Instructor

Brooke Moseman has been Disability Allies' reading and writing instructor since September. She has a master`s in elementary education and a certification in special education as well. She attended Fairleigh Dickinson University as well as Rutgers University for college and graduate school. Before she became an instructor at Disability Allies, she was an instructional aid in the elementary schools in East Brunswick and Colts Neck. She also worked as a Kindergarten and aftercare teacher at the Learning Experience in Old Bridge. She also volunteered with Disability Allies before becoming an instructor. She loves watching her class learn new skills and develop friends along the way. She is proud to be part of the Disability Allies team.

Akila Chapa

Floater Instructor and Direct Support Professional

Akila is a graduate from Rutgers University with a double major in Psychology and Cell Biology and Neuroscience. During her time in college she took part in research that worked towards improving and assessing classroom strategies. Akila is our Floater. She assists instruction in various classes such as Life Skills, Social and Emotional Learning, Reading, Recreation and other classes if required. She also works as a Direct Support Professional where she provides 1 on 1 prevocational training and community-based support to individuals with special needs. She is passionate about working with others and towards creating a connected community.

Dr. Andrew D. Becker

Computer Technology Teacher and Network Administrator

Dr.Becker is a Doctorate in Education graduate from Walden University with a concentration in Special Education. He has worked in the field of Education for the past twenty years, beginning with the working with the Autism program in Hillsborough School District in Hillsborough New Jersey in 2001. He obtained his Certification in Elementary Education in 2003. He then taught Elementary School classrooms for the next three years from 2003 to 2005. While teaching Elementary School, he obtained his master`s degree in education with a concentration. In Special Education and Assistive Technology from College of St.Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ in 2005. He then taught Middle School for the next three years in 2005 to 2008, and then taught High School from 2008 to 2011. After teaching in public school, he began teaching at the College level, specifically Community Colleges between the years of 2011 to 2017. After 2017, he began working in the Field Special Education as a teacher, and Educational Advocate. He is currently the Computer Technology Teacher and Network Administrator of Disability Allies.

Raymond Flores

Music Instructor

Born in Manhattan, New York, Raymond is an active freelancer in the New York/ New Jersey setting. Currently he holds the Classical Notes and Philharmonic Orchestra`s Bass Trombone chair and is one of the founding members of the Puerto Rican Trombone Ensemble. Mr. Flores completed his undergrad studies from the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico where he studied with Luis Fred, Principal Trombone at the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra at the time and graduated in 2015. While studying his degree in Trombone Performance in Puerto Rico he freelanced with regional orchestras, popular music groups, big band ensembles and chamber groups. In 2011, he was named Edward Kleinhammer Bass Trombone Competition as part of the International Trombone Festival in Nashville Tennessee. He was a frequent call for the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and held the position of Bass Trombonist of the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra. Some of the artists that Mr.Flores worked with are Chris Botti, Michelle Camino. Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Paloma San Bacilo, Wilkins Carlos Vives, to name a few. In 2017, he relocated from Puerto Rico to New York where he started his master`s degree in music at Rutgers University. He then started actively freelancing with numerous groups in the east coast. Some have been the New York City Ballet Orchestra, New York City Philharmonic Orchestra, So and So Orchestra, The Eastern Winds Symphony and many more groups within the salsa genre. Some of his interests include reading, sports, spending time with family, and friends and exploring local restaurants.

Transportation

DA has established a relationship with a transportation provider that has experience working with the special needs community. They will be able to transport our clients from their home to our Inclusion Center each day. We will work with our transportation provider (if needed) to coordinate transportation. Transportation can be utilized through each client’s DDD budget.

How it Works?

Our services can be billed directly through each individual’s budget funded through the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) with little to no out-of-pocket cost for each family. Each participant must be 18 years of age or older to attend our program. Our Day Program will use (24) units of Prevocational Training (Tiered Rate for a Group Setting) per day and up to (120) units per week. Per DDD regulations, each client can only utilize (30) hours per week or (120) units towards Prevocational Training (Tiered Rate for a Group Setting).

Pictures and Videos

We have many pictures of our Day Program in action. Click Here to view them.
Be sure to check out our Promotional Video for our program.

Flyer and Brochure

Please help us by distributing our brochure to your friends and family.

Click Here for our Brochure (Print Version)
Click Here for our Brochure (Online Version)

How to Sign Up?

Step #1 – Contact our Supports Services Manager, Harriet Shander, via phone at (908) 848-0385 or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Step # 2 – Get in contact with your Support Coordinator to let them know that you are interested in attending our Day Program.