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Day Program

Creating an Inclusive Community that Encourages Learning and Friendship




Overview

CLICK HERE to find more information about our new space as well as our saftey procedures and policies related to Covid.

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

We are currently offering only virtual classes. We will open our in person classes once DDD allows us to. Once this happens we will live stream all our classes virtually.



Our Day Program is conveniently located at:
Young Adult Community Inclusion Center
415 Rt. 18 South, Suite 3,
East Brunswick, NJ 08816

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.

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.

Classes

We are currently offering the following classes virtually. We will open our in person classes once DDD allows us to. Once this happens we will live stream all our classes virtually.

Cooking

The cooking class will focus on international dishes as well as proper cutting and measuring. Students will learn the proper use of culinary vocabulary and math. They will learn to properly utilize kitchen appliances while learning kitchen safety. The cooking class will also help students gain the knowledge of reading and writing recipes as well as growing herbs. Students will also learn to create a shopping list as well as the use of coupons for discounts and pricing.

Computer Technology

This class will address and explore the skills necessary to be successful in the working world- including Computer Component Fundamentals, Keyboarding and Microsoft Office Fundamentals.

Recreation

Students will have the option of playing board games, constructing puzzles, and reading books of their choice.

Music

In music class students will do basic music reading and listening skills, introduction to instruments and singing. In music theory students will learn ( how and why music sounds the way it does), music history ( what music is and has been, specific periods and what they sound like/what drove that), Students will engage in fun musical activities such as karaoke and group band sessions.

Reading

Students will be guided to extend their own letter knowledge beyond simple recognition. Students will work on sight words and how to construct simple sentences. The literacy-oriented activities provided will involve communication skills, listening, speaking, and reading.

Fine Art

This course focuses on artistic practice while developing essential professional skills. The class painting, printmaking, and sculpture.

Web Design and Computer Programing

This class will explore the basics of creating a website and the fundamentals of programming using SCRATCH and other programming tools.

Theater

This class will have students study the basic concepts of theater and begin to refine their presentational skills. Students will use various creative drama techniques to build ensembles, stimulate imagination, movement, and role-play with an emphasis on believability and sensory awareness. Students will use observation and emotional memory to reveal thoughts and feelings and to build believable characters and situations. Students will learn and use drama and theatre vocabulary in class discussions and the activities will address the promotion and reinforcement of students' literacy skills.

Life Skills Social Emotional Learning

Students will focus on social and emotional coping skills. In addition, in each class we discuss our feelings as well as talk about students’ goals, life and disabilities. Our goal is to teach students to live their best life despite their challenges.

Creative Writing

Students will be exposed to a variety of types of writing and provide them with opportunities to create their own works. The class will focus on works of fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, and nonfiction.

Team Building

Students will work together as a team and participate in activities that promote critical thinking, cognitive skills, conflict resolution, and decision-making skills.

Book Club

Book Club (Avid Readers) WE LOVE BOOKS!!!!

This class is designed for book and reading enthusiasts. Students will choose books to read and use the class time to alternate between discussing parts of the book and reading new sections of the book together. Students will have an opportunity to explore their love of reading and practice critical thinking skills. Books will range between fictional and nonfictional and will be selected based on client suggestions and E-Book availability. Based on client’s interest, books can be sent to their home for in-class and out-of-class reading. Students will develop literacy skills, critical thinking skills, socialization, and public speaking skills.

Yoga and Self Care Class

Yoga is the thousand-year-old practice of meditation, that combines breathing exercises, physical exercises, and mental exercises to better oneself. Yoga allows individuals to focus on all parts of their being to increase focus, reduce stress, improve balance, and strengthen their body. Yoga does not care if you are young or old, in shape or out of shape there are basic yoga breathing exercises and poses that can be adjusted for everyone and anyone! Classes will include relaxing breathing exercises, basic standing, and seated poses to increase balance and body strength with a class focus to teach individuals to reduce and let go of daily stress.

Crafting Class

Crafting is the art of creating a physical object used for a further purpose. In this class we will learn to be creative and imaginative while focusing on an end goal. Students will be using their hands and honing motor skills while we create items for practical everyday use or gifts. Some of these items include jewelry, utensil holders, placemats, homemade candles, household decorations and so much more.

Fitness Class

This class is designed to build strength and endurance. It will include circuit training, cardio exercise, core training and stretching. We will also have family workout days. You will be shown how to use household objects that double as home workout equipment.

Recreation/Gaming

Expand your social interactions with games and general activities that may involve video games, board games, viewing and analyzing streams, movie analysis, conversational topics, and scenarios. The idea is to have fun while also learning skills that will be able to assist and intermix with Life Skills.

Baking Class

Disability Allies offers this fun and engaging culinary baking class for any foodie who wants to learn how to be a better baker. Classes will begin with kitchen basics such as culinary tools, kitchen sanitation and knife skills. Once kitchen safety is established, we will focus on the savory and sweet foods produced by professional Bakers and pastry chefs. Ranging from yeast bread, pies, cookies to cake decorating, this class will have everyone feeling hungry.

Well and Creative Workshops

Clients will focus on their well-being, mindfulness, and creativity. Wellness workshops are aimed towards focusing on thoughts, finding a sense of purpose, and belonging. Workshops will include goal setting and self-improvement activities while encouraging creative ideas.

Socialization & Communication

This class will encourage clients to socialize with peers. It will also include discussions, debates, presentations on various topics that will be provided. Public speaking will be encouraged as well. The class will also incorporate appropriate communication in different scenarios and situations. We will be talking about current events as well. Clients will be taught on how to do research, write letters and emails. It will also include manners, etiquette, body language, posture, personal space, and facial expressions.


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.

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)