Adaptations is a community of adults in their 20s and 30s with disabilities and a high level of independence. Adaptations provides participants with opportunities to experience the community through various social and recreational activities. Additionally, participants have the opportunity to foster independence in a monthly workshop (e.g., cooking, job skills, dating, social media, money management, etc).
Adaptations gives you the opportunity to socialize, cook, exercise, attend learning workshops focused on life skills, as well as increase your overall well-being by building and maintaining friendships.
Adaptations provides opportunities to experience the community, foster independence, and build friendships.
Amanda Thomas, PhD
Amanda joined LVCIL in 2019 as the Program Manager of Adaptations, a social program for young adults with disabilities. Adaptations provides participants with opportunities to experience the community through various social and recreational activities. Amanda started her career as a high school life skills teacher, empowering her students with disabilities to be self-determined and independent. Wanting to make a bigger impact in the field of special education, she decided to get her doctorate in Special Education at Lehigh University. During her experience at Lehigh, she was involved in several research grants, where her responsibilities included developing intervention programs, leading trainings, organizing program operations, collecting data, and writing manuscripts. Amanda continues developing the programming for Adaptations and facilitating events decided on by the members. Additionally, she adjuncts at Lehigh University teaching a graduate class on Advanced Inclusionary Practices in K-12. She has over 12 years’ experience in Special Education and is well-versed in evidence-based practices.
Elizabeth works with the peer support group Adaptations at the LVCIL. I help plan virtual events for the consumers to socialize with each other. I recently graduated with my Masters Degree in Social work from Kutztown University and I will be continuing to work at the CIL with peer support groups and transition services to help consumers achieve independence.
Jacqueline has been involved with Adaptations Lehigh Valley in different capacities since the summer of 2012. Some of her favorite Adaptations outings include trips to the Iron Pigs, going bowling and attending online cooking classes! She resides in Orefield with her husband Ricky, and children Franklin and Sally.
Our Client’s Testimonies
I enjoy adaptations and have met some very nice and friendly people. We do a lot of fun activities and it’s great we are able to connect virtually and in person. My favorite is when both the Lehigh Valley and NYC adaptations groups get together for speed friending.
I really like being in the group virtually and in-person. I really have fun and enjoy the group. I really appreciate Amanda, Jacqueline and Liz for everything.
Hi my name is Lauren and this is my first year being in Adaptations. Adaptations helps me to be independent and make new friends and see old friends. Adaptations helps me to live on my own and working on my money skills and my cooking skills
Questions we asked our clients and their answers:
- How many stars would you give Adaptations? (out of 5)
- Would you recommend Adaptations to a friend?
- What do you like about Adaptations? How long have you been a member?
- Do you have a memorable experience you would like to share?
- How has Adaptations helped you?
- 5/5 stars
- Yes I would recommend Adaptations to a friend
- I like all the fun places that they go to like the Iron Pigs game, mini golf, restaurants and bowling. I started in March of this year, 2019
- When I worked the Adaptations table at the Cookie Bake-off with Jacqueline. The autism walk was a memorable experience.
- It has helped me to socialize with people and make new friends.
- Everything since day 1
- Camping trip playing Uno all night
- Be more positive, to make more friends
- All the activities! I have been a member for 7 years.
- Yes, there have been a lot of memories to share.
- To meet different people and hang out with them.
- All the fun activities
- Hugged the Philly Phanatic
- Making new friends
- I would recommend it to a lot of people
- Going to events, socializing with others, building friendships
- I liked going to the autism walk
- Making new friends
Our Founder – Marsha
A number of years ago I was trying to find a social group for my son Ari that would allow him to meet new friends, participate in interesting activities and most importantly find a community of his own. After some intensive searching online, I came across a link to Adaptations (https://jccmanhattan.org/special-needs/adult-programs/adaptations/). They were located in New York City. I contacted their executive director, Allison Kleinman and set up a meeting for Ari and me. Ten minutes into that meeting, I knew I had found a gem. Allison described a group that welcomed and served independent adults with special needs who wanted a better social life. The programs offered by Adaptations were very varied (sports, dining, art, music, theater, games, job readiness, etc.) realizing the different interests of their members.
Ari and I started to attend programs. Ari learned to navigate the way to Adaptations (bus from Allentown, subway to Adaptations) and started to attend programs on his own. It occurred to me that while Ari was willing and able to make the commute, other people may not be comfortable doing so.
One of the things that Allison said to me in our original meetings was that she saw Adaptations as a program that could be replicated in other communities. Two years later, I decided it was time. I approached Allison; she and her team were ready to support the idea of a satellite Adaptations in the Lehigh Valley. They have allowed us to use their name and provided countless hours of counseling and support for our directors. Our relationship/partnership has proved to be extremely valuable and beneficial to those of us in the Lehigh Valley as well as those in NYC.