Adaptations is an exciting community program for adults in their 20s and 30s with disabilities. Adaptations provides participants with opportunities to experience their community through various social and recreational activities. Additionally, participants have the opportunity to foster their independence living skills through monthly workshop (e.g., cooking, job skills, dating, social media, money management, etc).
Adaptations strives to participate or host inclusive events in the community. All events are decided on by the members.
Adaptations provides opportunities to experience the community, foster independence, and build friendships.
Amanda joined LVCIL in 2019 as the Program Manager of Adaptations. Amanda started her career as a high school life skills teacher, empowering her students 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 studies, where her responsibilities included developing intervention programs, leading trainings, organizing program operations and writing manuscripts. Dr. Thomas programs and facilitates events decided on by the members.
Elaine Miller-Romero has been working as the Adaptations Coordinator for LVCIL since 2023. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Moravian University in historical studies with a concentration in anthropology. She is also certified in the state of Pennsylvania in Secondary Education for Social Studies. As a teacher she taught creative lessons that were student driven and she plans to develop enriching activities at LVCIL in the same respect.
Here’s what Adaptation members are saying:
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
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.