JSDD’s history/mission began in 1984 with the formation of the Commission on Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. In 1989, the agency purchased, renovated and occupied its first group home in Millburn. An additional ten homes have been added including two supervised apartments.
In October of 2004, JSDD opened the doors of The WAE (Wellness, Arts &Enrichment) Center, an alternative learning program providing opportunities for people with developmental and acquired disabilities to develop skills and cultivate self-esteem while tapping unknown talents and creating new possibilities for artistic pursuits, wellness endeavors and enrichment activities. Opportunities at the Center have all been developed embracing the belief that learning, creativity and spirituality are a lifelong journey which is different and unique for everyone.
The Center currently serves approximately 150 people per year. Activities and classes include yoga, meditation, conversation group, music, performing arts, creative writing, reading, film appreciation, geography, men and women’s groups, jewelry making, photography and painting in the Center’s professional arts studio. As enrollment and interests expand, service options continue to grow.
The Center has developed an outreach program to bring yoga and meditation classes into schools, senior centers and other nonprofit organizations.