WAE to Connect

WAE to Connect (WTC) is the online learning program established in the weeks and months after Covid-19 forced the shutdown of New Jersey DDD day-habilitation providers.   WTC was initially developed to meet the needs of our current members: to reduce the negative effects of isolation and boredom. Its primary goal was to create ways to keep the bonds of our community strong through social and educational engagement.   The WAE Center was the recipient of an emergency grant from The Healthcare Foundation of NJ during the spring of 2020, allowing us to develop the WTC remote learning program.    Variety and Outreach  In October 2020 The Healthcare Foundation of NJ, once again, responded with a yearlong grant for the WAE to Connect program to implement plans for growth.  The goal: to provide stability, variety, and access to existing WAE Center […]

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LGBTQ+WAE holds second virtual meeting

  LGBTQ+ WAE will be holding its’ first meeting of 2021, on Thursday January 21st at 7pm!   This group has come together with the express purpose of building a social community for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who identify as LGBTQ+.  Additionally, the goal is to provide resources for families, caretakers, and allies to better understand and advocate for their loved ones who face a unique set of life experiences and challenges. WAE Center member, Kristen I., lent her voice to its establishment in 2018 by expressing the need and benefits that such a group provides to members of the IDD and ASD communities. Regular meetings were suspended with the onset of […]

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Story by Monica Schneider-Brewer The WAE Center has a long-standing tradition of celebrating the birthday of resident and member Scott R. Each November Scott’s parents provide a beautiful Thanksgiving Feast to the members and staff, bring a huge cake…and we all celebrate Scott. Sadly, Scott passed away this year. In his memory, Scott’s parents arranged for a lunch to be enjoyed at all the JSDD residences and at the homes of WAE Center members, for a “Covid-Friendly” gathering. On November 24th, more than 50 people joined via Zoom for a celebration of Scott’s life. Members spoke, wrote poetry, sang, and created artwork to share their recollections of a young man who had a big impact on this community.  Scott was […]

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  West Orange, NJ – Marilynn Schneider, Director of Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled’s (JSDD) WAE Center, announced her retirement at the end of June after over 20 years of service. Under Marilynn’s leadership, the WAE (Wellness, Arts, Enrichment) Center has become known throughout the community and the State of NJ as a premier model program for engaging men and women with developmental disabilities in continuing education and creative endeavors with respectful appreciation for their ability and talent.  Marilynn began her affiliation with JSDD as Chaplain, then moved on to become Director of Residential Services. She served as Director of the WAE Center for the past 16 years. As a staunch advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities, Marilynn focused […]

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Jared C. began working at JSDD’s WAE Center in 2017 as a DSP, bringing his positive personality and friendly smile.  In early March 2020 when the Center had to close its doors because of the pandemic, Jared was transferred to the Millburn home.  Most of the residents in this home had been attending the WAE Center and Jared had previously established a trusting relationship with them, helping to make a smooth transition for him and them.  “I love the residents and think of them as my second family.  I enjoy having the opportunity to spend time with them and get to know each distinct personality.  I can anticipate their needs and there is never a dull moment in the house”, […]

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