WAE To Connect – Online Learning

An online community for wellness, arts, and enrichment learning opportunities.

A program for adults with developmental disabilities

An innovative and person-centered day habilitation program, JSDD’s WAE to Connect serves adults with developmental disabilities in an online environment. Focused on personal growth and community engagement, WAE to Connect recognizes each person is unique and deserves individual attention. The program provides guidance and support, so that each participant can develop a full and rich life of their own making.

WAE Workshops offers a creative space where students 16 years and over can work with professional visiting artists.

An adaptive arts program in a remote-learning format

Since 2004, the WAE Center has facilitated arts-based learning for the special needs community. Due to the pandemic, we have been challenged to think even further outside the box. We have shifted to virtual classes and activities and now offer a diverse roster of courses, including those listed below.

Join Lara Gonzalez, Yael Shacham and Lisa Gonzalez-Howell for a virtual interactive exploration of the beautiful rhythms, dances and songs from West Africa, including Nigeria, Guinea, Mali and Ghana. The ladies of Marafanyi Drum, Dance & Song have a holistic approach to music and dance that is fun, encouraging and accessible for all abilities, with a focus on joyful discovery!

Taking the time to make art each day is grounding and relaxing. Putting ideas down on paper leaves a visual record of time passing. It allows for expression and memory. The daily practice of art making strengthens the creative spirit.

Kitchen Table Printmaking brings the art of printmaking to online students using materials found in the home. Students will explore the techniques of monotype, collagraph, and relief printing using wax paper, cardboard, and Styrofoam as printing plates to create unique and multiple prints. Participants will learn about registration, color mixing, and using unusual tools.

Group discussion will focus on currents events. Topics include the following: Covid-19 pandemic, racism, civil unrest, police brutality, and economic instability, etc. Lessons will incorporate study on history, politics, sociology, and more. This class will be taught in a safe and respectful forum that encourages dialogue and learning.

Yoga with Marni will give you a chance to put a pause on the rest of your life so you can recharge, reboot, rejuvenate and reeeelax! You will breathe deeply, stretch and strengthen your body, mind and spirt and leave class ready for the rest of your day!

Enrollment is open to adults with developmental disabilities. Contact us to discuss funding options.

Click the button below and get the complete course list

Learn more about WAE to Connect virtual courses
Wow, this place is great!...I am The Wizard of Art!
- Jamal W. (A Happy Participant)

1:1 art sessions with professional artists

WAE to Connect also offers 1:1 art sessions. Participants have the opportunity to work individually with a professional artist to develop prevocational skills as well as their own vision, art skills and technique.

These sessions are offered both onsite and remotely. Learn more about 1:1 sessions.

Therapies – Onsite and Virtual

WAE to Connect offers onsite and virtual services to those seeking physical, occupational, or speech therapy. Contact Program Manager, Anthonice Lauriston at ALauriston@jsddmetrowest.org for more information.

DDD service providers

As long-time service providers for NJ Division of Developmental Disability, the WAE Center has adapted its on-site day program and launched this virtual learning program to keep our community connected as participants shelter at home.

Supported by generous grants from The Healthcare Foundation of NJ and Gertrude L. Hirsch Charitable Trust. WAE to Connect is open to adults with developmental disabilities who desire to participate.

Learn more about WAE to Connect programs

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Who we are

At JSDD, the expectations for quality extend beyond what services and supports may be available to what life fulfilling experiences are possible. Our philosophy supports the notion that there are no limits to those possibilities. We have developed opportunities over time through a dynamic process of establishing relationships with the agency’s residents and WAE Center members. Unexplored interests, ideas, prospects for learning, continuing education and creativity are constantly evolving and emerge as our remarkable staff and the people we support get to know each other and share experiences.

What we do

Ability is the focus of all efforts in supporting the men and women we serve. We are delighted and inspired each and every day by the insights, revelations and creative energy that emerges when respectful relationships for the gifts and talent of every individual are considered. Learning and creativity occur organically as people share themselves and develop friendships and help each other to grow.