WAE to Connect Invites NJ Metro Area Adults with Developmental Disabilities to Participate in Its Virtual Learning Community

The WAE to Connect program offers a diverse roster of online classes and activities to foster personal growth and social engagement for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Offered by the Wellness, Art and Enrichment (WAE) Center, West Orange, NJ, the program is now welcoming new participants from Essex County and the New Jersey metro area.
By: The WAE Center
Wae To Connect Drumming Screen Shot
Wae To Connect Drumming Screen Shot
WEST ORANGE, N.J. - Jan. 27, 2021 - PRLog -- The WAE to Connect (WTC) program announced it is expanding its remote learning courses and now welcoming individuals who live in Essex County and the NJ metro area to join its community.  WTC serves adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Current programming includes classes in arts, movement, music, travel, history, current events, and civics. Over 20 classes are conducted Monday through Friday. An "after hours" class series is also under development and scheduled to begin in February 2021. Those interested in learning more can visit www.waetoconnect.org.

The WAE (Wellness, Arts, Enrichment) Center, a Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled (JSDD) service, established WAE to Connect after Covid-19 forced the Center to shut down. Its closing left its members and residents of JSDD homes without vital educational and social connections.  With an emergency grant from the Healthcare Foundation of NJ (HFNJ), WAE staff developed WTC to bring the community together in an online environment. An additional full year HFNJ grant enabled WAE to expand the curriculum and build greater visibility among potential new participants.

"With WAE to Connect, adults with IDD and ASD will find a welcoming community where they can connect with others. Our virtual programming allows people in and beyond Essex County access to all of our classes. That's really exciting," says Aubrie George, Director, WAE Center.

WTC also offers 1:1 fine art classes to enable individuals to develop their art practice. This program is supported by the Gertrude L. Hirsch Charitable Trust. Additionally, the Digital Art Program, with a generous grant from Price Waterhouse Cooper, is open for new participants.

About the WAE Center and WAE to Connect

The WAE (Wellness, Arts, Enrichment) Center, a Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled (JSDD) service, is an adult day program focused on adaptive arts and personal growth. The Center was founded on the belief and knowledge that each individual possesses the potential for creating a meaningful life, a process the Center calls "Finding the Spark Within." WAE's distinctive, holistic approach is built around tenets including dedication to the individual, unconditional acceptance, promoting self-expression, and embracing diversity and inclusion.

WAE to Connect is an online learning program offering wellness, arts, and enrichment learning opportunities for adults in the special needs community. WTC was established after Covid-19 forced the shutdown of NJ DDD day-habilitation providers.  Focused on personal growth and community engagement, WTC recognizes each person is unique and deserves individual attention. The program provides guidance and support so each participant can develop a full and rich life of their own making. For more information and the complete WTC course list, visit www.waetoconnect.org.


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