Unleashing Possibilities: YMCA Expands Adaptive Programs for Children and Adults with Developmental Delays and Disabilities

Adaptive ProgramsA group of participants and volunteers celebrate at the West Chester Area YMCA during the kick-off of the YMCA's Adaptive Pickleball program in January of 2023. Adaptive Pickleball is adapted to meet the needs of adults with developmental delays and disabilities and is offered monthly at the YMCA Pickleball Center at Downingtown. /Submitted Image

WEST CHESTER, PA — At a time when social isolation is a growing problem, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) has announced the expansion of Adaptive Programs. Adaptive Programs feature an adapted curriculum that is designed for children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities.

Starting in January 2024, the Y will expand access to existing Adaptive Programs, offering them at additional branches in Chester County. Expanded programs include Adaptive Swim Lessons, Adaptive Gymnastics, Adaptive Dance, Open Doors and Respite Recreation.

Open Doors is a social meet up for adults in the Adaptive community and Respite Recreation provides parents and caregivers an evening off while trained YMCA staff care for children of all ages, including adults. Both programs provide an important opportunity for connection among the Adaptive community.

The Y is for All

“While many understand that living with a disability presents a variety of challenges, few understand how isolating it can be,” says Erin Lacotta, Director of Behavior Support & Adaptive Programs. “Social isolation is a growing problem for individuals with disabilities – and for their caregivers.”

“We want to fix that,” she continues. “Here at the YMCA, everyone is welcome because everyone deserves the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.”

Adaptative Programs at the YMCA provide a supportive environment where people of all ages can build new experiences through programs tailored to meet their needs. Registration for Adaptive Programs that take place in January – May 2024 begins on November 21, 2023 for existing YGBW members. Registration for guests begins on December 5, 2023.

Additional Adaptive Programs and Summer Camp

In addition to expanding access to existing Adaptive Programs in January, the Y will further expand its catalog of Adaptive Programming in March 2024 by adding LEGO Club, SNAPshots Sports, Bowling League and Small Group Training. The Y will also increase the number of locations that host Bumblebee Day Camp this summer.

BumbleBee Day Camp is an Adaptive Summer Camp that features a higher ratio of staff as compared to traditional day camps, allowing camp counselors to provide focused attention and support to campers. Registration for Summer Camp begins on January 16, 2024.

Financial Aid Eliminates Barriers

The YMCA offers a Financial Assistance Program to ensure that no one is turned away based upon an inability to pay. Families who are interested in Adaptive Programs and Bumblebee Day Camp are encouraged to apply for Financial Aid, if needed.

“We never want money to be the reason that a family misses out on YMCA programs and services,” explains Bertram L. Lawson II, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine. “We welcome people of all ages, abilities, financial means and more. And we’re grateful to our donors for helping us fulfill our mission of inclusivity.”

Each year, individuals and organizations throughout Chester County donate in support of YMCA services. Team Toyota of Glen Mills recently sponsored Adaptive Programs at the YMCA, helping to defray costs for participants.

“Sponsors like Team Toyota are a vital part of the YMCA community,” Lawson continues. “We have a big vision and big plans to help the Chester County community in 2024 and beyond. But we can’t do it alone. This is a team effort.”

About Adaptive Programs at the Y: https://ymcagbw.org/adaptive-programs-ymca
About Financial Assistance: https://ymcagbw.org/membership/financialassistance
To Donate:  https://ymcagbw.org/give
To Volunteer: https://ymcagbw.org/give/volunteer

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