Disability Services and Resource Guide
Shalom Austin is committed to assisting people with disabilities, and their families and friends, in creating a welcoming and inclusive Jewish community. We believe that the whole community benefits from the meaningful participation of all its members. We also recognize that disability is a natural part of the life cycle and that isolation and exclusion should not be an inevitable part of that experience.
The Shalom Austin Board of Directors has created an Inclusion Committee to further the goal of meaningful participation by people with disabilities in Jewish life in Austin. This webpage is intended to be one part of our inclusion initiative by giving members of the Austin community links to helpful information, services, and resources related to disabilities, inclusion, and Judaism.
Click on any of the links below to navigate the sections of this guide.
Jewish Family Service Initiatives and Groups
Central Texas Community Service Links
Austin Jewish Community Links
National Jewish Disability Resource Links
Special Education Laws and Resources
Jewish Family Service Initiatives and Groups
11940 Jollyville Road
Suite 110 South
Austin, TX 78759
Phone: (512) 250-1043
Fax: (512) 257-7179
Jewish Family Service, a branch of Shalom Austin, has sought and dedicated resources to create several services and initiatives to facilitate the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Austin Jewish community. JFS offers professional information, referral case management, counseling and psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families coping with diagnoses and ongoing disabilities.
Services include the following:
Wellness with a Disability Adult Support Group
This professionally facilitated group of Jewish adults meets weekly to share support and ways to cope with the challenges of daily life.
JFS helps organize special community progams, such as speakers, the Inclusive Sukkahfest and other holiday celebrations.
JFS provides consultation to the JCC Summer Camps, to all Shalom Austin branches, and any Austin Jewish organization and congregation seeking ways to include people with disabilities in meaningful and creative ways.
Austin Interfaith Inclusion Network (AIIN)
JFS provides consultation to and collaborates with AIIN through the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities grant, which is administered by OneStar Foundation.
2. Central Texas Community Service Links
Disability, protection, advocacy, legal, and rights services
Austin Resource Center for Independent Living
Adult independent living skills training, information and referral, service coordination
Jewish summer camp for children with special needs
Easter Seals of Central Texas
Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities
Barrier removal and accessibility, employment resources, policy
Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
Information and referral, resources, best practices
3. Austin Jewish Community Links
Congregation Agudas Achim
Architecturally accessible, including ramps to Arun Kodesh, amplification system in sanctuary, enlarged texts and magnifiers available, sign language interpretation upon request for community functions, assistance arranging transportation, a range of special needs are accommodated in religious school and for Bar and Bat Mitzvah preparation, certified special education professional on staff in religious school, outreach to include those with special needs.
Congregation Beth Israel
Flexible education plans for religious school and Bar and Bat Mitzvah students with special needs, independent study, individual and family meetings to identify learning needs and accommodations, mobility accessible sanctuary with ramp to bima, hearing devices and sign language interpreters upon request, prayer books in large print and Braille.
Rabbi Rebecca Epstein firstname.lastname@example.org
Congregation Beth Shalom
Mobility accessible religious services, sign language interpreter for Friday night services upon request
Congregation Kol Halev
Mobility accessible religious, educational, and counseling services, sign language interpreter for high holy day services
4. National Jewish Disability Resource Links
Accessibility Resources Barrier removal
Consortium of Special Educators in Central Agencies for Jewish Education
Accommodations and advice for teaching children with special needs
Council for Jews with Special Needs
Resources for inclusion in Jewish life and ritual
Disability Resource Guide
A compendium of services and resources for inclusion in Jewish life and ritual
www.jfcsmpls.org/inclusionresources.html Jewish Braille Institute
Resources and services for people who have visual impairments
Jewish Children's Regional Services
Grants and services for children with special needs who require residential services and/or emotional and social support
Jewish Genetics Center
Information and medical and other resources related to genetic disorders
Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning
Resources and information about many ways to assist and educate members of the Jewish community, with a section devoted to inclusion and disabilities
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Resources and information about the initiatives and activities of Reform Judaism with information about inclusion of people with special needs
5. Special Education Laws and Resources
Preparing for Your Child’s Special Education ARD/IEP Meeting