Have a Disability and Looking to Engage with Others,Â Socialize and Find Your Bashert?
Social interaction is supposed to be fun!
When you are a person challenged with a developmental, psychiatric or cognitive disability, andÂ struggling with social skill deficits, it can sometimes be difficult to enjoy spending time with others.
Many individuals may be well suited for many circumstances in life but exhibit poor social andÂ dating skills. Proper support can be helpful in taking the necessary steps needed to make theÂ connections we want, and to deepen the relationships we already have.
For over 10 years, OHEL Childrenâ€™s Home and Family Services has been offering the MorrisÂ Pinsky Aâ€ťH Simcha Program, innovative groups which help adults with disabilities increase theirÂ socialization and communications skills.
Now OHEL is offering this same program to non-OHEL clients.
Sarah Kahan, a seasoned and lisenced OHEL Social Worker, and Coordinator of OHELâ€™sÂ Simcha Program remarks that â€śOHEL has successfully run these groups for many years andÂ helped facilitate dating which has led to marriage in numerous instances.â€ť
The Simcha Program is offered in both the Five Towns at OHELâ€™s new Spruce Street office inÂ Cedarhurst, as well as OHELâ€™s main office in Brooklyn.
Program elements include workshops, outings, evening events and date coaching.
The Simcha Program personifies OHELâ€™s commitment to breaking down stigma in theÂ community. Many participants in the program have remarked over the years, that someÂ matchmakers are dismissive of themselves once they learn they have a disability.
As David Mandel, CEO of OHEL remarks, â€śPeople with disabilities just like others seek to love,Â to give to another and be loved. A disability should not disqualify someone who is effectivelyÂ managing their illness or disability to seek their Bashert and build a bayit ne'eman b'Yisrael.â€ť