Accessibility Services and Resource Guide

Shalom Austin is committed to assisting people with accessibility issues, 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 accessibility 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
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 acessibility issues 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.

Special Events
JFS helps organize special community progams, such as speakers, the Inclusive Sukkahfest and other holiday celebrations.

Inclusion Consultation
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

Action Behavior Center
Action Behavior Center is an ABA therapy center for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Center helps children reach their highest potential while serving as a resource & training for parents who may have any questions about special needs children.

Addiction Treatment Guide for Individuals with a Disability: 

Advocacy, Inc.
Disability, protection, advocacy, legal, and rights services

Austin Resource Center for Independent Living
Adult independent living skills training, information and referral, service coordination

BubbieCare is a caregiver company and a very important partner of Shalom Austin. If you or your loved one needs a caregiver to help them at home, it is more important than ever to have as much control as possible over whom you let in your home. BubbieCare gives you control – we match you to caregivers who fit your particular needs, you interview and choose the caregiver you want to hire. And you get the same caregiver each time!

BubbieCare donates 18% of net profits to Jewish Family Service. So far this year, BubbieCare has donated over $14,000 to Jewish Family Service. With the downturn in the economy, you can directly help Jewish Family Service continue their needed services by hiring caregivers through BubbieCare!

If you are moving your loved one out of a facility, we are ready to help you. Call BubbieCare today (512) 862-9030 or visit BubbieCare helps you find and hire top professional caregivers in your community. 18% of BubbieCare's net profits go to Jewish Family Service. Watch this video to learn more about BubbieCare and JFS. 

Jewish summer camp for children with special needs 

Camp Young Judaea
Jewish accessible summer camp, retreat, and conference center

Easter Seals of Central Texas
Information and referral, service coordination and provision, resource guide: "Resources for Real Kids with Real Needs"

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

Senior Care Resources for Texas Communities

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

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 Accessibility 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 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

Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Fire Safety & Disabilities Guide

Addiction Treatment Resources for Americans with Disabilities

The Disabled Job Seeker's Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent

A How-to Guide on Job Searching with a Disability

The Guide to Buying Used Accessible Vehicles

Assistive Technology in Cars

Socialization and the Child who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Disability Accommodation Cost Guides

Ultimate Disability Accommodation Guide

Business Ideas for People with Disabilities

Explaining special needs to your child: 15 great children’s books

How to Remodel for Accessibility

Developing Your Blind Child’s Sleep Schedule

How to Exercise if You Have Limited Mobility

Healthy Eating Advice for Wheelchair-bound People