The Connection has two distinct parts – The Day Connection and The Night Connection. Both parts of this unique program offer meaningful, substantive activities to adults with special needs in an inclusive environment.
The Night Connection offers a monthly schedule of social events for as many as 200 adults with special needs at a time. These social events are eagerly anticipated by the adults who are active with the program and include things like dances with a DJ, game night with Bingo and favorite board games, costume parties and more. Over 100 typical adults are involved with The Night Connection as volunteers and enjoy the festivities as much, if not more, than the adults with disabilities who are active in the program. Dinner is always served at The Night Connection and best of all, this program is offered free of charge to the participants. For many of our participants, The Night Connection is the center of their social world and offers them the only chance to socialize in an inclusive setting each month.
The Day Connection is a day habilitation program that is currently serving 45 adults. Activities in The Day Connection include music therapy, yoga, life skills lessons, visual art projects, field trips and more. Participants in The Day Connection range in age from 18 to 65 and have a variety of diagnoses including Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and others. The Day Connection is designed to offer respite care to caregivers and to provide adults with disabilities a chance to more fully engage in the life of our community and increase their own personal quality of life.
We have witnessed many unexpected results of The Day and The Night Connection such as relationships that have formed outside the walls of Merrimack Hall. People meet each other at our events and take their relationship to new levels by enjoying shopping outings, going out to dinner together, meeting for coffee or movies, and visits to each other’s homes. When friendships develop between people with special needs and their typical peers, both parties benefit exponentially.