Special Needs

Supporting The Entire Community

The 14th Street Y values providing accessible, supportive, and joyful spaces for all members of our community.

We strive to meet people where they are, from neurotypical folks to neuroatypical folks and those who identify as having cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities.

Our inclusive programs are open to children and adults of all abilities.

Interested in inclusive programming at the 14th Street Y? Please scroll down and complete the Inclusive Programming Interest Form.

If you’re interested in learning more about obtaining a Medicaid/Medicare waiver and Self-Direction through OPWDD (Office of People with Developmental Disabilities), please  contact Cayle White, 14Y’s Benefits Coordinator, at CWhite@14streety.org

Contact Us

Email Mallory Stehle, 14Y’s Director of Youth Programming + Inclusion Initiatives, at MStehle@14streety.org with any questions about our Inclusion programming.

You can also click here to schedule a virtual coffee date.

*Open to all abilities, including children with disabilities/special needs or children who need any additional supports.  

Chickenshed NYC

Chickenshed NYC is an inclusive theatre company for young people of all abilities and backgrounds. We use the inclusive methodology of London’s Chickenshed Theatre Company—which has for 45 years pioneered inclusive theatre programming—to ensure that every participant can be a successful member of our theatrical community.

The core programs are Chickenshed Players, weekly inclusive theatre workshops for kids and teens, One Shed International Project, an exciting new global performing arts opportunity for teens to meet and create with students from London and Finland and,  Adventures from The Shed, immersive performances for preschoolers.

Grouped by age, Players learn singing, movement, storytelling, and sign language in a no-auditions, nurturing environment. Specially trained Teaching Artists lead diverse participants as they collaborate in the creation of theatre. Young people from traditional/typical experiences work side-by-side with those who face physical/neurological challenges or other historic barriers to participation. All participants are empowered to become part of a fun, successful theatrical community.

Fall 2021: September 11 – December 11

Saturdays | Times based on age

Explore all aspects of theatre through playful games, singing, dancing, puppetry, storytelling, and basic American Sign Language under the guidance and support of professional Teaching Artists.

CP 1: Ages 5-7 | 11:00 – 11:45 AM

Fire up your imagination and become the next generation of theatre-makers in our exciting new program this fall at the 14Y! Kids of all abilities and backgrounds develop their creative voice as they come together each week to rehearse for their stage debut in a brand new musical ‘Twas the Night Before.

CP 2: Ages 7-10 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

CP 3: Ages 10-13 | 12:30 – 2:00 PM

CP 4: Ages 13-17+ | 12:30 – 2:00 PM

Be part of our new ‘global neighborhood’ with participants from the UK and Finland in an exciting new performing arts opportunity that begins on zoom and culminates with everyone coming together to rehearse and perform in one of the three countries taking part.

One Shed International Project: Ages 14-17+ | 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM via a secure zoom link

Register here for fall!

14Y Members receive a 14% discount on class registration with coupon code 14Y.

Anyone signing up with a friend can bring them for FREE or split the one program fee between them. Anyone can sign up with a sibling for one program fee too.

KOL Program for Children and Teens with Disabilities/Special Needs

The 14th Street Y’s KOL Program (Kindness. Openness. Love) is a weekday afternoon and weekend recreational program for children and teens, ages 4 to 17, who are diagnosed level 1 or level 2 on the autistic spectrum or have developmental differences, such as ADHD and language delays. KOL cultivates a supportive community among parents and caregivers who have a space to come together and share resources and advice.

New to the KOL Program?

For questions and more information, please contact Mallory Stehle, LMSW, Director of Youth Programs + Inclusion Initiatives, at Mstehle@14streety.org.

KOL Values:

As the parent of a child with special needs, you seek community – for your child and for yourself.  We proudly offer a range of programming for members with special needs and their families.

For your child, we offer a variety of engaging classes where they can socialize and gain new skills. For parents and caregivers, we offer classes on caring for your child, bringing you together with child development experts and fellow parents who understand the unique joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs.


Inclusion is at the heart of the KOL Program. The 14Y welcomes neighbors of all ages, stages and abilities, and we offer opportunities for children with special needs to grow alongside their peers of different ability levels. For example, we offer Learn to Swim classes taught by certified water safety instructor for children of all ages and ability levels, including a class specifically designed for children with special needs.

In addition to our weekend class offerings, we are proud to offer children and teens with special needs the opportunity to spend a summer in the country. New Country Day Camp, the 14Y’s summer camp at the Henry Kaufman Campgrounds, welcomes all children, including those with developmental differences.


Our on-staff child development experts understand that socialization is a critical part of your child’s growth, so all our classes are designed with the social aspect in mind.

Our arts and messy play classes are designed to encourage creativity and expand your child’s modes of self-expression. Our sports and movement classes will help your child improve both their coordination and their collaboration skills. Whatever class your child participates in, they will make new friends and gain confidence in themselves!

Our inclusion services are generously supported by the Lisa Beth Gerstman Foundation.


Inclusive Programming Interest Form

Please use this interest form to provide your contact information, submit questions, and suggest inclusive programming you would like to see at the 14th Street Y.

  • If you are filling out this form on behalf of your child(ren), please fill in their age or grade.
  • If you feel comfortable, please share a little about your or your child’s specific support needs, diagnosis, or required accommodations.
  • Please list any suggestions you have for inclusive programming (in-person or virtually) at the 14th Street Y.
  • Do you currently have Self-Direction Services through OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities)?
  • If not, are you interested in learning more about Medicaid/Medicare waivers and Self-Direction?
  • If you have any additional comments or questions, please write them here! A member of our team will reach out to you. You can also email Mallory Stehle, our Associate Director of Youth Programs + Inclusion Initiatives, directly at Mstehle@14streety.org)