Blonder Family Department for Special Needs

The Blonder Family Department for Special Needs creates a place for individuals of all backgrounds and abilities to socialize, learn, grow, and deepen their connections to one another and the community.

Blonder Family Department for Developmental Disabilities in Atlanta

Led by a team of dedicated, highly trained professionals, our specialized programs and events foster independence, ignite interests, build self-esteem and allow participants to experience the richness of community, while making new and lasting friendships.

Our Adult Programs range from team and individual sports with the Debra “Debbie” Sonenshine SOAR Program, exciting day and overnight trips, social and cultural events like dances, movie nights, museum trips, and holiday celebrations. We also provide educational programs to learn and practice important life skills.

In our Ruth B. Jackson Transitions program, young adults with autism get to develop independence and friendships, while contributing to their community in a safe and supportive environment. Ruth B. Jackson Transitions participants might volunteer at a local organization, meet up to plan and make a meal, work out together, or just go to the movies or out to eat.

Jerry’s Habima Theatre is Georgia's only theatrical company directed and produced by professionals to feature actors with special needs. Each year, the cast presents a musical theater production to sell-out audiences and much acclaim. Classes are also periodically offered on improv, singing, and basics of acting and auditioning.

Through our Inclusion Program, children in preschool through high school are able to participate in the same programs as their typical peers. Inclusion offerings cover a wide variety of activities, including dance, gymnastics, tennis, sports, after-school programs, and summer day camp.

The Blonder Family Department for Special Needs was established in 2002 through a generous endowment by Jerry (OBM) and Lois Blonder.

contact us

Erika Barnes
Managing Director, Special Needs

Elizabeth Knapp

Director, Blonder Department

Sarah Scheuer
Director of Inclusion

Jennifer Lieb
Project Coordinator, Preschool Inclusion



The Blonder Family Department for Special Needs was established in 2002 through a generous endowment by Jerry (OBM) and Lois Blonder.

What People are saying...

"My son has been a member of the Blonder Family Program for over 10 years and has a more active social life than most anyone I know!... He has made some amazing friends through this program and looks forward to filling up his calendar with fun and new things to do every month – in fact I often join him on his outings. We feel so lucky to have access to such a great program!”