ELIZABETH, NJ - The County of Union will host a series of programs and events throughout the summer and fall for residents with special needs and their families, coordinated through the new Office for People with Special Needs in collaboration with community partners.

The Office for People with Special Needs is part of the Division of Outreach and Advocacy in the Union County Department of Human Services. Pre-registration for special needs programs is required and available by visiting ucnj.org/opsn-reg and look for the section titled “Recreation Programs for People with Special Needs.”

The upcoming social calendar begins on Saturday, August 4 with the first Sensory Friendly movie sponsored by the County's Board of Chosen Freeholders, a screening of the newly released movie 'Hotel Transylvania 3' at AMC Jersey Gardens 20, located at The Mills at Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth. Tickets are available only through ucnj.org/opsn-reg at a cost of $5 each, and a food voucher comes with each ticket. The movie begins at 10:30 a.m. and concludes at 1:00 p.m. The Mills at Jersey Gardens are located at 651 Kapkowski Road.

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The 'Carnival for People with Special Needs' takes place on Saturday, August 18 at the Warinanco Sports Center at Warinanco Park in Roselle, from 12 - 3 p.m. The is a free event designed to be a fun, family outing for all, including games, music, a magician, a balloon artist and food.

Union County is also partnering with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer to support the Special Olympics on Fireworks Night, August 26 at 7 p.m., when the team takes on D.C. United. A limited number of tickets are available for $25 each only through the online registration system at ucnj.org/opsn-reg. Each ticket comes with a $10 food voucher and fireworks will follow the game.

The annual 'Barn Dance for Special Needs' Individuals is scheduled for November 10 at Masker’s Barn, beginning at 3 p.m. The event features a live band, square dance caller, hay rides and more. Masker’s Barn is part of the Deserted Village of Feltville, located in Union County’s Watchung Reservation.

Weekly classes and programs offered through the Office for People with Special Needs include karate at the Clark Recreation Center, every Thursday evening from August 23 to September 20. Classes for two age groups are available, from 7 - 7:45 p.m. for participants age 7 to 15, and from 8 - 8:45 p.m. for participants aged 16 and older. A one-time fee of $12 will be charged for all five classes.

Yoga classes for special needs teens and young adults will begin this fall at the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside. The program will run every Monday from September 10 to October 8, from 5 - 6 p.m. A one-time fee of $8 applies upon registration.

Two ceramics classes for participants age 13 and up will be held in collaboration with the Linden Department of Recreation at 330 Helen Street in Linden, on September 18 and 25, from 7 - 8:15 p.m. Participants aged 13 and older are eligible to participate. A one-time fee of $8 applies.

For the first time, Union County is also offering a Sensory Friendly summer camp for people with special needs. The camp will consist of a weeklong program of outdoor and indoor activities based at the Trailside Nature and Science Center, in the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside.

Registration for the camp is limited. For information on the registration process, contact the Office for People with Special Needs at 908-527-4781.

To register and to get more details on any program offered through the Office For Special Needs visit ucnj.org  or contact the Office Coordinator, Manuel Ramirez at mramirez@ucnj.org or call 908-527-4781.