Adults with special needs get support with virtual learning

Published: Updated:
Credit: The Naples Players

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities now have online support while they’re stuck at home.

Two Naples groups have come together to make virtual learning fun for adults with special needs.

Craig Price, the Naples Players’ director of community education and wellness, is leading interactive activities for people in isolation.

“Activities like singing for Hadley. She’s a natural but some games are completely non-verbal, some games are gestures, some show emotions,” Price described.

“I think as Hadley’s mom, the isolation part is really hard for any person on the autism spectrum or any disability and just having this has really helped Hadley,” said Mary Payne.

It has also helped dozens of Hadley Payne’s friends from the STARability Foundation for Individuals with Disabilities.

“The STARability Foundation joined the Naples Players for these virtual classes because we’re all stuck at home and it’s an opportunity for them to get creative.. to increase their independence,” said Madison McNally, STARability’s Trailblazer Academy program director.

Participants are provided with a way to keep developing social skills and confidence.

“One of the things I see in the development of the students is they start to get more comfortable,” Price said.

“Everyone’s smiling and laughing whenever those classes are happening,” McNally said.

Price said they also stream sing-a-longs, dancing, and other interactive events for people at home.

For more information on the virtual classes and other programs, go to

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