Social Programs

Nisonger Center’s Social Programs provide educational, vocational, and social support services for adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their caregivers. Our programs include the following: 


Ace! supports college students with autism or similar communication difficulties to confidently navigate the college experience.  Through such services as individual and group support and coaching, individualized self-advocacy support, and campus navigation training, Ace! fosters self-determination, academic success, and social connections for students with autism.


Aspirations has served thousands of teens and adults with mild/high-functioning autism and their families in central Ohio.  Participants in Aspirations complete a 12-week curriculum focused on social communication, self-awareness, and vocational goals. Graduates of Aspirations are then invited to participate in a number of ongoing skill enhancement social groups and activities.  Aspirations participants and their parents benefit from a sense of belonging and community that many have called “life-changing”.

Next Chapter Book Club    

Established by Nisonger Center in 2002, Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) is the largest program of its kind, with NCBCs across the U.S. and other countries.  Individual book clubs consist of 5 to 8 adults with developmental disabilities and 2 or 3 trained volunteers who gather weekly in local coffee shops and cafés to read a book of their choosing.  Reading material ranges from adapted classic novels, popular youth and young adult fiction, and short stories written for people with DD.

Coming soonReading Support for Adults with IDD

Social Programs Team

  • Karen Krainz Edison, MSW, LSW, Program Manger
  • Tracey Manz, BS, Lead Parent Facilitator
  • Jillian Ober, MA, Program Manager
  • Erin Powers, MSW, LISW-S, Program Manager