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Mitchell Williams Names ACCESS Group, Inc. 2011 Primary Take Time to Give Charity (2/8/2011)

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. has named Little Rock-based ACCESS Group Inc., a center offering therapy and education to children with developmental delays and disabilities, as the firm’s 2011 Take Time To Give primary charity. The law firm is donating $25,000 to ACCESS for its new therapy gym, while providing pro bono legal services and volunteer hours from the attorneys and staff throughout the year.

Mitchell Williams’ Take Time To Give program is the firm’s community service initiative that provides monetary and volunteer support to civic and charitable organizations throughout Arkansas and the region. The program has supported more than 200 organizations since its formal launch in 2004. Last year, Mitchell Williams launched a new website, TakeTimeToGive.com, to help raise awareness of Arkansas’ many charitable organizations.

ACCESS Group Inc. offers evaluation services, full-time education, therapy, training and activities for infants, children and youths with developmental delays and learning disabilities. The mission of ACCESS is to expand individual potential through innovative instruction. The school, therapy clinic and resource center serves children diagnosed with apraxia, autism, ADHD, dyslexia, feeding disorders, hearing and language impairments, reading disorders, sensory integration disorders and more.

Mitchell Williams’ donation of $25,000 is the first donation to ACCESS’ new therapy gym, announced publicly for the first time today. The $500,000 gym will feature an in-ground ball pit; in-ground trampoline; suspension equipment, including swings, a zipline and a climbing wall; a fine motor/ADL (activities of daily living) area; and gross-motor equipment (therapy balls, bikes, a balance beam and scooter boards).

“We are delighted to be supporting ACCESS Group this year through our Take Time To Give program,” said Harry Hamlin, Mitchell Williams’ managing director. “ACCESS fills a real need in our state, providing exceptional therapy and education to children with everything from learning disabilities to autism and apraxia. They are one of very few comprehensive centers helping Arkansas families with the appropriate therapy and education they need for their children to succeed in life.”

The new 6,700-square-foot therapy gym, designed by Little Rock-based architecture firm Roark, Perkins, Perry and Yelvington, will be housed in ACCESS’ former auditorium, which once housed a church sanctuary, and will open in August 2011. The move will allow ACCESS to open two new classrooms in the space where two smaller therapy gyms were, treating more clients from the community. The new classrooms include a class for 3-year-olds in need of intensive language-learning programming and a young adult day treatment program.

“It’s wonderful to be at a point in our history where we can make this dream a reality,” said Cheri Stevenson, M.S., CCC-SLP, ACCESS director of therapy. “The renovated space will allow us to treat more outpatient therapy clients and is a great selling point to attract high-quality therapists.”

“I am delighted with the proposed addition of the therapy gym,” said Catherine Morton, ACCESS Group, Inc. board member and parent. “The kids will have so much fun in this exciting space; they will hardly realize they’re working!”

Along with the primary charity program, Mitchell Williams will continue its support of nonprofit missions throughout the state through the Take Time To Give website and its social media outlets – Facebook.com/TakeTimeToGive and Twitter.com/TakeTimeToGive. Nonprofits who are looking for monetary support are encouraged to submit an online application at TakeTimeToGive.com/requests. Organizations who would like to submit events and information to post on the website can send information to Andrea Smalec at asmalec@mwlaw.com.

“We look forward to working with the amazing leadership and staff at ACCESS Group over the next year,” Hamlin said. “Our attorneys and staff are excited to volunteer with the children and help celebrate the opening of their new gym.”

We are so appreciative to the Mitchell Williams firm for helping us kick-start our gym fundraising effort and bring awareness to our mission,” said Tammy Simmons, M.S., CCC-SLP, ACCESS executive director. “Through this renovation, we will be able to free up space needed for other revenue sources that allow us to expand and maintain the exceptional programming for which we are known. Providing more services to our community has been a long-time goal; the new therapy gym is the first major step to making that goal a reality.”

About Mitchell Williams
Providing strategic counsel on a variety of sophisticated legal matters since 1954, Mitchell Williams combines decades of diverse professional experience with extensive relationships to offer clients across the United States the most comprehensive services possible. Today, the firm employs 77 attorneys from four offices in Arkansas, Texas and New York. For more information, visit
www.MitchellWilliamsLaw.com.

About ACCESS Group Inc.
ACCESS Group Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit offering evaluation services, full-time education, therapy, training and activities for infants, children and youths with developmental delays and learning disabilities. Founded in 1994 by two speech-language pathologists and a special educator, the center comprises three main branches: ACCESS Evaluation and Resource Center (offering developmental, psychological and cognitive evaluations; specialized tutoring; and technology training for students, parents and professionals), ACCESS Therapy (an outpatient pediatric speech, physical and occupational therapy clinic), and ACCESS Schools (an infant stimulation program, preschool and academy serving children and youths ages six weeks old to 21).

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