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ACCESS Opens 6,700-Square-Foot-Therapy Gym (6/27/2011)

New Treatment Area for Individuals with Special Needs Affords Program Expansion

ACCESS, a Little Rock center offering diagnostics, therapy and education to individuals ages 0-35 with developmental delays and disabilities, opens its new therapy gym today. In this space, ACCESS students and outpatient clients who are diagnosed with autism, feeding disorders, hearing and language impairments, sensory integration disorders and more will receive speech-language, occupational and physical therapy.

The 6,700-square-foot space, designed by Little Rock-based architecture firm Roark, Perkins, Perry and Yelvington and built by Tycor Construction, is housed in ACCESS’ former auditorium, which once housed a church sanctuary. The renovation allows the organization to open new rooms in the space where two smaller on-campus therapy gyms once were, treating more clients from the community. The new rooms include a classroom for 3-year-olds with severe language disorders and a room for ACCESS Life, a new day program for adults ages 18-35.

“We are so excited to offer a treatment area that reflects the high-quality speech, occupational and physical therapy ACCESS has offered our community for many years,” said Tammy Simmons, M.S., CCC-SLP, ACCESS executive director. “Our new gym is a state-of-the-art treatment area and will allow us to not only expand our outpatient therapy services but also frees up some space to admit eight additional preschool students in August and establish a new young adults program, which has been a long-time dream.”

The $500,000 therapy gym features an in-ground ball pit, in-ground trampoline and in-ground foam pit; swings; climbing walls; fine motor/ADL (activities of daily living) areas; four additional speech-language therapy suites; an infant/toddler treatment room; and gross motor equipment (therapy balls, bikes, a balance beam and scooter boards). The space also includes new stage and sound booth for school assemblies and performances. A zipline will be added in the near future.

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

ACCESS has launched a giving campaign to raise funds for the therapy gym. Early contributors to this capital campaign include the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Ottenheimer Foundation. Donors to the therapy gym include Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., and Scott and Libby Davis, Chad and Clarke Delp, Hutch and Carrie Hutchison, and Barry and Catherine Morton. Several naming opportunities related to the gym are available. Individuals and businesses interested in donating to the new therapy gym should contact Kellie Wilhite, ACCESS director of development, at 501-217-8600 or kellie@accessschools.org.

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