ACCESS® is located in Little Rock, Arkansas, and offers full-time education, therapy, training and activities for children and youths with learning disabilities. We serve families from Arkansas and surrounding states, including those families who have relocated to our state to enroll their children in our programs.
ACCESS is a 501c3 nonprofit learning disabilities resource center for children, parents, educators and others. Founded in 1994 by two speech-language pathologists and a special educator, the center comprises three main branches:
ACCESS Evaluation and Resource Center, a full-service clinic offering comprehensive developmental, psychological and psycho-educational evaluations (cognitive testing) and diagnoses; academic therapy (specialized tutoring for children and youths with learning disabilities); and technology training for students, parents and professionals.
ACCESS Therapy, an outpatient pediatric speech, physical and occupational therapy clinic specializing in disabilities and disorders linked to language impairment. ACCESS is a Developmental Day Treatment Clinic Services (DDTCS) and Child Health Management Services (CHMS) center. We accept Medicaid, ARKids and TEFRA funding.
ACCESS Schools, a preschool and an academy serving students with developmental delays and learning disabilities, including but not limited to ADD/ADHD, apraxia, autism, developmental delays, Down Syndrome, dyslexia, feeding disorders, hearing impairment, language delays, learning disabilities, mild mental retardation, reading disorders, sensory integration disorder and written expression disorders. Students in the preschool and academy are ages 3 to 21. ACCESS accepts infants six weeks and older into the full-time infant stimulation program. Typical children who benefit from an enriching multi-sensory curriculum are accepted up to age 4.
WHAT MAKES ACCESS SUCCESSFUL?
Nationally Recognized Curriculum and Proven Methods
The success our clients and student enjoy is a direct result of the unique ACCESS curriculum.
Literature is the cornerstone of the curriculum, setting the stage for the study of math, science, social studies and history. These learning experiences are enriched with music, art, drama and technology. By using multi-sensory elements that involve touching, seeing and hearing, ACCESS instructs for all learning styles.
All ACCESS teachers and therapists are certified in the phonetic, multi-sensory teaching-learning strategy designed for language-deficit children called The DuBard Association Method®, and instruct using other Orton-Gillingham-based approaches as well (Wilson Reading Systems®). The DuBard Association Method® is a nationally known program recognized by the International Dyslexia Association.
Learning Within Real-Life Settings; Professional, Experienced Staff and Small Student-Teacher Ratio
Step into an ACCESS classroom, and you’ll see the difference right away. Classrooms are designed with an intensive focus on reading and development of written expression, as well as vital social skills training. Creative, multi-sensory materials engage auditory, tactile and visual learners.
Classes – which include up to 10 children in each preschool class and 12 in each academy class – are taught with a teacher and a teaching assistant assigned to each class. Teachers have access to additional staff members to allow for frequent one-on-one interaction. Classes are taught by certified, highly trained educators. ACCESS therapists often use the integrated therapy model, working in classrooms, where children are in a naturalistic environment.
Because ACCESS houses an evaluation clinic, outpatient therapy program and schools on one campus, it is able to thoroughly address the needs of children and youths with developmental delays and learning disabilities, treating the “whole child.”
Evaluation team members include an on-staff clinical psychologist with more than 15 years of pediatric psychology experience; speech, physical and occupational therapists who regularly perform assessments; an academic therapist who works with children who attend public and private schools and who receive in-school and after-school therapy; and a technology resource coordinator familiar with emerging software programs and assistive devices designed for those with learning disabilities.
ACCESS employs a highly specialized team for birth-to-3/early intervention therapies, including NDT techniques, proper motor patterns, respiration, coordination, phonation, feeding, vision and learning orientation and play.
Teachers and therapists are required to undergo intensive training and professional development to maintain high-quality service and consistently teach the curriculum.
All of these professionals work together to provide the best possible education and training for clients and students. The mission is to expand individual potential through innovative instruction.
Parents and caregivers are the most viable part of the team when treating children. ACCESS strongly encourages parents to be very involved and informed of all aspects of a child’s evaluation process, therapy and education.
We pride ourselves on spending plenty of time with parents to share diagnostic impressions; helping families navigate insurance, state and federal funding systems for people with disabilities; providing free or low-cost trainings for parents in the greater community; including parents in therapy sessions to learn assistive techniques for use at home; creating detailed lesson plans on a weekly basis to track classroom activities and providing customized therapy materials to continue learning opportunities at home.
Eighty-five percent of ACCESS referrals come from parents. More than eight families to date have relocated to Arkansas to enroll their children in our programs. Many more visit from as far away as Florida to get an expert evaluation that may not be offered in their area. Don’t take our word for it; click here for ACCESS Success stories that feature straight talk from families we’ve helped.
ACCESS was named Arkansas Business Nonprofit Organization of the Year in 2001. The organization was recently honored with the gold award for Favorite Special Needs Services, Favorite Childcare Facility, Favorite Tutoring Services and Favorite Private Elementary School; the silver award for Favorite Family Friendly Employer and the bronze award for Favorite Private Middle School in the 2014 Little Rock Family Favorites awards. The organization was named Best Special Needs School, Best Tutoring Center, Best Local Nonprofit, Best Private Preschool and Best Daycare in the 2014 Savvy LoLo (Love Local) Awards. It is an honor to be among this short list of the best special needs service providers in the Central Arkansas area.
Questions? Contact Admissions Coordinator Beth Rice at 501-217-8600.