ACCEL

A Life of Dignity and Self-Worth

aka Arizona Centers For Comprehensive Education & Life Skills   |   Phoenix, AZ   |  www.accel.org

Mission

ACCEL's mission is to provide exceptional educational, behavioral, therapeutic, and vocational programs to individuals with special needs, to give them the necessary skills to learn, to work, and to live successfully with dignity and independence.

Ruling year info

1980

CEO

Mr. Raymond Damm

Main address

10251 N 35th Ave

Phoenix, AZ 85051 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

LATCH School, Inc.

EIN

95-3497070

NTEE code info

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

ACCEL serves individuals with a wide range of disabilities and special needs. K-12 students are referred to ACCEL by school districts unable to serve them in district special education programs due to the severity of their disabilities. These students entered school far behind other children, having been unable to learn communication, social or living skills as basic as toilet training that other children learn before entering school. Many come to ACCEL with self-injurious behavior, aggression, anxiety and extreme compulsions which severely impact success at school, at home and in the community. | Most adults entering ACCEL's Adult Services program have not been successful in previous job placements, vocational training programs or recreational programs because of their severe needs. Children ages 18 months-10 years served in ACCEL's BISTA Center are either experiencing difficulty at home or at school, or are at high risk of an unsuccessful entry into public school kindergarten.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

ACCEL

ACCEL is a nonprofit organization serving children and adults who have developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, cognitive disabilities and behavioral disorders. Founded in 1980, ACCEL is celebrating 40 years of providing innovative, individualized and comprehensive educational, therapeutic, employment, behavioral and life skills training to its students, adult members and clients. ACCEL’s private educational program supports students ages five to 22, with school campuses located in Phoenix and Tempe, and a satellite campus in Buckeye. ACCEL’s Adult Services program provides day programming for adults ages 18 and older, through the lifespan. The BISTÅ Center, an applied behavior analysis agency located in Mesa, serves children ages 18 months to 13 years old with early intervention services. For more information, please visit www.accel.org/.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

ACCEL School Services provides students ages 5 to 22 with appropriate academic, behavioral, therapeutic and vocational programs to maximize skills and increase independence.

Programming is individualized in a highly structured learning environment with small class size. Intensive, collaborative support services are integrated into daily activities serving students with a wide range of abilities and challenges.

A primary focus is a functional life skills and vocational enterprise curriculum promoting community skills, dignity and independence for all students. ACCEL School Services are located on two primary campuses, as well as, satellite classrooms on public school district campuses.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

ACCEL Adult Services is a day program that provides lifelong education and vocational training for individuals over the age of 18 with developmental disabilities, including but not limited to intellectual impairment and autism spectrum disorder.

It is our belief that meaningful activities and learning gives life purpose and allows every person to contribute to their community. We provide programs with structure and security that promote a life of dignity and self-worth.

Some of the skills developed in vocational training include customer service, retail sales, inventory, packaging and shipping. In addition, they learn techniques and procedures to create quality products including designer hat making, custom greeting cards, screen printing, embroidery, and holiday ornaments.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Adults

Behavioral, Intervention, Support, Treatment and Assessment

We provide therapy to assist individuals and their families in obtaining the skills necessary to enrich their lives through ABA-based therapy. We provide services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other behavior disorders, as well as learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. Home, clinic and community-based programs provide behavioral treatment, basic language and skill acquisition, and social skills acquisition.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Infants and toddlers

Where we work

Accreditations

National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services 2017

Awards

Leadership and Innovation in Special Education 2011

National Association of Private Special Education Centers

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) developed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children, Preteens, People with disabilities

Related Program

Educational Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients participating in educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children, Preteens, People with disabilities

Related Program

Educational Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of adults served through the adult services program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Low-income people, People with disabilities

Related Program

Adult Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children served by BISTA

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, Children, People with disabilities

Related Program

BISTA Center

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percentage of positive parent satisfaction surveys

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children, Preteens, People with disabilities

Related Program

Educational Services

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2020 Parent Survey was not completed due to COVID-19 virtual instruction.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

ACCEL provides educational, therapeutic, behavioral and vocational services to help individuals with special needs develop the necessary skills to learn, to work, and to live successfully with dignity and independence.

ACCEL Goals:

To improve the quality of life, dignity and safety of individuals with special needs

To take a leadership role in the development of innovative programs and services for the special needs community

To work in partnership with families, caregivers, school districts and the community at large to disseminate information, coordinate services and promote awareness of and respect for individuals with special needs

To be a driving force in developing a community where all members prosper.

Each child, youth and adult served in an ACCEL program has a program plan team generally consisting of their parents, Department of Economic Security/Division of Developmental representative, others invited by parents, ACCEL staff, and in the case of school age students, a school district representative. These teams work on behalf of young children, but teams for teenagers and adults work with them to identify their interests, set goals and design programming that will help them reach their goals. Program teams review assessment outcomes and identify target skills to be developed. Daily performance on targeted skills is closely monitored utilizing ACCEL data systems and progress is reported to team members regularly.

Target skills vary, depending on individual needs, but all ACCEL programs utilize intensive, research based applied behavior analysis methodologies, individualized instruction, small group sizes, a high staff to student ratio with a high level of one-on-one instruction, and intensive therapy support.

The program focus for toddlers and preschool age children is developing communication, social, behavioral and academic readiness skills that help them catch up with their typical peers and prepare for successful entry into public school kindergarten.

In addition to communication, behavioral and social skills, 5-10 year olds attending public school programs develop school survival skills that help them succeed in their public school classrooms. Without intensive clinical intervention services, many of these children would likely be referred to a special school, separated from their typical peers. ACCEL's educational program provides educational, therapeutic, behavioral and vocational services for K-12 students on behalf of school districts unable to serve them in district special education programs due to the severity of their disabilities.

A major program focus for high school students and adults in ACCEL's Adult Services program is job skill development, because employment is one of the most serious issues facing individuals with disabilities. ACCEL provides highly specialized job training specifically designed for those with severe disabilities. Job Training is totally individualized and self-paced. Trainees in the highest levels of the program have opportunities to work in community business job training placements with an ACCEL Job Coach, developing skills required for entry level positions in that business. Job Coach support is gradually faded until trainees are working totally under the supervision on community business supervisors. When trainees are ready to enter the community workforce, Job Coach support is provided to ensure a successful transition.

In addition to job training, adults in the Adult Services program have opportunities to continue their education, develop community skills, enjoy recreational activities with their friends and actively participate in the life of our community.

ACCEL was founded in 1980 and has grown steadily in scope and capacity in order to meet identified needs in our community. Many students and adult members have been unsuccessfully in prior programs they attended and ACCEL is known for success with individuals that cannot be served anywhere else.

ACCEL utilizes real life situations to teach and practice skills. Functional instruction is proven to be most effective, and helps learners generalize learned skills to home and community settings when particular skills are called for.

ACCEL has developed a Model Classroom Program©, a systematic protocol for assessing and training teachers in establishing evidence-based practices for classrooms , including the principles of applied behavior analysis, structured teaching methods, effective instruction and classroom management. ACCEL operates a collaborative demonstration of the Model Classroom Program in Maryland with Kennedy Krieger Institute, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University.

ACCEL utilizes highly effective, research based applied behavior analysis methodologies that maximize the achievement of each individual. Each target skill is analyzed to break it down into small, achievable steps, one-on-one instruction is provided on each step, performance is closely monitored and program modifications are made as necessary until optimal learning is taking place.

ACCEL is known for a positive atmosphere that celebrates the accomplishments of every individual, which is the most common attribute mentioned in anonymous annual parent satisfaction surveys.

ACCEL programs have expanded in scope and capacity in response to identified needs in our community and ACCEL strives for excellence in all program areas. ACCEL's Model Classroom Program utilized in all ACCEL programs was awarded the National Association of Private Special Education Centers' Leadership & Innovation in Special Education Award in 2012. ACCEL celebrated 30 years of service to our community by achieving accreditation from the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services in 2009, the only agency in Arizona to have done so. Reaccreditation was awarded in 2013 and 2017.

The strength of ACCEL programs and the dedication of its highly skilled staff members are reflected in virtually all anonymous parent satisfaction surveys and parent comments are overwhelmingly positive.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Children, youth and adults with disabilities.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

ACCEL
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

ACCEL

Board of directors
as of 6/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Chris Duncan

FarmerWoodsGroup

Term: 2020 - 2022

Joe Cattaneo

A & C Properties

Caroline Pricher

Walton International Group (USA), Inc.

Charles Wanner

GPW & Associates, retired

Christopher Duncan

Farmer Woods Group

Julia Kolsrud

May, Potenza, Baran & Gillespie, P.C.

Connie Whalen

Wells Fargo Heritage Marketing & Museums

Scott Taubmann

Innovative Financial Management

Keith Farmer

Former ACCEL Parent

Stephanie Farmer

Former ACCEL Parent

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/01/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data