ACCESS (Adult Curriculum for Community, Employment and Social Skills)
ACCESS is a structured work study transition service that utilizes community-based instruction for neurodiverse 18-22 year old students who have met graduate requirements and elect to defer their standard diploma using the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process. The ACCESS class uses curricula that focus on increasing each student’s independence in the areas of employment, daily living, money skills, transportation and social communication skills. The program provides students with a variety of job training opportunities that help them to determine their strengths, interests, and needs. Much of the work is focused on improving the social skills and soft skills necessary to be a positive team member and increasing student’s understanding of the employer’s expectations. Staff work to decrease reliance from staff/family and increase the student’s own level of independence. Through this process the ACCESS staff help to develop the self-determination skills needed to gain and maintain employment as well as help the student to discover how to become an active member of their community.
Our Mission is to provide neurodiverse students with a highly structured positive learning environment so they can develop personal strategies toward independence. It is our belief that we must carefully assess and reassess a student’s strengths and develop vocational training opportunities based on these strengths in order to better enhance their potential to maintain long-term, paid employment when they exit.
Click Here for an informational flyer on the ACCESS program.
Areas of Study
Each student participates in a functional curriculum that emphasizes:
- social skills/pragmatics for employment and daily living
- functional life skills
- personal safety awareness training
- work experience though job sampling, internships, and job shadowing
- supportive employment opportunities with on-site job coaching
- transition skills such as shopping, managing money/budget, cooking, laundry, and travel training
- Students may elect to work on obtaining entry level certifications in their career field of interest.
The ACCESS program believes that young adults with disabilities will benefit from exposure to a variety of classroom and community experiences built around structure. Our goal is independence, and for this reason the staff teaching methods and curriculum are developed around setting up personal strategies to reduce reliance on others and to gain independence. The methods of Project TEACCH and the Eden Institute Curriculum serve as the foundation for the ACCESS Program.
The target student for the ACCESS Program is a student with mild to moderate disabilities ranging in age from 18-21 and who is enrolled in the Broward County Public School System. Students must meet the following criteria:
- Meet graduation status and chose to utilize deferment of their Standard Diploma through the Individualized Education (IEP) process prior to graduating.
- Able to navigate a large campus facility with little or no assistance
- Can communicate verbally or with a communication system with minimal assistance
- Willing to work in a variety of on- and off-campus job placements
- Can physically work up to 3-hour shifts
- Able to work productively under a variety of supervisors, teachers, or potential employers
- Demonstrate independence in personal hygiene routines
Ask your ESE Specialist for an Application. After your application has been received by Atlantic Technical College and Technical High School, you will be contacted and scheduled for a visit to discuss your interest in the ACCESS class.
Prior to your visit at ATC, a member of our ACCESS staff will visit your high school for an On-Site Observation and records review.