Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence

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ACCE Happenings

Weekly inspirational quote

"...The things that divide us are far less important than those that connect us."-Rachel Naomi Remen

 Join our mailing list to get notifications and updates to the weekly ACCE Happenings Newsletter.

Last Updated July 1, 2022. 


New Happenings

Lots of great happenings with SAFE!


Safe and the A-team are working together for a pizza and swim night at the Wilkes-Barre YMCA Saturday, July 16th 2-4


Call 570-328-5795

Graduating and start college check out the SAFE Scholarship Program


S.A.F.E.  is excited to announce that we are beginning our new annual scholarship program by awarding three individuals with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis up to a $1,000.00 scholarship for use during the 2022-2023 school year.

The intent behind the scholarship is to enable awarded students the ability to be a step closer to their post-secondary or vocational goals!!

Eligibility criteria and application 

Adult Social Group with SAFE Camelback Resort


Sunday, August 7th 10a.m.

Mountain Adventures 243 Resort Drive

Caregiver Support Group

SAFE will reimburse you half of the ticket price! So you would reserve it online for $42 then on the day of the event you will receive $21 back. (Non-refundable for no-shows)

Zipline-24 per person

Mountain Coaster 18 per person

More information on Camelback Mountain Adventures 

Caregiver Support Group Coming Back this Fall!


The Caregiver Support Group will meet once a week for six weeks. Each session is designed to provide caregivers the tools and support they need to further succeed.

Through the use of the “Caring for You, Caring for Me” curriculum from the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, these sessions are designed to create a place for caregivers to:

  • learn new coping skills
  • learn about available resources locally, regionally, and nationally
  • work cooperatively with others to build productive relationships
  • learn additional self-care strategies
  • identify ways to prevent and solve problems

Session 1 Tuesdays 7:30-8:30

  • August 30th
  • September 6th
  • September 13th
  • September 20th
  • September 27th
  • October 4th

Session 2 Tuesdays Time is TBD

  • October 18th
  • October 25th
  • November 1st
  • November 8th
  • November 15th
  • November 22nd

Register Today!

Family Literacy Night July 6th 5-6PM

scissors clock fireworks painting


Enjoy this family friendly activity while experiencing acceptance, awareness, inclusion, and education!

Featuring: Fourth of July Mick by Bethany Roberts, illustrated by Dough Cushman

Firework fingerpainting craft

Misericordia University 50 Lake St.

Register today!

Respite Care Parent's Day Out coming this fall!

man with woman in front of building


For children and adults with special needs.

  • Saturday, September 17th 9-4pm
  • Saturday, October 29th 9-4pm
  • Saturday, November 19th 9-4pm
  • Saturday, December 10th 9-4pM

Available to:

  • 4 and up
  • Lunch and snack provided
  • Current PA Dept of Health Guidelines will be observed
  • Professional Staff and RN Onsite
  • Registeration and Health form required

Space is limited! Register Today!

SAFE Day at Montage Adults

Man on water tube going down water slide

Join SAFE July 10th!

Park reserved for SAFE 9:45-12 


Mansfield University Autism Resource Center!


Our newest hub has a lot to offer the community!

Check out the Summer Transition Program (Flyer updated with dates)

woman holding coffee cup, two women looking at book, guy in headphones

Learn about

  • Post Secondary Options
  • Independent Living Skills/Safety
  • Social Skills

Sessions available July 11-14th and July 25-29

Learn more details about the Mansfield Summer Institute Program

Questions Contact Alison Polly or 570-662-4560

Autism and Neurodiversity First Responder training program

graphic police car

The Mansfield University Autism Resource Center is pleased to work with the Mansfield University Municipal Police Academy to integrate training related to working with neurodiverse populations to enhance community relations and experiences.

Learn more about the Autism and Neurodiversity First Responder Training Program


 Parents of Students with Special Education Needs


How confusing is it to navigate special education? You are not alone!

SAFE and Special Education Advocacy Services of Luzerne have put together information to help navigate and advocate for your child with confidence.

July 5th Discipline, Suspension, and Expulsions

  • What are a parent's rights, what is a Manifestation Determination?
  • 6-7:30pm

August 9th Ask the Advocate-Back to School

  • Parents get to ask specific question relating to their student
  • 6-7:30

Sessions take place at the SAFE Office 1059 E 100 N. Conahan Hazleton, PA 18201

RSVP: 570-795-8100

Community Happenings

These events are outside the ACCE group and are provided for informational purposes.

 PEAL Summer Institute Virtual Training Sessions



PEAL is excited to announce our Summer Institute: Virtual Training Sessions!

Sharpen your advocacy skills and add to your toolbox this summer! All one-hour trainings offered at 12:00 PM.

This summer, the PEAL Center will bring you your most requested topics and deliver them to you live from the comfort and safety of your home or office. We have developed these live one-hour online sessions with the most essential nuggets of information. Whether you want to refresh your knowledge or add new tools to your advocacy skills, we invite you to register to one, two or all the online sessions.

Learn more about PEAL's Summer Institute

The series is also available in Spanish learn more at Peal Center's Spanish Summer Institute

IEP Knowing your Rights Tuesday July 5th 12-1 ET

  • Address parental rights in the special education process.
  • Describe in detail the Procedural Safeguards Notice received annually by all parents.
  • Increase awareness of dispute resolution processes and alternative dispute resolution​.
  • Explain where to find information about rights regarding school discipline, especially suspension and expulsion of students with disabilities.

Register for IEP Knowing your Rights

504 Basics Friday July 22nd 12-1 ET

  • Explore the history of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Discuss eligibility requirements to obtain a 504 Plan
  • Explain the difference between a 504 and an IEP Plan
  • What should schools do to comply and how are students protected

Register for 504 Basics

IEP Essentials, Friday, August 12th

  • List and define the key principles of IDEA
  • Identify the parts of the IEP and the importance of each one
  • Explore the parent's role in the IEP process and explain how to provide meaningful input throughout the IEP process
  • Provide an overview of the basics of your child's right to special education services

Register for IEP Essentials

Making Inclusion a Reality, Tuesday, August 16th

  • Identify how IDEA supports inclusive education
  • Discuss the benefits of inclusive education and why presuming competence is vital to your child's education
  • Explain the importance of Supplementary Aids and Services
  • Learn to best describe your family’s vision of inclusion for your child and how to share it with your IEP team

Register for Making Inclusion a Reality


How Do Adults on the Spectrum Live and Take Care of Themselves During the 21st Century?

graphic people chat bubbles PA state shape. Heart shaped with several tiny graphics

July 21st 3-4

The PA Gathering: Critical Topics in Autism are virtual events featuring people with lived experience and other experts with an opportunity for audience Q&A. The outcomes of the PA Gatherings are to increase knowledge and awareness of resources about issues that are important to the autism community.

Register today

Procedural Safeguards and Anatomy of an IEP
Event by the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau, Special Education Advocacy Services of Luzerne and Hand in hand Family Resource Center
Procedural Safeguards 
  • What are they? What do they mean? Why do I need them?
  • August 18th 6-8PM
  • Learn about
    • Evaluations Independent
    • Educational Evaluations
    • State and Federal Timeline
    • Regulatory language
  • August 25, 2022

Breaking Down the IEP Part 1

  • Present levels of academic and functional performance
    • What does this mean?
    • What should be in this section
  • September 8, 2022

Breaking Down the IEP Part 2

  • What does S.M.A.R.T. mean?
  • Goals and goal development
  • September 15, 2022

Breaking Down the IEP Part 3

  • Related services and Extended School Year(ESY)
  • How does this apply to my child?
  • September 22, 2022

This is a free evet and a link to register will be posted closer to the event. Questions or for more information about the event details contact

Resource Corner
These resources are provided for informational purposes  


Find my ride-Transportation Assistance

About Programs

Apply for a program

Free Summer Meals


NO kid should go hungry because schools are closed for summer break. Find free, nutritious meals for children age 18 and younger by:

📱texting FOOD to 877-877, or check out these resources at the USDA

Formula Resource Information
graphic of baby bottle

 For information on measures being taken to address the formula shortage and resources on locating baby formula visit Health and Human Services 


Image description: News story headline reading “how to get $2 museum admission with your ACCESS or Art-Reach ACCESS Card”. Underneath the headline is an illustration of different colored hands reaching for a green-blue ACCESS Card. See less


 Visit Art-Reach to learn more about this wonderful program and 

ow individuals with disabilities can get discounted tickets to 60+ museums, gardens, theaters, and cultural sites through the ACCESS program. 

Ongoing Happenings 


Summer Art Sessions are back at Misericordia!

paint pallet, paint brush, paint

S.A.F.E. and the Autism Center are pleased to announce new summer hours for Art! Join us for some fun and creativity! Sign up only for the sessions you intend to attend. Reserve your spot!

Dragon Tales Reading and Art Program

Parenting Autism United
Storytime run by dragons, superheroes and monsters.
Engaging and vibrant readers host a book reading with a matching craft for your class, group, or location.
Crafts and art projects will be part of each Dragon Tales event.
Volunteers can always be helpful in readings, crafts, and setup/cleanup.
This program is designed for families with a child on the Autism Spectrum but is inclusive to help our community learn about awareness, acceptance, inclusion and education!

Castle Games at the Hub! 

game pieces, red, green, blue

You're invited to an in-person summer program provided by the University of Scranton and the Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence! 

1 time, 1-2 hours per week! (Days and times TBD depending on peer availability)

Let's Laugh and Play games with Friends at this great program! 


Adult Testing Available at CSC!

A short, helpful PSA about Adult Autism Evaluations at the Hub!

Have you had problems with:

  •     social interactions?
  •     employment?
  •    organizing daily activities?
  •    sensory sensitivities?
  •    obsessive interests?

 The Hazleton Autism Family Support Hub now offers neurodevelopmental/Psychological testing for adults evaluating for:

  • autism
  • ADHD
  • other neurodiversities.

Accepting a variety of insurances with appointments offered at our Hazleton Office: 

20 North Laurel Street, Suite 2E,  Hazleton, PA 18201

Call 570-861-8311 or e-mail for more information. 

For more information about our Hazleton Autism Family Support hub and Testing Clinic

Learn about our Hazleton Autism Family Support Hub!



The Hazleton Hub, also known as the Children's Service Cetner, seeks to support individuals of any age, and their families, at any stage of the diagnostic and treatment continuum. They offer an integrated model of parent peer support, referral, and screening to assist with access to diagnosis for children and adults as well as quality services in all areas of treatment and daily living. In collaboration with multiple ACCE partners, the Hub offers a therapeutic lending library for families and service providers, an Autism Educators Support Alliance, Art Night at the Hub community event, and autism testing for adults. The Hub also collaborates with Goodwill Industries of NEPA and Hope Enterprises to offer an Autism in the Early Childhood Classroom training program and Therapeutic Tabletop Role Playing Groups. 

Check Out All the Wonderful Happenings at The Y! 

we are y 

The Greater Scranton YMCA 

We Are Y is an inclusive community outreach program that provides individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities access to recreational activities that encourage staying active, building interpersonal relationships, self-sufficiency, and aid in developing cognitive abilities. Activities Rotate Weekly! 

Free and open to Greater Scranton YMCA members and non-members ages 10 and up, who have developmental disabilities. 

When: Every Wednesday, 5:30-6:30pm 

Where: Greater Scranton YMCA - 706 N. Blakely Street, Dunmore, pa 18512 

For more information, please contact Natalie at 

man jumping on white background  

Wayne County YMCA 

The "A-Team" Wayne County YMCA seeks to provide opportunities on the Autism Spectrum to gather in a non-threatening environment. 

blue and purple words on white background 

Greater Carbondale YMCA 

A Spectrum of Fun Autism Family Nights 

Swimming, pizza, socialization, and understanding! 

Please call 570-282-2210 for a schedule of dates & times - a $10 donation per family. 

Where: Greater Carbondale YMCA - 82 N. Main St. Carbondale 

Tabletop Role Playing Therapy Now Hiring!

pictures of dice

Therapeutic Tabletop Role Playing Group (TTRPG) is a therapeutic group that uses tabletop role playing games to help treat behavioral and mental health issues. Through interaction with other members of the group and the collaborative story, players can be exposed to a wide variety of situations that aid inexposure to, creation and rehearsal of strategies to manage situations.

Members of the Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence (ACCE) team up with The Bodhana Group, a non-profit based in York, Pennsylvania, to implement TTRPG throughout the region. Qualified applicants will have either clinical or extensive experience working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).



Contact: to learn more or check out our flyer

Brighter Jouneys Going the Extra Mile
Flyer Brighter Journeys Going the Extra Mile Program
Check out this amazing program to help families obtain items out of reach and not covered by insurance!

ACCE Executive Hub

The University of Scranton has amazing programs. Want to learn more about them, check out our video!


 Parent/Caregiver Support Group 

Come Join Us!

 couch night stand rug

What is it?

A group where parents and caregivers can meet to share ideas, interests, and meet new people.

When do you meet?

We meet on Zoom every Thursday from 6:30-7:30PM Eastern time except holidays. Register

Therapeutic Tabletop Role Playing Group (TTRPG) Join now!
TTRPG uses role playing game as therapeutic and clinical practice to benefit
  • personal growth
  • social development
  • self-advocacy skills

Free, grant-funded groups available virtually and in-person group (Hazleton)

10 to adult with autism and/or related soical or communication impairments

Call 570-861-8311 or email 

 Learn about the TTRPG program

Watch a Video about our TTRPG Program

 Check out the brochure!


Geisinger ADMI Professional Training Program--ACT 48 Credits Now AVAILABLE
To see information full size please select the image
University of Scranton Applied Behavior Analysis, MS
Take your education  to the next level. Apply Now!
  • Select the image to see it full size and access links.

Turn to Us: SPECTRUM Sensory GYM

Our Gym is made possible by St. Luke's Miners Campus and AllOne Foundation
A sensory gym is a specialized designed space to help an individual with sensory issues learn to regulate their brain’s negative reactions to external stimuli by developing coping skills for these experiences.  The gym offers a variety of benefits: calming effects, stimulation, socialization, improved focus, motor skills development, cognitive development, and sensory development.

  Autism in the Early Childhood Classroom

A Free Workshop on creating inclusive and supportive early childhood learning experiences.
  • What is Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Sensory Processing and Self-Regulation in the classroom
  • Incorporating Play-Based Communication and Social Skills
  • Classroom Management and Positive Behavior Supports
  • Visual Learning Supports and Other Strategies to Support learning
  • Authentic Assessment and Data Collection
  • Collaboration with Caregivers and Community Resources
  • Optional Director Training and Technical Assistance Sessions
For more information and to schedule your free virtual or in-person workshop contact us at 570-861-8311 or

Misericordia University: Integrated Studies Program for Students with Autism
Misericordia is offering a new, inclusive, post-secondary certificate program designed specifically for students with moderate Autism, with or without co-morbid disorders, and Intellectual Disability.

Integrated Studies is a full-time, college-based, 2-year program specifically designed for students between the ages of 18-26 and gives prospective students access to a full-time inclusive and supported program of study.

Greater Carbondale YMCA 

Autism Swim Nights and Outings  

  • 82 N. Street Carbondale, PA 18407
  • Call 570-282-2210 for details! 

SAFE Piano Lessons


Piano Lessons! Lessons are available in the Wilkes-Barre Area

Members Only!

Call (570)822-7259

Ongoing Community Happenings

These are ongoing events in the community provided for informational purposes

 Monday's Support @ 7 Pm and Friday's @ 12Pm PA Parent and Family Alliance

parents holding each other

parent-to-parent-of-pennsylvania logo

Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania is a one-to-one match between peer support parent and a parent seeking individualized support from a parent with similar experiences. Connect parents who have children with similar disabilties within the community!


If you are interested in a match, or simply learning more, please contact your regional coordinator at the phone number or email listed below!


Nicole Lindsay

NE Regional Office

(570) 780-0109

Start the match process