Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence

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ACCE Happenings

Inspirational quote

"Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test firt and the lesson afterward."-Oscar Wilde

Join our mail list to keep up to date on the latest happenings.

All happenings are included for informational purposes.

Last updated 4/6/24

Check back soon!

Free training for Conflict Resolution for Families and Schools


Contact us to learn more about scheduling a conflict resolution skills session. These virtual trainings are free for schools and families. Learn more

Include Me

We love our work helping Pennsylvania School Districts to expand effective inclusive practices for educating students with significant disabilities in general education classrooms and the school community. Contact us if you are interested in bringing this free program to YOUR school district! Learn more

Self Advocates Power Events


We say self advocate a lot, but do you know what a self advocate is?

A self advocate is a person who speaks up for themselves and the things that are important to them!

Here at SAU1, all things are done to support the self advocacy of people with disabilities for positive impact in our communities and in people’s lives.

Do you or someone you know or love have a disability?

Join us at a power event! Learn about power events!

Free Sign Language Classes


Oklahoma School for the Deaf is offering free online ASL classes.  If you have always wanted to learn ASL but cost has prevented you, this is a great opportunity. 

Access the courses

ASL 1 and ASL 2 pre recorded self guided classes.  Great resource for parents and teachers wanting to learn ASL.


 Hand in Hand Family Resource Center



A Sibling Support Program for the siblings (age 6 - 14) of individuals with disabilities. 

Fun activities and snacks! What else do you need?


Variety Children's Charity


Waymart Church Sensory Rooms 1:1 Support


Resource Corner
These resources are provided for informational purposes  

  PA Developmental Disabilities Council: Disability Inclusive Curriculum


DISABILITY INCLUSIVE CRRICULUM - The Pennsylvania House & Senate, concurred, and included "providing for disability inclusive curriculum and establishing the Disability Inclusive Curriculum Pilot Program" in the PA Education code. We are very proud of the hard work of our Stigma project grantee Disability Equality in Education & everyone who worked to accomplish this! Learn about Disability Inclusive Curriculum.

Find my ride-Transportation Assistance

About Programs

Apply for a program

ACCESS National Parks 

bird, wheat, accessibility symbol America the beautiful the national parks and federal recreation lands pass Access

A free, lifetime pass - available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability (does not have to be a 100% disability) - that provides admittance to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by five Federal agencies.

At many sites the Access Pass provides the pass owner a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).

$10 document processing fee

Visit USGS Store to learn more and apply



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 

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

Have a child over 3 who is not potty-trained? You could get diapers through Medical Assistance.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services reports that if your child is over the age of 3 and is still not potty trained, you may be eligible to obtain free diapers through Medical Assistance.

 ​Medicaid and Medicaid HMO’s will only cover the supplies if the child is older than 3 years of age and if a physician deems them medically necessary. You will be required to obtain a prescription, authorization, or a referral, in lieu of a prescription from your primary care physician. Contact your managed care organization for specific information.



Go Baby Go


Free Program, No Diagnosis Required.

Questions Contact:

Dr. Stephanie DeNaples, MSOTR/L or 

The University of Scranton

Department of Occupational Therapy

 SAFE is starting a Bi-Weekly Newsletter


Bi-weekly newsletters providing information on:

  • SAFE Events and programs
  • SAFE's What's new on the Spectrum

Sign up

Hazleton Autism Family Support Hub: Adult Testing

Do you know an adult wondering if they, themselves have autism, but don't know where to go to be tested?

 Check out this video detailing the experience!

Learn more about Hazleton Autism Family Supoort Hub.

Inclusive Community Advocates

Are you a part of a group that wants to be more aware and accepting of autism, but you don't know where to go for training, it's too expensive, or the offerings do not quite fit your needs? Check out our partnership within the ACCE between Goodwill Industries, Children's Service Center, and Misericordia UniversityThey offer a free, customized training to fit your group or organization's needs. Virtual and in-person options available!


 Email Ann Gillerlane to ask questions or schedule your training today!

  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

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!

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 

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 Interest 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.

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! 



 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.

 Check back soon for updates!

 Parent/Caregiver Interest 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

 Safe Care


Parent Support Group Make yourself a priority!



PA Parent and Family Alliance

We’ve got a lot coming up this month! Register for this weeks support groups and learn about what else we’ve got coming up at the link below.

Register today!


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


SASSY Autism Support Group

Now in Collaboration with the Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence and UPMC

SASSY Autism Support Group

  • Focused discussion with montly topics
  • All ages welcome
  • Child care provided for RSVPs
  • Light Refreshments

First Thursday of each Month


River Valley Regional YMCA

641 Walnut Street, Williamsport PA

RSVP Esther Brennan



 Peal Center Trainings

  The Nuts and Bolts of Job Coaching


The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education is pleased to announce the following training opportunity.

This self-paced five-module online course provides participants with relevant information regarding the role of a Job Coach to support students in community-based work settings.

  • Target Audience: Paraprofessionals, other support staff, teachers, transition coordinators, special education directors, or anyone interested in this topic.
  • Registration Information Please register online by visiting the PaTTAN website at
  • For registration questions, contact: Kristen Olszyk,, 800-446-5607 x6848
  • For content related questions, contact: Kaylee Wynkoop,, 800-446-5607 x6888
  • Continuing Education Credit: Act 48 Clock Hours, Paraeducator Professional Development Hours/ Individuals participating in this course must successfully complete and submit all required coursework before the end date of this course to receive Act 48 Professional Education hours and Paraeducator Professional Development hours.

Location: Online







April beginnings brings Newsletters of Happenings

Parenting Autism United


April Newsletter

SAFE Newsletter


April Newsletter

ASERT Newsletter



Sign up to receive the newsletter as soon as it is available.

Luzerne-Wyoming MHDS Newsletter



April Newsletter

LTF April Meeting


The 5th Meeting of the Right to Education Task Force IU 19 will be on Tuesday April 9th, 2024 at 10 am at The Arc of NEPA 115 Meadow Ave Scranton or via Zoom link

Meeting ID: 874 8881 1884

Passcode: 364196

We will have a variety of presenters and information showcasing what is available for summer activities, recreation, work experiences and more...

Please RSVP to or

Parent to Parent


The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children is the largest professional and family organization serving young children with disabilities. Join DEC for one of the upcoming meetings to help build the Family Partnership Community of Practice (CoP). We will be introducing the Family Partnership CoP to new members, and having small group discussions for family members, caregivers, and professionals to share their priorities for the Family Partnership CoP. Learn more about the FP CoP here.

Tuesday, April 9th, 2024, 7:00 - 8:30 PM Eastern Time. Register

Friday, April 12th, 2024, 1:00 - 2:30 PM Eastern Time. Register

Free Art Lessons!


Join Gina and friends for spring crafts - Sunflowers

New time and day

Spring Craft Sunflowers-Ages 12 and Under

Grahamn Academy

April 14th 2-3:30

Register today!

Pool Party with the A-Team at the YMCA!


Pool Party

Pizza, Drinks, and Loads of Fun!

Wilkes-Barre YMCA

A SAFE and A-Team collaboration

April 13th 2-4


Adult Social Group


Who wants pizza?

April 12, 2024

RSVP 570-795-8100

College Scholarship Opportunity from SAFE


This scholarship is for individuals who are exiting high school and are at least 18 years old, or will turn 18 by September 1st of the application year

The applicant has the desire and intent to enroll or continue enrollment in a post-secondary class (this includes vocational, job skill-based programs) that will enhance their life through employment skills, independent living or life skills and/or continuing education.

Applicant will provide copies of high school diploma or GED, high school transcript if graduating in the spring of the application year, or proof of acceptance to or current enrollment in a post-secondary program.

Apply today!

Wednesdays This May: 5 p.m. Night Owl AAC Sessions!



Tech OWL - Technology for Our Whole Lives, a program of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, will present this free webinar series during National Speech-Language-Hearing Month.   #SpeechLanguageHearingMonth

Register for any or all of the one-hour sessions.

Register For SAFE Golf Fundraiser Drive for Autism



Don't forget to register to play, sponsor or donate to the 15th Annual Drive For Autism Charity Golf Tournament. Proceeds benefit SAFE programs and events!

Save the Date Advocacy & Policy Conference


Mark your calendars now because registration will be opening soon for our annual Advocacy and Policy Conference on June 10-11 at the Hilton Harrisburg! You don’t want to miss this empowering and informative event! #APDay2024

Abilities 21 Skate Away


June 13th 6:00PM

Come join us for 2 private hours at Skate Away in Wilkes Barre

It will be closed to the general public during these hours

Giving our kids all the space and time they need to try it out. Parents are able to walk with your child. Also skate gates are available to rent for $5. They are a first come first serve item

Cost is $12 per person siblings are welcome


Venmo @KHart-105

Payment and headcount due by June 1st

 If you read the last edition of ACCE Happenings, everything below has already been showcased.


Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania

Creating Connections: Active Listening for Peer Supporters


Attention all Peer Supporters! Registration is now OPEN for the FREE, virtual workshop, Creating Connections: Active listening for Peer Supporters.

Space is limited, so register soon!

Spring Dinner Dance


About the Order

As a Catholic organization the members of the Order coordinate their efforts and assistance programs with respect the respective Bishops under whose auspices such activities may fall – to accomplish the following for persons intellectually disabled, and to:

  • Provide assistance to private schools chartered to serve the needs of persons intellectually disabled so that they may serve their students in need of both secular and religious special education and vocational training.
  • Provide assistance to establish residences for persons with developmental disabilities, and to provide assistance to respite care facilities and programs for their parents, giving preference to private or public projects endorsed by Catholic Bishops.
  • Provide assistance through the Order's scholarship program to educate undergraduate students studying to become special education teachers, and provide assistance to persons engaged in giving care and comfort to persons who are developmentally disabled.
  • Provide human and/or financial resources to enhance the quality of life for persons intellectually and developmentally disabled by participating in programs and activities like Special Olympics; recreation, field day programs and summer camps; field trips, boat rides, zoo trips, circus trips, picnics, Christmas parties, dinner dances, etc.


Job Club Happening Soon @ The University of Scranton


Contact Rebecca Dalgin 570-941-7819

Brighter Journeys is Accepting Grant Applications!


Thanks to collaborations with other generous organizations we are looking for grant applications! We offer grants for fences, bikes, ramps, and more for special need individuals! Grant Application

Brighter Journeys Fundraiser


Louis Vuitton "Graceful PM" 

(Value: $1760)

Venmo: Lisa Urbanski@brighter-journeys16

For more information or to use an alternative payment option, please contact BrJr @ 570-814-6606

Drawing to be held live on Facebook

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Raffle Must be 18 to purchase ticket.

Small Games of Chance License #2720

Camp Orchard Summer Program and Respite Information Available


NEW Hazleton Campus!




 Rise Award


Do you know of an incredible non-teaching team member at your school? Nominate them for the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education! ⭐

Learn more about who is eligible + submit your nomination

NEPA ARC Webinars

Three Part Mini-Series for Families


Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania

Nuturing Seeds to Grow Strong Families


Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning invites you to join the Spring Parent Café Series titled, Nurturing Seeds to Grow Strong Families!

This virtual event is for PA families of children receiving Early Intervention Services and/or Home Visiting/Family Supports.  Connect with other parents/ caregivers and share your parenting journey.


BSET: HUNE Bilingual Special Education Training Series


Free and Virtual advice on education 5 week series


3/28/24: History of IDEA

4/4/24: Advocacy

4/11/24: Special Education Acronynms & The Process of Evaluation & Re-Evaluation

4/18/24: IEP

4/25/24: What rights do I have if I disagree?


For more information/ Para mas informacion: Carmen Roman (215)425-6203 


 Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council

LEAF Scholarships for Conferences!


Do you know about our LEAF Scholarships? Our 2024 instructions and application is now available! The LEAF Scholarship program provides scholarships of up to $750 per person, per year, to assist individuals with disabilities and their family members to attend conferences, training sessions, and comparable activities directly related to skill development in the areas of self-advocacy, leadership, and education.

See the instructions and application

Calling Student Artists



Seeking student artists to display their work during this year's National Autism Conference! A Gallery exhibition will recognize, promote, and reward all types of creativity produced throughout the year by students from classrooms supported by the PaTTAN Autism Initiative. Please complete the exhibition form available or submit your information


Italian Fest Benefit to benfit the JumpStart Cart


The JumpStart Cart is dedicated to supporting young adults with special needs transitioning from the academic setting to the workplace.

April 21st 2-4 PM

The Gramercy Ballroom and Resturant

155 South Main St. Pittston PA

For more information please call 570-233-7567 or email us at 

learn more about the TheJumpStartCart

Achieva: Understanding the Basics of SSI and SSDI


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), what are the differences between these two benefits that are available through the Social Security Administration? How does someone qualify for these benefits? What are the rules for income and assets when applying for SSDI and SSI?

Virtual webinar: April 23, 10:00AM-12:00PM


4th Annual Complex Medical Needs Expo






Check out these opportunites with SAFE!

SAFE Swimming with Miscordia University


SAFE Inc with the generous grant from The AllOne Foundation under the ACCE have teamed up with the Misericordia Swim for lessons.

Register for the next 6 sessions 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, 4/16, and 4/23

6:00 and 6:30pm session available

+ a 30 minute rec swim

Location: Misericordia University Anderson Center Pool, 301 Lake St. Dallas, PA 18612

*Size for each session is limited to 10 individuals

Respite Available through a partnership with SAFE and Camp Orchard Hill


Saturday, April 6th 9-4

Saturday, May 11th 9-4

Our Saturday Respite Day program serves children and young adults with special needs with a focus on building skills and developing confidence through new experiences. Expect arts and crafts, bounce houses, dance parties, outdoor adventures and additional activities provided as a partnership with SAFE and Camp Orchard Hill.


PAU Photography Session


Studio Triya is teaming up with Brooke Perrego to raise money for PAU.

Sessions, costs, and additional details



Karoke Night with FUNctional Connections


Some new Karaoke dates to mark your calendars with! Thank you to everyone who attended last week, it’s always a pleasure! Our upcoming karaoke dates are:

🗓️ April 24th

🗓️ May 29th

As always, support staff and family members are welcome! We provide mocktails, music, games and a fun uplifting environment!

20 East Main st Nanticoke

 Wise Program


Are you interested in learning about how work will affect your Social Security benefits? Social Security hosts free online Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinars. WISE webinars can help you and your family members learn about the Ticket to Work Program and other Social Security work incentives. They’re generally held on the 4th Wednesday of each month.

Learn more

IDD Community Summits


IEP Mini Series-

May 2nd Progress Monitoring




Learn about the PA ABLE Savings Program!

PA ABLE Savings Program accounts give people with qualified disabilities and their families a tax-free way to save and pay for disability-related expenses while maintaining important benefits. PA ABLE accounts help people save private funds to support health, independence, and quality of life.

Webinar topics will include PA ABLE’s eligibility requirements, federal and state tax benefits, and interaction with means-tested benefits.

  • April 10, 2024 6 PM – 7 PM hosted by the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation
  • PA ABLE and Social Security Disability Programs: Working Together to Help Individuals With Disabilities


Abilities 21

Luau and Dance


Dig out those Hawaiian shirts and come dance the night away !

For ages 12 and over


Luau and Dance

Friday May 10,2024


200 Tigue Street, Dunmore

Food provided by Holiday Inn

Music by Ej the Dj

Please RSVP to Kimberly Hart by May 1, 2024

$23 per person

Venmo @KHart-105

PayPal to

There is a room block for anyone interested in staying over. Rate is $79 plus tax per room. Must call hotel directly to reserve 570-866-2365

 Vision for Equality is offering a Mini-Retreat for Caregivers of Children with ID/Autism (Birth-5) on June 28th, 10:00am – 2:00pm Rivers Casino, Philadelphia.


If you are a caregiver to someone with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, including autism, you are invited to join for a mini-retreat for time to connect with other caregivers and learn about simple, yet effective ways to recompress while connecting with other caregivers. Lunch and snacks will be served. There will be a Gratitude wall, Reflexology, Chair Yoga, Meditation, Journaling, Group Discussion, and more.


June 28

i Can Bike


Thanks again to our amazing sponsor MyCIL we will be running the I Can Bike program again this summer.

Space is very limited. And those who signed up last year that were waitlisted have been contacted. They get first priority. After that following new registrations will be taken only those paid will have a spot confirmed. If you do not get in for this year, you will automatically be waitlisted for next

The program is a one week program we start with the orientation for parents only on Sunday. Camp for the children is Monday through Friday. They will have an assigned time for every day over those five days. And we end the week with an award ceremony Friday night at 5:30.