Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence

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ACCE Happenings

Weekly inspirational quote

"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you."- Aldous Huxley

Last Updated 9/8/23

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

All happenings are included for informational purposes.


NEPA Inclusive Social Club


We are excited to announce that Registration is NOW OPEN for the upcoming Pittston area Fall 2023 FREE Transition Academy Social Club for Luzerne County in Dallas, Hazleton, Nanticoke, Pittston, or Wilkes-Barre! Please read the attached informational Luzerne County Sessions flyer to see if our Pittston Fall 2023 FREE TASC Program fits you or a loved one with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities, including Autism and Down Syndrome.

If you have additional questions or need help with registration, please get in touch with our TASC Program Coordinator for Pittston sessions, Elizabeth Kelly, at (570) 241-3434 or email

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The informational flyer and event registration link for our Fall 2023 Transition Academy Social Club Sessions for Berks, Carbon/Schuylkill, Columbia, Lehigh Valley/Bucks, and the Poconos will be published soon for anyone interested in registering for our Module 1: Self-Advocacy Session with the NEPA Inclusive regional locations in their residing counties.

***Funding for the TASC program was made possible by PNC Foundation, M & T Charitable Foundation, and Luzerne County ARPA.

Limited Availability Per Class, so Don’t Delay...REGISTER TODAY for Classes Starting this Upcoming October

PEAL Training Achieving Inclusion Strategies for Creating Inclusive Classrooms for all Students



Sept 19th 3:30 PM ET

Register Today!


 Buddy Walk


 At Misericordia University

Sunday October 8th 2023

Educate Advocate Celebrate


 SAVE the date SAFE Family CAMP at Camp Orchard Hill


S.A.F.E. Inc families, it is with great pleasure that we can have camp again this year. Through generous donations, grants and fundraising we are able to provide camp at no cost to our families.

We received a $5,000 grant towards camp from Autism Awareness- NEPA, we thank their selection committee for their generous support of our families.

September 8-10

Register today and save a place for your family!

Sibling Camp



Fun and Creative

Outdoor activities for the siblings of people with disabilities 6-17 years old

Spet 29-Oct 1 (Sibling Only)

Admission $75

  • Activities
  • Storytelling
  • Ziplining
  • Climbing Wall
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Archery

Camp Victory

58 Camp Victory RD Millville PA 17846

Register today

  Sib Shop Project





Fun and Friendship Bowling League


Proud to be me dance


Where: Online (Zoom)

When: Mondays 7 – 7:30pm and Saturdays 5:30 – 6:00 pm

This virtual dance class is for children of preschool to middle school age who have disabilities. The class is designed to assist with refining motor, communication, concentration, social skills and provide a positive environment to have fun.

Register today!



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.

Early Intervention Survey


 The 2023 EI Family Survey is now open through June 30, 2023.

Please share with families of children receiving services in the infant toddler and 3-5 EI programs.

There are 20 questions that can be completed in 5-10 minutes online. The survey is available in English and Spanish

 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.

LFT Meeting schedule and Brochure



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! 

SAFE Piano Lessons


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

Members Only!

Call (570)822-7259



 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.

 SAVE the date SAFE Family CAMP at Camp Orchard Hill


S.A.F.E. Inc families, it is with great pleasure that we can have camp again this year. Through generous donations, grants and fundraising we are able to provide camp at no cost to our families.

We received a $5,000 grant towards camp from Autism Awareness- NEPA, we thank their selection committee for their generous support of our families.

September 8-10

Register today and save a place for your family!

SAFE Golf Tournament 



Sibling Camp


Fun and Creative

Outdoor activities for the siblings of people with disabilities 6-17 years old

Spet 29-Oct 1 (Sibling Only)

Admission $75

  • Activities
  • Storytelling
  • Ziplining
  • Climbing Wall
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Archery

Camp Victory

58 Camp Victory RD Millville PA 17846

Register today



 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







disABILITY Conference

Back in person!


Oct 5th

Ability focused advocacy: Breaking barriers to achieving careers & Independence

Free and open to the community

6 hours of CEUS availble


Check out the itinerary

Learn more about the conference

Join us Mondays and Wednesdays!


Register today!


SAFE has loads of stuff happening!

SAFE PALS Group: Art Classes at the Graham Academy



Print Making

PALS 12 and Under 9/12/23

Register today

Pizza and Game Night


Time to meet up with Friends for Pizza and Game Night!

Adult autism social group will meet on Friday, September 15th at 6:00PM at Grotto Pizza Wilkes-Barre


SAFE Autistic Artists @ The Graham 


Teen Group 13-17

Print Making

Sept 26th 6-7:30 PM

1 Institute Lane Kingston PA

Register today

SAFE Parent Support Group


Not to be missed

Dolphus Teart

Parenting with Autism

A honest conversation with a parent of an adult with autism

Hosted by the Graham Academy

Sept 27th 6:00PM

Register today

SAFE: Who Wants Pizza? Adult Autism Social Group


Sept 29th 6:00PM

Grotto Pizza in Wilkes-Barre


Phone 570-795-8100

17th Annual Paws for a cause 4 Autism


Did you know that Paws for a Cause 4 Autism and SAFE, Inc have given the opportunity for a service dog to 5 families last year? All 5 are being assessed by Susquehanna Service Dogs! The process for getting a service dog is often long and expensive. Your continued support makes the impossible, possible for families!


Sunday Oct 1, 2023

Whitetail Perserve, Black Creek Township

  • 12:30 Registration
  • 1:00 Pet Costume Contest
  • 1:15 Blessing of the Animals
  • 1:30 Canine for a cure walk

$15 per dog payable to paws for a cause 4 autism

Contact Mary Schriebmaier 570-401-3970

SAFE Swimming with Misericordia University


SAFE Swims is a weekly swim lesson at Misericordia Aquatics Center. The 5 weeks of lessons will be scheduled as much as possible with one instructor for continuity and there is a 1/2 hour recreational swim for each session.

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

Registration and Session Times

SAFE Fundraiser: Drive for Autism




oday, I'm writing to ask you to support our Drive for Autism Charity Golf Event. Your support directly benefits families and individuals living with an autism spectrum diagnosis. We provide our programs and events for over 300 families each year. It's truly supporters like you that help us change the world every day.                              


You don’t have to play golf to have an impact in the life of someone with autism. 1:36 children are now being diagnosed with autism each year* and more programs are needed each and everyday.

Please consider donating a raffle or tricky tray item, registering to play, sponsoring, volunteering with SAFE at the tournament or donating to the event in any amount, every cent counts.


If you would like to support safe by donating items for raffle or tricky trays or volunteer, please contact myself at or Sara at


To register to play, sponsor or donate I have conveniently placed a link below the tournament information.



Malinda Knipfer

Executive Director

Trunk-or-Treat Locations locations have flipped dates!!!



The Trunk-or-Treat locations have FLIPPED DATES!!!!

10/8 will be located at PNC Field

10/14 will be located at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza!

Sign up your trunks today! Treater tickets will be released mid-September.

Parenting Autism United



 September is here!!! Enjoy the newsletter and please share with families, service providers, educators, school districts, and businesses you think would be interested.

September 2023 Newsletter

Families Reimagining Inclusive Lives (FRIL)

Advisory Committee Application


Thank you for your interest in the Advisory Committee for the Families Reimagining Inclusive Lives (FRIL) project.

The purpose of FRIL is to educate families of young children with disabilities about the benefits of inclusion.

We are especially interested in working with families who speak a language other than English at home and those who have limited exposure to information about inclusion. *

We are seeking advisory committee members who have a connection to the disability community and are willing to share their unique lived experiences to benefit the FRIL families.

Please respond to the questions below to the best of your ability.

If your application is selected, we will notify you.

Apply today!

Luzerne-Wyoming County MHDS September Newsletter


Inclusive Hockey



Saturday, Sept 9th 9-10am

Register today

Hazleton Torch Run and Community Festival



Run 11:00

Festival 12

Join us in a 3 mile Fun run combining the community with members of law enforcement & Special Olympics athletes as they carry the torch through downtown Hazleton to City View Park!

Register today

Dance Party


Announcing our 2nd Annual Halloween Dance Party!! This is a sensory friendly event for children with disabilities. Dancing, games, a special “calm down room” for children who need a quiet/sensory break, and of course… treats!! This event is no cost to families. To register, please email us at


PA ABLE Programming


Join us for free webinars for individuals with disabilities, families and professionals to learn more about the PA ABLE Savings Program.


PA ABLE and Social Security Disability Programs: Working Together to Help Individuals With Disabilities

Oct 18, 2023 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Connecting PA ABLE and Work Incentives for Individuals with Disabilities: Experts will explain the PA ABLE Savings Program and Pennsylvania's Work Incentive Programs.

Oct. 25, 2023 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Learn about the PA ABLE Savings Program!

A PA ABLE Savings Program account gives individuals with qualified disabilities (Eligible Individuals), and their families and friends a tax-free way to save for a wide range of disability-related expenses while maintaining government benefits. The state and federal tax-free investment options are offered to encourage Eligible Individuals and their families to save private funds to support health, independence, and quality of life.

To help you learn about the important features and benefits of PA ABLE, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is hosting free webinars.

Some of the topics that we will discuss include: eligibility requirements for opening a PA ABLE account, the federal and state tax benefits of PA ABLE, and how PA ABLE account interacts with current benefits.


Nov. 14, 2023 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Be sure to check the Happening soon tab for events previously featured on ACCE Happenings.