Project ACCESS is a pre-service training grant designed to prepare related service providers to address barriers faced by children with disabilities with high support needs in accessing and participating in various environments, such as school, home, and the community. The project will equip 16 Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) and 8 Social Work (SW) scholars with essential knowledge and skills in evidence-based practices, including trauma-informed care, person-centered practices, communication strategies (including Augmentative and Alternative Communication – AAC), cultural and linguistic diversity, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and self-determination. By targeting barriers such as language differences, cultural diversity, and traumatic experiences, Project ACCESS seeks to enhance the scholars’ abilities to support children with disabilities, particularly those who are bilingual or have limited speech output and high communication needs.

The scholars will engage in a comprehensive program involving courses, webinars, case studies, discussions, and practical experiences in school, clinic, and community settings. Evaluating scholar and student outcomes will be conducted through various assessments, including quizzes, intervention fidelity ratings, clinical performance scales, case documentation, and community presentations. Ultimately, the project aims to improve the overall access and participation of children with disabilities in diverse environments.