Accessible Academics is a not-for-profit agency that advocates for and provides life, academic, and job skill support to people with special needs transitioning from high school, through college, to independence.
Dedicated to Helping Students with Special Needs
When the transition program Anne Showers worked for left Buffalo, she had a choice: relocate or create. Thankfully, she chose the latter. Accessible Academics was initially created to ensure her caseload of students did not have to drop their education or go home, so that they could graduate with an education that would serve them for life. Fast forward a few years and Accessible Academic’s mission has evolved into something far greater.
Anne recognized that there were limited post-secondary transition programs in Western New York available at no or low cost to students with disabilities. Often, students were expected to rely only on the reasonable accommodations provided on the college campus, when they required greater support in high school. Most medicaid-funded programs divide support amongst different staff members, making it confusing for the very students they serve. Other transition programs limit students to only auditing classes, preventing them from gaining qualifications which could open so many doors in adult life, or were college-specific, restricting access to other institutions. Accessible Academics could serve a community of students who were being failed by the education system.
Accessible Academics addresses these issues by matching a coach to a student who will assist them in every area they require. Students can attend any post-secondary program in WNY, receive credit, and graduate with any degree or certificate! Oh, and for low-income students, the program is free.
Everyone Should Have Access to Higher Learning
We believe that everyone should have access to academic success, regardless of their learning differences. We specifically define access as the removal of barriers that impede learning and independent living, by teaching organization, time management, healthy living, and academic skills. Coaching self-advocacy skills, including how to communicate effectively with professors and administrators, is at the heart of what we do, as it allows students to confidently overcome any learning barriers that may arise.
Whether a student is a typical learner, or has a disability, college can be a challenge - and we want to be there to help.
We know that a positive outlook is essential for growth and development. That is why our goal is for students to embrace a positive attitude about school. With our guidance and students’ personal effort, students will see the results they want.
Anne is a New York certified teacher with her Masters in Education and has years of experience working with high school and college students from a variety of backgrounds, including those considered at risk or special needs.
She founded the non-profit Accessible Academics in 2015 to help her students complete their college degrees and live independently in the community. Her dream is for every student to have access to postsecondary support and believes that Accessible Academics is a step towards achieving that goal.
Anne is currently pursuing her PhD in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning at the University at Buffalo. Her research focuses on issues of diversity and inclusion in college classrooms and improving undergraduate teaching and learning in large introductory courses.
Barbara Boese Transition Coordinator
Barbara Boese, B.A. in Sociology and Psychology, hails from the State of Delaware with over 25 years of experience providing case management services and program administration. From 2014- 2018, as the State of Delaware Vocational Rehabilitation Contracts and Programs Administrator, she has developed, implemented and evaluated Pre-Employment Transition Services, Employment Placement, Supported Employment and Supported Education services to agencies that serve students, youth, and adults with disabilities.
Board of Directors
Nathan Brandwein – President
Lois Rosenbloom – Vice President
Greg Collesano, CPA – Treasurer
Carol Brent, Esq. – Secretary