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About UsMission Statement

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.

Everyone Should Have Access to College Success

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.

Dedicated to Helping College Students

We founded Accessible Academics when we discovered there was a high need for academic and independent living support services that focused on coaching students through college. All of our coaches have a master's degree in education and years of experience working with college students, including students with autism, ADHD, anxiety, and other disabilities.

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Anne H. Showers, ED. M. - Founder & CEOAnne H. Showers, ED. M.
Founder & CEO

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.

Anne previously worked at the transition program The Gersh Experience as their Director of Volunteers & Academic Coordinator, which moved away from WNY. 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.

Melissa Heldwein - Transition CoordinatorMelissa Heldwein
Transition Coordinator

Melissa Heldwein's role is to oversee the programs that Accessible Academics offers, as well as assist in program development, agency growth, completing intake and exit planning, and monitoring progression of students through the program. She previously oversaw the Medicaid Service Coordination department at the Learning Disabilities Association of WNY. Prior to that, she was a Medicaid Service Coordinator at People Inc. She has also worked at various other human services agencies in WNY, including Autism Services Inc. and Cantalician Center for Learning. She holds her Master of Science degree in Human Services with a specialization in Community and Social Services. She also holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Criminology/Criminal Justice.

Board of DirectorsBoard of Directors

Nathan Brandwein – President
Lois Rosenbloom – Vice President
Greg Collesano, CPA – Treasurer
Carol Brent, Esq. – Secretary
Brenda Christopher
Jeff Baizley

Contact Us

Phone: 1-716-492-8656

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Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday | 9 AM to 5 PM
Saturday & Sunday | By Appt. Only

Accessible Academics | Making Independence Accessible