Why We Do What we do – A message from Anne Showers, CEO
Let me tell you about Dave, a 20 year-old, pajama-wearing, video game playing, unkempt young man, who lived at home with his mom and wasn’t doing anything, or at least anything meaningful to him. I know what you’re thinking, why doesn’t he just get a job or go to school? In fact, that’s what his uncle said to him and Dave didn’t know what to say. You see, it’s not so simple when you are autistic. Dave tried going to college. His first day was incredibly stressful, but exciting – there were so many new people, the campus was much larger than his high school, and his professors didn’t know anything about him or his disability. At first, he thought that was a good thing. But when he started to lose track of his assignments, he soon realized that he didn’t know how to ask for help. He became too anxious to return to class empty-handed. He fell further and further behind, so he stopped attending class altogether and dropped out. His mom, exasperated said “maybe college is too hard for you.” This was very hard for Dave to hear – he had gotten good grades in high school and could not understand what went wrong. So, Dave tried getting a job. He applied for entry-level retail jobs, but the hiring manager didn’t like that Dave didn’t smile or make eye contact when he spoke and refused to shake his hand. Dave was turned down from every position he applied for, except for a restaurant dishwashing position. At first, Dave was excited to finally be doing something. Then he was surprised when at his first shift the pungent smells of the kitchen and sink was overwhelming. The kitchen was too hot and made his skin crawl. There so much noise, that he couldn’t think, and if you can’t even think, how can you wash a dish? He ran out of the kitchen after only twenty minutes and refused to go back. His confidence was shaken. He thought to himself, “I can’t do college, I can’t work, I can’t even wash a dish. What good am I?” So, what does he decide to do? Wear pajamas, play video games, and live at home – where it’s safe. Except, for his uncle who kept asking, “why are you such a bum? Why don’t you get a job?”.
Dave’s mom knew better. She started a search for resources to help her son and came across Accessible Academics, a nonprofit agency that is dedicated to helping young adults like her son. The Transition Coordinator listened to what Dave wanted to do. What were Dave’s hopes and dreams? What type of career did he want to have? Dave was interested in animation and game design. His love for video games gave him an excellent eye for design and he shared some of the drawings and storyboards he was working on. With some extra support, Dave enrolled back in college, this time in an animation program. Dave was given a Coach who taught him how to organize a calendar, keep track of his assignments, and communicate with his professor should a problem arise. To Dave’s surprise, he passed his first semester, then the next, and the next, until he reached his final semester and landed an internship at a start-up company. It was much easier for him to get through an interview when he had a portfolio of work to show. Dave had also learned self-advocacy skills and was better able to add context to his studies and sound professional, making him a more desirable candidate, even without the eye contact. Dave always had this potential. Dave was always capable. He just needed to learn the skills to do it – and that’s how Accessible Academics can help. So, if there is a Dave in your life, please contact us and let’s see what we can do together.
This is a story that we encounter over and over again, and why we are dedicated to our mission of supporting students with disabilities.
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I first met Anne Showers prior to the formation of Accessible Academics, and received substantial training and support services from her during that time period. Later on in my academic career, when I was in need of an internship to complete my BS in Information Sciences and Technology, I contacted Anne again. It wasn’t long until I was travelling to University at Buffalo to complete my internship in user experience development. Accessible Academics was there to support and guide me every step of the way.
My internship experience was my first true test of my independent living skills as a young adult with Asperger Syndrome. Accessible Academics assisted not only with my work and study habit development, but with training in household management and stress management.
I am happy to say that, thanks in large part to the support provided by Anne Showers and Accessible Academics, I completed my degree and am now gainfully employed in the field of Information Technology for one of the world’s largest business-to-business finance organizations. I am excited for Accessible Academics as it moves forward in the nonprofit sector and provides support services for an increasing number of young adults in need. I have the utmost faith that, with hard work and dedication, they too will succeed academically and in life itself.
Source: Email from client
Our daughter couldn’t have been so successful in college at ECC without the help, guidance, and support of Anne. She goes well beyond academics and has helped our daughter to be more confident and secure. This service is extremely important and valuable for families with children who have LD, ADHD, ASD. Anne and her services is a Godsend.”
I can’t thank you enough for the services you provide for my son and the many others.
Source: Email from client
I know Anne for almost two years. She is a wonderful and dedicated educator. My son, Eric will not been stay in school if wasn’t for Anne’s dedication. She went above and beyond for my son for the last years. I wish Anne’s new company and venture nothing but continue growth and success.
My wife and I have had the pleasure of working w/Anne Showers over the past year. She has been able to make some significant strides and behavioral changes with our son, a student at the Gersh Experience as well as at Erie Community College. In a nutshell, Anne has done what she said she would do and has an excellent track record with our son. He liked Anne very much and has had a fruitful working relationship with her. Accessible Academics has a fair and reasonable billing structure, and frequent reports on student behavior are honest and to the point and timely. Our experience shows that Accessible Academics gets results-well worth the time and money. We recommend them without reservation.
Linke and Penelope
Source: Email from client