Claire Ballard graduated from the Academics, Community, Career Development and Employment Program (ACCE) through Easterseals Arkansas in 2020. Claire enrolled in the program to learn more about the careers available to her and explore employment opportunities. In a video interview, which you can watch below, Claire says her favorite part of the ACCE program was the hands-on experience. This experience allowed her to prepare for her future career as a preschool aide.
Claire’s graduating class faced extra challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She and all her fellow students had to go virtual and, as Claire put it in her graduation speech, “be patient” while they learned to use Zoom and Google Hangouts. Despite these obstacles, Claire persevered. She was able to graduate and find employment with the Little Rock Developmental Preschool as a preschool aide.
Now, Claire is a key member of the preschool’s team as a preschool aide. She keeps the classrooms and offices organized and running smoothly. Claire says she loves being a preschool aide. She adores working with the school because it allows her to feel useful and makes her happy. "Claire is vibrant and outgoing," says Keasha Mosley, director of the Little Rock Developmental Preschool. "Her personality is one of a kind. Claire is dependable, honest, and takes pride in her job. She brings so much joy and laughter to the preschool, and we are lucky to have her as part of our team."
When asked about the application process, Claire said the school was looking for someone dependable, flexible, and “who doesn’t complain at all!” She was exactly the right person for the job.
The ACCE Program
Easterseals’ ACCE Program offers post-secondary education and training for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
This two-semester program in a college setting allows students to have a college experience and prepare for competitive employment. In addition to academics, members of the ACCE program have access to social support, work exploration, and job placement services. It’s a streamlined service designed to help students with disabilities find meaningful careers, like being a preschool aide, that adds to their lives and community.
This program is open to high school graduates and is ideal for young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. This includes disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder or cerebral palsy. Many students like Claire have successfully graduated and found gainful employment in their communities.
Enrollment is happening now for the 2023 class. If you’re interested in applying to ACCE, download the application form here.
The Little Rock Developmental Preschool
The Little Rock Developmental Preschool is an inclusive developmental preschool that serves all children—including those with and without developmental disabilities, autism, or other special needs. In addition to special education, these schools offer pediatric outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy; pediatric feeding disorder therapy; and applied behavior analysis (ABA) services.
The mission of the Little Rock Developmental Preschool is to help prepare your child for kindergarten and give them the best possible start. We are committed to providing every resource for your child to further their development, well-being, and happiness.
Our preschools in Little Rock and Stuttgart are enrolling now. If you’re interested in enrolling your child, fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!