Special Education Services & Supports » ACCESS


ACCESS Program- Academics, Communication, Community, Employment, Self Help, Social Skills



Program Focus

The program’s primary focus is on developing the student’s independent functioning within his/her home, school, and community environments. This focus is accomplished through the use of research based materials, teaching strategies and techniques, and components considered as best practice for students with significant cognitive disabilities and autism.

All students are given access to grade level Georgia Performance Standards in the areas of mathematics, reading/language arts, social studies, and science. The Adaptive Living Skills Curriculum is used to address specific skills needed in everyday living, including those related to personal care, home living, and school, work, leisure, and community participation. Other skills that are embedded in each of the instructional domains include communication, motor and social/emotional. 

Every student should have the opportunity to participate with their non-handicapped peers as much as possible.


  •          Lesson Plans
  •          Regular Data Collection on all IEP objectives
  •          Visual schedules for all students
  •          Structured visual learning for all students
  •          Direct instruction of IEP objectives
  •          Zoned room for adults (with schedules, assignments, and lesson plans)
  •          Independence training (anything taught through direct instruction)
  •          Hands on activities – less pencil and paper tasks
  •          Sensory area/activities for students who may need this
  •          Rotation schedule of activities


All students in the ACCESS class will be assessed in the grade levels and content in which all non-disabled peers are assessed. Kindergarten students will either be assessed on GKIDS or GAA (Georgia Alternate Assessment). Students in grades 3-8 and 11 will be assessed on the Georgia Alternate Assessment in ELA, Mathematics, science and social studies. More information on the Georgia Alternate Assessment can be found at the Department of Education site http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/Pages/Home.aspx

Programs used in the elementary ACCESS classes:

Early Literacy Skills Builder (ELSB)

ELSB is a research-based curriculum for students with significant developmental disabilities including autism. It is based on the principles of systematic and direct instruction. The curriculum is a multi-year curriculum which is aligned to state standards and includes phonics as well as sight word instruction. It incorporates scripted lessons, least-prompt strategies, teachable objectives, built-in lesson repetition, and ongoing assessments.

 Equals Math Curriculum

A Pre K-12 math curriculum that provides the best in mathematics instruction for educators who work with students in special education or in alternative education programs. It encompasses pre-readiness math skills (attending, cause and effect, etc.), fundamental math skills (numbers and operations, measurement, and estimation), and higher order math skills (data analysis, probability, spatial sense, geometry, algebra, and problem-solving). Each lesson provides three levels of instruction for students with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities.

The curriculum provides a multi-sensory structure in math with three levels of instructional strategies dedicated to each lesson. Equals builds math preparedness through an incremental and systematic progression from concrete to  abstract. In addition, Equals pulls together the critical instructional elements of communication and engagement by providing the strategies and manipulatives that enable all students to demonstrate measurable progress on math outcomes.

Key Features:

  • Complete scope and sequence of math skills
  • Lessons range from pre-emerging math to traditionally taught math standards
  • K-12 with age-neutral lessons
  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Real life problem solving (school-home-community math applications)
  • Math manipulatives (specifically for students with disabilities)
  • Hundreds of worksheets at multiple levels of complexity
  • Math posters, work mats, and cards
  • + FREE online math symbol program