ACCESS program achieves growth

  ACCESS participant Michael's favorite activity is bowling.

ACCESS participant Michael's favorite activity is bowling.

Alternative Community Connections, Experiences, and Social Supports (ACCESS) works on providing activities for clients each day, from Louisville Bats games to bowling.

Clients usually begin arriving in the morning anytime between 8:00 and 9:00 and then the group takes off for their morning activity. After returning for lunch around 11:30, they leave again for their afternoon activity and then around 3:30 or 4:00 they begin returning home.

Some days involve half-day or full-day trips such as when they visit Spring Mill. The staff are always asking the clients for suggestions of activities they would like to participate in, and Rauch is always in search of donated passes and tickets to expand horizons and opportunities.

The program first started with one client in a wheelchair, but they now have eight individuals who use wheelchairs—they have to rotate days when people get to go out or stay at the facility due to the fact that only one of the program’s vans is able to transport wheelchairs.

Program manager Kevin Ashabranner said the program hopes to obtain more wheelchair accessible vans in the future.

“I would love a couple more lift vans to accommodate more people getting out,” he said.

Ashabranner would also eventually love a wheelchair accessible and expanded kitchen.

“We’ve never had something like that,” he said. Since they have a growing number of clients, including those who use wheelchairs, the kitchen would help facilitate learning opportunities within the building.

Overall, Ashabranner said he’s just happy the program is growing. He said ACCESS is beneficial for clients because it is goal-oriented, plus it gets them out and learning about their community.

“We’re definitely growing and getting more and more people,” he said.

This post is from guest blogger Darian Eswine--an English and journalism major from Franklin College interning with Rauch this summer.