The Ajyal Center Receives Historic NCASES Accreditation
(PHOENIX – June 7, 2022) – For the past three years, Saudi Aramco and ACCEL have been reinventing the lives of children with disabilities in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Aramco chose to bring ACCEL’s model to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) because of its proven record of excellence in Arizona. As part of an effort to maintain its standard of excellence, the Ajyal Center sought to receive accreditation from the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education (NCASES). ACCEL received its NCASES accreditation earlier this month, becoming the first organization outside the United States to receive NCASES accreditation.
As a subsidiary of the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC), NCASES accreditation was established to recognize excellence in special education based on adherence to national standards of best practice. The NCASES’s site review team takes on the responsibility of conducting a systematic and comprehensive agency review to ensure programs meet their high level of standards for special education.
According to Danielle Damm, executive director of NCASES, pursuing accreditation is a voluntary activity that organizations seek out to show the level of quality they provide to their communities. “ACCEL has been a NAPSEC member for several years and we are thrilled that the Ayjal Center has become our first international program to receive the NCASES accreditation designation.”
Dr. Phil Tanner, ACCEL International’s Executive Center Director, said, “Achieving the accreditation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Ayjal Center’s team of professionals.”
“We pursued accreditation because we are all focused on delivering excellent service and we felt NCASES is a well-established and esteemed organization that promotes excellence,” said Tanner. “We knew that accreditation from NCASES would confirm the quality of service we provide here in the Kingdom.”
The standards the NCASES review team looks at are extensive. There are 30 areas of review including personnel, facilities, community relations, behavioral and affective practices, classroom management and finances. Approximately 20 organizations currently have NCASES accreditation.
“I am most proud of how our team worked together to overcome many hurdles since we began working towards NCASES accreditation. Factors included the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, maintaining our high standard of services to our students and families, foreign languages, different time zones and working closely with NCASES to translate their current standards for an organization outside of the United States,” said Chris Hanudel, ACCEL’s Quality Assurance Officer.
“It is rewarding to witness the support, commitment and long hours each team member made to earn NCASES accreditation for the Ajyal Center. The recognition further allows us to display to the world the high standards and commitment that we continually provide to our students, clients and their families beyond Arizona’s borders.”
The NCASES Commission found all areas to be in compliance with the standards. “The services rendered are of the same caliber as any quality special education program in the United States,” said Damm. “Receiving this accreditation makes the Ajyal Center and ACCEL part of an exclusive group.”
The program in KSA is of the same quality of program in Arizona.
“The staff here are providing a level of service that has been independently reviewed and proved. Through this accreditation, when a parent entrusts their child to the Ajyal Center, they can trust that their child is receiving exceptional care,” said Tanner. He continued, “At ACCEL we will always be in pursuit of improving the services we provide to the community. Participating in accreditation allows us to thoroughly study our practices with an independent observer and this process breeds excellence, something we all strive for at ACCEL.”
Receiving NCASES accreditation is both a celebration of the progress the staff at the Ajyal Center have achieved and provides the Ajyal Center and ACCEL a standard of excellence they can continue to pursue as they grow together.
ACCEL is a nonprofit organization serving children and adults who have developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, cognitive disabilities and behavioral disorders. Founded in 1980, ACCEL is celebrating 41 years of providing innovative, individualized and comprehensive educational, therapeutic, employment, behavioral and life skills training to its students, adult members and clients. ACCEL’s private educational program supports students ages five to 22, with school campuses located in Phoenix and Tempe, and two satellite campuses in Buckeye. ACCEL’s Adult Services program provides day programming for adults ages 18 and older, through the lifespan. The BISTÅ Center, an applied behavior analysis agency located in Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix that serves children ages 18 months to 13 years old with early intervention services. For more information, please visit www.accel.org/.