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Director and Founder
William Harris is the director of The Academy of Ability. He has been an Occupational Therapist since 1994, graduating from Quinnipiac College with his degree in Occupational Therapy. He has worked with children for 16 years both in the schools and in the home. In his time as an Occupational Therapist working in the schools, he gained valuable experience in understanding the challenges that physical disabilities pose for children accessing and benefiting from educational activities. He first served as a school based therapist in Orange County Schools from 1995 through 1998, providing intervention in the classrooms from prekindergarten through 12th grade. He then assumed a district position as the evaluation specialist from 1998 through 2000, assessing and planning intervention and developing IEPs for students throughout Orange County. In 2000, he was promoted to coordinator for Occupational and Physical Therapy serving in that post for 6 years, where he helped coordinate services, oversee intervention, participated in interdepartmental policy and curriculum development with various other professionals including educators, psychologists, and district administrators. After leaving the school system to he started a private therapy practice, returning to direct intervention with children. Through this practice, he saw first hand the daily living and care challenges that the children and their families face. It was from his broad experience with the needs of the children he served he conceived the idea of a school that not only focused on academics as part of education but also an education that included life skills daily. A place where students not only learn but learn to live. A place where developing independence in life is a goal of equal importance to the goal of academic achievement. In 2009, his vision became a reality. He continues serves as not only director but provides daily intensive facilitation of life skills to each of the students.
About The Academy of Ability
Provide individualized academics and life skills training to foster the greatest level of independence in all areas of life including school, home, leisure, and eventually work for each student we serve.
The Academy of Ability is an academic program for children with moderate to severe motor delays and challenges in learning. At the Academy of Ability, developing life skills is a goal of equal importance to the goal of academic achievement. Each day children are challenged academically to the level of their ability but also challenged to increase their level of independence in moving, performing daily living skills, and completing their course work. It is not only a place of learning but a place where children learn to live.
Our belief is that success is in the air. It is daily encouragement and patience that is needed to make small changes over time. We believe in our students and work to instill belief in themselves. We offer a program where our staff direct a program of learning that is individualized to each student based on their rate of learning whether for academic or life skills creating an environment of success. We have found that when our students succeed, their motivation to learn exponentially grows. Through patience, selecting varying method of instruction consistently over time, The right mixture of confidence, appropriately selected activities, and motivation produces amazing results and creates a world of new opportunities.
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learn to live.