It’s all about balance.
We strive to create a positively positive experience in special education. We strongly believe in supporting a collaborative learning community, and promote the team approach.
Access 7 Services, Inc., formerly known as Access 7 Consulting, Inc., is a Placement and Educational company that provides Special Education related and professional services to School Districts across Long Island (Nassau & Suffolk Counties) and in New York City. All Access 7 Therapists and Teachers are licensed and qualified to provide services to the School Districts, and proof of such licenses and qualifications are provided to clients on an ongoing and continuous basis. Access 7 has provided related services to clients since 1998, and is managed by an owner with over thirty years experience within the field of Special Education.We work closely with School District Staff, Professional Therapists and Teachers and Parents to ensure a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) is provided to special needs children in the Least Restrictive Environment. Access 7 Related service professionals are monitored over the course of the school year to ensure mandate fulfillment and quality of services through periodic student IEP Program progress reporting, Annual Reviews and CSE Meetings. In addition we have developed several early educational programs utilizing Speech, Occupational Therapy and Special Education Teacher professionals, who function in coordination with RtI and early screening. Entitled “Smart Start”, these multi-sensory development programs are designed to provide children with many of the tools necessary for future academic success, and identify atypical or developmental delays early on when such identification is critical.
Jo DiStefano is the President of Access 7 Services and has been a treating Occupational Therapist since 1984. A current member of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), she is SIPT Certified, and NDT trained. Abreast of the latest in a continually evolving field, she combines a holistic and nurturing approach to help individuals achieve optimal independent functioning in the school and home environments. She has a unique outlook and understanding of both typical and atypical development as well as a strong foundation in treatment/facilitation techniques to make the individuals she serves more independent and successful in everyday life. Jo’s professional history spans private practice, treating patients of all ages pediatric through geriatric. She is a well respected professional in the special education community and has provided services to school districts across Long Island for over 10 years. Hands on and still treating, Jo is not only up to speed with the latest in the field, but is applying it as well. Jo’s personal philosophy is to create and promote balance with an emphasis on bridging disciplines for child centered development.
Dr. Jacqueline Harris is an integral part of Access 7's branding, coordination of services, recruitment and daily operations. A veteran special education educator with over 35 years of experience serving children and families on Long Island. She uses her passion and expertise to assist school districts, clinicians, and parents in the development of equitable, high-quality specialized services in the least restrictive environment. She's earned her Bachelor's Degree in Special Education from Cheyney State University, Master's Degree in Educational Technology from LIU CW Post, Professional Diploma in School Leadership and Staff Development from the College of New Rochelle, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from St. John's University. She is also a recently retired Deputy Superintendent of Schools who has worked hard to master the skills necessary to lead educational programs, create inclusive programs at all PreK-12 levels, collaborate with colleagues, support practitioners, and engage parents in the pursuit of excellence for all children. As an accomplished and highly regarded special education expert, she has been recognized nationally for her work on disproportionality, access, and equity.
Doreen Ivory is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and NYS Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA). Doreen graduated from Queens College in 2017 with a Master’s in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis where she received diverse clinical training. Before becoming a BCBA she trained in Downstate SUNY inpatient psychiatric hospital collaborating with staff to reduce patients’ behaviors decreasing the use of restraints using OBM principles. Later she received experience working in a Franklin Square School district at Polk Street elementary school’s Behavior Support Team (BST) collaborating with staff on implementing behavior strategies to reduce problem behaviors to increase children with disabilities to receive the least restrictive environment education using ABA and OBM principles.
Recently moving into the role of the Director of Clinical Director, and the Assistant Director for over 5 years, Doreen has specialized in school consultation, parent training, providing and supervising behavior intervention services at home, conducting Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP), Functional Analysis (FA), implementing programs and protocols based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) methodologies, toilet training, verbal behavior training, staff development workshops, and overseeing RBT, BaCBA and BCBA candidates by providing supervision and training. Doreen feels grateful for having such a great opportunity to serve people with disabilities making socially significant changes in their lives for them to become successful adults. In addition, providing the support that has flourished the lives of many parents. Moreover, the training to school professionals over the years while sharing her expertise as a BCBA and preparing them to provide support to their students and classrooms. Doreen has learned so much from experience working side by side with all professionals in the schools and reminds her why every child is unique in their own way, and it takes collaboration with everyone to provide the most effective treatment for the success of each child’s lives.
Sandy Pierre Louis joined Access 7 in 2010 as an independent contractor providing behavioral and family counseling services. Sandy has worked in the field for over 25 years in various roles to include operating and managing Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF), supervised Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRA). Sandy’s leadership was always shaped by the idea that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can live their best lives if early intervention is clinically sound and consistent and if services are provided in partnership with the families. Sandy is a firm believer in applied behavior analysis and is hands on practitioner. Sandy attended Nassau Community College and is now attending St Joseph University. In her spare time, Sandy enjoys cooking, baking, and spending time with family and friends. Finally, Sandy’s approach to her personal and professionalize is informed by a quote from May Angelou: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Erin earned her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Scranton in 2004 and has been a treating Occupational Therapist specializing in pediatrics for over 10 years. She has a history working with children from as young as six weeks to high school students in camp, home, school and daycare settings long before working as an Occupational Therapist. Erin’s career as an occupational therapist spans the school systems and home-based care throughout Long Island and New York City. She is a current member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and is certified with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). Constantly improving her knowledge base and staying updated in the field, she has been trained in Bal-A-Vis-X, Therapeutic Listening, Powered Up and Running, Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, Neurobiological Foundations of Sensory Integration, Vestibular Activation of the Core, Brain Gym, Handwriting without Tears, Wilson Reading Program/ Fundations, and Assistive Technology. Erin takes every opportunity to promote and educate parents, administration, staff and other therapeutic disciplines to the mission and purpose of Occupational Therapy and Assistive Technology over the life span. She believes that the more people know and understand the connection between physical and cognitive development, the greater asset and support they can be to a child’s learning, functional growth and success.
Nichole Canterino earned her Master of Science in Special Education Degree and a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis at Queens College. Nichole is a licensed New York State Teacher in general education and special education from birth to grade six. Nichole has taught a numerous number of school grades, from general education, inclusion, to special education in Queens and on Long Island. She is currently providing school consultation, behavior intervention services in the homes, and parent counseling in the homes.
Julianna Okpych earned a Bachelor of Arts in Child Studies with a concentration in psychology from St. Joseph’s University of New York. During her time at St Joseph’s University, Julianna worked in two different elementary schools on Long Island. Julianna worked at James E. Allen Elementary and St Patrick’s Elementary school. At both schools, Julianna worked to individualize lessons according to student's interests, strengths, and needs. She also collaborated with co-teachers to develop lesson plans for students with disabilities such as MD, OHi, ID, and LD. Julianna also worked at a developmental preschool that focused on ABA skills in a small class setting.
Jackie joined the Access 7 team in late 2022 with a Masters Degree in Special Education from C.W. Post LIU University, Long Island and over 18 years experience within the special education field. Jackie has fulfilled special education teacher positions in private schools and organizations throughout Long Island, New York. She has worked closely with many families across the island providing behavior intervention services, behavior consultation, applied behavior analysis as well as parent training. Jackie demonstrates significant experience within behavior de-escalation strategies, pro-active and reactive behavior reduction protocols and behavior interventions when working with special needs learners. Jackie has 5 years experience in training school staff on crisis prevention techniques and protocols within the public school setting. She offers a hands on approach to many of her trainings allowing her families to become fully engrossed within their sessions and retrieve the most functional experience of behavior support!
OUR SUPPORT STAFF
Maria is the bookkeeper and human resources point person. She is responsible for payroll, accounts payable/receivable, and office personnel matters. She brings with her a wealth of experience in the area of finance dating back to 1990, when she was involved in derivative trading in New York City.