special needs and developmental disabilities education child

About ACCEL | Serving Those with Special Needs & Developmental Disabilities


ACCEL’s mission is to provide exceptional educational, behavioral, therapeutic, and vocational programs to individuals with special needs and developmental disabilities, to give them the necessary skills to learn, to work, and to live successfully with dignity and independence.


To serve people who have special needs in Arizona through exceptional programs in education, a wide range of therapy, behavioral development, and vocational training. We turn challenges into possibilities by making the greatest possible impact on the lives of our students, clients and members.

Since 1980, ACCEL has been providing comprehensive instructional programming for children and adults who have developmental disabilites. ACCEL is a non-profit organization, and the only private special education school in Arizona nationally accredited by the National Commission for the Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES).

In 2019, ACCEL expanded its mission internationally to serve students who have developmental disabilities in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where no special educational opportunities had existed for this community.

ACCEL is committed to doing the right thing for students. The ultimate goal is to help individuals who have developmental disabilities achieve a life of dignity and
self-worth—something that all people, regardless of ability level—deserve.

Our core values

We carry out our mission by enacting ACCEL’s core
values of initiative, accountability, dignity, service and excellence.

OUR VISION: a life of dignity and self-worth.


We demonstrate leadership and self-direction in accomplishing our goals.


We respect the dignity and difference of all individuals and treat everyone with respect under all circumstances.


We strive to maintain the highest standards of integrity and performance at all levels within the organization.


We are personally accountable and responsible for our behavior and our results.


We are passionate about meeting the needs of our clients, employees, community and society and are committed to ensuring quality service.

Our people

The ACCEL Leadership team is responsible for developing the organization’s initiatives, directing its education and therapeutic programs, and providing resources to enrich the lives of children and adults who have special needs and developmental disabilities.

Raymond Damm, CEO of Arizona ACCEL

Raymond Damm, CEO


Gordon Comfort, COO


Veronica Sas, CFO


Jessie Bustamante, CAO


Jonathan Evans, Metro Principal of ACCEL Arizona

Jonathan Evans,
Executive Director,
Education Programs


Laura Montgomery,
Principal, Metro Campus


Chris Horton,
Principal, East Campus



Kay Moore,
Director of Adult Services


Cailin Ockert,
Executive Director, Bista


Bradley Reed,
Assistant Principal,
Director, Training & Development


Our Board of Directors

Christopher Duncan, Farmer Woods Group

Scott Taubman, Ameriprise Financial Services

James Barham, Phoenix IDA

Julia Kolsrud, Associate, May, Potenza, Baran & Gillespie, P.C

Brooke Waldron, Cresa

Keith & Stephanie Farmer, ACCEL Parents

Our partners

Without you our work wouldn’t be possible.

Bringing Americans Together To Serve Communities

Our nation faces profound and enduring challenges. AmeriCorps is how we come together to help our country and our people prosper.

ACCEL in the news

ACCEL expands campus breaks ground on adult service building

Mingus teacher takes skills to Middle East

ACCEL Receives $100,000 Grant From Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust