Inclusion and Neurodiversity are the Norm When Teaching Digital Technology Skills to Youth
Pixel Academy is the most recent organization to become a Certified Autism Center (CAC), a designation awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The Pixel Academy, located in Brooklyn and Manhattan, implemented a training and certification program for members of its staff provided by IBCCES to further its commitment to students with autism or sensory sensitivities. The Pixel Academy teaches digital technology skills to children age 7-16 and has found many of its members are on the autism spectrum.
Mike Fischthal, Pixel Academy’s founder and CEO, spearheaded the pursuit of this designation and has been committed to providing an experience accessible to children of many different neurotypes since the company’s start in 2012.
“For the last six years, we’ve had kids of all types and learning styles visit Pixel Academy to learn tech-based skills that will prepare them for the future. We always strive to make our spaces welcoming and inclusive, and give our instructors the tools to work with every kid in a way that works best for their individual needs. We’re so thrilled now to expand our training to include autism certification from IBCCES. This will only help us do our jobs better and reach kids more effectively,” said Fischthal.
For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for licensed healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. Many organizations tout “autism-friendly” options; however, this term does not necessarily indicate a true understanding of the needs of individuals on the spectrum. More parents are now seeking out organizations that have completed research-based training and professional review to ensure the best experience possible.
“We’re excited to partner with another great organization that is truly committing to serving those on the spectrum. We want to help professionals create safe, knowledgeable environments for individuals with autism to learn and flourish,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “Our Certified Autism Center designation is awarded to premier organizations who have completed rigorous training and meet the highest industry standards.”
Over the past 6 years, Pixel Academy has hosted over 3,000 children in the NYC metro area and has worked to break down the barrier of incorporating individuals with special learning needs. Each summer, the team dedicates time to learning about working with individuals with various special needs and giving them the opportunity to succeed. New clients are asked to supply information to prepare the Pixel Academy team to meet their goals and provide any accommodations available. Through this, Pixel Academy has not only been able to give individuals on the spectrum a new opportunity, but also equip them with tools they can use to thrive.
About Pixel Academy
Pixel Academy empowers neurotypical and special needs kids by providing safe, creative, and innovative experiences with digital technology. At Pixel Academy’s locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, kids ages 7-16 learn advanced concepts and skills often taught in AP and college-level environments, broken down into fun, hands-on digital and physical projects. Participants can start to build and identify with digital knowledge so they can own and recognize these 21st-century concepts down the road. Pixel Academy offers programming year-round, such as summer day camps, after-school programs, birthday parties, vacation camps, private lessons and much more.