Creating Optimal ACCESS
to life, learning, communication & autonomy for those who cannot rely on speech for communication
Thank you for visiting Optimal ACCESS (formerly Optimal Rhythms).
We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals who are
unable to rely on speech alone to be understood.
We look forward to sharing helpful resources through
our various programs and initiatives.
Explore our website to learn more about our mission and how you can get involved.
GIVE AN EXTRAORDINARY GIFT THIS VALENTINE'S DAY
This is the perfect gift for all!
Your gift opens doors of understanding to the world
and helps provide program funding for our
students and families.
Please Support our School Fundraiser!
Place your order today for those you love and give the precious gifts of communication and education to nonspeaking students still waiting in their silence.
Inspired by the book Underestimated, this full-length documentary challenges conventional wisdom regarding a group relegated to society’s margins: autistic nonspeakers. The film opening asks, “What if we’ve been wrong…about every single one of them?”
SPELLERS tells the stories of eight nonspeakers—who spell to communicate.
The University of Southern Indiana is hosting a FREE Public Screening on March 11, 2024.
Optimal ACCESS will host a Q&A Panel of nonspeaking students after the film.
Join us to watch and #rethinkautism!
Call 812-490-9401 for questions
Casey is a board-certified neurologic music therapist, small business owner, sought-after presenter, and fierce advocate for the rights of those with communication disabilities. She founded Optimal ACCESS (formerly Optimal Rhythms, Inc.) to provide increased access to community training programs and support services for autistic individuals and those with neurologic disabilities or injuries who struggle to communicate via speech or move reliably to be understood.
Eric is a University of Evansville grad with 15+ years of experience in the field of music therapy. Eric started his career with Integrative Music Therapy and was instrumental in the start of Optimal Rhythms and ACCESS Academy. He has presented at regional and national conferences, often alongside self-advocates. Eric is a neurologic music therapist, a composer, and a songwriter. He enjoys being a husband and daddy and loves making music with all people.
Kaitlin has been a member of the Optimal Rhythms team since 2019, supporting students in-person and virtually. She is passionate and skilled at helping families get the supports they need to address the individualized needs of our students. She graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and recently received a Master's degree in Clinical Counseling from Indiana Wesleyan University. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (Associate), she is now offering mental health counseling services to our students and intensive support services to Indiana Medicaid Waiver clients in SW Indiana.
Tammy is an experienced professional who understands the nonprofit sector. She is passionate about people and works hard to creatively engage with stakeholders to share our mission and the needs of our students. Connect with her to discuss community partnerships, training opportunities, and collaborations to improve the lives of nonspeaking people in our community.
Tammy is an avid watercolor artist and an active wife, mom, and Grammy.
This new registry for vulnerable persons is informed by individuals with sensory, motor, and communication challenges and will better inform first responders to the needs of individuals who respond best to specific supports and accommodations.
This registry is designed as a collaborative effort across communities to ensure the safety of those who are statistically at risk.
Click on the button below to lean how you can enroll and receive your Keep Me Safe Decals.
For information about how to bring this program to your area, contact us at 812-490-9401.
Registrations will open soon for our
2024 CAN-Do FAMILY SUMMER INTENSIVES
This enhanced program is designed to challenge families
of nonspeaking students and young adults to
CONNECT and COMMUNICATE through
COMPASSIONATE SUPPORT and GOAL SETTING.
This in-Person opportunity for Parents and Nonspeaking Individuals is being provided in response to requests for families who want to build their support skills not only for spelled communication but for real life!
Families will receive activity kits with all of the materials needed for this 4-day intensive - it doesn't get much easier than that!
Family and small group sessions will be filled with engaging activities, movement challenges, sensory-motor supports, communication opportunities, peer interaction, and parent/caregiver training that has been proven to lead to improved confidence and communication in the home.
Our incredible staff will meet you where you are and ensure you and your loved one success!
Thank you to all of the campers and families who participated in previous camp experiences since 2014. We have learned so much and we have so much to celebrate!!
The 2024 Family Intensive spots will be filled on a first-come first-served basis. Registration will open Feb 15th!
This program grew out of the needs we've heard expressed for years from parents and students who have been advocating for an educational opportunity that presumed competence and supported the motor and regulation challenges so many autistic students face in our schools. This program is implemented virtually, and we are so excited and prepared to partner with students and families all across the country (and beyond) to unleash potential and achieve their dream of rigorous classes that allows them to earn an academic diploma -even if they believed they had missed their chance! No more discrimination. No more set-backs. No more isolation. Welcome to our A2A Community!
ESA funding can be used for A2A in IN, NC, and AZ!
More states coming soon!
Contact us for details.
Our amazing team of full-time and part-time staff is committed to serving those with complex communication, sensory, and motor challenges.
If you have an interest in learning more about how you can train to be a part of our team, visit our About Us page to complete an application.
We grew out of the needs expressed by our community. Many other programs focused on DISability and did not provide opportunities to young autistic individuals to learn and live at their highest potential. In 2014, we opened ACCESS Academy as an alternative to traditional special education/life skills. Focusing on our student’s strengths
We grew out of the needs expressed by our community. Many other programs focused on DISability and did not provide opportunities to young autistic individuals to learn and live at their highest potential. In 2014, we opened ACCESS Academy as an alternative to traditional special education/life skills. Focusing on our student’s strengths and abilities, then supporting their challenges, allowed them thrive!
To optimally support autistic individuals to experience their full potential through access to communication, education, and connection for a good, full, and autonomous life.
Join us as a mission partner!
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions for children and families.
Your generous donation will fund our mission.
Nancy was a friend of our students at Optimal Rhythms. She valued them and asked that others remember to support them at her passing. She was full of joy and patience.
Jay is the father of Optimal Rhythms CEO, Casey (Heath) DePriest. He was a life-long educator and a long-time supporter of the mission of Optimal Rhythms.
Sign up for our email list and follow our social media to hear from us about programs, fundraisers, events and more!