Our Mission, Vision & Values
ACA provides breakthroughs for children with autism and their communities in Ghana through the application of evidenced-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy.
In addition, we provide: world class training in ABA for staff, families, and the community; supervision and support for BCBA candidates; as well as promote autism awareness across the country.
We envision a social system that provides support for all children with autism in Ghana, for their families to be able to thrive, and for the child to have increased independence to lead a meaningful life as a member of the greater social community.
- Opportunity for all children to live their best life.
- All parents of children with autism be able to best support their children
- Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis
Autism Compassion Africa provides an ABA center for children with autism in Cape Coast, one of the 10 largest metropolis areas in the country and located approximately a three-hour drive from the capitol of Accra. The University of Cape Coast offers a variety of degrees in education, special education as well as psychology which are requirements for staff. Currently, there are limited programs dedicated to special education in the city of 170,000 people. Using the figures from the International Society of Autism Research on global prevalence (1 in 161), the estimated number of children with autism in Cape Coast is 1054. Accra, the capital, hosts a handful of programs for children with special needs and autism. While ACA will like to collaborate with those in Accra, we feel the need for those families in Cape Coast is high and we are ready to help. For these reasons, in addition to the proximity to the capitol and many important partnerships, Cape Coast is the ideal location for ACA.
We are located in Ola Estate in Cape Coast. We are a fully functioning center with 3 classrooms currently open. Our space includes a large courtyard where the students can spend time outside, on-site office space for our staff, and on-site kitchen with chef providing hot meals for the students and staff. Coming next year- playground equipment and furnished volunteer quarters.
Whitney Hammel, MSEd, BCBA
Board Chair and Treasurer
Whitney Hammel has over 9 years of experience directly working in the field of autism, mostly with the New England Center for Children, along with many years of education. Whitney holds a BS in Early Childhood Development and Special Education from the University of Idaho, a MSEd in Severe Special Education from Simmons College, and completed two additional years from University of West Florida to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) specializing in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) service delivery.
Her work experience ranges from ages 20 months to 21 years; working in a residential facility, home/community settings with families, consulting in general education classrooms for inclusion, implementing social skills groups, supervising future BCBA candidates, and working in ABA centers across 3 countries (United States of America, United Arab Emirates, and India)
Board Vice Chair
Stanley Amamu is a Ghanaian specialising in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). He graduated from the University of Ghana with degree in Information and Communication Studies. He also holds qualifications with various institutions such as; McGill University of Canada in CSR, University of London in Sustainability Development, the Texas University in Petroleum and many more. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree programme in Corporate Social Responsibility and Energy with Robert Gordon University in UK. As a specialist, Stanley has worked with multiple companies and civil society groups in providing community related services and projects to communities in Ghana.
Stanley has been working with Kosmos Energy Ghana for over 6 years as their National Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist on various projects. Stanley also works with Apex Solutions to engage over 50 farmers in the northern part of Ghana. He is also the communications director for Scoliosis Foundation Ghana (SFG), a non-profit organisation that creates awareness and seeks support for people with scoliosis in Ghana. Project management, stakeholder engagement, media monitoring and PR, local content management and monitoring and evaluation are his key areas of experience and strength.
Colleen Fulp, MAIS
Colleen Fulp holds a MA in African Studies from the Jackson School of International Studies, and a Certificate in Global Health from the Department of Global Health at University of Washington, USA. She has more than 10 years of nonprofit, community organizing and research experience in the USA, Ghana and Uganda. Her work in Ghana consisted of a Masters research project examining the relationship between women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in the textile industry, partnering with the local nonprofit Global Mamas.
She also served on a program evaluation team to evaluate a medical doctor training course in tropical medicine in Uganda and Tanzania. Colleen has a successful track record of creating and launching nonprofits, as exhibited by her key role in building the Mother Africa organization in Washington State, which has more than doubled its budget every year since starting in 2012. Colleen specializes in nonprofit management, nonprofit board governance, program design and delivery, community engagement, program evaluation and grant writing.
Abidemi Alabi, BEng, MBA
Abidemi Alabi was born and grew up in southwestern Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor’s degree (BEng) in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from London South Bank University in the United Kingdom, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Foster Business School at the University of Washington. His career has had a long term focus on the confluence of business and technology, and more importantly the uses of both for improving the lives and livelihood of many in the parts of West Africa.
His 15 year career in the technology and software industry has largely included providing consulting services on many Business Intelligence and Data Analytics projects to big multinational organizations like Microsoft Corporation, Credit Suisse First Boston Investment Bank, Nokia, Expedia Inc. and many others. He has co-invested and serves on the boards of a number of startups in Nigeria and Ghana including Aella Credit Ltd, Apex Agro Solutions Ghana Ltd and Solarix Global Investment Ltd.
Kim Leatherman, BA
Kim Leatherman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University. She has been an Educational Support Professional for over a decade. Her focus has been working with children (ages 3-5 years old) who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Kim has been through multiple trainings through the University of Washington’s Autism Center. There she learned Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) including discrete trial training and naturalistic teaching strategies.
For 12 years, Kim’s daily work experience has been based on collaboration with a team of parents, teachers and specialists to identify each student’s unique goals, develop learning activities, and implement individualized education and intervention plans. These programs are created based on existing skill levels, current needs, and parent input.
Kim is committed to empowering EVERYONE to achieve their best potential and know themselves as PERFECT beings exactly the way they are…perfect EXACTLY the way YOU are!!
Whitney Hammel, MSEd, BCBA.
Executive Director/Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Whitney Hammel’s career in autism and Applied Behavior Analysis began in early 2009 at the New England Center for Children (NECC) located near Boston, Massachusetts. In addition to her many years in the field, Whitney prides herself in being a lifelong student. She holds a BS in ECDE birth through age 8 with Special Education, a MSEd ages 5 through 21 with Moderate to Severe Disabilities, and completed two additional years of post-masters schooling to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst specializing in the field of ABA service delivery. She maintains her certification by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) with fulfilling continuing education units bi-yearly. Whitney’s work experience ranges from ages 20 months to 21 years; in a residential facility, home/community settings with families, consulting in general education classrooms, implementing social skills groups, supervising BCBA candidates, and working in ABA centers across 3 countries (United States of America, United Arab Emirates, and India).
ACA follows best practices of intensive ABA service delivery, including designating one staff to one student. Across the day, the students work 1:1 with their case manager and also with 1:1 with additional staff to program for generalization of skills. The direct 1:1 staff hold a minimum of a Bachelors degree in a related field (education, special education or psychology), complete a background check, clear test for TB and undergo three weeks of intensive training prior to working alone with students. Our Behavior Techs are energetic, enthusiastic, and know how to make themselves function as a reinforcer for the students which creates a fun and engaging learning environment. At ACA, we look to hire those interested in learning more about autism and ABA. Our goal is to have these staff members be the future leaders of autism education in Ghana.
US: +1 206-619-5356