ACA provides breakthroughs for children with autism and their communities in West Africa 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 region.
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 (ACA) aims at providing ABA therapy to families and children in Africa, currently ACA has established itself in two countries in Africa that is Ghana and Nigeria. ACA has two branches in Ghana:Greater Accra Region and Central Region precisely Cape Coast, and two branches in Nigeria: FCT-Abuja and Lagos State.
ACA has an establishedcentre 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. ACA Cape Coast is located in Ola Estate in Cape Coast, where we have a fully functioning centre with 5 classrooms currently open.
Accra, the capital, hosts a handful of programs for children with special needs and autism but ACA is currently the leading organization that offers ABA therapy to children with Autism by certified professionals. In Accra we offer consulting services to schools, medical professionals and families.
In Nigeria, ACA is headquarteredin the capitol city Abuja and offers consulting services in multiple regions, namely Lagos State. We provide ABA therapy to families in home and in school settings. We also offer consulting in other regions of Nigeria, including Lagos State. All of our services are provided by trained behaviour technicians and certified Behaviour Analysts.
ACA is also providing fiscal sponsorship support to ABA Senegal (hyperlink to website), where they provide ABA sessions in a clinic setting, as well as parent training. Services are provided in French.
Team ACA has a vision of expanding our services to many countries in Africa in the coming years.
Whitney Hammel, MSEd, BCBA, IBA, LBA
Board Chair and Treasurer
Whitney Hammel has over 10 years of experience directly working in the field of autism, mostly with the New England Centre 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 22 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 4 countries (United States of America, United Arab Emirates, India and Ghana)
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 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 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!!
Akanksha Chhettri, MA, BCBA, IBA
Akanksha Chhettri is an English literature graduate from lady Shri Ram College (University of Delhi). She developed an interest in Psychology soon after and pursued a masters in Psychosocial Clinical Studies from Ambedkar University, New Delhi. She also enrolled in the online ABA program at Florida Institute of Technology in 2016 and completed her post masters certificate program in 2017. Following this she earned her certification as a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and is in fact the second person with these credentials in West Africa.
Akanksa joined the Autism Centre for Excellence (ACE) in Gurgaon as a case manager in May2014 where she worked for almost four years. At ACE, she gained a valuable experience working with children with autism between the ages of 3-16 years.
Her focus on building a connection with her students with a one-on-one interaction, and to simultaneously provide them with the right set of interventions through the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis. She went on to obtain the role of a Classroom Manager in 2016, where she was in charge of a class of 8 studentsand 8 case managers. She successfully conducted a number of trainings for the team, and took a lead facilitation and implementing individualized programs for all the students at the Centre. Akanksha enjoys stimulating conversations and meeting people that help broaden her perspective of the world.
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).
Beatrice Fosua, B.Ed, IBA
Senior Clinical Supervisor and International Behavior Analyst
Beatrice is one of the Supervisors for Autism Compassion Africa providing ABA therapy in Cape Coast, Ghana. She holds a B.Ed in Special Education and Mathematics degree from the University of Education-Winneba,Ghana.
She is excited to be among the first three people to have this certification in Ghana, after Completing a coursework in ABA at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) which gave her a valuable insight and experience of Autism and ABA.
She always feels motivated and fulfilled to see students gaining mastery and being independent in these different areas of their life.
It has always been her passion to help individuals with special needs to develop their full potentials and to see this dream becoming a reality. She is super proud of Team ACA for the opportunity.
She believes in equal opportunities for all kids. No child is ineducable.
Christina Maame Efua Spio, B.Ed, IBA
Clinical Supervisor and International Behavior Analyst.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Cape Coast and she was certified as International Behavior Analyst after completing her ABA studies at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in 2020.
What she loves about ABA is the fact that by its implementation, children with autism in cape coast (at ACA) have found a voice (through communication skills training), they’ve found reasons to smile (social skills training), they’ve got a sense of independence (self help training) and they’ve discovered ways to live easier lives (through behavior intervention strategies).
She is proud to me part of the team that makes this happen!
Josephine Mnena Akure, MSc, IBA
Clinical Consultant and International Behavior Analyst.
She is one of the Supervisors for Autism Compassion Africa providing ABA therapy in Abuja, Nigeria. Josephine is an internationally certified Behavior Analyst. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Benue State University (Nigeria), a master’s degree in Psychology from the University of South Wales (UK). She also completed her ABA course sequence at the Florida Institute of Technology (USA) and currently working towards her BCBA certification.
What is so thrilling about ABA intervention is the fact that it helps individuals on the spectrum to effectively communicate their needs through communication skills training, they are able to socially interact with family members and peers through social skills training and through the self-help skills training, they are able to function independently as well as finding positive ways to regulate sensory issues through behavior intervention programs.
She is super excited to be part of this team and the positive change ACA is bringing to families in Nigeria through ABA intervention!
Joy Ovioije, MEd, IBA
Clinical Consultant and International Behavior Analyst.
She is one of the Supervisors for Autism Compassion Africa providing ABA therapy in Abuja, Nigeria.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass communication from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago I woye, Ogun State, Nigeria. She also holds a master’s degree in Education (Innovations in learning and teaching) from the University of South Wales United Kingdom. She is a certified International behaviour analyst (IBA) following the completion of board certified behaviour analyst course sequence at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), USA.
Her love for Applied Behaviour Analysis is stemmed out from finding out that it is a science with an evidence based approach backed by several years of research with success stories to tell and share. This is her reason for embarking on an awesome journey of becoming a behaviour analyst.
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