Pressley Ridge Unveils Highly Anticipated New Facility for School for Autism and School for the Deaf

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Pressley Ridge’s state-of-the-art School for Autism and School for the Deaf will celebrate a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, September 20th. The school was created with specifically tailored technology to meet the special sensory needs that children with autism and children that are deaf experience. The 30,000 square foot facility, designed with guidance from autism and deaf experts, will help meet the unique needs of children with enhanced learning experiences.

“We are extremely proud and excited to finally have a facility for our School for Autism and School for the Deaf that reflects the quality of education and care our staff has been providing over the years,” said Cole.

Pressley Ridge will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil its new $12 million School for Autism and School for the Deaf on September 20 at 1 p.m. on their Marshall Avenue campus on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Although the two schools have been in operation for many years, this is the first time they have a permanent—and state-of-the-art—home. Designed from the ground up with the help of experts in autism and deafness, the three-floor, 30,000-square-feet building will house both schools and offer these student populations an enhanced learning experience and access to programs and services that will allow them to achieve their maximum potential.

Pressley Ridge President and CEO Susanne Cole will speak at the ribbon cutting, along with Pennsylvania Senator Wayne Fontana, State Representative Jake Wheatley, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “We are extremely proud and excited to finally have a facility for our School for Autism and School for the Deaf that reflects the quality of education and care our staff has been providing over the years,” said Cole.

Pressley Ridge School for Autism is a licensed private academic school and is located on the second floor of the new facility. Youth ages 6-21 with Autism Spectrum Disorder receive intensive social, behavioral, and academic interventions to learn the skills needed to be successful participants in their communities. The program utilizes evidenced-based strategies and materials to encourage academic and social progress and aims to Increase the student’s ability to engage in sustainable relationships with peers and adults.

Pressley Ridge School for the Deaf, a year-round Approved Private School with a residential component, is located on the facility’s third floor. The school serves students who are Deaf or hard of hearing and also identified as having behavioral or emotional need or are on the Autism Spectrum. Some students also have intellectual disabilities or multiple disabilities. Pressley Ridge School for the Deaf, which is the only school of its kind in Pennsylvania, uses an individualized, strength-based approach to academic and behavioral growth. The program emphasizes access to language and communication and employs hearing assistive technology. A residential program is available to students who live too far to commute on a daily basis.

All classrooms are equipped with SMART Board® technology, calming areas, and their own restrooms. Sensory rooms provide interactive materials, including a platform swing, fiber optics, and Sensory Magic™ technology. The two schools share the building’s first floor, which features computer/media labs and special classrooms for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) and culinary education. A student-run coffee shop and PAES (Practical Assessment Exploration System) Lab

allows students to acquire vocational skills through hands-on experiences in a simulated real-world work environment. Students also learn life skills in a full-service hospitality-level kitchen and laundry. Office space, conference rooms, a cafeteria, and a large multipurpose room for physical education and performances are also located on the first floor. The campus includes other Pressley Ridge programs, playground areas, an adventure garden, and plenty of green space.

Tours of the new facility will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by the ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. For more information on the Pressley Ridge School for Autism and School for the Deaf, visit http://www.pressleyridge.org.

ABOUT PRESSLEY RIDGE

Pressley Ridge is a social service non-profit organization that empowers children, adults and families with hope and healing through foster care, mental and behavioral health services and specialized education. Each year, nearly 8,000 families find the strength to succeed through Pressley Ridge’s 70+ innovative programs – all of which share a common goal of establishing stable families and lifelong relationships. Pressley Ridge was founded and remains headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and also serves communities in Central Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.

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Dacia Moran
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