Who We Are
We’re on a mission to inspire the potential and celebrate the ability of every child.
Our program unites children with autism and other developmental disabilities with outstanding services, highly-degreed and credentialed experts in their field, a responsive curriculum, and an inclusive culture.
Our joyful atmosphere and dedicated staff members create opportunities for children to be successful — just as they are.
Bridgeway is a nonprofit education center serving children with autism and developmental disabilities. Founded by speech-language pathologist Abby David and music therapist Erin Nealy in 2005 as Helping Hands Center for Special Needs, the organization’s goal is to help each child reach his or her highest potential.
Bridgeway accomplishes its mission with a centered approach. In collaboration with Bridgeway Therapy Center, we provide the following services in one place:
- School-Day Educational Services (Preschool – Age 21)
- Summer Program
- Bridgeway Therapy Center Services
What makes us different?
Whether it’s during 1:1 instruction, community outings, group instruction, or playtime, Bridgeway Academy utilizes the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which has been found to be the most effective treatment for autism.
Teacher-to-student ratios throughout the center range from 1:1 to 1:3 and provide an unprecedented opportunity for learning.
All classrooms employ evidence-based teaching and therapy methods and offer many unique assets, including:
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
- Discrete Trial Instruction (DTI), teaching in simplified and structured steps
- Classroom supervision is provided by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA), and Masters-Level Educators.
Students also benefit from a range of therapy services provided in partnership with Bridgeway Therapy Center. More than fifty highly-qualified and certified therapists provide services to students enrolled in the Academy, as well as those who come to the Therapy Center strictly for therapeutic services.
Bridgeway Therapy Center offers the highest number of therapies in central Ohio under one roof.
Bridgeway opened as Helping Hands Center for Special Needs in 2005 in Worthington. In 2008, the organization moved to the Old North neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio – 2500 Medary Avenue. Today, the organization’s classrooms employ evidence-based teaching and therapy methods and offer many unique assets. In January 2016, Helping Hands Center for Special Needs changed its name to Bridgeway Academy. The name and brand change is the result of the exponential growth of the organization over the past 16 years.
In the Fall of 2017, the Secondary School and Therapy Center opened at 2155 Fenton Street in the Morse Road Corridor. The building housed grades 4-12 and the Life Skills and Vocational Skills Center. The Medary Avenue building became known as the Primary School and Therapy Center and housed grades pre-K through 3.
In September 2019, Bridgeway Academy acquired a facility that, when completely transformed, would fully meet the needs of the organization and the community we serve. This 115,000-square-foot property is set on a 23-acre property, is ADA accessible, and has plenty of parking. Built-in the 1970s, it was originally constructed as an educational facility, housing DeVry University and Chamberlain University College of Nursing.
After completing a fundraising campaign in 2020, the building was renovated and furnished with a unique design that best serves children with autism and other developmental disabilities.
In the Winter of 2021, the Secondary School and Therapy Center moved into the new building, at 1350 Alum Creek Drive. The Primary School and Therapy Center joined them in the Spring of 2021. This facility allows us to unite our programs and our families onto one campus and broaden our services to meet a deep community need. This includes expanding Education Center services through age 21, and our newly-accredited High School Academic Program (Grades 9-12).
Inspire the potential and celebrate the ability of every child.
A world of opportunity for every child and a community of support for every family.
Student and Client Centered – Developing an individualized approach to meet educational and therapeutic goals, ensuring students and clients achieve their full potential.
Collaborative – Seeking creative ways to bring everyone’s unique talents together in order to provide outstanding educational and therapeutic opportunities.
Respectful – Interacting with and serving everyone in a manner that preserves their dignity and humanity while celebrating diversity, neuro-diversity, and inclusion.
Evidence-Based – Utilizing research-based approaches and individualized data to provide best-practice treatment for students and clients.
Compassionate – Empathizing with students, clients, and families and providing information, time, a listening ear, and a safe place for them to express themselves.
Integrity –Meeting and exceeding our commitments by providing services based on sound moral principles, high ethical standards, transparency, good character, and honesty.
Supportive – Providing a positive learning environment to foster growth for all.