Human Services


Nurturing abilities. Changing lives

Jamestown, ND


The Anne Carlsen Center exists to make the world a more inclusive place where independence is a gift to all.

Ruling Year


Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Tim Eissinger

Chief Operations Officer

Ms. Stephanie Nelson

Main Address

P.O. Box 8000

Jamestown, ND 58402 USA


developmental , intellectual, disability, children, adults, independence, ASD, Autism, autism spectrum disorders, therapy, occupational, physical, speech, behavioral, education, adaptive technology





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

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Community Based Services

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Early Intervention

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Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

The Anne Carlsen Center (ACC) believes every individual deserves to experience the richness of life, lived to its fullest potential. Our mission is built on a rich tradition of excellence and compassion, inspired by our namesake, Dr. Anne Carlsen. Born without forearms or lower legs, Anne Carlsen triumphed over her physical challenges to become a world-renowned advocate for individuals with disabilities. Today, we strive to help those we serve triumph over their challenges as we carry on Dr. Anne's legacy of hope.

At the heart of our programs and services is our mission to make the world a more inclusive place where independence is a gift to all. We strive to give children, adults, and families touched by disability or developmental delay the opportunity to dream, the chance to succeed, and the ability to embrace life-changing experiences. As we work to fulfill our mission, our programs and services are designed to accomplish the following outcomes:

I. Changes in Clients:
 Increased communication skills
 Increased social skills
 Increased independence
 Increased progress in school
 Decreased challenging behaviors
 Decreased number of people requiring institutionalization
 Decreased length of institutionalization
 Greater engagement in “meaningful" work/volunteer activities

II. Changes in Families:
 Improved family functioning
 Improved intra-family relationships

III. Community Involvement/Inclusion:
 Increased client safety and non-victimization within the community
 Increased employer capacity to work with people with disabilities
 Increased service provider attitudes to support clients
 Increased community support for inclusion

IV. Changes in Systems:
 Increased legislative support for providing needed resources for people with disabilities
 Increased awareness through ongoing collaborative relationships with ARC, Pathfinder, Family Voices, State DD, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Discussion Group, and Family to Family
 Increased funding through collaborative work with Autism Coalition
 Increased information sharing capabilities via new internal and external information technology systems that allow for better tracking of progress in all areas

Changes in Clients:
At the Anne Carlsen Center, we know that if we want to see positive changes in behaviors and increased skills for independence, we have to continually advance and adapt the services we provide. This is the foundation for our Individual Support Program (ISP), which responds to the changing needs of our clients by adjusting staff schedules to create an array of flexible, adaptable and individualized supports for each person we serve. In accordance with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), we are also committed to creating Person Centered Plans (PCP) that are driven by the individual. The PCP gives the client a voice in decision making, desired goals and outcomes, community involvement and leisure activity, and meaningful work and volunteer opportunities.

ACC also has multiple Behavior Analysts on staff, who are available to support clients and families. Behavior assessments provide recommendations and establish goals for each individual PCP. Committed to providing the least restrictive environment for our clients, ACC has changed our admission process and associated policies to include a length of stay assessment with a target date for transition, as well as a transition to community needs component as part of the PCP.

Our ability to adapt technology to each client's education and communication needs has won the attention of Apple. We were recently designated an Apple Distinguished School for the second year in a row. In addition, each individual attending school at ACC has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) designed specifically to provide the supports they need to achieve their desired educational goals and objectives.

Changes in Families:
Anne Carlsen Center coordinates and conducts conferences and training sessions; collaborates with and connects community partners; and identifies and develops supports, including visual, communication, sensory, video-modeling, safety and intervention. We also address respite care needs, provide DPI/DD resources, and IEP process information for clients and families.

Community Involvement/Inclusion:
As a leader in the industry, ACC coordinates, conducts and/or hosts education events for professionals in the field, parents and families, employers, civic groups, advocates, law enforcement, and school systems. We assess client-community access and social roles, while also assessing current inclusion opportunities and identifying client goals in this area.

Changes in Systems:
ACC has developed and implemented a public policy process, which includes actively building relationships with key policy makers in executive and legislative branches of government and continuously monitoring legislation development and the appropriations process. We also engage in collaborative work with other advocacy groups to promote cooperation and common goals, as well as facilitate the communication of needs across all organizations.

The Anne Carlsen Center has an outstanding reputation as a service provider for individuals with developmental disabilities. During the review process for accreditation with The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), we were commended by the reviewer for the creative approaches we take in our person-directed solutions. The way we utilize technology is a major component of our approach. Specifically, we identify the technology that will work the best for each individual and then adapt the tools for that individual at school, in the home environment, and at vocational and recreational settings.

Technology solutions include computer hardware and software adaptations, SMART Board interactive whiteboards, eye-scanning, switch adaptions, and portable devices such as the iPadTM. We also have trained professionals who work closely with Apple to create, tweak, and utilize apps that make it possible for our clients to communicate and learn at a variety of levels. Our use of cutting-edge technology has given the Anne Carlsen Center an established and respected track record around the world, including the recent Apple Distinguished School distinction.

And it doesn't stop there. The services we provide are based on innovation, and we enlist professionals with top-notch credentials to administer those services. A prime example is our Autism Services. We utilize the Skills® curricula, developed by The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), and many of our professionals hold CARD training and ASD Graduate Credentials.

Our therapists work with individuals in communities across the state, in addition to providing services on our Jamestown Campus. Approximately 40 occupational and physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists -- many of whom hold Masters and Doctorate level degrees -- are on staff.

Our educational services consist of personnel working with individuals at our accredited school on the Jamestown campus as well as in communities across the state. We have more than 40 teachers and more than a dozen special education teachers, many of whom hold Master's degrees.

Whether it be caring for our most medically complex clients on campus or attending to the daily health needs of those we serve throughout North Dakota, our experienced nursing staff totals more than 50. Registered Nurses make up the majority of our medical staff. In addition, we have three respiratory therapists on staff, a board-certified pediatrician, and numerous other physicians who share time with other facilities to bring state-of-the-art care to our medically complex clients.

Numerous other professionals provide specialized care, in areas such as child development, nutrition, psychology and social work. We have in-depth knowledge and expertise in many areas. Every individual deserves to experience the richness of life, lived to its fullest potential…and we are dedicated to providing the level of care needed to make that possible.

Given the Anne Carlsen Center's high standard for outcomes, measurement and quality assurance are elements of daily activity. Staff is engaged in a rigorous quality assurance program that measures and collects data in all areas of the programs and services provided. Our Quality Enhancement Committee reviews and analyzes the data collected, including health management, incidents, client program outcomes, and client behaviors. The committee recommends changes or additions to processes, policies or service delivery, and reports the findings on a quarterly basis. Our most recent parent and family survey indicated a high degree of satisfaction.

Through our Individual Support Program, our ultimate goal is assisting our clients in achieving their desired outcomes, as determined by them and their team. Data collected on client progress and completion of goals is also analyzed on a quarterly basis. Clients in community-based programs have personal goals in areas such as communication, home life, community access, recreation/leisure skills, and vocational development. Children and students in the residential and/or school program have personal goals in areas such as academic achievement, communication, motor development, vocational development, home life, and community access.

ACC prides itself on the quality of our relationships with the families we serve. Ultimately, we strive to increase the family's sense that their child's life is meaningful. When we have a greater number of families experiencing less stress and developing a more positive outlook about their child and his/her future, the inevitable result is more positive outcomes. We constantly monitor progress through consistent survey and assessment of the entire family unit.

Community Involvement/Inclusion:
We continuously work to expand and improve the number and level of safe experiences our clients have within their communities whether through employment, volunteerism, or recreation. Key to this endeavor is improving the depth of understanding and acceptance by businesses, their staff, and other community members. The results: more clients participate in outside activities because they feel safe and appreciated, and we continue to assess initial, intermediate, and long-term outcomes via surveys of our business partners, families, and clients.

When similar organizations come together and work towards common objectives, change is possible. ACC is actively engaged with other advocacy groups to meet and build relationships with legislators, push for bills to be sponsored, provide joint testimony, and most importantly, to be a bigger voice. As a combined voice, we have more power to demand changes in outdated systems. We know we are making progress when a growing number of entities offer individuals with disabilities more inclusive opportunities, individual choices and supports, and meaningful ways to engage in the world.

The Anne Carlsen Center is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to make the world a more inclusive place where independence is a gift to all. As we continually foster positive changes in the lives we touch, our accomplishments include:

• Being recognized by Apple for our leadership in 21st century learning via designation as an Apple Distinguished School (in effect until 2016). Fewer than 200 schools and programs nationwide receive this prestigious distinction.
• Receiving full school accreditation by AdvancED - North Central School Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.
• Incorporating the structured Skills® curriculum, developed by The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), into our regular education program. We have seen a dramatic reduction in challenging behaviors and a significant increase in academic, communication, and social competencies as a result.
• Expanding our programs and services through the addition of an operations office in Bismarck North Dakota. As with our Community Based Services offices in Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, and Devils Lake, the Bismarck office serves as a base of operations for the training and support we provide in homes to clients and families.

While fostering community involvement, inclusion, and change in systems, our accomplishments include:

• Achieving a 4-year accreditation by the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the definition, measurement, and improvement of personal and community quality of life for people with disabilities. ACC has been CQL accredited since 1997.
• Attaining a successful collaborative partnership with “Annie's House" in Bottineau, North Dakota's first adaptive ski facility. This partnership will allow Anne Carlsen Center clients and many others to downhill ski in the winter and participate year-round in a variety of other outdoor recreational activities individually or with their families.
• Receiving the High Impact Seal of Distinction from the Impact Foundation. Sponsored by Dakota Medical Foundation, this award recognizes nonprofit organizations whose executive and board leadership has demonstrated a sincere commitment to producing superior results for the people of our region by improving their performance in five key areas of nonprofit management: Purpose, Platform, People, Resources and Results.
• Attaining a successful collaborative partnership with Specialisterne. This successful Danish firm employs individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders as consultants in Information Technology and other technical fields. Together, we'll bring this program to North Dakota in 2014.
• Receiving the Apple Distinguished School award 2012-2016 for utilizing technologies to enable students to fully access the curriculum in order to achieve academic success.

External Reviews

Awards & Accreditations

Council on Quality and Leadership

North Central Association of Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement - Accreditation

Affiliations & Memberships

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Member

Council on Quality and Leadership

North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement



Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?