Refugees Enjoy Thanksgiving Picnic

To celebrate and understand the values of Thanksgiving,  student refugees from AccessCal’s Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) class enjoyed a Thanksgiving picnic at a local park in Anaheim. Many words of thanks were expressed and laughter filled the air. At AccessCal, we are grateful to be agents of positive social change and successful resettlement for Arab and Muslim refugees.

Community Members Learn about Naturalization Process in Arabic

Local Arabic-speaking community members learned about the US naturalization process in Arabic today!

AccessCal hosted a viewing party for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Arabic language engagement “Musharakah”, whereby a USCIS representative’s presentation in Arabic was streamed live from the Arab American Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
Attendees also took part in a Q&A with an Arabic speaking USCIS representative attending AccessCal’s viewing party. Great questions. Helpful answers. Fantastic event. 


AccessCal Receives ILM Foundation Humanitarian Award

Access California Services (AccessCal) has been presented with the ILM Foundation Humanitarian Day Ansar Award for Supporting Efforts to Improve Human Dignity.

“At Access California Services, we are committed to underserved Arab- and Muslim-Americans, refugees and immigrants who come to us with scarred dignities and requests for much-needed support,” said AccessCal Founder and Executive Director Nahla Kayali. “When we receive members of our community at AccessCal, we embrace them and support them, and we help make sure their dignities are maintained and improved as they journey to enhance their lives and the lives of their loved ones. We greatly thank ILM Foundation for recognizing our work and its impact on members of our community.”

Established in 1998, ILM Foundation’s mission is to teach life skills to replace social ills by engaging populations and alleviating social ills that plague residents of south Los Angeles.

Parenting Classes Available

Would you like to learn more about raising kids under age 5?

AccessCal’s parenting class is taught by our very talented Instructor Samar Labanieh. Learn about nutrition, positive discipline, child safety and welfare laws, CPR training, prenatal care and much more. This class is not just for parents and new mothers. The information provided in this class is helpful for anyone who may take care of kids under the age of 5.

The class is offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information, please call us at (714) 917-0440 or e-mail Samar  Labanieh at

AccessCal Contracted by County of Orange Health Care Agency to Provide Refugee Health Services

Hundreds of Newly Arrived Entrants to Receive Health, Mental Health Assessments at AccessCal

Access California Services (AccessCal) has been awarded a one-year contract from the County of Orange Health Care Agency to provide comprehensive, mandatory health assessments to hundreds of entrants who reside in Orange County. Entrants include refugees, asylees, secondary migrants, special immigrant visa holders, Cuban and Haitian entrants, and federally-certified victims of trafficking. The contract may be extended for an additional two years subject to an annual approval by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.


Health assessments ensure that entrant health is examined and that entrants receive referrals and linkages to any needed healthcare services. Assessments also help eliminate health-related barriers to successful resettlement while protecting the health of the populations living in the United States.


AccessCal will provide the health assessments through a subcontract with neighboring healthcare clinic OC Urgent Care Clinic, located at 631 S. Brookhurst St., Ste 101 in Anaheim. Mental health assessments will be provided by AccessCal located in Suite 107.


“We are thrilled to have been selected to administer the refugee health assessment contract,” said AccessCal Founder and Executive Director Nahla Kayali. “Refugees and immigrants, who are fortunate enough to resettle in the U.S., unfortunately deal with many social and psychological barriers that prevent them from trusting government authority. Because AccessCal is a community-based organization with employees who speak the languages and understand the cultures of the newly arrived entrants, we become a trusted resource with staff members refugees can identify with and organizational services from which refugees will benefit greatly.”


The entrants who are eligible to receive the health assessment will be referred to AccessCal from local resettlement agencies including International Rescue Committee, Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service (IRIS), World Relief, East African Community of Orange County, and Crittenton Services for Children and Families.


Refugees and other entrants seeking social and economic resources may take advantage of additional services AccessCal provides including case management, citizenship and immigration services, employment services, emergency financial assistance, Vocational English-as-a-Second Language (VESL) courses and other educational services that help new arrivals integrate, build knowledge and skills, and learn new social norms and systems.

About Access California Services

Access California Services (AccessCal) is a culturally and linguistically sensitive health and human services nonprofit organization, which provides social and economic services to local Arab- and Muslim-Americans, refugees, and immigrants; however, AccessCal is nonsectarian. Anyone who needs support in the community will receive it regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. This year, AccessCal has served over 10,000 community members. Services include: Case management and advocacy in 13 languages, citizenship and immigration services, employment and tax services, emergency financial assistance, educational services, healthcare access services, counseling and support, community service and civic engagement, refugee services, and refugee health assessments.

AccessCal Takes Part in ‘Working with Immigrant Families in CWS’ Panel Discussion

AccessCal’s Nahla Kayali was a panelist in the discussion “Working with Immigrant Families in CWS” at The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) 2014 Conference today.

Panelists covered topics such as best practices, child welfare success stories, established agreements and relationships between the participating panelist organizations and the Social Services Agency.

The two other panelists were Loreta Ruiz, Consul de Proteccion and Raquel Amezcua, MA, Family Mediator and Consultant. Moderating the discussion was Gary Taylor, MS, Division Director of Children and Family Services of the Orange County Social Services Agency.

AccessCal Walks at the 2014 OC NAMIWalks 5K

In an effort to help remove the stigma about mental illnesses in our communities, AccessCal formed an enthusiastic team who walked at the 5K NAMIWalks event this past weekend.

The Counseling and Support Services department at AccessCal sees many clients from our community who have voiced their fear of seeking counseling. To help remove this stigma, we walked.

Way to go team AccessCal!

AccessCal Honors New Citizens with City of Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray

Access California Services (AccessCal) celebrated the success of its citizenship class students, who recently passed their citizenship exam or who have recently become US citizens after having recently  taken oath. The City of Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray joined the celebration and congratulated the new US citizens.

Nahla Kayali Receives 2014 Cal Wellness Sabbatical Award

Nahla Kayali, founder and executive director of Access California Services (AccessCal), received The California Wellness Foundation Sabbatical Program Award. The award recognizes executives’ dedication to their communities and grants $35,000 to cover each executive director’s salary and other expenses during a minimum three-month sabbatical.

“When I launched AccessCal 15 years ago with a set of folding chairs and tables, I never imagined that I’d ever receive such an esteemed sabbatical one day,” Kayali said. “I am eager to use this precious time off to revitalize myself and refocus my priorities for the organization to better help enrich the lives of those in our local immigrant and refugee community. I am certain that we have built a sturdy leadership team who will unquestionably hold down the fort during my temporary absence.”

The California Wellness Foundation Sabbatical Program Award was created to improve the long-term effectiveness of health-focused nonprofits by providing their executives with the rest they need to continue to direct their organizations’ missions. The California Wellness Foundation is a private, independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.

AccessCal Celebrates its Community’s Educational Accomplishments

Access California Services (AccessCal) celebrates today as it graduates community members from its programs in para-professional mental health, childcare/daycare licensing, computer techniques, sewing and beading. We are so proud of them and their accomplishments. We wish them all the success as they now hold the necessary skills to pursue new careers. Congratulations!