Check out our list of Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the Life Skills & Social Studio.
Still have a question? Email us at email@example.com, call us at 301-799-8669, or submit your question in the form at the bottom of the page and we'll get back to you with an answer.
My son/daughter is a teenager but isn't 18 yet, can they join Barrier-Free?
At this time, Barrier-Free does not offer programming for teenagers under the age of 18. There have been occasions where an exception has been made for a participant that is 17 years old but turning 18 within six months. Exceptions are granted to help facilitate the transition out of school, post-graduation, are handled on a case-by-case basis, and are not guaranteed.
My son/daughter is 18 but will be in school until they are 21, are they eligible for Barrier-Free programs?
Yes! Many Barrier-Free participants remain in school beyond 18 and they are more than welcome at Barrier-Free.
What is the intake process and how long will it take?
The intake process is an opportunity to ensure that The Life Skills & Social Studio is the correct fit for all parties. Intake is also an opportunity to exchange and gather information, review policies and procedures, and begin a successful transition for the new participant.
The intake process includes an initial meet and tour of The Studio, completion of intake forms, completion of the first-session observation and checklist, and making a plan to best meet the needs of the participant/family. This process takes approximately one week to complete.
I am my own legal guardian. Am I required to have a parent/guardian attend the Studio Intake?
No, Barrier-Free recognizes that participants may be at varying stages of independence. If you are your own legal guardian, you do not need a parent/guardian to attend the Studio intake. If you have a rep payee to assist you in managing finances, we will request permission to communicate directly with that individual to ensure registration is successfully arranged but that individual is not required to be present at the Studio.
What is The Studio's address?
The Life Skills & Social Studio is located at 7520 Main Street #103 Sykesville, MD 21784.
Do I have to commit to the same days & times each week?
No, participants and families are able to register for Studio sessions that work with their schedule. If a participant would like to stick to the same schedule each week, they are welcome to, or days/times can vary each week. Registration is available here.
Can I stay at The Studio during my son/daughter/client's session?
Unfortunately, our Studio does not have a waiting room and is too small to host parents/counselors for the full session. Downtown Sykesville offers a variety of cafes/coffee shops, stores, and outdoor seating for parents/counselors to use.
If a one-on-one support is required, we are happy to review this with your family during the intake process.
Three hours seems like a long time, can I register for shorter sessions?
Each three-hour session at The Studio is broken into segments: 1. Social practice/integration component 2. Expressive arts opportunity 3. Life skils practice
In addition to the segments, there will also be frequent breaks, snack breaks, and outdoor time. We will enjoy all Sykesville has to offer which includes local parks, shops and eateries, events, and more.
We will keep the pace energized to maintain the attention of the group. We ask that participants attend for at least 3 full sessions to adjust to The Studio flow before making a final decision about length.
What if I'm not interested in all of the activities happening at The Studio during my three hour session? Can I come for just the times I like?
When registering for a Studio session, participants will be attending all listed activities. Our activities will be interactive and follow an integrated-arts model to maximize engagement. We encourage participants to come with a flexible and open mind, ready to create, express, and achieve with us at The Studio!
Who is leading The Studio? What are the qualifications?
Studio lead teaching artists are Britt & Lauren Burr and Michael Eaton is the Studio assistant. To view the qualifications of Studio staff please visit our Meet the Team page. All Barrier-Free staff must submit to a background before working in-person at The Studio or in any inclusive theater company or class.
What happens if I arrive late or need to leave early?
If participants arrive late or need to leave early on occasion, that is no problem. When registering, there is a notes section to share any timing conflicts that may happen that week. Last minute changes can be communicated via text or email. Studio session rates will not be prorated.
Is the space accessible for someone with mobility supports?
Yes! We are located on the ground level of the building, with accessible parking directly in front of our building. Our space is designed to be accessible for individuals with mobility supports, including our bathroom.
Do I need to bring extra money with me to Studio sessions?
Yes, we recommend having some extra spending money for community outings. Approximately $10 - $20 per day is good.
How many people will be at The Studio each day?
Studio sessions are capped at 10 participants, with 2 - 3 staff per day.
Will snacks and drinks be provided?
Barrier-Free will not regularly provide snack for participants. We ask that you pack a nut-free snack each session. Participants have access to the refrigerator and microwave as needed. We will have back-up snacks on hand in the event that a participant forgets.
Are you able to administer medication at The Studio?
At this time, we do not have a certified medication technician at The Studio, to administer medication. In the very near future, we will have a staff member fully complete the course and obtain certification.
Can I attend Studio sessions via Zoom?
At this time, Studio sessions are only for in-person attendees . Attending via Zoom may be an option we explore in the future. If you are seeking Zoom programming, we invite you to visit our Classes page as we regularly offer classes on Zoom.
I'm not sure if the Barrier-Free Studio is the right fit, can I try it out before committing?
Yes! We offer a two session free trial offering to ensure the Life Skills & Social Studio is the best fit for all involved. Participants seeking a two session trial will still need to begin the intake process, but is no pressure to commit beyond the trial.
Does Barrier-Free provide transportation to and from The Studio?
At this time, Barrier-Free is unable to provide one-on-one transportation to and from The Studio. If you are a Carroll County resident, the Carroll Transit Trailblazer Bus Red Route has a drop-off stop in Downtown Sykesville (Oklahoma & Baldwin), only a 2 minute walk to The Studio. We are happy to walk families through this transportation option.
Additionally, Barrier-Free will provide transportation from The Studio to our evening programs and classes located at the Westminster Community Center on nights they are offered.
If my son/daughter participates in Barrier-Free evening programs how will they have time for dinner before rehearsal?
Barrier-Free inclusive theater company rehearsals and some classes will continue to meet at the Westminster Community Center (25 Union St Westminster, MD 21157). On rehearsal/class nights, there will be an option for participants to add-on a dinner ($7) to their Studio tuition. We will order pizza, subs, or other light dinner for the group on these nights. If a participant prefers, they may pack their own dinner to eat. Alternatively, participants may be picked up and have dinner on their own before arriving to rehearsal.
Will transportation to the Westminster Community Center be provided on rehearsal nights?
Yes! After rehearsal night dinner at The Studio, Barrier-Free staff will transport participants to the Westminster Community Center in time for rehearsal. Parents/guardians/counselors also have the option to pick-up and transport themselves.
What if I am unable to afford Studio tuition?
Barrier-Free remains committed to being affordable and accessible for all families.
Is tuition eligible to be paid with a participant's funding?
Barrier-Free operates as a 501c(3) private service opportunity for families. We are not directly funded by the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) as we are not a Maryland Medicaid provider. Studio tuition can be paid for with funding allocated by DDA by writing us into your Self Direct plan. Studio tuition can also be paid through Low Intensity Support Services funding and the Autism Waiver.
Have additional funding not listed here? Contact us directly to arrange invoices or paperwork needed to ensure funding can be used.
What happens if I am unable to attend my Studio session but I have already paid?
If you are unable to attend your Studio session please let us know as soon as possible via email, text, or phone call. We will be happy to apply your payment to your next Studio session.
I'm fully vaccinated, am I required to wear a mask at The Studio?
Barrier-Free is adhering to federal, state, and local guidelines regarding COVID-19 that include group size restrictions, physical distancing, and mask wearing. At this time, Barrier-Free is finalizing its mask policy in preparation for our Studio opening on June 1st.
Are the staff fully vaccinated?
Yes! All Barrier-Free Studio staff are full vaccinated.
Am I required to be vaccinated to attend Studio sessions?
No, Barrier-Free is not requiring proof of vaccination to attend Studio sessions. We do encourage all participants to receive their vaccinations and are happy to help coordinate/locate an appointment.
How will snack breaks work with masks?
As often as the weather allows, we plans to have snack breaks outside. When weather does not allow, we will spread out amongst our space to ensure physical distancing while having snack breaks.
Will all Barrier-Free programming now be in Sykesville?
No. Barrier-Free Inclusive Theater Company rehearsals and some classes will still be held at the Westminster Community Center. We will also still have monthly social club outings to various places.
Are you hiring?
Visit our Jobs page for the most up-to-date information about potential job openings.
Can I volunteer at The Studio?
Volunteer arrangements are made available based on enrollment and need. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for possible Studio volunteer opportunities.
Have a question that wasn't answered?
Let's get started!
Visit our Studio Intake page to begin the process of enrolling in the Life Skills & Social Studio.
We are proud to be funded in part by an Arts Opportunity Mini-Grant from the Carroll County Arts Council.
Barrier-Free is committed to providing access to our web pages for individuals with disabilities. The content of this site has been tested for usability and accessibility using a combination of standards-based, automated procedures and accepted heuristic methods. We make every effort to comply with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Compliance is an ongoing process and we encourage notification when information on our website is inaccessible. If for any reason you are having difficulty accessing any of our resources please contact Lauren Burr, Executive Director at email@example.com.