CentralReach, increasing reach in autism and IDD care software, acquires LiftEd

Cloud-based software enables educators, therapists to improve outcomes

CentralReach, a leading provider of autism and IDD care software, announced Thursday that it has acquired LiftEd, a cloud-based software that helps therapists and educators measurably improve teaching and learning outcomes for students diagnosed with autism and related intellectual and developmental disorders.

Through the acquisition, CentralReach will integrate LiftEd’s software into its autism and IDD care platform for special education teachers. Ultimately, the acquisition will empower Individualized Education Plan teams to seamlessly manage curriculum, record data and access information about student progress. This comes amid a broader shift toward expanding the platform’s functionality to be more holistic, intuitive and affordable for educators.

As part of the acquisition, LiftEd founders Joanne Hill Powell and Andrew Hill will join CentralReach, serving in strategic positions within the company’s special education software division.

CentralReach CEO Chris Sullens was thrilled to make the announcement because of the impact it can have.

“The challenge for teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and therapists today is demonstrating, in a data-driven way, that the decisions and programs used in the classroom are positively impacting each student’s progress on IEP goals,” he said. “The legacy solutions that are trying to solve this problem today are expensive, hard to use and require professionals to manually connect the assessment data, IEP goals and ABA programming via multiple, non-integrated point solutions, creating workflow headaches and limiting outcomes for students.

“LiftEd’s purpose-built product, in combination with CentralReach’s assessment and digital curricula solutions, enables educators to solve this challenge in a holistic, intuitive and affordable way by pulling IEP goals directly into its application, aligning all curricula and data collection to those goals, attributing performance back to the goals and, finally, updating progress against those goals in the school’s existing IEP system. With LiftEd, educators have a powerful tool that enables them to more easily comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and create reports and customizable graphs to visualize student progress and guide discussions with parents.”

Sullens said LiftEd already has proven its concept.

“In the short time that LiftEd has been on the market, Joanne and Andrew have transformed it from idea to innovative disruptor, and I can’t wait to leverage their expertise and our prior acquisitions and investments to create the most complete, integrated and intuitive special education platform in the market,” he said.

The opportunity to rapidly scale LiftEd is also shared by the company’s founders.

“At LiftEd, we’ve been centered by our mission to deliver special education software that drives successful student outcomes,” Powell said. “So, when Andrew and I saw how closely CentralReach’s mission aligned to ours, we knew that it was the right company to help usher LiftEd into its next phase of growth. We are excited to join CentralReach and integrate LiftEd into more school partnerships supporting IEP implementation and student success inside and outside the classroom.”

Including LiftEd, CentralReach has made 10 acquisitions over the past four years to extend its platform functionality, including four aimed at building the market-leading software platform in the Pre-K-12 special education space.

In 2021, the company acquired the two leading assessments in autism, the ABLLS-R and the AFLS, which are used in therapy delivery across settings — home, school and supported employment — to cover the full range of verbal and behavioral skills for the youngest learners through adulthood, providing deep functional living skills that enable increased independence.

In addition to the assessment acquisitions, CentralReach acquired ABA Tools, one of the only digital flashcard applications in the market, and will be integrating it directly into the company’s CR Elements digital ABA curricula solution, which was a product of its 2020 acquisition of Precision Acceleration Holdings.

By integrating these products more tightly over time, Sullens feels CentralReach will create a truly unique and differentiated platform aimed at disrupting the special education software market, strengthening its leadership position in the autism and IDD care software category.