2020 May News
Message from Executive Director
Dear friends and families of CIDA,
I start this video message with deep concerns about everyone’s well-being as the COVID-19 situation in the U.S is still in a serious stage. Self-isolation, social distancing, and school and workplace closures which began in March, are truly overwhelming for people in America every day, and the end seems still far away.
However, although it seems like everything has stopped and most of us are going through unprecedented difficulties at the moment, CIDA is learning new courage and possibilities among the CIDA families. Many parents have been incredibly resilient even in this difficult situation. Our children who now meet friends and teachers only through computers are being very patient, and we are very grateful and proud of them for their strength.
CIDA will not stop because you can’t stop. CIDA currently meets with families online every Tuesday at 3:00 pm to greet each other and update on education and services. Also, every Friday at 11:00 a.m., young adults over the age of 16 are having social meetings online to support each other and to overcome this crisis safely. In addition, we continue to provide one-on-one services via telephone and online to families with disabilities who have difficulties in accessing special education and disability services. Moreover, we are connecting you with community assistance and resources related to the COVID-19 emergency. If you need help, please contact the office number.
Everyone, thank you for coming and staying with us in a fence called CIDA. We hope that everyone will pass this crisis well, and look forward to meeting all of you again as a CIDA community in one place.
Young Seh Bae, Ph.D.
Secretary DeVos Reiterates Learning Must Continue for All Students, Declines to Seek Congressional Waivers to FAPE, LRE Requirements of IDEA
With the stimulus bill that was passed in March, Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos was given 30 days to report to the Congress with recommendations on waivers that might be crucial for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This is to “provide limited flexibility” to states and school districts during these times. However, on April 27, the U.S. Department of Education announced that Betsy DeVos did NOT recommend any waivers that would impact students’ rights to a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
Instead, Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education did make the two key recommendations with respect to IDEA:
- to allow a temporary waiver of the requirement that children served under Part C transition to Part B for services at age three. This Part C transition waiver recommendation came with specific language saying that the purpose was to allow Part C children to continue to receive services under Part C if their Part B evaluation was not completed by the time they reach the age of three due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- that those that have received Part D personnel development scholarships don’t have their service or other obligations negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore, there are no recommendations to waive FAPE, due process, or other core tenants of IDEA at the moment.
Feds Clarify Special Ed Guidance For School Closures
Due to conflicts with some districts not choosing to educate students because of special education concerns, the U.S. Department of Education is rethinking advice given to schools. The Education Department provided guidance on serving students with disabilities during times of school closure due to COVID-19. With this document (see the Fact Sheet), it indicated that schools must continue to serve students with disabilities when general education students are receiving education but if no students are being educated, schools do not need to serve students with disabilities. A free and appropriate public education (FAPE) must be provided to students with disabilities but during corona-virus closures, the way to achieve that might be different.
What’s Up at CIDA
CIDA’s Tuesday Live
Starting March 24, CIDA has been hosting our weekly online ‘CIDA Tuesday Lives’. These past few weeks, we have been preparing discussions on proper protocols regarding COVID-19, updates from NYS and the federal government, sharing education and activity ideas, and stress management strategies during this crisis. Our Tuesday Live is meant to build a stronger sense of community and to let our parents know that during this time of quarantine, they are not alone. With more to come in upcoming weeks, we hope our CIDA parents will come join us weekly!
Young Adult Support Group Meetings
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, all events are now online. Please check our event calendar for event details and registration information.
– CIDA’s Tuesday Live (Tuesdays at 3pm): COVID-19 Resources Special Education, Disability Service Updates
– Young Adult Support Meeting (Fridays at 11am): Social Support Sessions for Young Adults(age 16 and older)
– Adult Parent Group & DOLBOM Meeting (Thursday 5/14 at 8pm) – Online
– Sex Education for Parents and Children/Adults with Disablities (Thursday 5/21 at 8pm) – Online