2020 July News
Message from Executive Director
Hello CIDA families,
As New York is gradually reopening its economy, CIDA is also carefully preparing to return to the office space. CIDA has been working hard, more than any other year, despite running programs online for the past three months. We have met with family members virtually every Tuesday, provided online workshops, youth programs, and adult family programs, and distributed thousands of masks and hand sanitizers which are essential for all of us during this health crisis.
We won’t stop here. In July, we are holding a Drama Club which is a specially developed program during the COVID-19 season, and Self-Determination Academy for young adults and youth. In August, we are preparing for our 2nd annual Community Forum on disability issues (Virtual Town Hall Meeting) for policy partnerships for families with disabilities. I would appreciate it if all families participated in the event so that we can open the path to our children and their families to make our vision a reality.
We wish everyone a healthy summer and we will see you at our Virtual Town Hall in August.
Young Seh Bae, Executive Director
Ed Department Issues New Guidance On Special Education During Pandemic
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), within the U.S. Department of
Education’s (Department) Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services,
issues this Question and Answer (Q & A) document in response to inquiries concerning
implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B and Part C dispute resolution procedures in the current COVID-19 environment. States do have discretion on a case-by-case basis to extend the timeline for mediation, hearing and resolving complaints as a result of the pandemic, the guidance indicates. The agency indicated that like other guidance, the Q&A documents do not establish any new rights or policies, but merely serve as the department’s interpretation of existing laws.
NYS to Allow In-Person Special Education This Summer
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order which will be allowing necessary in-person special education to resume this summer. For this, all school districts will have to follow under all state and federal guidelines provided. For other educational programs, it is not expected to reopen until New York hits Phase 4 of its reopening plan. Cuomo has previously given permission to have summer camps open towards the end of June.
Senate Proposal Seeks Protections For Family Caregivers
Under a new federal bill, discrimination against workers who care for family members with developmental disabilities or other special needs is restricted. From the new legislation introduced this month, employers cannot refuse hiring any applicants or fire employees due to his or her caregiving responsibilities. It is also unlawful for any employers to retaliate against workers who may want these protection laws enforced.
What’s Up at CIDA
Free Mask Distribution Program to Prevent Infection
CIDA is distributing free masks and hand sanitizers to low-income and essential workers’ families throughout the summer. This program was made possible by generous donations from Friends of Korea and Absolute New York. We already are distributing 5,500 masks and handsanizers in June and July, and we plan to distribute more in August before school opens.
From June 30 to July 1, CIDA held our annual Self-Determination Academy for young adults through Zoom. With a new way to interact with our participants, our students were able to learn about various topics such as self-determination, goal setting, social skills, independent community life, and much more! We would like to thank our students, volunteers, and staff for all their hard work in making this year’s Self-Determination Academy possible.
CIDA Drama Club
CIDA’s Drama Club, a special COVID-19 project for youth with disabilities, has started. This project gives children and young adults with disabilities the opportunity to become actors and singers through a virtual drama class. A broadway musical start, Gyujin Lim is leading the program, and ten volunteers will be assisting the participants and the staff throughout the summer. We anticipate that the Drama Club activity will help these participants to relieve the stress during the COVID pandemic, and increase their social skills through various acting and vocal exercises. The project will be posted on Youtube at the end of the course.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, all events are now online. Please check our event calendar for event details and registration information.
– Self-Determination Academy (10 AM – 12 PM): Online – June 29 to July 1
– Adult Parent Group & DOLBOM Meeting (Third Thursdays at 8pm): July 16 at 8pm
– Community Forum on Disability – Virtual Town Hall Meeting: August 6 at 2pm