2021 Jan News

Message from Executive Director

Members, Friends, and Collaborators of CIDA,

First of all, I wish all families and friends of CIDA, happy and healthy New Year!

Although we are still amid the pandemic, CIDA will do our best to make 2021 a year that we all leap forward. First, we will provide more effective training and support for parents through reinforced membership. We will also resume developing the Dolbom parent committee, which stopped due to the coronavirus situation and continues to build ideas towards independent community living of young adults with disabilities. In addition, in collaboration with the New York State Developmental Disability Planning Council, CIDA will provide the COVID-19 project, which will inform our community with the ongoing coronavirus health-related resources, vaccine-related information, and government relief and assistance for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

All of our goals are for our children’s future, and we cannot achieve them without the cooperation and enthusiasm of CIDA members. I believe that we can accomplish these goals if we work together as a community like last year.

Although the storm hasn’t stopped yet, it will subside one day. Please be strong, and let’s not lose our hopes. Again, we wish everyone a healthy and safe New Year.

Young Seh Bae, Executive Director

Policy News

Justice Department Settles with Amtrak to Resolve Disability Discrimination Across its Intercity Rail System
Source: https://www.justice.gov/

Amtrak will be fixing inaccessible stations and pay a total of $2.25 million to those affected by Amtrak inaccessible stations.The complaint filed by the department alleges that Amtrak has violated and continues to violate the Amerifcans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to make existing stations in its intercity rail transportation system readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs. The ADA gave Amtrak 20 years from the law’s 1990 enactment which made Amtrak required to comply to make stations accessible by July 26, 2010. Stations with the most significant barriers to access will be prioritized. The Justice Department reached an agreement with Amtrak to resolve these findings of disability discrimination whihc violated the Amerifcans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

January 2021 Regents Examinations Cancelled Due to Ongoing Pandemic
Source: http://www.nysed.gov/

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the January 2021 administration of the NYS High School Regents Examination Program will be cancelled. Decisions for June and August 2021 Regent Examinations and other State assessment programs have not been made yet. The Department will propose different modifications that students will need to meet to earn high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements. For more information on modifications to diploma requirements, examination exemptions, safety nets, and mastery, honors, and technical endorsements please click here.

The following links include information about January cancellations and exemptions in different languages:

Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Fulani, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Urdu, Wolof

What’s Up at CIDA

CIDA Very Art Festival and Gala 2020 – Dreaming Together

Thanks to the generous sponsors, CIDA members and our dedicated staff, CIDA hosted a successful Very Special Festival and Gala on December 17. Preceding the virtual festival, we awarded 13 incredible young artists who won at this year’s art contests. Here is the list of awardees:

  • Very Special Art Award: Mark Lee
  • Very Special Artist Award: Amy Heo, David Keating, Arnold Lee, Noori Na
  • Circle of Family Award: Christian Lee, Willfree Kim, Hannah Cho
  • Artist on Horizon Award: Jianshen Lee, Brian Jang, Steven Jung, Chloe Hwang

In addition to these awardees, Julia Juhee Lee, the two times art festival award received $1,000 scholarship. CIDA also awarded $500 scholarships to Mark Lee, the first place winner of the art contest, and Da Un Kim, who featured in “Finding My Path,” which was aired during the virtual gala.

The virtual gala featured CIDA’s Very Special Alliance Awardee of the year, Sooinn Lee, co-founder and CEO of Enuma, and Broadway musical actress, Q Lim, and our young adults who are making their dreams a reality. The 100% of the fund raised during the event will be invested in our youth and young adults programs 2021. We would like to thank all of our special guests, sponsors and donors for allowing this very special event to take place and we hope for a fresh new start in 2021!


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, all events are now online. Please check our event calendar for event details and registration information.

  • Volunteer Advocacy Project (VAP) Meeting January 22 at 9:20am: Invitation only
  • EI, Preschool & Kindergarten Transition (Korean) January 25 at 7:00pm: Workshop (Parents of early Intervention (EI) – Pre-School & Kindergarten)
  • Parent Support Group (Korean) January 26 at 7:00pm: Support Group (Parents of school age (Pre K – High School students))
  • NYS 17A Guardianship Workshop (Korean) January 28 at 8:00 pm: Workshop (Parents of children ages above 16 yrs)