2021 September News

Message from Executive Director

Members, Friends, and Collaborators of CIDA,

Happy September!

As we start a new school year, CIDA will gradually begin in-person educational events and services for parents and guardians. As a first step, Transition@CIDA (Transition Program for Youth with Developmental Disabilities) will begin face-to-face sessions on September 7th, and in-person one-on-one services will be available for parents.

Above all, the 6th Annual Very Special Art Festival will be held at St. John’s University again on September 25 and we are very excited about this new beginning. Unlike previous years, this event invites a limited number of families, but it will be more fruitful than any other year.

In addition, the meeting of the Young Adult Cooperative, which has been delayed extensively, will begin at the end of September. Please refer to the separate email for participation qualifications and activities.

CIDA will work hard to make our September a more meaningful and beautiful start than ever before.

Stay healthy!

Young Seh Bae, Executive Director

Policy News

NYC State Education Department Issues Health and Safety Guide to Reopen New York State Schools
Source: http://www.nysed.gov/

To keep students and staff members healthy and to maximize in-person teaching and learning, the New York State Education Department has released a health and safety guide to help schools and districts in planning for the 2021-22 school year. This guide provides resources on starting the school year safely and to support all students in returning to in-person learning. Based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the guide provides strategies to position schools and districts to manage the risks for students and staff from COVID-19.

USDOE Approves New York’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief State Plan
Source: http://www.nysed.gov/

A major standardized test maker, ACT will automatically be granting allowable accommodations to students who have The U.S. Department of Education announced an approval for the New York American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) plan. New York plans to use the ARP ESSER funds for reopening and sustaining safe operation of schools along with giving more opportunities for students who are in most need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please view what New York State has been approved for using the federal funding using this link: U.S. Department of Education Approves New York’s Plan for Use of American Rescue Plan Funds to Support K-12 Schools and Students, Distributes Remaining $3 Billion To State

What’s Up at CIDA

OnWard Event at Gap Job Shadow Program

On Wednesday, August 18th, CIDA collaborated with Old Navy of College Point in hosting a “On The Job Readiness” shadow program.  At this OnWard event young adults with disabilities were able to work alongside Old Navy employees and learn different work-related skills.

CIDA’s 6th Annual ‘Very Special Art Festival’

Join us for our 6th annual ‘Very Special Art Festival’ and to celebrate the creativity in all of us!
This year, our most beloved event will be back in-person at St. John’s University on Saturday, September 25th. We will be following CDC’s guidelines as our event goes back to being in-person. More information on registration and details will be coming soon, so be on the lookout for our CIDA updates! To view 2020 & 2019’s Very Special Art Gallery please visit, https://www.veryspecialart.com/.

CIDA Welcomes New Staff ‘Rehemia Petit-Day’

CIDA would like to welcome our newest staff, Rehmeia Petit-Day who will be working as CIDA’s Disability Specialist. We can’t wait to work together in creating more empowering programs for our youth and young adults with disabilities!


Please check our event calendar for event details and registration information.

  • Strategies for improving communication with schools Workshop & Support Group Sept 16 at 10:00am: Parents of School age children
  • Stress-Management Youth Support Group Sept 17 at 3:00pm: Teens and adults age above 14
  • CIDA’s 6th Annual ‘Very Special Art Festival’ @ St. John’s University – Sept 25 at 10:00am: Registration required