2022 March News

⚡🦸‍♀️ Celebrating Female Excellence 🦸‍♀️⚡

Message from Executive Director

Members, Friends, and Collaborators of CIDA,

March is National Women’s History Month, and we have so much to celebrate!
It is such an exciting time as we witness a female Asian Vice-President (VP, Kamala Harris), Korean Congresswoman (Marilyn Strickland), and a female state governor (Kathy Hochul), and the majority seats at New York City Council being filled by women for the first time in history. Female excellence does not stop at the government, and it is all around us.

Leading an organization that is established by a group of dedicated women and operated by mostly female staff, I have had the privilege to experience all forms of female excellence in all places. From moms who meticulously prepare for their children’s IEP meetings despite their language barriers to talented female lawyers who work relentlessly to advocate for people with disabilities, female excellence shows up everywhere around CIDA.

As the end of the pandemic is near, come join us and experience female excellence and empowerment through our parent workshops, support groups, community events, and volunteer activities. I am a firm believer of the saying, “ When women support women, incredible things happen.” Let’s continue to support and empower one another, not just women but everyone around us, and continue to make incredible things happen.

In solidarity,


Young Seh Bae, Executive Director

News and Resources

Meet New Chairs on NYC’s Education Committee and Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction Committee.

Linda Lee is elected as new chairperson of the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction. Lee also is on the Committee on Education. Before running for City Council, Lee ran Korean Community Services (KCS). Lee aims to increase the access of mental healthcare by expanding language access. Click to learn more about Linda Lee.

Rita Joseph is elected as new chairperson of the Committee on Education. Joseph emigrated from Haiti as a child, taught students who are learning English as a new language during her 23 years of tenure at P.S. 6 in Brooklyn. Click to learn more about Rita Joseph.

March 2 – 10, NYC Schools Parent Teacher Conference

All parent-teacher conferences will be conducted remotely for the 2021-22 school year. Meetings with parents/caregivers may, upon request, occur in-person on a mutually agreeable date and time. Please note that Interpreters are available, so please let your teacher or parent coordinator know if you need interpretation services. Check-out CIDA “How to Prepare for Parent Teacher Conference” recorded workshop.

Non-English Speaking Parents Turn to Messenger Apps When Covid Translation Falls Short.

The Surgeon General’s advisory calls for a swift and coordinated response to this crisis as the nation Parents who speak limited or no English have found it difficult to understand and get answers about the Covid safety protocols, say educators and advocates who work with immigrant families. That communication gap is filled by parent leaders and community groups when families can’t get assistance from their schools or are waiting for translated versions of guidance from the education department. Read the full article.

NYC Department of Education Disability Pride Art Contest

NYC schools invite all students and teachers to join in the celebration of Disability Pride through participation in the Visual Arts Contest. Disability Pride Visual Arts Contest celebrates the challenges and achievements of people with disabilities in their struggle for equity and equal access, opportunity, and inclusion. People with disabilities are proud of their identity and their accomplishments that resulted in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Deadline for submissions is March 25, 2022. Learn More

What’s Up at CIDA

Thrift and Lift Up is OPEN on March 11 and 12!

The treasure hunt is ON! CoSpire!, a new co-op established by individuals with disabilities, is launching a thrift pop-up shop at CIDA office in Bayside. Members have collected a wide range of new and almost new products, and the items will go on sale on Friday March 11 (1pm to 4pm), and Saturday (10am to 1pm), March 12.

So many people in our community made generous donations: THANK YOU! We have received a wide variety of products from designer goods to handmade goods. Co-op members are ready to show off their sales and customer service skills. Thrift and Lift-up Shop is open to the public, so please let your family and friends know and come visit CIDA office to browse, shop, and lift-up the co-op members.

All proceeds of the sales go to the co-op members directly and to fund members’ activities. Please come treasure hunt with us and support CoSpire by shopping at the thrift shop on March 11 and 12.

Farewell to CIDA’s Beloved Youth Program Manager, Joon Her

After three years of dedicated service to CIDA, Joon is taking the next step in life. From CIDA’s flagship youth program, Self-Determination Academy, to more recent programs including Step Forward and Co-op projects, Joon has taught numerous classes and played a trusted mentor role for many students.

“Knowing that I was able to guide such an amazing group of students to be more self-determined and confident, I can wholeheartedly say that I have absolutely no regrets in stepping up to become a Youth & Adult Program Manager. Thank you to all my students, peers, parents, and the CIDA team for this amazing run here at CIDA! We will all do amazing things in future.” said Joon. We thank Joon for his immense contribution to CIDA, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Welcome James Grammer, New Training and Development Specialist

To lead the youth and community programs and other development initiatives, a new staff member, James Grammer, has joined CIDA! James brings many years of experience in both working with students in academic settings and working with underserved communities. He has B.A. in English and is expected to complete M.F.A. in Creative Writing at City College of New York in 2023.


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

  • Mental Health Small Group Therapy – March 4, Friday at 10:00 am: pre-registered participants only. The registration for the next co-hort will be open in April.
  • Understanding IEP [Intermediate Level] – March 10, Thursday at 12:30 pm: Parents and guardians of infant and school age children. Register here.
  • CoSpire! Thrift and Lift-Up Shop at CIDA Office – March 11 Friday (12:00 pm to 3 pm) and March 12, Saturday (10 am to 1 pm) Open to Public
  • March Support Group for Infant and School Age – March 17 Thursday from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm CIDA Office (IN-PERSON) meeting Register here.
  • Discipline and MDR – March 22, Tuesday (10:00 am: School dripline process and Manifestation of Disability Review process). Register here.
  • March Support Group for Adult Age – March 31 Thu 10:30 am to 12:00 pm CIDA Office in person meeting Register here.