2022 July News

Greetings from CIDA

Dear Members, Friends, and Collaborators of CIDA,

Happy July to everyone in the CIDA family! My name is James Grammer, and I am the Program & Development Specialist at CIDA. I facilitate the social co-op sessions for our young members and teach classes for our students in the Step Forward program. I began my career with CIDA quite recently, in February 2022, and it has been an honor to serve the young adults and families in our community for the past 4 months.

As we approach the Fourth of July, I have been thinking a lot about the famous American poet Walt Whitman. In the 1892 poem “Song of Myself,” he writes: “I am large, I contain multitudes.” Whitman means that nobody can be described by a single word; no one is simply “American” or “female” or “a person with a disability.” Our identities are made up of multiple aspects, like the many facets of a single diamond. The same is true of our community and the country in which we live. Both our city and the United States are made up of a diverse range of people, and at CIDA, we believe that everyone should be welcomed and permitted to thrive. Thank you for participating in CIDA’s mission to make this goal a reality. Because to make our dream of inclusion for persons with disabilities possible, we need the support of many different people—including you. This Fourth of July, I would like to ask you: what unique talents, perspectives, and abilities do you bring to the table? I know that every single one of us has something unique and valuable to offer.

This month at CIDA, we look forward to connecting with you through the following events: Autism Deep Dive, Transition and Community Resource Fair, and Self-direction workshop for Chinese families. We are also proud to celebrate July 26, the anniversary of the day the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, outlawing discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

We at CIDA need your continued assistance and support to realize our mission of equality and inclusion for persons with disabilities and everyone in our community. I encourage you to share information about our organization and events with anyone who may be interested, and to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. And remember—we all contain multitudes. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and again, thank you for your support. We hope you are having an amazing summer!

James Grammer
Program & Development Specialist

News and Resources

NYC public school families to receive $375 per child for food benefits through federal COVID relief
All New York City public school families regardless of income will receive $375 per child in food benefits to help cover the costs of meals from last summer during the pandemic —whether they attended summer school or not. The food benefits will automatically be distributed to all households with eligible school-age children in the same manner they received their P-EBT benefits for the past two school years. Click here to learn more.

NYC schools to pilot Asian American studies curriculum
New York City is piloting a curriculum on Asian American history this fall, with a wider rollout planned for 2024, officials announced Thursday. The lessons are part of the city’s roughly $200 million investment in Universal Mosaic, a curriculum under development that aims to provide more culturally representative lessons for the nearly 1 million students in the nation’s largest school system. Learn more about NYC DOE Hidden Voices Project.

2022-2023 School Calendar is Out
Education department officials released the 2022-2023 school year calendar. Similar to last year, snow days will no longer mean a break from schoolwork, at least officially. Check out 22-23 school year calendars in Korean, Chinese, and English.

2022 CIDA Self-Determination Academy is another success!
On June 28 and June 29, CIDA held their annual Self-Determination Academy with our fantastic youth/young adults. During this 2-day program students were able to learn about self-determination, goal setting, social skills, disclosing their disability, and how to successfully conduct their final IEP meeting. CIDA is so glad to have had the opportunity to have yet another successful Self-Determination Academy this year and we hope to see our youth/young adults again next year!

New Art Instructor/Therapist for Step-Forward
We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Sarah Jung, an art therapist and instructor, for Wednesday Step Forward classes. Ms. Jung is a registered art therapist at The American Art Therapy Association.
She has numerous years of working with children and adults with disabilties, and she currently works as the director and the head art teacher at Art Muse Studio in Oakland Garden, New York.


As we recover from the COVID-19 epidemic, all events are now online. Please check our event calendar for event details and registration information.

  • Autism Deep Dive (KOR)
    • In this session, you will learn about the common traits of autism, diagnostic tools, common mis-information about autism, evidence-based education methods, and planning for the future.
    • July 14 7:30 pm on Zoom. Register here
  • Transition & Community Program Resource Fair (ENG/KOR)
    • Local provider agencies will explain about the services available for transitioning and young adults, including vocational training, dayhab, and housing. * Participating agencies are: CIDA) social coop/step forward, AHRC, GHO, CIDNY, QSAC
    • July 19 at 7:00 pm on Zoom. Register here
  • Chinese Parent Self Direction Session (ENG/CHN)
    • The session will review the budget items of Self-Direction and how to communicate with a broker and FI
    • July 20 at 8 pm on Zoom. Register here
  • Dolbom Support Group (KOR): Registered participants only
    • July 21 at 7:30 pm on Zoom. Register here