2022 August News

Summer Full of Progress and Opportunities

Greetings from CIDA

Dear Members, Friends, and Collaborators of CIDA,

Greetings everyone in the CIDA community! My name is Lyndsey Gillespie, and I am currently a Program Development Associate here at CIDA. I assist our lovely teacher James in teaching our Step Forward program as well as assist in facilitating our social co-op sessions. I began at CIDA as an intern at the beginning of the year in January and have loved and cherished my time here. As I continue my path in becoming a Clinical Psychologist, I will always be grateful for the opportunities and incredible experiences this company has provided me.

As we approach the end of summer, I have been tasked with looking back at my CIDA experience beginning as an ambitious student looking for opportunities in the Psychology field. I am so grateful to have been selected to work for such an incredible company that cherishes everyone no matter what. I have learned so many lessons throughout my time here, including how to be patient with others, and more importantly, the impact of genuine support and selflessness. Thank you to everyone who participates in CIDA’s commitment to cherish everyone no matter what. Please know you are appreciated and respected for your effort and dedication to making this world a better place.

As we jump into August, in the midst of this blazing hot summer, I wanted to share the events and programs that CIDA has upcoming as well as introduce the new Art Therapist, Sarah Jung, who has recently begun teaching art classes for Step Forward on Wednesday mornings. We also have two new lovely high school volunteers, Allison and Madison, who graciously assist us on Wednesdays for our adult program as well. In regards to our programs, CIDA is holding leadership training for our social co-op program CoSpire and hosting workshops on educational assessment for Korean-speaking parents and active and safe living for both parents and children with disabilities. Please check the August event calendar to register for the events.

As we enter the last month of summer, I wanted to thank everyone who participates in CIDA’s mission, and wish the best of luck to those beginning new opportunities in the fall. If you know anyone interested in our organization’s events or programs, please don’t hesitate to share our website and contact information.

Lyndsey Gillespie
Program & Development Associate

News and Resources

Additional Parent Teacher Conference As The New School Year Kicks Off in September.
This year, NYC Schools added another parent-teacher conference at the beginning of the school year. Please review the NYC DOE calendar and mark your calendar on September 15 – 22 to schedule your parent-teacher conference with your child’s new teacher. NYC schools will keep two regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences in November and March. Review the 2022-2023 school year calendar here.

New York Board of Regents Changes the Term “Emotional Disturbance” to “Emotional Disability.”
Effective on July 27, 2022, the Board of Regents amended the Commissioner’s regulations to replace the term “emotional disturbance” with “emotional disability. State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa called the change “critical” because the current terminology “created the kind of labeling and internalizing for young people that really did not serve them well.” Learn more about the change.

The U.S. DOE Issues New Guidelines on Discipline For Students with Disabilities
On July 19, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights issued guidance called Supporting Students with Disabilities and Avoiding the Discriminatory Use of Student Discipline Under SEction 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This guidance focuses on schools’ obligations to meet the needs of students with disability-based behavior as required by Section 504 and on other steps, schools must take to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability when disciplining students. You can read the full guidance via this link.

What’s Up at CIDA

New Grant from New York Community Trust Fuels CIDA’s Social Coop Initiative
The New York Community Trust (NYCT) awarded a new grant to CIDA to fuel CIDA’s innovative workforce development initiative. This grant allowed CIDA to expand the social co-op project and welcome 60 new members to CoSpire during the 2 year period, and train parents and local employers for resources and inclusion practices.

2022 Very Special Art Festival Registration is OPEN
CIDA will be hosting the 2022 Very Special Art Festival Registration on September 24 at St. John’s University. Participating contestants are asked to create artwork at home and submit up to 2 creations at the festival site. Families will be able to enjoy a special workshop hosted by Mo Kong, an Artists in Residence at The Queens Museum. Winners of the contest will have an opportunity to exhibit their works at CIDA 2022 Art Exhibiton and Gala in October. Register Today!

The Final Season of the Mental Health Support Group Starts in September
Congratulations to the second mental health support group cohort for completing the season with Joonjoa Park LMSW. Registration for the final season is open for the final cohort of the year. This is first come first serve. If you are interested in joining the season, please register via this link.


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

  • Educational Assessment (Korean)
    • In this session, you will learn about the purpose and process of educational and special education evaluation and commonly used standardized diagnostic tools for education. You will also learn how to interpret the scores on a report.
    • August 11, 12:00 pm, on Zoom
    • Register here
  • Safe and Active Living Training (English and Korean)
    • We strongly recommend both children and parents to attend the session together. Students or youth with disabilities learn how to differentiate between a consented relationship and sexual harassment/sexual assault, how to report and be protected when verbal or physical violence occurs, and how to act appropriately so that others do not misinterpret it.
    • Guest Speaker Cathy Hoy (TBD) from AHRC & YAI
    • August 23th, 7:30 pm on Zoom
    • Register here
  • New to Special education 需要了解什么是特殊教育 (English and Chinese)
    • This session provides an overview the special education processes and how to participate Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting
    • August 17, 8 pm on Zoom
    • Register here