2023 October Newsletter

Celebrate Autumn with CIDA!

Greetings from Our Executive Director

This month’s newsletter is filled with news about CIDA’s many exciting events. First, we would like to thank our sponsors and supporters who have made the 2023 Gala possible. It will be a more magnificent event than ever, featuring awards ceremonies, art exhibitions, and musical performances starring Broadway musical stars. 100% of the funds raised at this event will be used for programs for youth/young adults with disabilities. So, make sure to check out all our exciting news such as the Very Special Art Award ceremony at St. John’s University, the opening of the CoSpire Cafe, CIDA’s employment program for young adults, sex education family sessions, Halloween parties and more!

Young Seh Bae, Ph.D., Executive Director
Executive Director

What’s Up at CIDA

CoSpire Café

On Friday, September 29, we hosted our first CoSpire Café pop-up event! CoSpire Café is a training site that provides our trainees with retail skills and business experience. Trainees work as paid interns and learn coffee brewing skills, store operation, inventory management, and gift sales. Our store is located at the CIDA Community Center, 36-28 Bell BLVD., Bayside, NY. Visit us during future events to meet our incredible crew and experience our beautiful and inspiring gallery cafe space!

CIDA Annual Gala

Join us at the Annual CIDA Gala on October 12! Get ready for a night of celebration and inspiration at our upcoming annual gala taking place at Leonard’s Palazzo. We’re proud to be honoring awardees such as Senator John Liu and others, recognizing their commitment to diversity and inclusivity in our community. Enjoy captivating Broadway performances and explore our art exhibition and auction featuring CIDA’s talented artists. Save the date and visit our website to buy your ticket – it’s a night you won’t want to miss!

Very Special Art Festival Ceremony

Rain or Shine, Art Comes Through! Even as rain poured down, our ‘Very Special’ Art Festival in partnership with CIDA at Saint John’s University was nothing short of spectacular! A huge THANK YOU to our incredible artists and everyone who braved the weather to make this event unforgettable. Your presence truly turned it into a celebration of talent and resilience! If you were unable to attend, there’s no need to worry. You can still view all the outstanding artworks, including the award-winning pieces, on our official website.

Eric Adams

CIDA was honored to attend the 20th Anniversary event for CERT and Ready NY, hosted by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, as a community partner! During the event, our Executive Director Young Seh Bae had the opportunity to chat directly with Mayor Adams about the unique challenges our CIDA families with disabilities face in emergency situations and emphasized the need for additional government support. Looking ahead, we’re teaming up with NYC Emergency Management to build a CIDA Emergency Preparedness Network. Stay connected for updates—you won’t want to miss out on this game-changing initiative.

Welcome to Our New Staff Members: Ana and Esther!

We are happy to introduce our new Training Program Assistant, Analicia Almodovar! Ana is a recent graduate from CUNY York College, having majored in interdisciplinary studies. Her fervent dedication to education, particularly for students with disabilities, is rooted in her experience as a special education paraprofessional with the NYC DOE and as an assistant teacher at Kiddie Academy. Her active volunteerism within neighborhood organizations complements her aspirations to pursue a master’s in special education. She likes to travel in her free time and experience other cultures.

We are also proud to introduce our new Events and Contract Manager at CIDA, Esther Park! Esther Park graduated from Queens College with a degree in Media Studies. Being the oldest sibling and a 1.5-generation Korean-American, she understands the hardships of immigrant families and those with disabled family members. She believes that the system and process for the disabled should be easy, accessible, and informative. She looks forward to connecting with families, planning events, and cultivating empathy within the community.

Policy News

OPWDD Eligibility Determination Process

NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has posted a new ADM regarding OPWDD Eligibility. The Eligibility Guidelines have been updated to incorporate eligibility-related information previously issued by OPWDD into one document. It also includes updated diagnostic terminology to reflect current diagnostic practices. The Eligibility Guidelines provide guidance on clinical and procedural issues related to the determination and review of basic eligibility for OPWDD support and services. You may see the detailed guideline here: https://opwdd.ny.gov/regulations-guidance/adm-2023-02-opwdd-eligibility-determination-process


Sex education

Join us on October 21st for a follow-up to our August Sex-Ed Workshop. This time, we’re breaking into parents and young adult groups. Parents will learn how to talk to their children about sex, while the young adult group will roleplay scenarios to tackle sexual harassment and abuse prevention. If you were there last time, you won’t want to miss this!