• CIDA Newsletter

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  • Proposed​ NYS Every Student Succeeds Act Regulations

    Public Comment Period has begun on June 5

    NYS OPWDD Korean Family Forum

    Empowered Korean-American Families with Disabilities

    Family Conference & Expo

    August 14 @Arumdaun Church

    Meet the Family

    Wilfree Kim & Mrs. MJ Kim

  • June News

    CIDA's Latest News and Event Announcement

    From the CIDA Newsdesk

    Welcome to the June 2018 newsletter from CIDA! We invite you to catch up on our latest content and event news!

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    Policy Update

    Public Comment Period on Proposed NYS Every Student Succeeds Act Regulations has begun on June 5.

    The public comment period on proposed regulations in preparation for the implementation of New York’s approved Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan began on June 5, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced. The public comment period continues through July 9. Comments on the proposed changes will be accepted through July 9 and can be submitted by email to ESSAREGCOMMENTS@nysed.gov.


    The NYS Education Department has not released the Korean language translation for the ESSA Parent Information flyer yet. CIDA will make every necessary effort to reach out to the NYS Education Department in order to obtain the Korean version of ESSA parent information material.


    Special Education Enrollment Trends Upward

    The number of students receiving special education in US public schools is on the rise, according to a new federal report. There were 6.7 million kids with disabilities in classrooms across the country during the 2015-2016 school year, accounting for 13.2% of all students, an increase of 100,000 students from the year prior. The figures, which come from an annual report issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, cover children from ages 3 to 21 receiving services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.


    Among school-age children with disabilities, the report found that 63% of them spent at least 80% of their day in general education classrooms, up from fewer than 50% in 2000. Special education enrollment has been trending upward since the 2011-2012 school year when the number of students with disabilities was at 6.4 million, though this population has steadily accounted for about 13 percent of the nation’s public school students during that time.


    Source: Disability Scoop https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2018/06/05/special-ed-enrollment-upward/25150/

    What's Up at CIDA

    Intern Program Summer 2018 @ CIDA

    We grow the next generation of leaders

    Every year, CIDA invites college interns to train as future community leaders. The CIDA interns engage in various areas of work including education, community program development, and technology-related tasks. This year again, CIDA has invited four amazing young people to the Summer 2018 internship program. We proudly announce the newest members of the CIDA family: Erin Park (Boston University, majoring in Severe Special Education); Charlotte Hutzler (NYU, majoring in Applied Psychology), Lesley Jeon (NYU, majoring in Foreign Language) and Maria Gulino (Johns Hopkins University, majoring in Math, returning intern).

    NYS OPWDD Korean Family Forum

    June 12, 10:00 am @ Adria Hotel, Bayside, NY

    NYS OPWDD is transitioning its services to a new structure, the Care Coordination Organization (CCO) starting July 1, 2018. CIDA hosted a community forum regarding the recent changes in OPWDD service delivery systems and the needs of Korean families with developmental disabilities. CIDA invited OPWDD (the central office in Albany) for a forum to inform parents about how to access services through the CCO and Self-Direction. Hirah A. Mir, Ph.D., Projects Assistant in Workforce Transformation and Kate Bishop, Director of Programs in the Division of Person-Centered Supports at OPWDD presented the various changes including Care Coordination and Health Home Care Management. In addition, families had questions and comment session to speak out the problems and concerns in the current developmental disability services coordination and delivery systems. Dr. Kimberly Berg and Nabila Ibrahim from the New York State Developmental Disability Planning Council (DDPC) also joined the forum to learn about the needs of Korean-American families.
    CIDA will continue to collect the questions and comments from families until July 15 and forward them to NYS OPWDD and DDPC. We will share their answers and feedback with CIDA families.

  • Event Annoucement

    CIDA's Free Workshops, Support Groups and Community Events

    OPWDD Eligibility Application Preparation Workshop

    July 12, 10:00am-11:30pm @ CIDA

    CIDA will help parents to prepare the documents that are required for OPWDD services. Please call 718-224-8197.

    Self Determination Academy for Youths with Disabilities

    June 26 - July 3, 10am-2pm @CIDA

    Self Determination Academy for high school students with disabilities starts on June 26. The participants will learn important skills to build self-determination and knowledge about their IEP meetings. For more information, please contact Dr. Bae at 718-224-8197.

    Family Conference & Service Exp

    August 14 from 9:30am-2:00pm. @ Arumdaun Church

    CIDA will hold a parent conference in collaboration with Beautiful Church (Arumdaun Church) on Long Island, August 14th. Training sessions start at 9:30 am. Fifteen agencies will be invited to the vendor session to present various community-based services, programs and classes available to the locale. Arumdaun Presbyterian Church is located at 1 Arumdaun St, Bethpage, NY 11714.

    * Online Registration

    Korea Registration click here

    English Registration click here

    My Community Life @ Family Conference

    August 14 from 9:30am-2:00pm. @ Arumdaun Church

    During the Family Conference on August 14 at Arumdaun Church, we will have a presentation titled “My Community Life.” This one and a half hour session will teach youths and young adults (age 14-26) with disabilities the concepts of transition and independent life. A special focus will also be given to sexual abuse prevention and decision making. A consent form should be completed before the session.
    If you wish to register for the session, please login here: ​​https://goo.gl/forms/JwPAr3BP1cqMOK7r2​

    More Events

    For more event news and announcement, please check "Events" on the drop-down menu on top of this page.

  • Meet the Family

    Inspired and Empowered

    Wilfree Kim & Mrs. M.J. Kim

    This month, we invited Wilfree and his mother Mrs. Kim to Meet the Family Interview. Like many children with disabilities, Wilfree has endured a few different health-related issues including cancer. Here is a story of a brave young man and his family.



    Q: What can you tell us about Wilfree?

    Wilfree: I am a very curious person. Although I am shy, I like to push myself to speak more in order to try and learn new things. I also like to help others out whenever I can. I am currently a teacher’s assistant at [a] church where I help teach students in the classroom about their faith and religion.
    Ms. Kim: Wilfree, who is turning 22 years old this year, has nicknames. “Yes-Man” for his diligent work and his positive mindset and “Peterpan” for his innocent perspective of seeing the world.

    Q: What were the challenges that Wilfree and his family had to face?
    Ms. Kim
    : We did not know that Wilfree had autism as he did not show any outstanding symptoms. We felt heavy-hearted that he was diagnosed with Asperger' Syndrome when he was in 4th grade, while he was receiving various cancer treatments for two years. While we hoped that he could recover from cancer, autism was something he and our family had to deal with throughout his life, which was a real burden on him and our family. Nevertheless, the biggest reason why we could stand strong after knowing his health issues was that we faced reality and had the attitude to solve problems one by one. Thankfully, he could recover from his cancer after getting about a 3 years-long treatment. However, when he became a sophomore in college, he experienced another challenge, which was bipolar disorder. Due to the illness, Wilfree could not do anything but have a tough time even while getting treatment for it. Having been through all these difficulties after about one year, he currently plans on going back to school and looking for a job.

    Q: What changes occurred in Wilfree’s life after he joined CIDA’s Self Determination Academy?
    After attending CIDA’s Self Determination Academy, I found myself helping others more often, using more social media, and keeping in touch with the friends I made in the academy. Using what I learned in the academy, I also now make sure to set certain goals for myself every day [like finishing a drawing] in order to become an illustrator.
    Ms. Kim: The most noticeable is that he became more sociable. He often starts a conversation with people and asks questions to continue the conversation.

    Q: Would you like to say anything to the community?
    Ms. Kim:
    When we went to a job fair in applying for a job, we saw two assistants were helping nine individuals with disabilities apply for jobs and submit their resumes. As people with and without disabilities become partners to make things work, I hope that there will be more attention and support from the Korean community in order to create inclusion in the local community.

    Q: Would you like to say anything to CIDA? 
    Wilfree: I am thankful for being able to become a member of the organization. I appreciate all the members of the team for teaching me that there are many things I can accomplish despite my limitations. At CIDA, I believe that people who usually do not click with other people can become a new community.

    * If you wish to share your family stories, please contact CIDA at 718-224-8197.

  • Community Bulletin

    School & Community Resources

    Teachers College, Columbia University is Taking Applications for Speech Treatment Camp for Children With Cerebral Palsy

    A Research Project Provides Free Speech Programs

    At the CP Speech Camp at Teachers College, Columbia University, The free, three-week day camp helps children with cerebral palsy whose speech is difficult to understand, to learn and practice the latest, research-based techniques for improving their speech in a fun, interactive environment.
    The CP Speech Camp is seeking campers between the ages of 4 and 17 for its fifth annual summer session, from July 9 through July 27, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, on the Teachers College campus, 525 West 120th Street, Manhattan.

    *Contact: cpspeech@tc.columbia.edu


    More info here:http://www.tc.columbia.edu/media/centers/speech-production--perception-lab/FLYER_July-9-27,-2018,-Speech-Treatment-Camp-for-Children-with-CP.pdf


  • Summer Camps

    There are still available summer programs in NYC and Long Island.

    Please download the file here:

  • Summer Camps & Afterschool Programs


  • Summer Programs

    Tech Kids Unlimited Summer Programs
    The programs prepare students from ages 14-21 with autism, Asperger’s ADHD, OCD, and other learning and social/emotional challenges for internships, transition, college, and the workforce. Students will learn about collaboration, team building, work ethic, and technology skills through project-based work.

    *Early Bird Registration: May 15, 2018
    *For further information and registration: www.techkidsunlimited.org/events

  • Recreation & Afterschool

    Check out the community programs available in your area.

    The programs are open to children and teens with disabilities.

  • Rock Your Day

    5 minute Music Break

    It's a good day to have a good day!