COVID-19 guidance for schools, which the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are fully adopting.

Teacher and StudentThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released streamlined COVID-19 guidance for schools, which the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are fully adopting. Please review the CDC’s updated Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs to Support Safe In-Person Learning and related CDC FAQ.

 

CDC said in its announcement: “We’re in a stronger place today as a nation, with more tools — like vaccination, boosters, and treatments — to protect ourselves, and our communities, from severe illness from COVID-19. We also have a better understanding of how to protect people from being exposed to the virus, like

wearing high-quality masks, testing, and improved ventilation. This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives.”

 

IDPH is hosting another webinar opportunity at 10 a.m. Aug. 23 for school districts to learn more about the guidance, as well as strategies to prevent the spread of Monkeypox. If you did not have an opportunity to join the earlier webinar, please register here.

 

Here is a summary of key revisions to the guidance to continue to keep students, staff, and families safe:

  • Removes the recommendation to quarantine for close contacts (individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 should wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days after exposure and should get tested on day 6)
  • No longer recommends routine screening testing in K-12 schools (focus testing on high-risk activities during high COVID-19 Community Level or in response to an outbreak)
  • Removes the recommendation for separating students into cohorts (eases social distancing guidelines, which Illinois has already been following)
  • Eliminates the recommendation to Test to Stay after potential exposure

 

Please also note that districts must continue to provide remote learning to any student who is in isolation for COVID-19, per the State Superintendent’s Remote Learning Declaration.

 

The streamlining of this new CDC school guidance aligns with Community Levels for its recommendations, as community levels can help schools and local health departments make decisions based on their local context and their unique needs.

 

CDC guidance also maintains the importance of continuing to establish and support policies that makes getting vaccinated easy and convenient. Schools are encouraged to create on-site opportunities by hosting school-located vaccination clinics, or connecting eligible children, students, staff, and families to off-site vaccination locations.

 

Schools are encouraged to follow daily operational strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases, such as: keeping students and staff at home who are ill; maintaining clean, disinfected facilities; proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette; and improved ventilation systems. For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

Understanding Your Rights and Recognizing Red Flags (free) Hosted by Matt Cohen & Associates:

Matt Cohen and Associates Banner

Understanding Your Rights and Recognizing Red Flags (free) Hosted by Matt Cohen & Associates: 

Date: September 28,

Time: 12:00 – 1:30 PM

For parents new to special education  and for those looking for a refresher on the many moving parts of special education law and IEPs.

Join Matt Cohen & Associates for an overview of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process and learn about your student’s right to special education services.

· Find out how to get services for your student
· Learn how IEPs work section-by-section
· Make a plan for your next meeting with the
school

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/tZEqcOmgqTsvGNQePz0E0QAYbxtGjOyYWH15/success?user_id=p_FZ4ob_RKuFVJ4U4BqNRw&timezone_id=America%2FChicago

Community Engagement: A Pathway to Competitive Integrated Employment

People gardeningCommunity Engagement:A Pathway to Competitive Integrated Employment

The employment of individuals with disabilities benefits our communities and our nation as they maximize their skills and talents and contribute fully to our economy.  Individuals with disabilities are often unemployed, underemployed, or employed at low wages because of low expectations.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released A Framework for Community Engagement — A Pathway to Competitive Integrated Employment.

The Framework presents a Federal vision for community engagement by individuals with disabilities to inform policymakers and service providers.

Supported community engagement enables individuals with disabilities to expand skills and experience. The benefits include:

  • Building relationships and social networks
  • Sharpening workplace skills
  • Learning work skills

Community engagement provides meaning and purpose specific to the individual. Examples of community engagement opportunities include:

 

  • Continuing education classes
  • Volunteering
  • Using a computer at a public library

The framework also describes how service systems work together to support community engagement and links to resources for families, young people, and providers.

Review the framework here

Learn more about “competitive integrated employment” here

View the REAL Transition Partners webinar to learn about Individualized Plans for Employment

FRCD 2022 Parent Advocacy Leadership (PAL)Training Program (Webinar Series)

Featured

PAL FlyerAre you a parent of a child with a disability or a community member interested in gaining a strong understanding of the special education system? The Parent Advocacy Leadership (PAL) program is a free training series designed to help you navigate the special education process Illinois.

Requirements:

Willing to attend all eight sessions,

Willing to complete pre and post-survey,

Training will cover:

The Individuals with Disabilities

Education Act (IDEA)

State law (Part 226)

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Section 504

Advocacy

Current Special Education Issues

Family Resource Center on Disabilities is excited to announce that registration for our Fall PAL

Training Cohort of 2022 is open.

All training will be virtual. The PAL is eight sessions long. Homework is required

and must be completed prior to each session. Participants who complete all eight sessions will receive a Parent Advocacy Leadership Certificate of Completion.

Each training session will be on Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm (excluding holidays) via Zoom Meeting.

The PAL Session Dates Include:

September 10th, September 17th, September 24th, October 1st, October 8th, October 15th, October 22nd, October 29th.

For more information contact Paula Wills at paula.wills@frcd.org or call (312) 939-3513.

The Arc of IL new position posting – Legislative Advocacy Coordinator

Arc LogoThe Arc of Illinois Legislative Advocacy Coordinator Do you have a passion for advocating alongside people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in Illinois? The Arc of Illinois is looking for a part time Legislative Advocacy Coordinator who is interested in working in the field of disability advocacy, supports, and services. This is a remote position. The Arc of Illinois advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and community organizations to ensure that people with disabilities can live, work, learn, and play in communities across the state. The Arc offers resources and information, supports families in their individual advocacy efforts and trains and educates people with disabilities, families and professionals among other things.

To learn more, please visit our website: www.thearcofil.org Position Summary: The Legislative Advocacy Coordinator is responsible for coordinating legislative advocacy activities under the general direction of the Executive Director of The Arc of Illinois and in conjunction with its lobbyist and Board of Directors.

Duties

  • Assist in the research and development of policy initiatives to address unmet needs of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in collaboration with The Arc of Illinois Executive Director and Program Directors;
  • Coordinate and prepare agendas for the meetings of The Arc of Illinois’s Public Policy Committee in collaboration with the Executive Director, Committee co-chairs and lobbyist as well as attend the committee meetings and prepare meeting notes;
  • Prepare or assist in the preparation of fact sheets and other information to support The Arc of Illinois’s position on legislation at the direction of the Executive Director and/or lobbyist;
  • Communicate with The Arc of Illinois membership about policy priorities of The Arc in collaboration with the Development Director and the Events and Marketing Coordinator;
  • Monitor federal, state and local legislative and policy developments related to intellectual and developmental disabilities in coordination with the Executive Director and lobbyist;
  • Schedule meetings with legislators and other public officials as requested by the Executive Director and attend meetings as requested;
  • Develop a list of members of The Arc of Illinois throughout the state who are willing to contact their legislators on key issues;
  • Secure witness slips and/or oral or written testimony from organizations and individuals for hearings on key legislation as requested by the Executive Director and/or lobbyist;
  • Develop or expand functional use of the Illinois General Assembly website (www.ilga.gov) in collaboration with the lobbyist;
  • Attend meetings of disability coalitions as directed by the Executive Director;
  • Assist in the coordination of legislative advocacy events;
  • Participate in advocacy events (e.g., Speak Up and Speak Out Summit and disability awareness events) and
  • Other related duties as assigned by the Executive Director. Requirements:
  • Must be an Illinois resident;
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in a related field such as public policy or political science;
  • Strong interest in developing or expanding legislative advocacy skills;
  • Knowledge of the IDD service system in Illinois and nationwide trends in community supports;
  • Familiarity with the legislative process in Illinois and a strong interest in learning more;
  • Ability to communicate with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families with compassion and respect;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills (including the ability to distill important issues and explain in plain language);
  • Excellent organizational skills; and
  • Willing to attend occasional evening and weekend advocacy events as well as occasionally travel as necessary to fulfill job duties. If you are interested in this position, please email your resume to HR@thearcofil.org The Arc of Illinois is an equal opportunity employer.

Survivors of Firearm Violence Resource Project Listening Sessions

Access Living Survivor's of Firearm Violence
Survivors of Firearm Violence Resource Project
Listening Sessions
Are you a firearm survivor with a disability?
Access Living would lie to hear about your experiences!
Gun violence survivors with disabilities are invited to come together and talk about their individual and shared experiences with acquiring a disability through gun violence. These small group sessions meet via Zoom and are led by disabled survivors of gun violence.
Listening Session Dates:
7/30: 1-3pm
8/10: 1-3pm
8/17: 5-7pm
To RSVP or request accommodations, please contact Candace Coleman. ccoleman@accessliving.org or (312) 640-2148.

FRCD Honors the Life and Legacy of Paula Goldberg

Paula GoldbergFamily Resource Center on Disabilities honors the life and legacy of Paula Goldberg, Executive Director of the PACER Center since 1977.  Our deepest condolences go out to her family and the PACER staff.

Her dedication to the empowerment of the disability community was boundless and inspired us all to be change agents for children in the special education system. We are eternally grateful for all that she did and will continue to follow her example.  Thank you,  Paula! May you rest in power.

 

Share your memories and stories of Paula by visiting the PACER Center’s In Memoriam pages, at:  https://www.pacer.org/about/memoriam/

Family to Family (F2F) Health Information Center 2022 Monthly Webinar

Family to Family (F2F) Health Information Center  2022 Monthly WebinarParents of children with disabilities seeking intermittent/temporary relief from caretaking responsibilities – Join us to learn about no cost Respite care and whether you may be eligible –
Wednesday June 15th from 12:00 –1:00 p.m.
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Captioning offered in English and Spanish, if have questions or you need additional language accommodations contact: Mary Dixon, mary@thearcofil.org; 815-464-1832 x1017 by June 7th.

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN IS LOOKING FOR: PERSPECTIVES ON SCHOOL-HOME COMMUNICATION BY CAREGIVERS OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

  UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN IS LOOKING FOR: PERSPECTIVES ON SCHOOL-HOME COMMUNICATION BY CAREGIVERS OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISMUNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN IS LOOKING FOR:
PERSPECTIVES ON SCHOOL-HOME COMMUNICATION BY CAREGIVERS OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

We are reaching out to families who might be interested in participating in a one-time, online survey.
The survey will contain questions about your perspectives on the school-home communication you are currently engaged with your child’s current school.

TIME COMMITMENT: 25-30 MIN

PLEASE CONSIDER PARTICIPATING INTHIS SURVEY IF YOU ARE

PROFICIENT IN ENGLISH AND
HAVE A CHILD THAT MEETS THE
FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
~ BETWEEN AGES OF 3 – 21
~ ENROLLED IN PUBLIC SCHOOL
~ REPORTED TO HAVE AUTISM
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THIS SURVEY, CLICK HERE. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Rex Li
csli4@illinois.edu (929)-445-2451
Dr. Meghan Burke
meghanbm@illinois.edu (217) 300-1226

The 15th Annual Free Virtual Family Conference for Families of Children with Disabilities

Family Leaders Conference 2022 Illinois Family Leaders Collaboration Presents
The 15th Annual Free Virtual Family Conference for Families of Children with Disabilities
The Power of Families: Using Your Voice to Make a Difference
Presented with Live Spanish Translation
Saturday, April 23, 2022
For more information and to
9:30 – 11:30 AM: Resiliency is Also Contagious: How to Protect Our Families from the Impact of Adversity and Trauma Presented by Dr. Matt Buckman, Stress & Trauma Treatment Center
12:30 – 2:30 PM: Inclusive Education for Families of Young Children Presented by Tammy Wrobbel & Talin Tokat, Early CHOICES
The evening session, from 6:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. will offer the same topic separately in English and Spanish
6:00 – 7:00 PM: Mindfulness for Families (Presented in English) Presented by Karla Belzer, University of Illinois
6:00 – 7:00 PM: Self-Care: Presented in Spanish
Presented by Lourdes Perez, Consultant & Consuelo Puente