The resources featured in this issue of the Buzz will hopefully enrich your Center’s work and collaboration with the young people with disabilities in your region. Youth have a lot to say and share that will benefit them directly and equip them to actively participate in decision making about their own lives and futures as well as the issues shaping their surrounding communities.
We wish we could have sent you a Valentine basket full of chocolate, red hot hearts, and a mystery card from a secret admirer, but such things do not email well. Please accept the many resources listed below as substitutes that won’t make you gain weight, break out like a teenager, or undermine New Year’s resolutions. What the resources will do, we hope, is help you respond to the challenging issues that communities and families face.
The toll that stress is taking on our collective and personal mental health cannot be denied. Who among us can say that their nerves aren’t getting right down threadbare at times? That’s why we’ve focused this Buzz on identifying resources responsive to an array of mental health situations and needs. May these tools help support our own emotional and mental well-being–and that of our children and youth, families and friends, and the many community members we encounter.
Well, 2021 is off and running, that’s for sure. CPIR has concrete plans and new tools in the wings to offer you, and that makes us bristle with energy and excitement. 2021 is going to be one active year! But we also recognize that the country still has a lot of cleaning up and catching up to do, lessons to keep learning, and difficult divides to span. The resources listed in this Buzz speak to several of the most challenging issues before us.
This last Buzz of 2020 focuses on the best of what we brought in 2020 to the Parent Center network. We hope you will take the time to reflect on the incredible things your Center achieved as well. What grit, ingenuity, and genuine caring can bring into flower!
Right now, as 2020 draws to a close, most of us are still buckled down over COVID and yet we’re gearing up for a marathon of continued schooling, holiday prep and planning, and anticipation of 2021, hopefully with vaccinations against COVID as the new year progresses. Here are several resources that you might find useful to you and yours in the days ahead, as well as helpful to the families you serve and the greater community in which you live.
This issue of the Buzz celebrates the 45th anniversary of the passage of the nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, as it is now known). Additionally, join us in biding farewell and fair journeys to Debra Jennings, who has served as CPIR’s Project Director since the project’s very beginning. Debra hands off this challenging role to highly capable and well-versed Carolyn Hayer, who will lead the project forward. We are also pleased to announce the 2020 revision of training modules on Disproportionality in Special Education that Parent Centers and others can use to inform stakeholders and community members about this important issue and decades-long concern.
We are journeying through this pandemic together–at a distance. How very odd it all seems, when we want to be close, enjoy the holidays together, visit friends, and hug (and be hugged) tight. So we’ve focused this Buzz on ways to cope with as well as bridge the distance without jeopardizing individual or collective well-being.
We hope you enjoyed lots of treats and scary, imaginative decorations of late, and now we’re back to the tricky new normal, with its challenges and complexities. This Buzz connects you with resources for supporting parents during COVID and for cultivating strong home-school collaborations.
We hope you can squeeze in time to check out the many new resources and tools appearing on the autumn scene, because they are timely and highly relevant to the work we do and the people we care about.