Can you believe we are already in October of the 2019 year? I cannot believe where the time is gone and how much we have accomplished this year. With so many shifts, changes, and activities it hard to make sure we are on top of everything, but I commend all of you on serving our students with disabilities and remaining advocates and pillars in the disability communities.
As we finalize the preparations for the Fall Convention in Long Beach, I am so excited for all the wonderful breakout sessions, special guest speakers, and keynotes we have planned. We have another great year of scholarships and awards and I want to personally thank Mark Matsui and his convention planning team for making this convention the best that it can be. As we look across the state and to the future I want to remind you that connecting with others in the field, learning from each other, and sharing our best practices is key in being able to stay nimble and adapt for the changes we are seeing. CAPED is definitely behind you all and I want to personally ask for your commitment and support as we strengthen our voices to advocate for our field, our students, and our professional organization. We are only as strong as those we stand next too so please bond together and let us show them the strength that CAPED has and it will remain strong.
The Executive Board had a wonderful and productive Summer Advance in August this year in South Lake Tahoe lead by our President Elect, Nicole Smith and there is so much we are planning and working on behind the scenes. We have seen some incredible growth and commitment from our CAPED Special Interest Group (CIGs) chairs and they are excited about their involvement, keeping their areas on the forefront and involving our members through their efforts. We heard you last year and are working hard to update our By-Laws, create a Legislative Committee, and come up with new and innovative ways CAPED can support the field across the state. I want to thank everyone who attended the Advance for their time and dedication.
For those of you who were able to attend, we had an amazing Spring Drive-In hosted at Long Beach City College and saw the efforts of Maria Ek Ewell and her team of DSPS professionals and want to thank them for all their hard work and hosting such a successful Spring-Drive In. We are already working on next year’s Spring-Drive In and planning to host it in Sacramento; we will share date and location as soon as the details are solidified. Professional development and connecting together remains one of CAPED’s greatest strength so I hope you all will join us in Sacramento in the Spring for this year’s Drive-In.
Finally, I want to thank Dr. Lucinda Aborn and Kim Letendre for all their work and guidance with the CAPED Mentorship Program. We have had another fantastic year of teaming seasoned Mentors with new DSPS Directors. We are happy to announce we granted the opportunity to continue this amazing program for the 2019/20 year working with the CCCCO and DSPS Directors and Mentors.
As always remember that CAPED is only as strong as our members, CAPED is a volunteer run association and with many hands it lightens the load and builds the strength that is CAPED. It has been a busy and fantastic year and I look forward to serving as your President for this year as well. Many thanks to the Executive Board, Officers Council, and all of you committing to shaping our future! Have an amazing year. We look forward to seeing you all together soon and hope you find the Communique as valuable as I do; it helps our organization to hear from the field and learn from others as we strengthen the services for the students we serve.
WE ARE CAPED! If you would like to get involved, be a part of the planning, or have ideas for the future please let me know! Feel free to reach out to the Officers’ Council or CAPED Interest Group Chairpersons if you want to get more involved, leave feedback, or just to say hi. Although we have a strong focus on the Conference, CAPED is a volunteer organization that serves the membership and supports the field of disability service year-round.