Staying Connected Virtually

During this time of a “new normal” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Guam CEDDERS continues its mission to “create partnerships and pathways to increase the quality of life of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.” Guam CEDDERS stays connected virtually with partners on island, within the Pacific region, in the mainland United States, and even down under in Australia to find ways to continue facilitating the technical assistance and training supports prioritized by our partners for improving outcomes for children, youth, and adults with disabilities and their families.

The National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) continues their technical support in the region through virtual Zoom sessions. During a virtual Zoom meeting with GDOE Division of Special Education, Laura Taisipic, Parent Services Coordinator (pictured at the bottom), speaks while pointing towards Cesar D’Agord, NCSI Pacific Liaison (pictured right above Laura). All others share a giggle because it sounded like and looked like momma Laura was scolding Cesar. First row L-R: Josephine Cruz, Associate Director, Guam CEDDERS; June De Leon, Interim Director, Guam CEDDERS; Tricia Taitague, Program Coordinator, GDOE; Second row L-R: Terese Crisostomo, Special Projects Coordinator, GDOE; Cesar; Mari Shikuzawa, Program Associate, NCSI; Third row: Laura.
Christine Jones, Associate Director, Bookshare, meets virtually via Zoom with Nora Renguul, Special Education Coordinator, Republic of Palau, and June De Leon, Interim Director, Guam CEDDERS. The virtual meeting provided an opportunity to learn about how Bookshare can support qualifying students with print disabilities in Palau. Bookshare is an OSEP-funded ebook library that makes reading easier for students with reading barriers, such as dyslexia, blindness, and physical disabilities. Pictured top row L-R: Christine and June; bottom photo: Nora.
On May 26, a virtual consultation call via Zoom was held with Kristy Capes, Manager of the La Trobe University Community Children’s Centre, and Guam CEDDERS June De Leon and Josephine Cruz to discuss the technical assistance needs for developing and implementing to fidelity the Group-based Early Start Denver Model (G-ESDM) prioritized by the GDOE Division of Special Education. Ms. Capes is the Manager of the La Trobe University Community Children’s Centre, which comprises the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC) in Melbourne, Australia. Ms. Capes is an Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Certified Therapist and Trainer. ESDM is an evidence-based intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorder. The ASELCC is the flagship site for certification in the G-ESDM. Beginning August 2020, Ms. Capes will be providing virtual technical assistance to the special education preschool program to develop and implement the G-ESDM. Pictured top row L-R: Josephine and June; bottom photo: Kristy.
 On June 24, Guam CEDDERS June De Leon meets virtually via Zoom with American Samoa Thor Tinitali, Program Director, and Elaine Niko, Fiscal Officer to discuss their technical assistance needs related to the implementation of the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) online alternate assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities in American Samoa. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel restrictions, the discussion also included the possibility of providing virtual technical assistance in lieu of an on-site consultation visit. Pictured top row L-R: Thor and June; bottom photo: Elaine.