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News and Updates

Yap State Hosts 9th FSM Parents & Consumers Conference
Colonia, Yap-The FSM Special Education Program has a biennial conference for families of children and adults with disabilities to bring more awareness and support to families and individuals with special needs. The FSM States usually rotate the hosting of this important event so that each state has the opportunity to have more participants from their state to attend the conference. This year’s Parent and Consumer Conference (PCC) was hosted by Yap Department of Education which was held on August 24-25, 2011.

The theme for the conference was “Provide Equal Rights and Education Opportunities for All”. There were about 152 participants including parents, individuals with disabilities (consumers), service providers/staff, government leaders, and community members from all the four states. The conference was opened and blessed by both Governor Anafel and Speaker Falan from the State of Yap in their respective remarks during the opening reception.
The two-day conference was held at Yap Sport Complex. Although, it was on the other side of the downtown Colonia, the attendees remained consistently high for both days. The participants were actively engaged in discussion and questioning during the sessions. Some of the sessions include:

Due Process Hearing
Child Abuse and Neglect
IEP/ITP Process;
Deaf Education
Social Security services for disabilities
Child Find
Scholarship Program
Parents Rights
Yap Interagency Nutrition Education Program
Deaf Education and Sign Language
Yap Small Business
Importance of Physical Activities
Workforce Enrichment Program

One major highlight of the conference is the adoption of a Resolution establishing a FSM Disability Coordinating Council. This will be an interim council pending the request as officially submitted to the President’s office for approval. The general intent of the Resolution is to have the interim council to spearhead the planning and discussions of the following: 1) advocacy for FSM national leadership to sign the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), 2) advocacy and awareness of FSM national policy makers to enact the FSM National Policy on Disability into law, instead of a congressional resolution (C.R. 16-09), and 3) assist and advise national and states special education programs in planning the next conference and related activities that were discussed and agreed to in this year’s conference, such as the first FSM Special Olympic Week.

Based on the results of a survey that was administer to the participants at the end of the conference, 141 out of 152 or 92% respondents rated this conference as well organized and very helpful. For more information on this conference, please contact John Bugulrow, Yap Special Education Coordinator at johnbugulrow@gmail.com or (691)350-2150.
Posted on 18 Sep 2011

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