(NMC) — The Consumer Advisory Committee of the CNMI University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the Northern Marianas College successfully conducted its first meeting of the year on January 29, 2021 via Zoom.

CAC chairperson Emeterio Fitial presided over the meeting and presented on the organization’s bylaws, his activities in the past months, and gave an overview of the goals of both the CAC and UCEDD.

Emeterio Fitial

Emeterio Fitial

One of the CAC goals include a resource center equipped with a computer, printer, and access to the Internet for members to be able to do research and conduct CAC-related activities.

Jennifer-Eilleen E. Castro

Jennifer-Eilleen E. Castro

UCEDD director Jennifer-Eilleen E. Castro reported on program updates, including UCEDD's marketing campaign, plans for a new and accessible office space, and the upcoming Pacific Rim virtual conference on disability and diversity.

Ninety percent of members present indicated they were satisfied with the meeting conducted.

Vera Jane C. Tudela

Vera Jane C. Tudela

In addition, Fitial appointed Vera Jane C. Tudela as the new vice chairperson for the CAC on February 10, 2021. Tudela has a lifetime of experiences and relationships with individuals with developmental disabilities and hopes to be a voice for other self-advocates and family members in the community who are not yet ready to take that leap to full inclusion and change in culture.

The CAC members continue to actively recruit individuals who are interested in serving as a member to work closely with the UCEDD in promoting their four core functions: interdisciplinary preservice training and continuing education, community services including training and technical assistance, research, and dissemination of information. 

Among their responsibilities, CAC members attend meetings, offer advice and guidance to UCEDD, and act as a resource about UCEDD in the community.

The purpose of the CAC is to review, advise, and make recommendations that will assist UCEDD to maintain and develop initiatives that reflect the mission of UCEDD.

CAC supports the mission of the UCEDD, which is to promote, support & enhance the independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in the community.

For more information about UCEDD, please contact cnmi.ucedd@marianas.edu. For more information about the CAC, please contact cnmi.ucedd.cac@gmail.com

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