Skip to main content
Full Menu Close Menu

Hearing Education Services Update - June 2017

It has been a very successful year for the Hearing Education Services Chapter. I hope you had a great school year, too. We are pleased with all the progress we've made regarding the long-term issues, including computers for HES teachers. 

I want to thank the HES Chapter consultation committee members for all their work. They are: Janet Palumbo-Katz, Staten Island HES/related service provider and UFT delegate; Donna Kafko, Brooklyn West HES/RSP, UFT delegate, and note taker; Natasha Seaton, Manhattan self-contained class teacher; and Noel Lehrer, Brooklyn East HES/RSP and UFT delegate. They attend all of our monthly meetings and work diligently with us to find solutions to important chapter issues.

I also want to thank each and every one of our HES Chapter members for your contributions to the agenda. We will continue our consultation meetings next fall. If you are interested in joining our consultation committee, please contact me at

We enjoyed our training at the Chancellor's Conference Day for staff development on June 8. We learned all about speech reading — which is a skill we must teach our students. 

HES members raised awareness for those with hearing loss this year.

HES members raised awareness for students and others with hearing loss at the NYC Walk4Hearing in Manhattan on Sept. 25, 2016.

New York voters will be asked on Nov. 7, as they are every 20 years, if they want to hold a convention to revise and amend our state constitution. Opening the constitution for revision could jeopardize our pensions, as well as other important rights and benefits. Please, tell your family and friends to vote “no” on the November ballot measure.The HES team participates in the NYC Walk4Hearing every September. We walk to support students and others with hearing loss. The money raised from the walk contributes to scholarships for HES students. I hope you will bring your students to join us at this great event on Sept. 24.

I am off for the summer and will see you all back in September. Visit the UFT website any time and use the tools you’ll find there, such as the Frequently Asked Questions page and the Ask the Union tool. If you are working for the Chapter 683 program and have any issues this summer, please contact your UFT borough office.

It has been a pleasure to work with and serve you this year. I hope you get plenty of time off to rest, relax and recharge. In closing, I’d like to offer this quote from Samuel Gompers, American labor union leader:

“To be free, the workers must have choice. To have choice, they must retain in their own hands the right to determine under what conditions they will work.”

In unity,

Cecilia Cortez
Hearing Education Services Chapter Leader

Issues update

  • Computers for HES teachers: After years of asking for computers for our HES teachers, our request has been granted! Everyone who is a related service provider will receive a Google Chromebook this month. These new computers will be very helpful in completing your SESIS activities. I want to thank the UFT and District 75 Superintendent Ketler Louissaint, who made it possible for all HES itinerant teachers to receive Chromebooks. In addition, I am grateful to Beth Haft and Lori Fingeroth, HES RSP teachers from Queens, for their efforts. They were a constant force in our struggle. 
  • Parking procedures: Parking procedures for school employees have changed. Every school-based employee who has a car will receive a Department of Education-issued parking permit. We will continue to have the same number of DOT parking permits.
  • Travel Reimbursement and Approval Certification (TRAC): If you don't receive your check on time, you can check the status of your TRAC. Send the number, amount and date of the TRAC to the HES paraprofessionals' secretary and she will check the status of your TRAC. Everyone should have received TRAC payments for this year.
  • Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credit: By now, teachers who hold professional and permanent certificates should have registered online with the state using the TEACH system. Teachers with professional certificates are also required to complete 100 CTLE hours during each five-year registration period. The new CTLE requirements do not apply to teachers with permanent certificates. 

The UFT and the UFT Teacher Center are approved CTLE providers. If you are taking a course for CTLE credit from any provider other than the UFT or the UFT Teacher Center, make sure the course offering states that participants can earn CTLE credit and that you will receive a certificate from the approved provider after you have completed the program. Keep the certificate in a safe place because it is the official record of your completion of an approved course. The UFT and the UFT Teacher Center are planning to offer many CTLE credit-bearing workshops and conferences throughout the upcoming school year. Check the New York Teacher newspaper and the UFT website for more information.

Related Topics: Chapter News