The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) of Lewis-Palmer School District presented their second annual “Aliorum De” or, “Touching the Lives of Others” awards April 25 at a ceremony in the learning center at the district administration building — the “Big Red” brick headquarters on North Jefferson Street.

The Aliorum De award “recognizes the dedication and commitment of an individual who has touched the life of an LPSD student with a disability.”

This year’s 42 nominees received certificates and a copy of what the person who nominated them said about them. Eleven awards recipients received trophies.

According to the LPSD Facebook page, the ceremony honors staff, students and community members for their dedication to students with disabilities.

Tamara McKee, an administrative assistant in the Exceptional Student Services (ESS) department, said the ceremony was well received.

“People are very touched when they hear what other people say about them,” and the positive recognition is valued, she said. “You just do your work everyday and it’s nice for people to say, ‘I appreciate what you do.’”

Students, teachers and community members were asked to nominate someone especially helpful with students with special needs. The awards selection committee received around 50 nominations — some people were mentioned more than once, McKee said — and after review they picked the 11 recognized at the ceremony.

ESS Director Rick Frampton and the SEAC helped establish the award last year after wanting to recognize those who touched the lives of those with special needs. People write an approximately 400 word submission detailing their nominee’s involvement and contributions.

Representatives from the LPSD department of Special Education or ESS monthly with the SEAC.

The SEAC’s resources list on the D-38 website includes a link to an information page about the Colorado Initiative for Inclusive Higher Education (IN!). The group tries to offer more opportunities for those with special needs to obtain higher education.

According to the resource, sheet, history was made two years ago when three Colorado colleges — the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Arapahoe Community College — opened their doors to those with intellectual disabilities.

The IN! group claims that “Colorado is desperately behind what is happening nationally (in the realm of meeting needs for people with disabilities education) and was one of the last states to provide options for inclusive higher education.”

According to its page on the LPSD website, “SEAC is a local committee that consists of parents, teachers and staff members to promote a better understanding of the needs of special education children. We meet once a month to discuss and learn the latest in Special Education at the School, District, State and Federal levels. We generally also cover a more specific topic each month and sometimes have guest speakers. There is no outside work required for SEAC, and while we welcome you to attend each month, you are not required to be at each meeting.”

For more information on SEAC, visit tinyurl.com/y4rbl8nj.

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