All media inquiries and questions should be sent in writing to Amy Beaver, Marketing and Communications Specialist.

  • Alice Womer receives the 2018/19 Josephine J. Decima Award for Excellence in the Field of Special Education

    Nov 16, 2018

    The Capital Area Intermediate Unit is proud to announce that Alice Womer, a speech/language pathologist for the CAIU, is the winner of this year’s Decima award. The award was established to honor the life of the late Josephine Decima, a former CAIU educator, who helped pioneer the field of special education in central Pennsylvania.

    Geri Schaffer, who nominated Womer for the award, said this about her in the application for nomination:

    “Over the years that I've worked with [Alice], I've watched students grow and learn. They respect her, and they know she cares about them. She cares about their school environments, their skill levels, their goals and their success. But, more importantly, she cares about them, personally. She pays attention to their extracurricular activities, their friends and family, and the dreams they have for themselves. Then, she goes to work finding ways to connect the dots for them.”

    Womer will be officially presented with the award at CAIU’s December board meeting and she will also be honored during All Staff Day in January.

    About Josephine Decima
    During her nearly 40-year career in teaching, Josephine J. Decima was a pioneer in the field of special education in central Pennsylvania. She believed that students with special needs were entitled to a strong academic program supplemented by life-skills training. She fought tirelessly to improve instructional programs and experiences for children with physical and mental challenges. Decima was a lifelong advocate for special-needs children, and an inspirational role model for teachers.

  • Fall Sign Language Classes

    Sep 12, 2018
    Registration is open for the following Sign Language Classes:

    Level I: Tuesdays from 6-8:00pm, September 25 - November 13, 2018
    Level II: Tuesdays from 6-8:00pm, September 25 - November 13, 2018

    Level I - This is a beginner class. No previous experience with sign language is needed. The course will include ABC's and numbers, basic vocabulary, light conversation and an introduction to Deaf Culture.

    Level II - This class assumes that the participant has acquired basic skills taught in an introductory course. The course will continue vocabulary development. Level II will also introduce classifiers, directionality, and some basic ASL grammar.

    Conversation/Level III - This class is not offered during the Fall session.

    Deadline to register is Tuesday, September 18, 2018.

    For more information regarding registration and to view the brochure please Click Here.

  • Nomination Deadline Extended for the Josephine J. Decima Award for Excellence in the Field of Special Education​

    Sep 10, 2018
    Do you know an educator who goes above and beyond in the area of special education? Please consider nominating them for the 2018 Josephine J. Decima Award. This award is presented annually to a teacher in the CAIU’s service area whose commitment and service in the field of special education epitomizes the qualities that Josephine Decima demonstrated in her work with children. It will be presented during National Education Week. The honor includes a $500 monetary award graciously donated by the Decima family.   

    Nominees should demonstrate:
    • Advocacy for the educational needs of all children, especially those with physical and mental challenges.
    • Compassion for students with special needs.
    • Commitment to help children with special needs become a vital part of the community.
    • Effort to provide valuable and practical life experiences for students with special needs.
    • Willingness to share knowledge, skills, and experiences with colleagues in order to strengthen educational programs and pedagogy.
    • Initiative to seek and provide services for students with special needs.

    Nominations can come from professionals or the community. Nominees must be an educator of students with special needs who works within the CAIU service area and must hold PA Level II Certification in the area of special education.

    Nomination Deadline Extended: Friday, November 2, 2018

    Download nomination instructions and form:
    2018 Decima Award Nomination Instructions and Application

  • Milbrand named CAIU’s assistant executive director

    Aug 28, 2018

    Gregory Milbrand, CAIU assistant executive directorThe Capital Area Intermediate Unit Board of Directors hired Gregory Milbrand as the CAIU’s assistant executive director at its regularly scheduled Board meeting on August 23, 2018. He is currently scheduled to begin work with the CAIU in mid-October.  

    Milbrand said he is eager to join the CAIU. “In all my interactions with the Capital Area Intermediate Unit, I am consistently impressed with the professionalism, intellect, and expertise among the staff members,” Milbrand stated. “It is my honor and privilege to join this team of talented individuals and I cannot wait to get started!”         

    The CAIU is also looking forward to having Milbrand onboard. Dr. Andria Saia, CAIU executive director, said, “We are extremely excited to have Mr. Milbrand join the CAIU team.  He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge, as well as the essential desire to be of service to others.”  She concluded by saying, “He is a welcome addition, and I am certain will be a great asset to the IU family and the communities we support.”        

    Most recently, Milbrand served the East Pennsboro Area School District as the assistant superintendent and previously, as the acting superintendent and the supervisor of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Prior to joining the East Pennsboro team, he worked for the Halifax Area School District as the middle school principal and assistant secondary principal.  He gained valuable classroom experience within the Central Dauphin School District where he taught eighth grade earth and space science at Central Dauphin East Middle School, and fourth and fifth grade at North Side Elementary School.

    Milbrand earned his Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Education in school administration, K-12 principal certification, and Superintendent Letter of Eligibility from Shippensburg University.  He is currently enrolled in doctoral studies in educational leadership through Immaculata University. 

    In his free time, Milbrand enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, playing golf, and cheering on the New York Yankees.

  • Third Annual Tinker Expo

    Aug 08, 2018

    The Capital Area Intermediate Unit is excited to announce it will be hosting their Third Annual Tinker Expo on Tuesday, October 23, 2018!  Please share this spectacular news with your staff (flyer is attached).


    The Tinker Expo will offer over ten concurrent sessions related to STEAM, the 4 C’s, and the maker movement.   Sessions will include interactive sessions in robotics, engineering, coding, design thinking and more. Along with an optional half-day BREAKOUT EDU session, this year the Tinker Expo will include a new half-day DRONES IN EDUCATION session! 


    Registration is $100 a person, which will include a $10 food truck voucher for each attendee. An additional fee for the Drones in Education session of $150 will apply (includes session, Drone, and Drones in Education book) and an additional fee for the Breakout EDU session is $75 (includes session and Breakout EDU box and materials).


    Space is limited!  Register today at the following link:

    2018 CAIU Tinker Expo

  • Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention in Schools

    Jul 10, 2018

    Join the CAIU for an eye-opening session on Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention in Schools presented by Dr. Scott Poland on Friday, September 28. With the prevalence of suicide in our society, the information presented is critically important when working with our youth. The incidence of youth suicide requires that schools increase suicide prevention efforts and that they be prepared to respond if a suicide occurs in order to reduce suicide contagion.

    Presenter Dr. Scott Poland, internationally renowned author, licensed psychologist and expert on youth suicide and school crisis, will help administrators, teachers and school-support personnel increase their understanding of suicide and recognize the most common factors in youth suicide. Participants will learn effective strategies to prevent youth suicide and lessons from the aftermath of numerous suicides.

    Participants will be able to:

    • Identify protective factors and primary prevention programs to prevent youth suicide.
    • Identify key myths about suicide.
    • Learn how to develop a comprehensive best practices model for suicide prevention, intervention and postvention in the schools that includes depression screening.
    • Learn what constitutes a comprehensive suicide assessment and the importance of parent notification and collaboration with community services.
    • Learn the importance of follow up once a student is determined to be suicidal and the importance of a re-entry program if the student has been hospitalized. Understand the relationship between self-injury and suicide.
    • Learn best practices in suicide postvention.
    • Learn the lessons from a number of legal cases where schools were sued following a youth suicide.
    • Understand the complex relationship between bullying and suicide.

    When: Friday, September 28, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    CAIU, Susquehanna Room
    $30 per participant, includes lunch and materials
    Registration: no later than Sept 18,

  • Summer Sign Language Classes

    Jun 05, 2018

    Registration is open for the following Sign Language Classes:
    Level I: Mondays from 6-8:00pm, June 18 - July 23, 2018
    Level II: Tuesdays from 6-8:00pm, June 19 - July 24, 2018

    Level I - This is a beginner class. No previous experience with sign language is needed. The course will include ABC's and numbers, basic vocabulary, light conversation and an introduction to Deaf Culture.

    Level II - This class assumes that the participant has acquired basic skills taught in an introductory course. The course will continue vocabulary development. Level II will also introduce classifiers, directionality, and some basic ASL grammar.

    Conversation/Level III - This class is not offered during the Summer session.

    Deadline to register is Monday, June 11, 2018.

    For more information regarding registration and to view the brochure please Click Here.

  • Trinity High School takes second in state quiz bowl championships

    May 18, 2018
    Trinity High School 2018 Quiz Bowl Team

    Trinity High School's quiz bowl team competed in the Pennsylvania State Academic Competition in Harrisburg on April 27. Twenty-two high school teams who won regional competitions across the state competed in matches that tested their knowledge of history, arts, literature, geography, science and current events. Trinity represented the Capital Area Intermediate Unit’s region.

    After the initial rounds of competition, Trinity was tied for fourth place and qualified for the afternoon playoff matches. In the semi-finals, Trinity narrowly outscored Allentown Central Catholic to gain one of three spots in the finals. The championship match slated Trinity against Great Valley High School from Chester County and Friends Select from Philadelphia. The final contest remained close throughout, but Great Valley pulled away at the end. Our team finished in second place as the state runner-up. Trinity was awarded a $500 scholarship for the second-place finish.

    Trinity’s quiz bowl team consisted of senior Andrew Bowman, and sophomores Connor Coyle, Luke Capper, Michael Staiger and Greyson Sheller.

  • Hearing Loss Common in School-aged Children

    May 01, 2018


    Close to 15 percent of U.S. children ages 6-19 experience hearing loss. May is Better Hearing & Speech Month and it is the ideal time for parents to learn more about the sometimes-subtle signs of hearing loss, ways it can affect school-aged children, and where to find help.

    Hearing loss can affect a child’s success in school in various ways. These include problems with language arts, vocabulary, reading, math, and problem solving as well as lower scores on achievement and verbal IQ tests. It can also contribute to social and behavioral problems inside and outside the classroom.

    To help a child with hearing loss reach their full academic potential, CAIU recommends the following to parents:

    • Know your child’s rights—All children in the Unites States are entitled to free appropriate public education under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Education services designed to meet the individual educational needs of qualified students with disabilities (including hearing loss) are provided by school districts.
    • Maximize achievement—When it comes to managing hearing loss in schools, the use of an individualized education program (IEP) maximizes a child’s success in the educational setting. The IEP may specify audiology services, speech-language pathology services, and services of teachers of the deaf or hard of hearing. Parents have a right to participate in these meetings and are a vital part of the process.
    • Champion classroom technology—Technology, such as an FM system, can make it easier for a child using a hearing aid or cochlear implant to hear and understand speech in a noisy classroom. Other technology solutions, such as a sound-field system, can benefit all kids in the classroom. Your IEP team should consider the specific and unique technology needs of your child.
    • Encourage effective teaching strategies—Talk to your child’s teacher about easy ways for them to help your child. Basic strategies—such as seating a child near the front, not turning one’s back while speaking, giving both verbal and written instructions on assignments, and using visual aids—can go a long way.
    • Educate about noisy classrooms—Noise makes it more difficult for children with hearing loss to hear classroom instruction, and it is actually a distraction for many children. Inform school personnel about ways they can make classrooms quieter. Easy techniques include placing rugs or carpets over bare floors, turning off noisy classroom equipment when not in use, and placing latex-free caps on chair legs.
  • Communication Disorders Among the Most Common Childhood Disabilities

    May 01, 2018


    With 11 percent of children ages 3-6 having a speech, language, voice, or swallowing disorder—and almost 15 percent of school-age children experiencing some degree of hearing loss—communication disorders are among the most common disabilities in children nationwide. May is Better Hearing & Speech Month and the CAIU is urging families to learn the early signs of these disorders and seek an assessment if they have concerns.

    Hearing loss is evaluated and treated by audiologists. Speech and language disorders are evaluated and treated by speech-language pathologists. Warning signs of these disorders are listed below.

    Language disorders

    • Does not smile or interact with others (birth and older)
    • Does not babble (4–7 months)
    • Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7–12 months)
    • Does not understand what others say (7 months–2 years)
    • Says only a few words (12–18 months)
    • Words are not easily understood (18 months–2 years)
    • Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5–3 years)
    • Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2–3 years)
    • Has trouble with early reading and writing skills (2½–3 years) 

    Speech sound disorders

    • Says p, b, m, h, and w incorrectly in words (1–2 years)
    • Says k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly in words (2–3 years)
    • Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2–3 years)


    • Repeats first sounds of words—“b-b-b-ball” for “ball”
    • Speech breaks while trying to say a word—“-----boy” for “boy”
    • Stretches sounds out—“ffffff-farm” for “farm”
    • Shows frustration when trying to get words out

    Voice disorders

    • Uses a hoarse or breathy voice
    • Uses a nasal-sounding voice

    Hearing loss

    • Shows a lack of attention to sounds (birth–1 year)
    • Does not respond when you call their name (7 months–1 year)
    • Does not follow simple directions (1–2 years)
    • Shows delays in speech and language development (birth–3 years)
    • Pulls or scratches at their ears
    • Has difficulty achieving academically, especially in reading and math
    • Is socially isolated and unhappy at school
    • Has persistent ear discomfort after exposure to loud noise (regular and constant listening to electronics at high volumes)
    Families can learn more about these signs, get tips for helping their child, and find a searchable database of the professionals who treat communication disorders at