ATAC of DRNJ : New Jersey Protection & Advocacy Becomes Disability Rights New Jersey
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New Jersey Protection & Advocacy Becomes Disability Rights New Jersey


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Trenton, NJ- New Jersey Protection and Advocacy, Inc., the state’s designated protection and advocacy agency for persons with disabilities, announces it is changing its name effective October 1, 2008, to DISABILITY RIGHTS NEW JERSEY, while continuing its mission to advocate and advance the human, civil and legal rights of persons with disabilities.

“Our new name reflects our identity as part of the disability rights movement,” according to Acting Executive Director, Joseph B. Young. “It is part of a trend among the protection and advocacy agencies, represented in all 50 states and the U.S. territories, to make our mission readily recognizable by people with disabilities and the general public.”

Congress established the protection and advocacy systems beginning in the 1970s, in response to Geraldo Rivera’s expose of Willowbrook Developmental Center, a public institution for people with developmental disabilities. Rivera found appalling conditions of abuse and neglect, and the public outcry demanded that systems be put in place to protect and advocate for people in our society who are among the most vulnerable.

Over the last 30 years, protection and advocacy systems have grown to encompass more issues of concern to people with disabilities, including discrimination, physical and program accessibility, special education, voter rights, access to healthcare, vocational rehabilitation, and assistive technology. DRNJ currently administers ten programs statewide, offering individual and systems legal and non-legal advocacy, outreach, education and training, and information and referral services.

DRNJ’s staff of 41, its governing board (composed of a majority of persons with disabilities), and its advisory committees reflect a model that ensures people with disabilities, as well as racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities, are visible and important contributors.

When asked the single most important reason for working at DRNJ, the reply is invariably “the sense of satisfaction I receive in helping a person who lives in a society that presents challenges and barriers each day, and breaking down those barriers.”

For additional information about DRNJ, please call:
(800) 922-7233 (in NJ only)
(609) 292-9742
(609) 633-7106 (TTY)
Or visit our website at:


Member, National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

New Jersey's designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities

Disability Rights New Jersey
210 S Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
1.800.922.7233 (in NJ only) • 1.609.292.9742 (Voice)
1.609.777.0187 (Fax) • 1.609.633.7106 (TTY)
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DRNJ is an Equal Opportunity Employer and provides services to all persons with disabilities regardless of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, sex, sexual or affectional orientation, ancestry or disability. Any concerns regarding the agency’s compliance with these non-discrimination efforts may be brought to the attention of the Executive Director.

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