Advocating and advancing the human, civil and legal rights of persons with disabilities


What's New

NJCDD Seeking Imput For Next Five-Year Plan

The NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities operates under a five-year planning structure, which it adjusts annually. Members discuss and define priority areas and focus activities around achieving the goals outlined in the operational plan. The Council meets these goals through the planning and implementation of in-house projects and on-going programs and partnerships, as well as by awarding grants to innovative programs and organizations throughout the state.

As the Councils planning cycle for 2011-2016 draws to a close, we’re working on developing our next 5-Year Plan for 2017-2021. The Council is seeking wide ranging input on the goals we have developed. We would be very grateful if you would review these, and give us your feedback.

Please visit www.njcdd.org to view the preliminary listing of goals, and possible implementation strategies for that plan.

Please send any comments or thoughts you might have by email to njcdd@njcdd.org, or by letter to Kevin Casey, Executive Director, PO Box 700, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0700.

The Council will consider your input and discuss these goals at our May 26th, and July 28th Council meetings. We will receive input until June 10th, 2016. Please feel free to spread the word to others who you feel might be interested providing feedback

Seeking Loved Ones & Caregivers of Individuals Diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, or Bipolar Disorder

A Rutgers study is currently recruiting for a study of the effects of various family support programs for those with loved ones with mental illness.

- Residing in the New Jersey, New York, or Philadelphia area
- Access to computer or tablet with internet
- Participants and their loved ones must be over the age of 18 and be in contact with each other 2-3x per week or living together

- Study involves 3 phone questionnaire appointments
- Participants receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card per phone questionnaire

For more information or to sign up as a participant, please contact study research assistant:
Victoria Martin, Rutgers UBHC, 151 Centennial Avenue, Piscataway NJ 08854
Tel: 908 705 5413 or email: vm367@ubhc.rutgers.edu

Primary Elections at a Glance

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey has developed this New Jersey Primary Election Guide at a Glance to help answer questions about the primary election system. The Guide includes Information about changing your party affiliation, voter registration, closed primaries and more.


Public Forums Regarding The New State Plan for Independent Living

The New Jersey Statewide Independent Living Council (NJSILC), in conjunction with the Directors of Centers for Independent Living, the NJ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, has drafted a new three year State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL). Feedback is invited from IL consumers, their families, advocates, service providers and other interested parties, especially regarding SPIL goals; underserved areas/populations; and expansion of the CIL Network should additional funding become available.

Public forums will be conducted from 12:00 pm to 2:00 p.m. on April 25 and 26, 2016 at two locations:
Monday, April 25 – Heightened Independence & Progress-Bergen, 131 Main Street, Suite 120, Hackensack, NJ
Tuesday, April 26 – Alliance Center for Independence, 629 Amboy Avenue, Lower Level, Edison, NJ

These sites are physically accessible. If you require other accommodations, such as deaf language interpreters, you must email or call the SILC Coordinator with your request by April 8. After that, time may be too short to arrange accommodations.

Feedback may also be given via letter, email and telephone from April 25 through the 29.

Letter: please mail to: NJSILC Coordinator, 25 Caroline Drive, South River, NJ 08882
Email: please send to: SILC Coordinator to meneary@njsilc.org
Phone: please call the Coordinator at 732-254-2484 M-F between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to dictate your remarks (if no one is available, your call will be returned if you leave your name and number)
Letters, emails and calls MUST be received by 4/29/16 in order to be included in the Forum report that will be sent to the Council and CIL Directors for their final review of the new State Plan.

To read the draft State Plan for Independent Living, please go to the NJSILC website or, to review a hard copy, visit or call your local Center for Independent Living. The NJSILC website address is http://www.njsilc.org The home page will describe how to access the electronic version of the Plan and can also direct you to contact information for each of the State’s Centers for Independent Living.

If you plan to attend a Forum, please tell the Coordinator (meneary@njsilc.org or 732-254-2484) and, if possible, bring a written copy of your remarks for the record; however, neither advance notice nor a written commentary are required for you to participate. Just join us if you can!

2016 Family Support Camp Funding Assistance

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), which serves adults 21 years of age and older, is now accepting requests for financial assistance toward the 2016 summer camp session. Requests must be submitted to the individual's case manager or support coordinator by Monday, May 2, 2016.

Click here to review DDD's "2016 Family Support Camp Funding Assistance" fact sheet which includes eligibility requirements and how to request funding.

New Films at Sproutflix

Sproutflix has added new films to their catalogue.

Humans of San Jose: Wataru Kubo 3 min. documentary
A mini-documentary on the thoughts of the filmmaker’s brother Wataru Kubo, who has autism.

Freefall 5 min. documentary
Lovely, simple, and compelling, this film highlights the work of a dance company consisting of people with intellectual disabilities. http://sproutflix.org/all-films/freefall/

Fixing Luka 11 min. animation
A stop-motion short, inspired from the filmmaker’s experiences of growing up with a younger brother with autism.

LEND Needs Assessment Family Survey

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities is applying for a training program for future health care providers called a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. As part of this application, they would like to invite families of children and young adults with developmental disabilities to complete a brief survey about their experiences accessing health care and other services. The results will be used to ensure that the proposal reflects the needs of families in New Jersey. The survey will take about 10 minutes or less to complete.

The LEND Needs Assessment Family Survey can be accessed using the link below:

Feel free to contact Susan Ellien via email (susan.ellien@rutgers.edu) or phone (732-235-9320) with any questions.

Research Opportunity: Transition Experience of Young Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities is conducting a research project about the transition experience of young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who recently graduated from high school. They are looking for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who graduated between 2008 - 2014 and/or their families to share their experiences.

In order to participate you must be:
• An individual with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) who graduated from a New Jersey School between 2008 - 2014 or a family member of a 2008-2014 graduate with I/DD.
• Able to participate in a phone interview, scheduled based on your availability.

If you are interested in being interviewed, please contact Carrie Coffield at (732) 235-9329 or carrie.coffield@rutgers.edu to schedule the phone interview. The interview may take up to one hour to complete.

SAMHSA's Mobile Resources To Support Behavioral Health

SAMHSA has resources that can help address some of the toughest mental health and substance use challenges, including suicide prevention, bullying prevention, behavioral health following a disaster, and underage drinking prevention.

  • Suicide Safe helps health care providers integrate suicide prevention strategies into their practice and address suicide risk among their patients.
  • KnowBullying provides information and guidance on ways to prevent bullying and build resilience in children. A great tool for parents and educators, KnowBullying is meant for kids ages 3 to 18.
  • SAMHSA Disaster App provides responders with access to critical resources—like Psychological First Aid and Responder Self-Care—and SAMHSA's Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to help responders provide support to survivors after a disaster.
  • Talk. They Hear You is an interactive game that can help parents and caregivers prepare for one of the more important conversations they may ever have with children—underage drinking.


Disability.gov Offers Information Guides on Disability Benefits, Programs, and Services

Finding reliable disability-related information and resources can be time consuming. That's why Disability.gov has developed a series of 14 guides about topics such as disability benefits, housing assistance, job training programs, and financial help for families with low incomes. Other guides cover services that promote independence for people with disabilities such as home health care, programs for caregivers, assistive technology, and more.
Each guide begins with a series of “quick links” that answer many frequently asked questions. Disability.gov’s Guides to Information & Resources also connect you to information about local organizations that offer programs and services that promote the inclusion and full participation of people with disabilities in their communities. To learn more, visit http://www.Disability.gov.

Disability Services Company Charged with Discrimination for Refusing to Provide Job Accommodations

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has charged ValleyLife of Phoenix, AZ with disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ValleyLife allegedly fired employees with disabilities instead of providing them with reasonable accommodations when they ran out of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The company also allegedly didn't keep employees' medical records confidential.


New Call Line Dedicated to Help People Coping with Opiate Addiction

The MHANJ's new call line, NJ Connect for Recovery, is dedicated to providing counseling to people who are coping with addiction to heroin or prescription drugs and their family members. Please help us raise awareness of this valuable service by forwarding this message to friends, family members and constituents. For more information, go to http://www.njconnectforrecovery.org/material

The Inclusion Campaign Website Launched

Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ), Education Law Center (ELC), the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE) and other advocates launched “The Inclusion Campaign” (http://www.inclusioncampaign.org) website. The website is a resource for families, educators and other advocates regarding the landmark 2013 legal settlement with the New Jersey Department of Education to educate more of the state’s students with disabilities in an inclusive environment.

For more information, contact: Gregory Joseph, 646-346-4289, gregoryj@amplifyinc.org

Christie Administration Releases Emergency Preparedness Videos

The Christie Administration recently released a series of emergency preparedness videos designed primarily for people who are Deaf. The videos provide essential information in American Sign Language, with captioning, on a variety of readiness issues. The project was funded through a Federal Emergency Management Agency Subgrant from the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH).


CMS Publishes New EPSDT Benefits Guide for Children and Youth

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just published a go-to resource for anyone interested in improving child health: EPSDT - A Guide for State Coverage in the Medicaid Benefit for Children and Adolescents. The Guide was produced by CMS in collaboration with the National Health Law Program, under subcontract to the NORC at the University of Chicago.

The Guide is intended to help states, health care providers and others to understand the scope of services that are covered under EPSDT so that they may realize EPSDT's goals and provide the best possible child and adolescent health benefit through their Medicaid programs.

Click here to download a copy of the guide.

Disability and Veterans Community Resources Directory

Recently, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched a new database to help contractors find qualified workers with disabilities and veterans, and to assist contractors with establishing relationships with national organizations and local community groups that have access to these workers.

Contractors, as well as others, can visit OFCCP’s Disability and Veterans Community Resources Directory on the OFCCP Web site at http://www.dol-esa.gov/errd/resources.html. For more information and resources, visit http://www.AskEARN.org.

Traumatic Brain Injury Resources

















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)
Email Us

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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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