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


What's New

State Rehabilitation Council – NJ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation 2018 Public Forums

The New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVRS) and its State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) will be conducting public forums during the month of March. Your input during these forum(s) helps DVRS and SRC develop the State Plan as mandated by the WIOA, and to review topical issues impacting consumers, vendor communications and dialogue with employers. Your voice is extremely important to both DVRS and SRC and will help to mold program delivery and policy to ensure that people with disabilities receive rehabilitation services that result in employment.

For information about the forums, including dates and locations, click here.

To register for a forum, http://nj.gov/labor/lwdhome/content/electronicforms/public_forums.html

New Bill Introduced - Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act

A new bill has been introduced in Congress that would protect people with disabilities from financial exploitation, abuse and neglect.

Watch this video to learn more about what you can do to help protect people with disabilities.

Scholarship Opportunities

The Board of Trustees of The New Jersey Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired (CBVI) is now accepting applications for the awarding of five scholarships to individuals who are blind, vision impaired or deaf-blind.

To be eligible, applicants of any age must be registered to receive services from the CBVI and be a consumer soon-to-be enrolled in an institution of higher learning, which includes a 2 or 4-year college, community college, trade school, business school, graduate school or any accredited higher education institution. The Scholarship Committee will review every application and select the awardees.

Information on the scholarships to be awarded and the application instructions can be found at the CBVI web site: www.cbvi.nj.gov/scholarships.html

Completed applications, including the submission of all required supporting documentation, must be submitted to: The NJCBVI Scholarship Committee, 153 Halsey St. 6th Floor, Newark, NJ 07101- 47017, or E-mailed to: CBVI.Scholarship@dhs.state.nj.us by March 21, 2018.

DRNJ Responds to Widespread Interruption of Delivery of Self-Directed Waiver Services

New Jersey's Department of Human Services (DHS) operates self-directed programs for the delivery of home and community based services. These waivers allow Medicaid beneficiaries to directly hire, fire and manage their own staffing, with funding provided under these waivers. Two of these programs are the Division of Developmental Disabilities' (DDD) Self-Directed option and the Division of Disability Services' (DDS) Personal Preference Program (PPP).

Until the summer of 2017, each program contracted for its own fiscal intermediary services to assist consumers and family members with payroll, tax withholding and budget management. In early 2017, DHS awarded the fiscal intermediary contract to Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL), a subsidiary of Public Consulting Group.

Since PPL assumed the role of fiscal intermediary, beneficiaries and families have reported to DRNJ widespread interruptions to the delivery of waiver services, including problems with incorrect, inconsistent, and missing payments for services, non-responsive customer service, and poor communication about significant changes that affect the implementation of these services.

In November 2017, in response to numerous reports from beneficiaries and family members, DRNJ filed a complaint with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A copy of the complaint may be found here.

In January 2018, DRNJ sent a letter to departing DHS Commissioner Elizabeth Connelly, detailing the complaints and seeking her direct intervention. A copy of the letter may be found here.

During this time, DRNJ staff have worked tirelessly with the Family Support Councils, intervened in dozens of individual cases, and coordinated efforts with the Developmental Disabilities Council and ABCD's coalition of support coordinators.

Most recently, DRNJ met with then Governor-Elect, now Governor Murphy's transition team to apprise them of the ongoing problems. They have committed to addressing this as a priority, with plans to brief the incoming administrations in Human Services, Policy, and Treasury, with follow up expected in February.

For customer service and escalation process information about PPL click here

NJ AT Resource Guide

National Disability Institute posts a NJ AT Resource guide on-line. In addition, a financial education Orientation session is available to agencies and individuals around AT as an asset building strategy. Affordable loans from $500 - $30,000 are available for the purchase of AT including home/vehicle modification, hearing aids, computers, sports equipment, etc. For more information, go to http://bit.ly/NDI-AT-Loan

New Senate Health Care Bill

On June 22, the Senate released its version of the American Health Care Act, now called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. This proposed legislation was built off the House version passed in May. To read the Bill, click here.

Below are some resources to learn more about how the BCRA would affect people with disabilities...




ATAC Awards Funding for New AT Projects

The Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC) of DRNJ has announced grant awards for projects to expand access to assistive technology services and devices in New Jersey.

For more information about the grant awards, go to http://www.drnj.org/atac/?cat=4

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Disability Rights New Jersey and New Jersey Human Services Commission Announce Completion of Settlement That Transformed State's Mental Health Service System

The Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, a national legal advocacy organization advancing the rights of people with mental disabilities, Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ), the New Jersey protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities, and New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Elizabeth Connolly announced a settlement agreement expanding opportunities for residents of New Jersey's state psychiatric hospitals to live in integrated settings has come to a conclusion after more than six years.

To access the press release click here

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.

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

CMS Publishes EPSDT Benefits Guide for Children and Youth

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has 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.

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

Legal Disclaimer

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.

Viewers are encouraged to download and reproduce content from this website. When doing so, it is requested that you give appropriate credit to DRNJ.