Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), New Jersey's Parent Training and
Information Center (PTI) for 25 years, is seeking your input as
we prepare to re-apply for funding to serve families of infants,
toddlers, children, youth and young adults with disabilities. We
invite you to take a few moments to complete this brief survey.
The information provided will help us prepare our proposal.
Inclusion Campaign Website Launched
Rights New Jersey (DRNJ), Education Law Center (ELC), the New Jersey
Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE) and other advocates today
launched “The Inclusion Campaign” (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.
“New Jersey’s record
on inclusive education to date has been dismal,” said Ruth Lowenkron,
Senior Attorney at DRNJ. “This settlement will ensure that all students
in New Jersey will have an equitable opportunity to achieve their
The Inclusion Campaign
is a collaboration of students, teachers, parents and non-profit
organizations working to ensure that students with disabilities
have their place in the general education classroom. In recent years,
advocates have embraced inclusive education for students with disabilities
as a recommended practice. “The goal of our campaign is to take
full advantage of the opportunity provided by the legal settlement
to dramatically improve the education of students with disabilities
in New Jersey’s public schools,” said Elizabeth Athos, Senior Attorney
at ELC. “We know that all students benefit from inclusive classrooms.
We need to promote high achievement for all children, regardless
of differences in ability, culture, gender, language, class, race
The Inclusion Campaign,
funded by a generous grant from the van Ameringen Foundation, features
a newly-designed website with information and statistics parents
and other advocates can use as a guide as they work to ensure inclusive
education in local school districts. In addition, the Inclusion
Campaign will communicate via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
A highlight of the new
Inclusion Campaign website is a short film on the benefits and challenges
of the fight for statewide inclusive education. The film features
testimony from parents, teachers and other advocates statewide.
Bryan Lonegan, whose son, Arthur, is educated in an inclusive classroom
at the Renaissance School in Montclair, NJ, is one of the parents
featured in the film. Mr. Lonegan talks about the enormous impact
inclusive education has had on Arthur, by teaching him important
academic skills, including reading and math, and how to make friends.
“The three years Arthur
has been here [at the Renaissance School] with you have been the
most important years of his life. You have showed that the experts
were wrong. You made him a member of your community. He went from
being a sad, frustrated and lonely boy to a kid who is happy and
loves meeting new people. You freed him from the tower,” said Mr.
Lonegan in a speech to Arthur’s classmates, teachers and administrators.
In 2015, the Inclusion
Campaign will roll out the new website, social media platforms,
infographics and short film around the state for parent and teacher
organizations, legislators, and local and statewide media. The Inclusion
Campaign will also encourage local government officials and school
districts to organize screenings of the video in an effort to educate
the public about the benefits of inclusive education.
“The Inclusion Campaign’s
new website, social media presence and short film are important
tools to enhance our advocacy,” said Lowenkron. “The tools are vital
for our goal of making sure every child in New Jersey reaps the
lifetime benefits of inclusive classrooms and instruction.”
For More Information,
please contact: Gregory Joseph, 646-346-4289, firstname.lastname@example.org
Launches Opiate Helpline
Health Association in New Jersey recently launched NJ Connect for
Recovery, the only call line in the state dedicated specifically
to individuals and families coping with addiction to heroin and
prescription painkillers. This service provides a safe, confidential,
nonjudgmental place that New Jerseyans may call to connect, grow
and transform through a unique combination of supportive counseling
services. The toll free phone number is 855-652-3737 (TTY: 877-294-4356).
People calling on behalf
of themselves have access to a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Those calling on behalf of a family member or friend are connected
to a Peer Specialist who understands the unique and complex effect
of addiction on personal relationships.
For more information
call the toll free number, visit their web-site www.njconnectforrecovery.org,
or email email@example.com.
Administration Releases Emergency Preparedness Videos
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).
DRNJ and other agencies are receiving reports that a scam is occurring
regarding the Section 8 waiting list in New Jersey. Individuals
and families are being directed to a website (http://section8programs.com/newjersey)
which is being falsely identified as a State of NJ website.
This is not a State of
NJ website. It requests credit card information, and is clearly
a fraudulent site. This is a concern for everyone who may be inquiring
about Section 8 housing and does not pertain to any particular disability
Please share this scam
alert as widely as possible with individuals, families and provider
staff, and reiterate that there should never be money paid to be
put on a Section 8 housing wait list or any Public Housing wait
list. (Developers may require an application fee for apartments
- to cover background checks).
Publishes New EPSDT Benefits Guide for Children and Youth
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
here to download a copy of the guide.
Settlement Aims at Ending Exploitation of Disabled Workers
Justice Department has entered into the nation’s first statewide
settlement agreement vindicating the civil rights of individuals
with disabilities who are unnecessarily segregated in sheltered
workshops and facility-based day programs. The agreement with the
State of Rhode Island will resolve violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) for approximately 3,250 Rhode Islanders with
intellectual and developmental disabilities. This first-of-its-kind
statewide agreement addresses the rights of people with disabilities
to receive state-funded employment and daytime services in integrated
settings, such as supported employment and integrated day services,
rather than in segregated sheltered workshops and facility-based
day programs with only other people with disabilities. The agreement
also provides relief to transition-age youth at risk of segregation
in facility-based programs. Under the agreement, transition-age
youth will have access to a wide array of transition, vocational
rehabilitation, and supported employment services intended to lead
to integrated employment outcomes after they leave secondary school.
The parties have jointly filed the settlement in federal district
court and have requested that it be entered as a court-enforceable
more general information about the Justice Department’s ADA Olmstead
enforcement efforts, visit the Civil Rights Division’s Olmstead:
Community Integration for Everyone website. To find out
more about the ADA, visit Division’s ADA.gov website.
and Veterans Community Resources Directory
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.
as well as others, can visit OFCCP’s Disability and Veterans Community
Resources Directory on the OFCCP Web site at
For more information and resources, visit http://www.AskEARN.org.
Least Restrictive Environment Cases Settles
years of litigation, the case of Disability Rights New Jersey v.
New Jersey Department of Education, which seeks to ensure that students
with disabilities in New Jersey are educated in the "least
restrictive environment." has been settled.
For a copy of the the press release click
here. For a copy of the settlement agreement click
I Eligible for Medicaid or The Children's Health Insurance Program?
and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide health
coverage to nearly 60 million Americans, including children, pregnant
women, parents, seniors and individuals with disabilities. Under
the health care law, Medicaid eligibility is expanding in many states,
and more people than ever will qualify for Medicaid starting in
2014. Find out if you may be eligible for Medicaid by clicking on
the link https://www.healthcare.gov/do-i-qualify-for-medicaid/
Attorney and NY Law School Professor Publish Article
staff attorney, Alison Lynch, and NY Law School professor, Michael
Perlin, recently published "Toiling in the Danger and in the
Morals of Despair: Risk, Security, Danger, the Constitution, and
the Clinician's Dilemma". This article examines the intricacies
of risk assessment and dangerousness prediction in the forensic
mentally ill population by comparing national and international
legal standards. It also discusses the ambiguities in the law that
leave clinicians with difficult decisions to make when evaluating
the publication, go to http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2363494
Christie Announces Settlement of Olmstead Litigation During Budget
Governor Christie used
the occasion of his budget address to announce a settlement in litigation
brought by Disability Rights New Jersey involving moving individuals
who no longer want to live in the state’s developmental centers
and providing services to individuals in the community on the Division
of Developmental Disabilities’ waiting list.
To read the announcement,
To read the settlement