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


What's New

Sproutflix Free for Comcast Subscribers

For the month of November, Comcast is including 10 films from The Arc & Sprout Film Festival / Sproutflix free On Demand for all Comcast/Xfinity subscribers. Two of the films: One Question and Sheri and Paul were made by Anthony Di Salvo through Sprout’s Make-A-Movie Program. This is a wonderful opportunity to create awareness with the general public about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For Online – the films can be viewed at: http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/watch/Sprout-Film-Festival/8164424342502163112/full-episodes#episode=8164424342502163112

For Television - go to On Demand, click into the Specials folder and then click into the folder labeled Disability Awareness. At the top of that page click on the folder labeled Sprout Film Festival.

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).


Our American Story and the Strengthen Social Security Coalition Asking Individuals to Submit Stories About What SSDI Means to Them

In addition to providing the foundation for a secure retirement, Social Security protects nearly all American workers and their families in the event that they experience a life-changing disability or illness before retirement. More than 160 Americans are protected by Social Security Disability Insurance and about 8.9 million disabled workers receive benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance is coverage workers earn—only those with the most serious disabilities and illnesses meet the strict criteria to qualify for benefits. While benefits are modest—averaging just $1,140 per month—for millions of Americans, Social Security Disability Insurance is nothing short of a lifeline.

As important as Social Security Disability Insurance is to American workers and their families, the program has come under attack in both Congress and in the media, and is at risk of cuts. That’s why we’re partnering with the Strengthen Social Security Coalition in asking you to share your story about why Social Security Disability Insurance is vital to you and your family. We want to highlight as many stories as we can for policymakers and the media in order to illustrate why Social Security Disability Insurance should be strengthened, not cut. Here is how you can share your story and take action:

Submit your story about what Social Security Disability Insurance means to you and your family by answering questions such as the following:
• What is your disability, and how did it change your life? What kind of work did you do before turning to Social Security Disability Insurance?
• How long have you been receiving benefits? How much do you get in benefits, and what do you spend your benefits on?
• Do you struggle to make ends meet? What would happen if your benefits were cut? What would you do without Social Security Disability Insurance?
• Do you live with family? How does Social Security Disability Insurance help you support your family or household?
Advocates and service providers—we’d love to hear from you, too! Submit a story about someone you know for whom Social Security Disability Insurance is a lifeline.

Click here to submit your story.

Section 8 Scam

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 group.

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).

University of Wisconsin - Madison Research Study

    Are you an adult with Aspergers, Autism, PDD-NOS? Do you ever wish research on the autism spectrum reflected YOUR attitudes, experiences, and opinions? You are invited to participate in an online research study about the experiences and attitudes of individuals on the autism spectrum. Little is known about how adults on the autism spectrum think about themselves or their experiences. Little is also known about how individuals on the autism spectrum view the diagnosis. Your participation in this study may help advance understanding of the perceptions and experiences of adults on the autism spectrum.

    To participate in this study, you need to:

    • Be age 18 or older
    • Have a diagnosis or identify with a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, or PDD-NOS
    • Be able to complete an online survey

To participate in this study, please use the following link: https://uwmadison.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9mBLjVV14yPtgKV

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.

Legal Settlement Aims at Ending Exploitation of Disabled Workers

“The 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 Consent Decree.”

For 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.

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.

DRNJ's Least Restrictive Environment Cases Settles

After 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 here.

Am I Eligible for Medicaid or The Children's Health Insurance Program?

Medicaid 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/

DRNJ Attorney and NY Law School Professor Publish Article

DRNJ 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 dangerousness.

To access the publication, go to http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2363494

DRNJ Honored

In April, DRNJ was acknowledged by the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP at their eighth annual pro bono awards reception. DRNJ was recognized with two separate awards for work providing free legal services to individuals with limited resources.

On April 29, DRNJ was selected by the National Disability Rights Network to be a Parent Center Protection and Advocacy Agency. Only three P & A agencies throughout the United States were accorded this honor. DRNJ will be providing technical assistance to develop educational resources for NDRN’s Parent Center Network.

On May 3, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey honored Mary Ciccone, Managing Attorney for Disability Rights New Jersey, at their Hurricane Heroes Cocktail Reception & Awards Ceremony. Mary, along with other individuals and organizations, worked tirelessly to ensure that New Jersey voters could participate in the 2012 General Election in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

On May 11, Advancing Opportunities honored DRNJ at their Spring Gala. DRNJ was honored for its outstanding work advancing the independence of children and adults with all types of disabilities.

Governor Christie Announces Settlement of Olmstead Litigation During Budget Address

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, click here.

To read the settlement agreement, click here.

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.