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One of the ways the NJCDD works to promote the goals and objectives in its five-year plan is by offering grants to organizations and programs that are true innovators in providing services to people with developmental disabilities. Each fiscal year, the Council accepts proposals from qualified applicants. Once grant proposals are evaluated, grants may be awarded on single or multi-year bases (programs are eligible to be awarded grants for up to three years).
When selecting programs to support, the NJCDD searches for new, creative, and sustainable programs that broaden opportunities for people with developmental disabilities in New Jersey.
The following is a list of the programs and organizations that are currently receiving grants from the NJCDD.
Supportive Housing Assoc. of New Jersey (SHA)
Community Housing with Support: A Research and Educational Approach to Supportive Housing for People with I/DD
SHA is a nonprofit with 16 years of experience consisting of over 100 member organizations and representing the NJ supportive housing industry. Many members are property developers and the service providers who create community housing along with supports for people with disabilities. Over 50% of members represent the needs of PWI/DD. SHA is uniquely qualified to develop and direct an investigation into supportive housing options, understanding the field comprehensively and having a pipeline to information through housing experts, families/consumers and public officials.
The purpose of this project is to identify the broad array of housing models available in NJ and elsewhere, and to empower families and consumers by providing a tool kit to expand options for independent living. Additionally the project will lay the foundation for systems change within housing and supports for PWI/DD. It will commence with a research investigation into current and potential housing models in NJ and other states and result in a rewrite of the NJ Housing Resource Guide.
SHA will identify and explain barriers to housing including architectural obstacles, funding limitations and community/municipal resistance. It will also comment on the strengths and weaknesses of housing options and offer creative solutions in financing, sharing of housing, and advocacy.
Unlimited Theatre Production – Shrek Jr.
In 2009, Community Access Unlimited celebrated 30 years of providing support services for all people in need. As a member of Community Access Unlimited individuals are empowered to collaboratively work with staff, advocates, family members and others to develop systems of support which meet individual needs. Community Access fosters teamwork and partnerships within and outside of their organization. They are the link between the individual and a network of social service providers, employers, community leaders and the community at large.
The CAU Community Players was established in 2011 by Community Access Unlimited thereby creating yet another exciting new option for its members to exercise the same rights, privileges, responsibilities, and opportunities that any other New Jersey resident enjoys. CAU Community Players created the opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to take on major roles and to fully participate in an incredibly unique and inspiring theatre experience. In the summer of 2012, Community Access Unlimited (CAU) became the spring board from which to launch the pilot theatre production of Seussical Jr.. While the play’s story-line addressed issues of discrimination against individual differences and promoted education and advocacy to prevent bias, the formation of the troupe and the successful first show opened up an incredible opportunity for future theatrical and musical programs. Initially a small play it quickly grew into a troupe of 60 performers and crew members, who eventually became known as The Community Players theatre group.
In year Three, The Community Access players will work a theatre production of Shrek Jr. Adapted for young performers and featuring a host of over-the-top roles for an expandable cast, there’s a part for actors of all ages and abilities in this dazzling adventure story. Shrek Jr. addresses issues of discrimination against individual differences and promotes education to prevent bias.
Developmental Disabilities Health Services, PA
Building the Health Home for Persons With I/DD: Coordinating Care in an Integrated Primary Care Practice
Developmental Disabilities Health Services, PA (DDHS) provides health care services for persons with developmental disabilities using a model described as the Developmental Disabilities Health Home for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (DD Health Home). The health home model incorporates the structural elements defined by the National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for the Person-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) which include primary care and care management services.
Significant fragmentation exists with regard to the funding and organization of health care services for people with I/DD. Persons with I/DD currently receive services from Medicaid, Medicare, NJDDD, and NJ Medicaid MCOs. This is a significant challenge to the creation and implementation of a coordinated, person-centered plan of care.
Care coordination services emerged as an important resource to persons with developmental disabilities and their families/caregivers during Year One as there were significant changes to the developmental disabilities service system.
In Year 2, DDHS will build upon its Year One Program Goal of supporting a systems change effort to expand the availability of primary health care, mental health services, behavioral health services, care coordination services and related long-term care services. This is intended to reduce the inappropriate utilization of emergency care, hospitalization and out-of-home placement for people with developmental disabilities of all ages. Meeting this Goal will be accomplished primarily through expanding Developmental Disabilities Health Home services in northern New Jersey, increasing the level of service to individuals, and beginning preparation of a series of clinical practice parameters which can be used by Care Coordinators.
Healthy Toolkit For Families And People with Developmental Disabilities
The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) is committed to empowering families as advocates and partners in improving education and health outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth.
SPAN offers families and professionals information, resources, support and advocacy assistance addressing: effective parent involvement, child care, general and special education, dropout and bullying prevention, child welfare, health care, mental health, youth leadership, transition to adult life, incarcerated youth, military family support, violence prevention & more.
This grant will result in the creation of an information tool kit in web and manual format, in English and Spanish, for families of persons with disabilities and for people with developmental disabilities (DD) on how to navigate NJ’s health care system. It will include identifying coverage, locating providers, and coordinating ongoing care. The tool kit will be developed from its inception with the input of diverse and marginalized communities and will be piloted with representations of these constituencies, and disseminated with their assistance. It will be available in English and Spanish, on the web, in hard copy for those without web access or with limited internet skills, and read aloud in English and Spanish for those with limited literacy or cognitive disabilities. The tool kit will be available without charge on the web and in hard copy to ensure that marginalized communities are able to access it.
Family Resource Network
Get Fit At Home 2.0
For the past 41 years, the Family Resource Network (FRN) and its affiliates have been providing services for New Jersey residents living with epilepsy, autism, developmental disabilities and chronic illness. . FRN is dedicated to offering individuals and their families with continuing needs the greatest opportunities, resources and services to support a full and happy life.
All individuals living in group settings have a plan (IHP) which includes the goal of enhancing physical and emotional well-being, including healthy living. Anecdotal data indicates that this goal is not necessarily translated into action. This may be due to lack of awareness, motivation, resources, skills, and staff training. Get Fit @ Home 2.0, will emphasize all areas of healthy living, including diet, nutrition and exercise for individuals with I&DD living in group residential settings. The goal of GF @Home is to effect systems change regarding healthy living in residential settings for people with I&DD by translating the existing community/gym-based GF program to the residential setting in a way that is self-sustaining. GF empowers individuals to make healthy lifestyle choices through increased awareness, opportunities and education.
For Year Two of Get FIT @ Home 2.0, FRN will form partnerships in four regions; Atlantic County, Monmouth County, Morris County and Bergen County to implement Get FIT programs in the residential and local community settings of 13 group homes/supervised living apartments. Three cycles of Get FIT @ Home 2.0 will once again be implemented in order to promote the sustainability of Get FIT activities. This is an expansion upon the programs implemented in Year One, with a key goal in providing services in regions where participants can also select Get FIT as a qualified provider service through the Medicaid Waiver.
Griffin Hammis Assoc.
New Jersey Customized Employment Initiative
Griffin-Hammis Associates, LLC (GHA) is a consulting firm that specializes in developing communities of economic cooperation and self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The organization provides consultation in community rehabilitation improvement, job creation and job site training, employer development, self-employment feasibility and refinement, Social Security benefits analysis and work incentives, management-leadership mentoring, and civic entrepreneurship.
In the third year of operation GHA will continue the ACRE certification training and work with a local school district to train it in the areas of discovery and customized employment. GHA will also work with the four agencies it previously trained and the NJ Division of Vocational Rehab Services (VR) on a Discovery Pilot Training program. Discovery is an inclusive process that seeks to find a fit between a person’s skills as an artisan, their various talents and preferences and a viable business idea.
By building local Community Action Teams and training staff in new employment processes, GHA will create functional examples of how to adopt new service strategies, engaging families and employers & improving employment options.
Samost Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Southern New Jersey (JFCS)
The Soups & Sweets Program
Samost Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS) of Southern New Jersey is a nonprofit human services agency that provides individuals and families in need with quality, affordable, and accessible social services to help meet the challenges of daily life. The JFCS places the highest value upon treating people with dignity and respect and is guided by the Jewish tradition of helping people to help themselves.
In Year One the Soups & Sweets pilot program provided 200 hours of soup and dessert culinary training to a group of eight interns with developmental disabilities. Participants gained marketable and transferrable skills by learning to prepare a variety of recipes while acquiring administrative skills such as tracking orders, invoicing, coordinating with other departments, and managing ingredients & supplies as they sold their goods to the community.
In Year Two JFCS modified the program to include small catering jobs, in order to afford participants an opportunity to learn about preparing food for a catering business. In Year Three the program will still work with eight interns but they will train in smaller groups of four. Interns will prepare and package actual catering orders that are deadline driven and potentially very large. This will help to ease the transition from being a student and learning skills in the nurturing and controlled environment of the Soups and Sweets training kitchen to the demands and challenges that exist in a restaurant, cafeteria or other commercial kitchen.
The Arc of New Jersey
CJAP Technical Assistance Pilot Program
The Arc of New Jersey’s Criminal Justice Advocacy Program (CJAP) provides alternatives to incarceration on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities who are defendants in the criminal justice system; it is the only program of its kind in New Jersey. The program also compiles information about offenders with developmental disabilities and serves as a liaison between the criminal justice and human service systems, monitoring the quality of care and service provided to those with developmental disabilities as they move from one system to another.
In Years One and Two CJAP worked with the Arc of Atlantic County to develop a pilot program to work directly with service providers in the area to support individuals with criminal histories and to build linkages between public agencies and private organizations to ensure the expansion of these services. CJAP also began to create a curriculum and train service provider staff/management, housing providers, mental health providers, law enforcement and the judiciary. The goal is to address this issue in a proactive way to educate all stakeholders and form a more coordinated response.
In Year Three in addition to continuing the expansion of services in Atlantic County, CJAP will begin work with another New Jersey county and will conduct a needs assessment within each region of the state. Modifications to the project would be based on the adjustments needed to better serve an additional county, its residents, and the client base.
Arc of Monmouth County Releases Inspiring Short Film on Employment
Funded by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, The Arc of Monmouth County collaborated with filmmakers and area residents with developmental disabilities to show the importance of fulfilling employment opportunities in the lives of people with disabilities.
Entitled “Believe and You Can Achieve,” the film follows several individuals with disabilities as they carry out responsibilities at jobs that engage and respect them. Being given the ability to do an honest day’s work and earn a fair wage, these individuals put their all into their jobs, wowing their employers and becoming vital and indespensable team members amongst their non-disabled peers.
Click on the window below to watch this inspiring film, and visit www.arcofmonmouth.org to find out more about the organization’s employment services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Believe and You Can Achieve
The Arc of Monmouth
9 min, 22 sec