DDD News and Announcements

https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/ddd/news/updates
To subscribe to the Division’s e-news bulletin, Division Update, please send an email to DDD.Communications@dhs.state.nj.us, with Division Update Subscribe in the subject line.

Mailing Address:

Administrative Office
PO Box 726
Trenton, NJ 08625-0726

Office:

Department of Human Services building
222 South Warren Street
Trenton, NJ 08625-0700

2024

May 22, 2024

Next DDD Update Webinar is Thursday, May 23

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the May 23 DDD Update Webinar.


Get Ready. Get Registered. VOTE!

Visit the New Jersey Voter Information Portal to get started!

May 17, 2024

Rutgers School of Social Work AI for Inclusion Webinar

This event presented by Rebecca Martin will discuss the ethics of AI for inclusion work, practical considerations, and how to leverage what we know so far to increase accessibility on a shoestring budget.

Date: May 23, 2024 | Time: 10 am – 11 am | Register for AI for Inclusion


Family FEST Save the Date

Save the Date for BIANJ annual Family FEST (Fun, Education, Support, Togetherness), a free educational, social, and recreational opportunity for families affected by brain injury. It’s a chance to learn, grow, and most importantly have fun. Food and zoo/wildlife refuge admission is included.

Date: June 2, 2024 | Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm | Location: Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, Medford NJ
Date: June 9, 2024 | Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm \ Location: Turtleback Zoo, West Orange NJ
Reach out to Kim Myers at kmyers@bianj.org with any questions. Register for Family Fest


Covering the Bases 2024 The 19th Annual Night-Out with the Trenton Thunder for People Who Are Blind, DeafBlind and
Visually Impaired

The NJ Department of Human Services, Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired will hold, Covering the Bases 2024, The 19th Annual Night-Out with The Trenton Thunder for People Who are Blind, DeafBlind and Visually Impaired, on Thursday, July 25, 2024 at Trenton Thunder Ballpark, 1 Thunder Road, Trenton, NJ.

The gates will open at 6:00 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m., there will be an on field ceremony honoring outstanding members of the blindness community, including the 2024 Board of Trustees Scholarship Awardees.

CBVI college student, disabilities advocate, musician and vocalist Kaleigh Brendle will sing “The National Anthem”.  The first pitch will be thrown at 7:00 p.m. sharp. and there will be a post-game fireworks show.

Complimentary tickets are available for people of all ages who are blind, deafblind and visually impaired and their immediate family members. (Tickets for All Others Available at a Significantly Discounted Fee)

Wheelchair accessible seating can be arranged.

For tickets or information email: AskCBVI@dhs.nj.gov  with Trenton Thunder on the subject line.

(The flyer attached includes the information above and a photo of the 2023 Covering the Bases awards ceremony participants standing on the ballfield. From left to right: DHS Deputy Commissioner Kaylee McGuire; scholarship awardee Liam Nelson; community honorees: Joanna Benthall; Tonya Hunt and Father Jim Warnke, with Dr. Bernice Davis)


Birding in the Pines (ADA Accessible options)

This ADA-accessible family-friendly outing follows along a section of the White Trail at Franklin Parker Preserve. On May 22nd and May 24th, meet at the Speedwell Entrance to the beautiful Franklin Parker Preserve at 9:45 am to take a slow hike, passing through both woods and wetland, and open cranberry bogs.  You will look for interesting birds that are resident or just passing through the area.   This park is a good place to get long, clear looks at birds because of the relative openness of the park. It is also a nice park to know about, especially because of its quick and easy access to birding for almost anyone. Join the Birding Walk

If you would like to use one of Pinelands Adventures’ all-terrain wheelchairs for this trip, please register through this link. Pinelands Adventures is an initiative of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, a 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 grantee of the DDS Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant Program.

May 15, 2024

NJ ABLE Savings Plans: Tax Advantaged Savings for Individuals with Disabilities

An NJ ABLE account promotes financial independence without jeopardizing eligibility for many means-tested benefits. Save money while maintaining important federal benefits, such as Medicaid and SSI. On May 23 from 6 pm to 7 pm, learn all the basics of ABLE savings, in an informative, clearly explained presentation, and invest in your future!  See the attached flyer for more information.

Presented by Amanda Gerson, NJ Division of Disability Services Manager of Outreach, Education, & Innovation. Register here


Navigating Employment and Benefits for Individuals with Disabilities

Living with a disability and working can be complicated when it comes to benefits!  Learn the basics of how employment can impact medical and social security benefits while also becoming aware of resources and guidance available to beneficiaries.  With the right guidance, significant earnings while maintaining key benefits may be possible for you or your loved one!

Presented by Adam Kubler, Certified Work Incentive Practitioner and Employment Coordinator at the NJCDD. Register here


Improving Employment Outcomes: The Lessons We Are Learning

As interest in Employment First gains ground, state agencies and service providers are being called upon to rethink how they support people with disabilities and help them become valued members of our workforce.

 Date: Friday, May 17, 2024 | Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm |Register here


Advanced Notice for Proposed Readoption with Amendments of N.J.A.C 10:41A, Human Rights Committees

This advanced notice is available, as published on the New Jersey Department of Human Services Public Notice site on April 24, 2024.  The thirty-day informal comment period ends May 24, 2024. You may submit written comments electronically to: Ddd-co.Lapo@dhs.nj.gov or by regular mail to:

Carol Jones, Administrative Practice Officer
Division of Developmental Disabilities
PO Box 726, Trenton, NJ 08625-0726

May 28th 12:00-1:30pm: Assistance Animals: Navigating the Rights of People with Disabilities

In this webinar, DCR representatives will clarify what the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination says about assistance animals, and answer some of the questions we frequently hear from members of the public. Through case studies and discussion, participants will learn about their rights and obligations under the law regarding service and emotional support animals. Register here

Division on Civil Rights Anti-Discrimination Trainings

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) offers trainings aimed at preventing and addressing discrimination through its Education and Training Unit. These interactive sessions educate participants about their rights and responsibilities under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the New Jersey Family Leave Act, the Fair Chance in Housing Act as well as raise awareness about current anti-bias issues.

All trainings are currently being offered for FREE to the public. For additional training topics and dates, click here.


Keys to Accessibility: Working Together to Unlock Opportunities for Meaningful Parent Participation

Join fellow parent leaders, district staff, and community members for a brainstorming and networking session on Monday, May 20 at 7:00 pm or Wednesday, May 22 at 10:00 am via Zoom.

  • Reflect: Learn about accessibility and how it impacts a SEPAG
  • Review: Discuss what accessibility looks like in your own district
  • Respond: Create an action plan to take back your district and SEPAG

Engaging Parents of Students with Disabilities is a partnership between the New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Special Education (NJOSE) and SPAN Parent Advocacy Network. Spanish Interpretation available.  Register here


Wednesday, May 15th – Healthy Living for Your Brain & Body

Join FCHS Educators and Alzheimer’s Association volunteers Shailja Mathur and Luanne Hughes to learn about the latest research and get insights into how to make lifestyle choices that may help you keep your brain and body healthy as you age. Use hands-on tools to help incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging. Presenter: Luanne Hughes, MS, RDN & Shailja Mathur, MS, MEd, RDN        

All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm, are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. Register here.

May 10, 2024

Virtual Mental Health Awareness Training

With the stress and uncertainty in the world right now, learn how you can identify the emotional needs and provide assistance to others in your community, family, or organization. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer), a suicide prevention training, will be offered at no cost. See flyer attached.

Please register in advance through link below each date.

Question, Persuade, Refer (2 Hours) – Closed Caption*
May 13th 2024 1:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register here

Question, Persuade, Refer (2 Hours) – Closed Caption*
May 24nd 2024 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register here

* Closed captioning is available with all trainings. If assistance is needed related to an accommodation, please email Amy Hassa at least two weeks prior to the training.

May 7, 2024

Women with Disabilities ‘deserve health equity’

The Rowan-Virtua Regional Integrated Special Needs (RISN) Center, South Jersey’s first primary care practice dedicated to serving individuals with complex special needs, has launched an initiative to improve sexual and reproductive healthcare for women with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Funded in part by an Inclusive Healthy Communities (IHC) grant from the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Disability Services, the effort aims to elevate the standard of care and eliminate health-care disparities by reducing the stigma associated with sexuality education, deescalating patient fears, addressing potential histories of sexual trauma, and empowering patients to participate in their own health-care decisions, according to a press release from the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS). Click here to read the full article.


FREE Upcoming Webinars

Wednesday, May 8th – Communicating Effectively with Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Join FCHS educators and Alzheimer’s Association volunteers Luanne Hughes and Shailja Mathur to explore ways that Alzheimer’s and other dementias affect an individual’s ability to communicate across different stages, and get tips to better communicate with people living with their disease. Presenter: Luanne Hughes, MS, RDN & Shailja Mathur, MS, MEd, RDN        

All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm, are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. Register here.

May 3, 2024

A Message from Commissioner Adelman

We mark Mental Health Awareness Month every May to raise awareness about mental health, fight stigma and provide support.

Mental health and wellness is an essential part of overall health and well-being. New Jersey, including through our Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, has been focused on building effective, responsive and integrated services and support for children, youth and adults. We remain committed to a behavioral health system that offers comprehensive, integrated, coordinated, person-centered treatments and supports that are compassionately delivered.

Read the full message from Commissioner Adelman in the NJ DHS May 2024 Newsletter


Dial 9-8-8  Just One Call and We’re There for You

See the NJ DHS May 2024 Newsletter for the Spanish and the Closed Captioned versions for 9-8-8.


Mental Health Resources and Toolkits Resources and Toolkits to Review this May

Quick Tips to Boost Your Mental Health — Implementing routines for stress relief at work and at home can increase happiness and motivation. Check out Mental Health America’s 31 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health to learn small tips that can have a big impact on your mental health.
Daily Wellness Activities: Need a quick in-office break? Try this 14-minute office break yoga, or this 7-minute stretch break.
Head-Healthy Nutrition: Nutrition is one factor of mental wellbeing that is often neglected. Review the Mental Health Foundation’s briefing on mental health and nutrition to learn how eating well can improve your mental health.
Managing Stress in the Work Place: The American Psychological Association (APA) recommends keeping track of your stressors to develop effective ways to prevent getting overwhelmed. You can read all of APA’s recommendations in “Coping With Stress at Work”


FREE Upcoming Webinars

The Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services is offering the Mental Health Awareness Month Webinar series.  These weekly webinars are Wednesdays from noon to 1pm.

  • Register here for May 8th Supporting Families After Loss.
  • Register here for May 15th Is 988 Just a 3-Digit Number?
  • Register here for May 22nd Youth Focus: Primary Care Interventions.
  • Register here for May 29th Celebrating and Supporting the Role of Peers.     

May 1, 2024

Division of Disability Services will be at the Abilities Expo this weekend – visit us at Booth 431!

For information on accessibility and accommodations,  visit the Abilities Expo Show Services website

  • NEW! NJ Resources 2024 Print Edition, English and Spanish
  • NEW! Updated Accessible Parking Guide
  • Division of Disability Services Program Information
    • Information & Referral
    • NJ ABLE
    • TBI Fund
    • PASP
  • Division of Aging Services Program Information
    • NJ SAVE
    • Caregiver Resources
  • Disability Information Hub – Research Participation Opportunity

April 30, 2024

Trenton Health Team Uses NJ Human Services Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant to Enhance Food Pantry Accessibility for People with Disabilities in Mercer County

(TRENTON) –  The Trenton Health Team in collaboration with local partners and stakeholders has launched an effort to improve access to food pantries for individuals with disabilities in Mercer County. The initiative is funded in part by an Inclusive Healthy Communities (IHC) grant from the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Disability Services.

Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that food insecurity is more common and severe in households that include an individual with a disability, the Trenton Health Team has developed a plan to make food pantries across Mercer County more inclusive and accessible. Click here to read the full article.


New Jersey Human Services to Embed Nurse Care Managers into Outpatient Substance Use Disorder Treatment Agencies to Address Co-occurring Heath Needs

Plan Focuses on Improving Overall Health and Wellbeing of Those Served by the Agencies (TRENTON) –  The $1.66 million federally funded plan focuses on improving the overall health and wellbeing of individuals served by the agencies, with an emphasis on the treatment of hepatitis C and the integration of clients’ behavioral and medical healthcare.

As we continue to integrate behavioral and physical health care, it’s important that treatment includes nurse care management, case management and health coaching to reduce identifiable health risks associated with hepatitis C, other infectious diseases and medical issues that people managing opioid use disorder are at high risk of contracting,” Commissioner Adelman said. “Research shows that behavioral health interventions help people successfully initiate and remain in care for hepatitis C and substance use disorder treatments. By reducing barriers to seeking treatments for disease, we can help the whole person.” Click here to read the full article.


Biden-Harris Administration Partners with New Jersey to Strengthen the Direct Care Workforce

New Jersey is among 20 states that will join two technical assistance programs to help better recruit, train, and retain direct care workers, who provide home and community-based services for older adults and people with disabilities.

Each state receives up to 250 hours of individualized technical assistance to support them in addressing direct care worker challenges. Each team includes reps from the state’s Medicaid, aging, disability & workforce development agencies, in addition to other stakeholders. Click here for more


Building a Person-Centered Life Plan with Support Coordinators

Regional Family Support Planning Council #4 (Essex) invites family members with a loved one with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) to an engaging presentation on collaborating with support coordinators to create person-centered Individualized Supports Plan (ISP). We are inviting support coordinators to discuss their strategies for identifying the unique needs, preferences, and aspirations of the individuals they serve. They will explain how the information can be used to create the support systems an individual needs to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Multi-lingual closed captioning is available. If you speak other than English, please indicate so on the registration site or contact Kerry.McGrath@njcdd.org or​609-984-4516Click links for flyers in English and Spanish.  Register here.


Coffee and Community Conversation

Parents, siblings, and family members of children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are cordially invited to our special **in-person** meeting on Saturday, May 4 2024, from 10am – 12pm.

The Regional Family Support Planning Council #5 (Middlesex, Mercer, Hunterdon) advocates for families and individuals with developmental disabilities at the local and state level on issues that directly impact their lives.

This is an **in-person** event. Real-time AI captioning and language translation are available via the participant’s mobile device. For more information, contact Kyoko.Coco@njcdd.org. Click links for flyers in English and Spanish.  Register here.


Wednesday, May 1st – Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Join FCHS educators and Alzheimer’s Association volunteers Shailja Mathur and Luanne Hughes for a discussion about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Learn basic information about Alzheimer’s and dementia, stages, risk factors, research, and FDA-approved treatments. Presenter: Luanne Hughes, MS, RDN & Shailja Mathur, MS, MEd, RDN        

All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm, are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers.  Register here.

April 29, 2024

PROVIDER ALERT! NCI State of the Workforce Survey

The National Core Indicators® State of the Workforce Survey is open through June 30, 2024 and participation by as many eligible providers as possible is critical to ensure valid results. Email invitations were sent to eligible DDD providers – to the provider email address on file in iRecord – on March 5, with follow-up invitations sent on April 26.

If your agency has not received an invitation to participate, please contact DDD.NCI@dhs.nj.gov as soon as possible.

The data collected through this annual survey helps us examine and respond to challenges in New Jersey’s Direct Support Professional workforce serving adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. To learn more, visit National Core Indicators® or see our NCI State of the Workforce Overview.


NEW! May 10 Webinar on New Jersey SNAP Benefits and DFD Programs

On Friday, May 10, 2024, the DDD Office of Education on Self-Directed Services is collaborating with the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Family Development (DFD) to host a webinar about programs available through DFD, including NJ SNAP and WorkFirst NJ. While the information is geared toward individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families, all are welcome to attend.

Friday, May 10, 2024, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Register Now for SNAP Benefits and Division of Family Development Programs: An Overview for Individuals and Families


Next DDD Update Webinar is Thurs., May 23

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the May 23 DDD Update Webinar.


Get Ready. Get Registered. VOTE!

Visit the New Jersey Voter Information Portal to get started!

April 26, 2024

NYDBC CHARGE Syndrome Conference 2024

The New York Deafblind Collaborative (NYDBC) is hosting a CHARGE Syndrome Conference HERE in Princeton, NJ the weekend of June 7-9. This conference/family learning retreat for families and professionals is an amazing opportunity to gather for learning from the experts and networking with the community.

New Jersey Center on Deafblindness is offering to cover the $125 registration fee for any New Jersey family registered with NJCDB. Register here for the conference


Wednesday, May 1st – Using ABLE Accounts to Support Workers in CIE Positions

Session begins at 3:00 pm EST and has the following objectives:

  • Learn the benefits of ABLE accounts and how these accounts can support people with disabilities, their families and their caregivers.
  • Discover innovative ways employers can offer ABLE account benefits in a workplace to promote disability inclusion, family engagement, and recruit new talent.
  • Hear from those in the workplace currently using ABLE accounts to increase their financial independence.
  • Understand how providers and self-advocates can support jobseekers and employers to increase the understanding and use of ABLE accounts.        

Register here.


Wednesday, May 8th – Voices Advancing the Brain Injury Community

Session begins at 10:00 am EST and will be virtual only.  Send any agenda items you want to be considered to Tom Grady, Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs by 3:00 PM, Monday, May 6th, 2024.

The Voices Advancing the Brain Injury Community champions and publicizes the advocacy, rights, and needs of people who have sustained a brain injury, and their families. Do you want your voice heard?  Register here.


Wednesday, May 9th – Every Step Counts: Stroke from a Rehabilitation Perspective

Session begins at 12:00 pm EST and will be and will be presented by Jennifer Vasilik.  Stroke can be an overwhelming experience for patients and caregivers, from the day of incidence through the rehabilitative process.

In this webinar, BIANJ will:

  • Identify the different types of strokes
  • Discuss risk factors for stroke
  • Explore the rehabilitative process as one recovers from stroke from a comprehensive, interdisciplinary perspective Register here.

Wednesday, May 1st – The Traumatic Loss Coalition’s Hopes Program
A new program designed to provide early peer support to families bereaved by the suicide loss of a child. Speakers: Brett Peppe and Wendy Sefcik

Wednesday, July 3rd – The Rutgers University Gun Violence Research Center
Learn about the role of firearms in American suicide and address various interventions.  Speaker: Dr. Michael Anestis

Wednesday, September 4th – 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
An overview and update of the new nationwide 3-digit dialing code for suicide prevention, mental health and substance use crisis. Speaker: Mary Jean Weston

Wednesday, November 6th – Climate Change Impact on Suicide
Researchers have demonstrated correlations between higher temperatures and increased suicide rates.  Speaker: Steve Crimando

All virtual sessions are from 1:00pm – 3:00pm.  Select credits will be offered. Register here.

April 24, 2024

DDS Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant Program Featured at the 11th Annual Culture of Health Conference

This panel will showcase the work of four of our amazing grantees from the Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant Program. Through inclusion of people with disabilities, the NJ Department of Human Services’ Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant Program (IHC) advances policy, systems and environmental change to address pre-existing social and structural determinants of health to build healthy communities for all.  Now in its third funding cycle, IHC has supported work related to food security, affordable housing, access to health care, civic engagement, workforce development, access to nature, recreation, arts and culture and many other sectors.  This panel focuses on the work of four current IHC grantees to deliver equitable health and mental health services to people with disabilities.  Grantees on this panel will provide overviews of their approaches to expanding access to health and mental health services for people with disabilities and the successes and challenges they have encountered in doing this work.

Date: May 10, 2024; Session will take place at 1:20-2:35pm.
LocationOcean Place Resort & Spa, Long Branch, NJ | Register here.

April 24, 2024

Two Advance Notices of Proposed Readoption with Amendments

  1. Advance Notice of Proposed Readoption with Amendments: N.J.A.C. 10:41Records Confidentiality and Access to Client, Division, and Provider Records
  2. Advance Notice of Proposed Readoption with Amendments: N.J.A.C. 10:41AHuman Rights Committees (HRC)

There is a 30-day informal public comment period for both, which ends May 24, 2024. Written comments may be submitted as follows:

Carol Jones, Administrative Practice Officer Division of Developmental Disabilities PO Box 726 Trenton, NJ 08625-0726


REMINDER! Next DDD Update Webinar is Thursday, April 25

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the April 25 DDD Update Webinar.


Get Ready. Get Registered. VOTE

Visit the New Jersey Voter Information Portal to get started!

April 24, 2024

On April 24, 2024, an Advance Notice of Proposed Readoption with Amendments: N.J.A.C. 10:41AHuman Rights Committees (HRC), was published on the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Public Notices page. There is a 30-day informal public comment period, which ends May 24, 2024. Written comments may be submitted as follows:

Carol Jones, Administrative Practice Officer, Division of Developmental Disabilities
PO Box 726, Trenton, NJ 08625-0726


REMINDER! Next DDD Update Webinar is Thursday, April 25

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the April 25 DDD Update Webinar.


Get Ready. Get Registered. VOTE

Visit the New Jersey Voter Information Portal to get started!

April 24, 2024

April 2024 – Limited Circumstances Where a Person Ages 18 through 21 May Receive DDD Services

The Division of Developmental Disabilities’ (DDD) April 2024 release of its updated Community Care Program and Supports Program policy manuals includes a new policy section that may affect a small number of individuals ages 18 through 21. Please review and share DDD’s Information Bulletin on Limited Circumstances Where a Person Ages 18 through 21 May Receive Division Services.

An overview of the new policy will be provided at the next DDD Update Webinar on April 25 (see below).


REMINDER! Next DDD Update Webinar is Thursday, April 25

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the April 25 DDD Update Webinar.

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the April 25 DDD Update Webinar.


Get Ready. Get Registered. VOTE

Visit the New Jersey Voter Information Portal to get started!

April 23, 2024

April 2024 Policy Manual Updates

The Division of Developmental Disabilities has updated the policy and procedure manuals for our Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver programs, the Community Care Program and Supports Program. You will find a summary of changes on page two of each manual, and a detailed overview will be provided at the next DDD Update Webinar on April 25 (Register Now).


REMINDER! Next DDD Update Webinar is Thursday, April 25

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the April 25 DDD Update Webinar.


Get Ready. Get Registered. VOTE

Visit the New Jersey Voter Information Portal to get started!

April 19, 2024

Young Audiences Inspires with United We Discover Arts Program for Students with Disabilities; Program Funded by NJ Human Services’ Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant Program

(PRINCETON) –  Young Audiences of New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania has launched an innovative arts program designed to provide enriching arts experiences for students with disabilities in New Jersey.

Called United We Discover, the program promotes inclusivity and creativity in education, ensuring that every child, regardless of ability, has the opportunity to explore the transformative power of the arts. The initiative is funded in part by an Inclusive Healthy Communities (IHC) grant from NJ Human Services’ Division of Disability Service. United We Discover is currently available in Paterson, Newark, Hightstown, and New Brunswick. Programming is offered during the school day and in collaboration with classroom teachers. Click here to read the full article.


Rowan-Virtua RISN Center Using NJ Human Services Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant to Improve Healthcare for Women with Developmental Disabilities

Funded in part by an Inclusive Healthy Communities (IHC) grant from the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Disability Services, the effort aims to elevate the standard of care and eliminate healthcare disparities by reducing the stigma associated with sexuality education, deescalating patient fears, addressing potential histories of sexual trauma, and empowering patients to participate in their own healthcare decisions.
Click here to read the full article.


NJ Human Services Awards Contracts to Develop Crisis Diversion Homes

(TRENTON) – Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Department has awarded more than $3.6 million in contracts to develop recovery-oriented crisis diversion homes, which will provide care and services to individuals who have recently experienced a mental health crisis.

Crisis diversion homes offer a supportive environment for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and, by focusing on stabilization and empowerment, promote long-lasting recovery,” said Commissioner Adelman. “We look forward to these homes operating in Warren, Mercer, and Gloucester counties and ensuring those in need get help.”

The program will be funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Community Mental Health Block Grant. State funds will also be available to fund provider costs, as available and needed. Click here to read the full article.


April is #ABLEtoSave month! #ABLEtoSave month is here! Individuals with disabilities and their families can use ABLE accounts to save and invest for disability expenses and help build long-term financial wellness.

What is Ugift®? Ugift is an easy, free-to-use service that lets friends and family contribute directly into a loved one’s NJ ABLE plan account in lieu of traditional gifts. All gift contributions sent in to Ugift are invested into the account owner’s ABLE plan account and can be used to pay for disability-related expenses.

Are there any fees involved in Ugift? No. Neither the account owner nor the gift giver has to pay any fees for using Ugift. The entire amount of the gift will be deposited into the account owner’s ABLE plan account.

How do I get a Ugift code? Ugift codes have to be initiated by the ABLE plan account owner. If you want to use Ugift to contribute to an ABLE account, reach out to the account owner to ask them if they have an NJ ABLE plan. If so, they can log into their account to get a Ugift code and share it with you.

How does the account owner know that I made a gift? When the account owner views their ABLE account online, your name will display next to the amount of your gift.

 For more information, login to your NJ ABLE account at NJ.SaveWithABLE.com, and click on the Ugift banner at the top, or visit UgiftABLE.com


Collaborative Leadership: Fostering Sustainable Change for Disabled Survivors

A two-part technical assistance training for organizations serving people with disabilities and survivors of interpersonal violence.

Upcoming Virtual Sessions:

  • Prioritizing Universal Access on Wednesday May 15th
  • Budgeting for Success, Funding for Sustainability on June 5th 

Virtual sessions will be held 10:00 am -12:30 pm. Registration details coming soon…For more information or to request accommodations, please email training@ssw.rutgers.eduASL Interpretation will be available. See attached for more information.


New Jersey Human Services Ear with a hearing aid. Hands doing sign language. DDHH Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING SENSITIVITY TRAININGS

The Department of Human Services’ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is hosting these trainings open to the public to provide information about deaf and hard of hearing culture, common challenges, and strategies for effective communication with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Register here for Thursday April 25th 10am training session
Register here for Thursday May 23rd 1pm training session
See attached flyers (English and Spanish) for more information


The Gary Rubin Independence and Advocacy Fund from the New Jersey American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (NJAAIDD)

The New Jersey American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (NJAAIDD) dedicates this emergency fund to Gary Rubin, NJCDD council member, former NJAAIDD board member, and nationally recognized and respected advocate. Gary has dedicated his life and energy to promoting the independence of people with disabilities, closing institutions, and expanding community supports.

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities can apply for this grant up to $5,000 to meet emergency needs such as medical care, utility bills, housing needs, scholarships, and other major emergencies.

Contact Walter Kalman at wkalman@njaaidd.org for more information. Click here to download the brochure

April 12, 2024

Trenton Health Team Uses NJ Human Services Inclusive Healthy Communities Grant to Enhance Food Pantry Accessibility for People with Disabilities in Mercer County

 (TRENTON) –  The Trenton Health Team in collaboration with local partners and stakeholders has launched an effort to improve access to food pantries for individuals with disabilities in Mercer County. The initiative is funded in part by an Inclusive Healthy Communities (IHC) grant from the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Disability Services.

Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that food insecurity is more common and severe in households that include an individual with a disability, the Trenton Health Team has developed a plan to make food pantries across Mercer County more inclusive and accessible.  Click here to read the full article.


April is #ABLEtoSave Month! Open an NJ ABLE Account today! Visit NJ.SaveWithABLE.com!


Learn about ABLE accounts from the ABLE NRC! With live and on-demand free webinars, decisions guides, FAQs and more, the ABLE National Resource Center is a valuable source of information about ABLE savings accounts and federal and state-related ABLE programs.  (See here for ABLE NRC’s ¡Información de ABLE en español!)

Check out ABLE NRC Live & Recorded Webinars:


Wednesday, April 24th – Autism Speaks: Empowering People with Autism through Inclusive Hiring & ABLE Accounts

You are invited to join ABLE today and Autism Speaks for a national webinar marking World Autism Awareness Month and National Financial Literacy. This webinar is specifically designed for the Autism community, Employers, HR and DEI executives to learn about 1) the power of ABLE accounts for individuals with autism, family members and caregivers; 2) how to leverage ABLE accounts as a workplace benefit and 3) how to tap Autism Speaks’ Workplace Inclusion Now (WIN) to help expand your workforce inclusion. This webinar will begin at 2pm EST. Register here.

April 9, 2024

Call for Proposal 2024 Opioid Summit

The Summit aims to provide various stakeholders the opportunity to participate in panels and breakout sessions that assist individuals with navigating addiction and recovery pathways.

DMHAS is seeking proposals from clinicians, peers, recovery specialists, medical professionals, criminal justice professionals, researchers and other stakeholders who have experience in opioid use disorder subject matter to share innovative approaches to harm reduction, prevention, treatment, the recovery process, stigma and integrative care coordination. We invite all interested individuals to submit a proposal. Submission Deadline: Wednesday, May 1, 2024


Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) State Plan Open for Public Comment

The New Jersey State Employment Training Commission, along with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development announce that the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) State Plan is open for public comment beginning April 5th through April 19th, 2024. The WIOA State Plan guides New Jersey’s workforce development system in assisting state residents, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, to move into high-quality jobs and careers while also helping employers hire and retain skilled workers.

Under law, each state’s governor must submit a WIOA State Plan to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor that outlines a four-year strategy for the State’s workforce development system. The publicly funded workforce development system is a national network of agencies that provide a range of employment, education, training, and related support services. States must have approved plans in place to receive funding for core programs.

The WIOA State Plan can be viewed at SETC (nj.gov)  To submit comments, email joan.desmarais@dol.nj.gov  or mail written comments to:

New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission
One John Fitch Plaza, PO Box 940

Trenton, NJ 08625-0940


nTIDE March 2024 Jobs Report: Maintain Strong Employment Levels Through End of Year, Staying at Historic Highs

National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) – is issued semi-monthly by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire.

March job numbers showed minimal changes for people with disabilities, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment – semi-monthly update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). Despite small declines in the employment-to-population ratio over the past four months, employment remains at historically high levels for people with disabilities. The small gain in their labor force participation rate is a positive sign that people with disabilities are still engaging in the labor market by looking for work. Click here to read more.


Thursday, April 18th – Your Rights Regarding Assistive Technology

People who need assistive technology are often eligible for programs that can assess a person’s need or try out a device that may help them at home or in the community. There are even programs that can help pay for the purchase or repair of AT. Sometimes people who need AT experience barriers to their getting the AT funding that is meant to help them.

Remember, AT may include communication, hearing or vision devices, home or vehicle modifications and much more.  In this webinar from the National Disability Institute, you will learn about AT assistance available through Disability Rights organizations. Presenter: Helen Hellmuth, Senior Advocate from Disability Rights New York. This webinar begins at 12:00.  pm and will last one hour. Register here.


Wednesday, April 10th – Spring Foodies: Taking Advantage of NJ Produce in the Spring!

As the weather starts to warm up in the beautiful Garden State, some of our favorite Jersey Fresh produce is growing and may be ready for harvesting. This session will provide an overview of the seasonal produce available during April, May, and June, featuring healthy recipes, and tools you can use to find your local grower. Presenter: Ricardo Kairios, MS    

All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm, are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. Register here.

April 5, 2024

April is #ABLEtoSave Month!

Join the NJ Department of Human Services’ Division of Disability Services as we celebrate #ABLEtoSave Month, with featured information every Friday on the benefits of opening an NJ ABLE account, how to open and maximize your NJ ABLE account, and more! To learn more and open an NJ ABLE Account today, visit NJ.SaveWithABLE.com!


Brought to you by the ABLE National Resource Center (ABLE NRC), the #ABLEtoSave month-long campaign provides people with disabilities and their families information about the significance of ABLE accounts and how these accounts can be used to address daily needs, help achieve long-term goals and dreams and increase their financial well-being. See below for free webinar opportunities in the month of April.


Tuesday, April 16th at 2pm ET – #ABLEtoSave Opens the Door to Housing Opportunities

Discover how ABLE accounts can help with housing! Hear from our ABLE ambassadors, Edward and Emily, who will talk about their own experiences. This webinar is for people with disabilities, their families and supporters. You will learn how ABLE accounts can be used whether you live alone, with others, rent, own a home or want to buy a home.  Register here.


Thursday, April 25th at 2pm ET – #ABLEtoSave for Lifelong Financial Wellness

This engaging event will highlight four ABLE ambassadors, each representing different life stages—preteen, transition, work, and retirement. They will share their strategic use of ABLE accounts to create a better economic future for themselves or their family members. It is never too early or too late to open an ABLE Account! Register here.


What is Register Ready?

Register Ready is a free, secure, voluntary database designed to help emergency managers and first responders plan for and support people with disabilities and access and functional needs (DAFN). You (or someone on your behalf) are encouraged to register if you have a physical, developmental, cognitive, or behavioral impairment. Click here for more information


MorrisSussex Transition Partnership Regional Transition Fair

In this transition fair, any family and student who has a 504 or IEP working through the transition phase can attend. The fair highlights service providers, agencies, and local organizations that offer services for teens and young adults with disabilities.

Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2024 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: 306 Lathrop Ave, Boonton, NJ 07005  (Boonton High School’s Gymnasium)
Host: Boonton High School, in Partnership with the Morris and Sussex

Transition Partnership Committee and DAWN Center for Independent Living Questions? Contact morrissussextransition@gmail.com Register here.

April 3, 2024

DHS Public Notice of Rule Adoptions

A Notice of Readoption with Amendments of N.J.A.C. 10:46D, Contribution to Care and Maintenance Requirements, and an Administrative Change to N.J.A.C. 10:46D-3.2 were published on the New Jersey Department of Human Services Rule Adoptions page on April 1, 2024.


REMINDER! Next DDD Update Webinar is Thursday, April 25

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the April 25 DDD Update Webinar.


Get Ready. Get Registered. VOTE!

Visit the New Jersey Voter Information Portal to get started!

April 2, 2024

School Transportation Listening Sessions

The New Jersey Department of Education is hosting three school transportation safety listening sessions with the support of the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities and SPAN Parent Advocacy Network. The Department of Education’s new Director of the Office of School Bus Safety, James Scaringelli, and the Special Education Ombudsman, Cynthia Hoenes-Saindon, would like to hear from individuals with disabilities and their families about their experiences, concerns and recommendations with school transportation for students for disabilities.

Register here for Monday April 29th 1pm listening session
Register here for Monday May 2nd 7pm listening session
Register here for Monday May 6th 1pm listening session

Multi-lingual closed captioning is available for this event. Contact Kerry McGrath at kerry.mcgrath@njcdd.org or 609-984-4516 if you have any questions.


Biggest, Most Unique, and Accessible Playgrounds in North Jersey to Check Out This Spring

Click here to find out some of the biggest and most unique playgrounds in North Jersey, many of which are wheelchair accessible.


Free Virtual Classes for Older Adults

Click here to access the Online Classes


Wednesday, April 3rd – Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health – National Public Health Week

Feeling like we belong, being a part of our communities and fostering cultural connections supports our health and the quality of our lives. Learn about how everyone can make their communities healthier, safer and stronger when we support and stay engaged with one another. Presenter: Jennifer Taylor, RDN, CHES        

All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm, are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers.  Register here.

April 1, 2024

NEW! DHS OPIA Bulletin – Resume Normal Employee On-Boarding

With an increased availability of fingerprinting appointments, the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Office of Program Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) will be returning to normal onboarding requirements for direct support professionals and self-directed employees effective April 15, 2024. OPIA will continue the temporary clearance process until then.

Effective April 15, 2024, new hires must complete onboarding requirements prior to employment, and OPIA’s Employment Controls and Compliance Unit (ECCU) will no longer process emergency requests for hire. For employees who have already begun employment based on emergency approval prior to April 15, 2024, employers have until June 15, 2024 to complete criminal background checks via fingerprinting.

Please review the April 1 DHS Information Bulletin, Updated Employee Onboarding Requirements.


REMINDER! Next DDD Update Webinar is Thursday, April 25

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the April 25 DDD Update Webinar.

April 1, 2024

NEW! DHS OPIA Bulletin – Resume Normal Employee On-Boarding

With an increased availability of fingerprinting appointments, the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Office of Program Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) will be returning to normal onboarding requirements for direct support professionals and self-directed employees effective April 15, 2024. OPIA will continue the temporary clearance process until then.

Effective April 15, 2024, new hires must complete onboarding requirements prior to employment, and OPIA’s Employment Controls and Compliance Unit (ECCU) will no longer process emergency requests for hire. For employees who have already begun employment based on emergency approval prior to April 15, 2024, employers have until June 15, 2024 to complete criminal background checks via fingerprinting.

Please review the April 1 DHS Information Bulletin, Updated Employee Onboarding Requirements.


REMINDER! Next DDD Update Webinar is Thursday, April 25

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the April 25 DDD Update Webinar.

March 28, 2024

Family Networking Sessions Spring 2024 Schedule is Here

The DDD Office of Education on Self-Directed Services hosts networking sessions for people and families who are, or are interested in, self-directing some or all their DDD-funded services. The first spring session is in-person on Wednesday, April 3 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Bergen Community College. Advance registration is required and location details are available when you register. Register Now for April 3 Bergen County Family Networking Session

See the full schedule and register for upcoming sessions (April through June): Family Networking Sessions Spring 2024

March 27, 2024

REMINDER! Next DDD Update Webinar is Thursday, March 28

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the March 28 DDD Update Webinar.

March 22, 2024

Visit WorldDownSyndromeDay.org to learn more.


Look to the Future: Transition from School to Adult Life

This workshop will discuss issues relating to transitioning from school to adult life, identifying outcomes, and developing goals as part of the IEP process. Parents and students will become knowledgeable regarding resources in the community in order to build linkages and ensure a dignified life as contributing citizens.

 Date: March 26, 2024 12:00am – 1:00pm Presenter: Dawn Monaco
For more information, you may contact Nicole Pratt at npratt@spanadvocacy.org Register here.


2024 State Rehabilitation Council
Public Forums Listening Session Registration Deadline is Tuesday April 23rd Register here


Thursday, April 4th – ABLE Accounts and Social Security Beneftis: Representative Payees, Reporting and More

 

This webinar will include two additional forms of accessible capabilities: ASL communicators and for the first time Spanish translation. We look forward to a great webinar and appreciate your help in promote this great ABLE outreach opportunity.

 This is the second national ABLE webinar hosted by ABLE Savings Plans Network and ABLE today in collaboration with the U.S. Social Security Administration and it will begin at 1pm. Register here.

March 15, 2024

Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey Conducting Needs Assessment

The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey is conducting a statewide needs assessment on Traumatic Brain Injury and quality of life and access to services amongst survivors, caregivers, and service providers. This study is supported by the Administration for Community Living, Traumatic Brain Injury State Partnership Program Grant and approved by the Rowan University Institutional Review Board (Study # PRO-2022-310).

With this needs assessment, the aim is to better understand the current picture of TBI in the state and direct efforts to areas that are the most in need of attention. The first part of the study will consist of individual surveys conducted online, over the phone, and on paper. After this, there will be focus groups in South, Central, and North Jersey.

The hope is to get a well-represented screenshot of the gaps in TBI services in New Jersey. The direct link to the surveys is HERE.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Sakina Ladha, MD, MPH by email at sladha@bianj.org or by phone at 609-480-2271.


Bridging the Disparity Gap: Improving Equity in Brain Injury Care and Prevention

The overall objective of the 2024 BIANJ Annual Seminar is to provide an educational opportunity to professionals working with individuals affected by brain injury through workshops related to research, clinical innovations and strategies, rehabilitation and advocacy.

The 2024 Annual Professional Seminar is funded in part by the New Jersey Division of Disability Services and the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.

Date: May 1, 2024 8:30am – 4:30pm
Location: The Palace at Somerset Park, Somerset, NJ 08873
Click here for more information.

Early registration rate is available through March 31st, 2024 Register here.
Questions? Contact the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey at 732-745-0200 or info@bianj.org.


BIANJ Introduces their New Resource Center App!

This all new app makes it easy to find a variety of brain injury resources throughout New Jersey.  Find it on the Google Play Store and App Store to download.


The Days Last Forever, but the Years Fly by: Navigating the Secondary Transition Process

Families and caregivers are crucial partners in assisting youth in transitioning from high school to adult life. This session will:

  • Provide families/caregivers, youth/young adults, and professionals with effective practices, strategies, and resources to assist in supporting their children/youth in understanding and navigating the secondary transition process.
  • Hear real experiences from families in the transition process.

Date: March 27, 2024 12:00am – 1:30pm
Presenter: NTACT-The Collaborative
Register here.


Accessible Performances at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University

Title: Resonance, a dance concert
Dates/Times: March 29 at 7:30 p.m. and March 30 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. The March 29 performance will be open captioned.
Location: Hearst Dance Theater at Lewis Arts complex
Click here for tickets and more information.

Title: She Loves Me, a musical
Dates/Times: March 29 & 30, April 5 & 6 at 8:00 p.m. The April 5 performance will be open captioned.
Location: Wallace Theater at Lewis Arts complex
Click here for tickets and more information.

Performances are in accessible venues with an assistive listening system. Guests in need of other access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at least one week in advance at lewiscenter@princeton.edu

March 12, 2024

FREE Upcoming Webinars

Thursday, March 14th – NJ Family Engagement Hub Kick-Off Webinar

Learn about the New Jersey Family Engagement Hub (NJ FE Hub), which is a project of SPAN Parent Advocacy Network. The NJ FE Hub recognizes that students thrive when families and communities are engaged in the school community, increasing the likelihood of student success. SPAN Parent Advocacy Network aims to promote and engage in activities and policies that build collaborative partnerships among youth, families, schools, and communities to enhance child development and student achievement. They will highlight their next steps and how they can partner with you in this exciting work. Register here.


Wednesday, March 13th – Healthy Snacks for Teens and Adults

Discover the best healthy, quick and easy snack ideas for teens and adults from homemade popcorn to nutritious nachos to frozen fruity treats. Presenter: Karen Ensle EdD, RDN, FAND, CFCS       

All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm, are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers.    Register here.

March 5, 2024

NJ Human Services Opens College Scholarship Program for Blind, Deaf-Blind and Visually Impaired Students

(TRENTON) –  Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced students can now apply to the 2024 Board of Trustees Scholarship program, which provides college scholarships to individuals who are blind, deaf-blind, and/or visually impaired. The program, run by Human Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI), is open to high school seniors and college students, of any age, who are registered to attend the 2024-2025 academic year. Students must be active or eligible CBVI clients. For full eligibility requirements please visit here.  Click here to read the full article.


Event: Twinkle Time!
Date: April 3, 2024 at 2pm
Location: Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College

This performance will be a Relaxed Performance. Relaxed performances are designed to be a welcoming environment for all visitors, including neurodiverse individuals with sensory needs. Families who do not require these accommodations are still welcome to attend.

Described as “like Lady Gaga for kids,” Twinkle breaks barriers with both her music and flamboyant Harajuku-style presentation teaching kids to accept everyone, their differences, and to celebrate in what makes them unique-bringing all walks of life together through Music, Arts, Dance and Pop Culture. For additional information and to purchase tickets, click here.

March 5, 2024

NJ Human Services Seeks Proposals for Crisis Prevention & Intervention Team Serving Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Need
(TRENTON) – Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced Human Services is seeking proposals to develop evidence-based, community crisis prevention and intervention services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) has issued a request for proposals to develop a new START Model program. START – which stands for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment – provides community-based crisis prevention and intervention services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. This model focuses on reducing emergency room visits, hospitals admissions, caregiver burnout, and calls to police as well as building community capacity to successfully support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. Click here to read the full article.


Four Basic Signs of a Scam
Recognizing the signs of a scam gives you the power to ignore criminals and report the scam. Scams come in many varieties, but they all work the same way:

  1. Scammers pretend to be from an agency or organization you know to gain your trust.
  2. Scammers say there is a problem or a prize.
  3. Scammers pressure you to act immediately.
  4. Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.

For more information on how to avoid scams, how to report them, and what to do if you’ve been a victim of a scam, see resources from the Federal Trade Commission and Social Security Administration.


Educators Conference Journeys of Inclusion: Charting Compassion, Courage and Community

Date: Friday, March 15, 2024
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00pm
Location:   Kean University, Liberty Hall Academic Center

1000 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ 07083 | Campus Map This program is presented in partnership with the New Jersey Education Association, Kean University, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, the Holocaust Resource Center of Kean University, and the NJEA Consortium, which invite you to this dynamic, one-day event. Click here to RSVP


Wednesday, March 6th – Eating the Rainbow: Adding a Variety of Colorful Fruits and Vegetables to Your Plate

You may have heard the phrase “It’s important to eat the rainbow“; but what does that really mean? This session will share the health benefits of eating a variety of colorful foods and easy ways you can include a diversity of colorful produce into your meals throughout the week. Presenter: Ricardo Kairios, MS        

All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm (new time in 2023), are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. Register here.

March 4, 2024

Governor Murphy Proclaims March 2024 as Brain Injury Awareness Month in New Jersey!
Since head injuries are so common across the U.S. and the world, Brain Injury Awareness Day is held annually on March 4, and we recognize the entire month of March as Brain Injury Awareness Month.

This day and month brings awareness to educate the public, communities, and decision-makers about the effects of brain injury, as well as to honor people living with brain injury and their families. Brain injuries can lead to long-term changes for the affected person and their loved ones, and present challenges to everyday life. Today the world is more aware of brain injuries, their causes, and how best to prevent them, but there is lots of room for improvement, which is why the U.S. observes Brain Injury Awareness Day and Month.

Through our Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, DDS provides New Jersey residents who have survived a traumatic brain injury the opportunity to access services and supports they need to live in the community, foster independence, and maximize quality of life when insurance, personal resources, and public programs are unavailable to meet those needs.  A portion of the Fund is also used to support public education, outreach, and prevention activities related to TBI.

For more information about the TBI Fund, visit our website at:  https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dds/services/tbis/tbifund/index.html OR Call: 1-888-285-3036


BIANJ Program Spotlight Facebook Live Series
March 11, 12:30 PM: Join BIANJ Director of Support Services Elizabeth Van Roten and Support Services Manager Stacy Lyons for a discussion about BIANJ ‘s new Peer Mentoring program and support groups.
March 18, 12:30 PM: Join BIANJ Camp TREK Director Rachel Ishak, Assistant Director Kim Myers and special guests to hear everything camp related for 2024!
March 25, 12:30 PM:  Listen in as BIANJ Director of Education and Outreach, Barbara Chabner, has a conversation with survivors of Acquired Brain Injury who share their personal experiences.Click here for the BIANJ Facebook page


Virtual Brain Injury Awareness Day
Join BIANJ staff and partners, brain injury advocates and legislators on March 13, 10:00am at a virtual day of awareness that will feature a discussion of important topics in the brain injury community. A Q & A session will conclude the day. Register here


RWJ Barnabas Health New Jersey State Concussion Summit, co-sponsored by BIANJ
Attend to learn more about concussion innovations and technology, updates on the international consensus, concussion nutrition, mental health effects and more!
Date: March 11, 8:30am – 1:30pm
Location: Monmouth University, West Long Branch
Click here for more information.


Wednesday, March 20, 2024 – Effective Community Reintegration Post Brain Injury
This presentation will take a deeper look at the challenges faced by individuals who have sustained a brain injury that may affect one’s success in being able to integrate back into the community. We will dive into what encompasses community reintegration and its importance for individuals with brain injuries and their caregivers.
This webinar starts at 1pm ET and will be presented by Melissa Moyer. Register here.

March 1, 2024

U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Releases New Resources on Students with Disabilities

On February 20, The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released four new resources with information for students, parents and families, and schools addressing civil rights of students with disabilities, as well as a data snapshot about education access for students with disabilities drawn from OCR’s 2020-21 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC).

OCR issued these new resources to inform students with disabilities, and their families and schools, about their legal rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities by institutions that accept federal financial assistance, which includes almost all public schools and public and private institutions of higher education. To view the release announcement and the new resources, click here.


State-Wide Survey of Older Adults, 2024

New Jersey Advocates for Aging Well (NJAAW) is conducting a statewide survey to gather older adult insight and opinions on aging in the state. Please help this effort by completing the survey and/or sharing this information with your network and consumers.  This survey if for people who are age 60+, consider NJ their primary residence, and live independently in the community, NOT in skilled nursing settings or nursing homes. The survey period ends on March 15, 2024.

The survey can be completed electronically by visiting the NJAAW website (https://www.njaaw.org) or directly to the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X8X3VDS.  A print version is attached and can be mailed to:

NJ Advocates for Aging Well, 3705 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 102, Hamilton, NJ 08619


Tuesday, March 12, 2024 11:00am – 12pm – Inclusion of Service Dogs

This session will discuss Nimit Kaur’s journey with her guide dog and to explore the distinction between service animals and emotional support animals as well as relevant legislation.  Register here.

Thursday, March 21, 2024 11:00am – 12:15pm – ADA Overview

This session will review how the ADA defines “a person with a disability,” where and when the ADA applies, who has obligations under the ADA, and the various enforcement agencies involved with the ADA. Register here.

March 27, 2024

Social Security to Remove Barriers to Accessing SSI Payments

Today, the Social Security Administration published a final rule, “Omitting Food from In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) Calculations.” The final rule announces the first of several updates to the agency’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) regulations that will help people receiving and applying for SSI.

Under the final rule, beginning September 30, 2024, the agency will no longer include food in ISM calculations. The new policy removes a critical barrier for SSI eligibility due to an applicant’s or recipient’s receipt of informal food assistance from friends, family, and community networks of support.

Read full blog post here: Social Security to Remove Barriers to Accessing SSI Payments | SSA


Abilities Expo: May 3-5

Join this year’s Abilities Expo – May 3, 4 and 5 at the NJ Convention and Expo Center in Edison.  The Abilities Expo showcases a wide range of interactive events, informative workshops and the latest tech and disability products. Admission is free, register here


National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Visit www.njoag.gov/cvrw to register


PODD Training

The Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center is thrilled to organize this multi day professional learning experience with PODD (Pragmatic Organization of Dynamic Display) trainer Kelly Fonner. Last year they hosted Kelly for a two-day Introduction to PODD training event.

For 2024, they are going to build on this and offer a range of PODD related training events designed to meet the needs of new participants and returning participants.

Dates: May 20, 2024 – May 23, 2024
Location: The Grand Hotel Cape May, 1045 Beach Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204
Register here


March 27, 2024

REMINDER! Next DDD Update Webinar is Thursday, March 28

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the March 28 DDD Update Webinar.

March 22, 2024

Visit WorldDownSyndromeDay.org to learn more.


Look to the Future: Transition from School to Adult Life

This workshop will discuss issues relating to transitioning from school to adult life, identifying outcomes, and developing goals as part of the IEP process. Parents and students will become knowledgeable regarding resources in the community in order to build linkages and ensure a dignified life as contributing citizens.

 Date: March 26, 2024 12:00am – 1:00pm Presenter: Dawn Monaco
For more information, you may contact Nicole Pratt at npratt@spanadvocacy.org Register here.


2024 State Rehabilitation Council
Public Forums Listening Session Registration Deadline is Tuesday April 23rd Register here


Thursday, April 4th – ABLE Accounts and Social Security Beneftis: Representative Payees, Reporting and More

 

This webinar will include two additional forms of accessible capabilities: ASL communicators and for the first time Spanish translation. We look forward to a great webinar and appreciate your help in promote this great ABLE outreach opportunity.

 This is the second national ABLE webinar hosted by ABLE Savings Plans Network and ABLE today in collaboration with the U.S. Social Security Administration and it will begin at 1pm. Register here.

March 15, 2024

Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey Conducting Needs Assessment

The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey is conducting a statewide needs assessment on Traumatic Brain Injury and quality of life and access to services amongst survivors, caregivers, and service providers. This study is supported by the Administration for Community Living, Traumatic Brain Injury State Partnership Program Grant and approved by the Rowan University Institutional Review Board (Study # PRO-2022-310).

With this needs assessment, the aim is to better understand the current picture of TBI in the state and direct efforts to areas that are the most in need of attention. The first part of the study will consist of individual surveys conducted online, over the phone, and on paper. After this, there will be focus groups in South, Central, and North Jersey.

The hope is to get a well-represented screenshot of the gaps in TBI services in New Jersey. The direct link to the surveys is HERE.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Sakina Ladha, MD, MPH by email at sladha@bianj.org or by phone at 609-480-2271.


Bridging the Disparity Gap: Improving Equity in Brain Injury Care and Prevention

The overall objective of the 2024 BIANJ Annual Seminar is to provide an educational opportunity to professionals working with individuals affected by brain injury through workshops related to research, clinical innovations and strategies, rehabilitation and advocacy.

The 2024 Annual Professional Seminar is funded in part by the New Jersey Division of Disability Services and the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.

Date: May 1, 2024 8:30am – 4:30pm
Location: The Palace at Somerset Park, Somerset, NJ 08873
Click here for more information.

Early registration rate is available through March 31st, 2024 Register here.
Questions? Contact the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey at 732-745-0200 or info@bianj.org.


BIANJ Introduces their New Resource Center App!

This all new app makes it easy to find a variety of brain injury resources throughout New Jersey.  Find it on the Google Play Store and App Store to download.


The Days Last Forever, but the Years Fly by: Navigating the Secondary Transition Process

Families and caregivers are crucial partners in assisting youth in transitioning from high school to adult life. This session will:

  • Provide families/caregivers, youth/young adults, and professionals with effective practices, strategies, and resources to assist in supporting their children/youth in understanding and navigating the secondary transition process.
  • Hear real experiences from families in the transition process.

Date: March 27, 2024 12:00am – 1:30pm
Presenter: NTACT-The Collaborative
Register here.


Accessible Performances at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University

Title: Resonance, a dance concert
Dates/Times: March 29 at 7:30 p.m. and March 30 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. The March 29 performance will be open captioned.
Location: Hearst Dance Theater at Lewis Arts complex
Click here for tickets and more information.

Title: She Loves Me, a musical
Dates/Times: March 29 & 30, April 5 & 6 at 8:00 p.m. The April 5 performance will be open captioned.
Location: Wallace Theater at Lewis Arts complex
Click here for tickets and more information.

Performances are in accessible venues with an assistive listening system. Guests in need of other access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at least one week in advance at lewiscenter@princeton.edu

March 12, 2024

FREE Upcoming Webinars

Thursday, March 14th – NJ Family Engagement Hub Kick-Off Webinar

Learn about the New Jersey Family Engagement Hub (NJ FE Hub), which is a project of SPAN Parent Advocacy Network. The NJ FE Hub recognizes that students thrive when families and communities are engaged in the school community, increasing the likelihood of student success. SPAN Parent Advocacy Network aims to promote and engage in activities and policies that build collaborative partnerships among youth, families, schools, and communities to enhance child development and student achievement. They will highlight their next steps and how they can partner with you in this exciting work. Register here.


Wednesday, March 13th – Healthy Snacks for Teens and Adults

Discover the best healthy, quick and easy snack ideas for teens and adults from homemade popcorn to nutritious nachos to frozen fruity treats. Presenter: Karen Ensle EdD, RDN, FAND, CFCS       

All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm, are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers.    Register here.

March 5, 2024

NJ Human Services Opens College Scholarship Program for Blind, Deaf-Blind and Visually Impaired Students

(TRENTON) –  Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced students can now apply to the 2024 Board of Trustees Scholarship program, which provides college scholarships to individuals who are blind, deaf-blind, and/or visually impaired. The program, run by Human Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI), is open to high school seniors and college students, of any age, who are registered to attend the 2024-2025 academic year. Students must be active or eligible CBVI clients. For full eligibility requirements please visit here.  Click here to read the full article.


Event: Twinkle Time!
Date: April 3, 2024 at 2pm
Location: Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College

This performance will be a Relaxed Performance. Relaxed performances are designed to be a welcoming environment for all visitors, including neurodiverse individuals with sensory needs. Families who do not require these accommodations are still welcome to attend.

Described as “like Lady Gaga for kids,” Twinkle breaks barriers with both her music and flamboyant Harajuku-style presentation teaching kids to accept everyone, their differences, and to celebrate in what makes them unique-bringing all walks of life together through Music, Arts, Dance and Pop Culture. For additional information and to purchase tickets, click here.

March 5, 2024

NJ Human Services Seeks Proposals for Crisis Prevention & Intervention Team Serving Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Need
(TRENTON) – Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced Human Services is seeking proposals to develop evidence-based, community crisis prevention and intervention services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) has issued a request for proposals to develop a new START Model program. START – which stands for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment – provides community-based crisis prevention and intervention services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. This model focuses on reducing emergency room visits, hospitals admissions, caregiver burnout, and calls to police as well as building community capacity to successfully support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. Click here to read the full article.


Four Basic Signs of a Scam
Recognizing the signs of a scam gives you the power to ignore criminals and report the scam. Scams come in many varieties, but they all work the same way:

  1. Scammers pretend to be from an agency or organization you know to gain your trust.
  2. Scammers say there is a problem or a prize.
  3. Scammers pressure you to act immediately.
  4. Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.

For more information on how to avoid scams, how to report them, and what to do if you’ve been a victim of a scam, see resources from the Federal Trade Commission and Social Security Administration.


Educators Conference Journeys of Inclusion: Charting Compassion, Courage and Community

Date: Friday, March 15, 2024
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00pm
Location:   Kean University, Liberty Hall Academic Center

1000 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ 07083 | Campus Map This program is presented in partnership with the New Jersey Education Association, Kean University, the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, the Holocaust Resource Center of Kean University, and the NJEA Consortium, which invite you to this dynamic, one-day event. Click here to RSVP


Wednesday, March 6th – Eating the Rainbow: Adding a Variety of Colorful Fruits and Vegetables to Your Plate

You may have heard the phrase “It’s important to eat the rainbow“; but what does that really mean? This session will share the health benefits of eating a variety of colorful foods and easy ways you can include a diversity of colorful produce into your meals throughout the week. Presenter: Ricardo Kairios, MS        

All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm (new time in 2023), are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. Register here.

March 4, 2024

Governor Murphy Proclaims March 2024 as Brain Injury Awareness Month in New Jersey!
Since head injuries are so common across the U.S. and the world, Brain Injury Awareness Day is held annually on March 4, and we recognize the entire month of March as Brain Injury Awareness Month.

This day and month brings awareness to educate the public, communities, and decision-makers about the effects of brain injury, as well as to honor people living with brain injury and their families. Brain injuries can lead to long-term changes for the affected person and their loved ones, and present challenges to everyday life. Today the world is more aware of brain injuries, their causes, and how best to prevent them, but there is lots of room for improvement, which is why the U.S. observes Brain Injury Awareness Day and Month.

Through our Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, DDS provides New Jersey residents who have survived a traumatic brain injury the opportunity to access services and supports they need to live in the community, foster independence, and maximize quality of life when insurance, personal resources, and public programs are unavailable to meet those needs.  A portion of the Fund is also used to support public education, outreach, and prevention activities related to TBI.

For more information about the TBI Fund, visit our website at:  https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/dds/services/tbis/tbifund/index.html OR Call: 1-888-285-3036


BIANJ Program Spotlight Facebook Live Series
March 11, 12:30 PM: Join BIANJ Director of Support Services Elizabeth Van Roten and Support Services Manager Stacy Lyons for a discussion about BIANJ ‘s new Peer Mentoring program and support groups.
March 18, 12:30 PM: Join BIANJ Camp TREK Director Rachel Ishak, Assistant Director Kim Myers and special guests to hear everything camp related for 2024!
March 25, 12:30 PM:  Listen in as BIANJ Director of Education and Outreach, Barbara Chabner, has a conversation with survivors of Acquired Brain Injury who share their personal experiences.Click here for the BIANJ Facebook page


Virtual Brain Injury Awareness Day
Join BIANJ staff and partners, brain injury advocates and legislators on March 13, 10:00am at a virtual day of awareness that will feature a discussion of important topics in the brain injury community. A Q & A session will conclude the day. Register here


RWJ Barnabas Health New Jersey State Concussion Summit, co-sponsored by BIANJ
Attend to learn more about concussion innovations and technology, updates on the international consensus, concussion nutrition, mental health effects and more!
Date: March 11, 8:30am – 1:30pm
Location: Monmouth University, West Long Branch
Click here for more information.


Wednesday, March 20, 2024 – Effective Community Reintegration Post Brain Injury
This presentation will take a deeper look at the challenges faced by individuals who have sustained a brain injury that may affect one’s success in being able to integrate back into the community. We will dive into what encompasses community reintegration and its importance for individuals with brain injuries and their caregivers.
This webinar starts at 1pm ET and will be presented by Melissa Moyer. Register here.

March 1, 2024

U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Releases New Resources on Students with Disabilities

On February 20, The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released four new resources with information for students, parents and families, and schools addressing civil rights of students with disabilities, as well as a data snapshot about education access for students with disabilities drawn from OCR’s 2020-21 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC).

OCR issued these new resources to inform students with disabilities, and their families and schools, about their legal rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities by institutions that accept federal financial assistance, which includes almost all public schools and public and private institutions of higher education. To view the release announcement and the new resources, click here.


State-Wide Survey of Older Adults, 2024

New Jersey Advocates for Aging Well (NJAAW) is conducting a statewide survey to gather older adult insight and opinions on aging in the state. Please help this effort by completing the survey and/or sharing this information with your network and consumers.  This survey if for people who are age 60+, consider NJ their primary residence, and live independently in the community, NOT in skilled nursing settings or nursing homes. The survey period ends on March 15, 2024.

The survey can be completed electronically by visiting the NJAAW website (https://www.njaaw.org) or directly to the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X8X3VDS.  A print version is attached and can be mailed to:

NJ Advocates for Aging Well, 3705 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 102, Hamilton, NJ 08619


Tuesday, March 12, 2024 11:00am – 12pm – Inclusion of Service Dogs

This session will discuss Nimit Kaur’s journey with her guide dog and to explore the distinction between service animals and emotional support animals as well as relevant legislation.  Register here.

Thursday, March 21, 2024 11:00am – 12:15pm – ADA Overview

This session will review how the ADA defines “a person with a disability,” where and when the ADA applies, who has obligations under the ADA, and the various enforcement agencies involved with the ADA. Register here.

February 28, 2024

UPDATE! START Services RFP

The New Jersey Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) has rescinded the Request for Proposals (RFP) originally released on January 31, 2024, titled START Services NJ: Development of Mobile Crisis Prevention and Response Program(s) to Serve People with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability and Co-Occurring Mental Health Needs Based on the National START Model.

A replacement RFP was released on February 28, 2024, titled START Services NJ: Development of a Mobile Crisis Prevention and Intervention Program to Serve People with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability and Co-occurring Mental Health Needs in Southern New Jersey Based on the National START Model.

The successful bidder will partner with the National Center for START Services™ to develop one mobile crisis prevention and intervention program, consisting of a clinical team and therapeutic coaching team, to serve adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health needs who live in the southern region of New Jersey (as defined in the RFP).

The Notice of Funding Availability and Request for Proposals: START Services NJ are posted on the DHS Request for Proposals/Information webpage. The deadline to submit questions is March 13, 2024 and the deadline for proposal submissions is April 17, 2024.

February 23, 2024

Governor Murphy Announces Allocation of $95 Million from New Jersey’s Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund

(TRENTON) – Governor Phil Murphy today announced the allocation of over $95 million from New Jersey’s Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund to support critical programs tackling the opioid crisis, connecting New Jerseyans with tools to reduce overdoses and other harms of substance use, and supporting the treatment and recovery of residents struggling with substance use disorders. At the recommendation of the State’s Opioid Recovery and Remediation Advisory Council and with extensive input from the public, six programs addressing four priority areas – harm reduction, prevention and recovery support, treatment, and housing – have been identified to receive funding over the next two to three years.
Click here to read the full article.

February 22, 2024

National Core Indicators (NCI) Surveys
We need your input!

Annual NCI State of the Workforce Survey
In March 2024, the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) will email an NCI State of the Workforce Survey invitation to eligible provider agencies who employ Direct Support Professionals. The invitation will be sent to the provider email address on file in iRecord and will include a link and instructions to complete the NCI State of the Workforce Survey for 2023.

The NCI State of the Workforce Survey will be open through June 30, 2024, and participation by as many eligible providers as possible is critical to ensure valid results. To learn more, visit National Core Indicators or see our NCI State of the Workforce Overview

Annual NCI In-Person Survey
DDD is continuing to conduct the NCI In-Person Survey for individuals 21 and older who are receiving at least one DDD-funded service in addition to Support Coordination. The 2023-2024 In-Person Survey will be administered through June 30, 2024. To learn more, please see our NCI Survey Overview.

Questions about the NCI State of the Workforce Survey or In-Person Surveys? Email us at DDD.NCI@dhs.nj.gov.


REMINDER! DDD Resource Team Offering Choking Prevention Awareness Activities Throughout March
February Information Sessions on DDD Self-Directed Employee Models

March 28th is National Choking Awareness Day, making March a great time to put a spotlight on choking risks and prevention. The DDD Resource Team has dedicated March 2024 to raising awareness about the risk of choking for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) and best practices for preventing choking.

In-person workshops are being held for provider agency staff and self-directed employees at various DDD Community Services office locations on March 6, 13, 20, and 27. And virtual trainings, open to anyone, are available throughout the month. To see a full schedule of events and to register, please visit our Health and Safety webpage.

February 14, 2024

NJ ABLE

With NJ ABLE tax-advantaged savings accounts, you can save for qualified disability expenses without losing your eligibility for certain essential benefits, like SSI and Medicaid.Learn more about NJ ABLE, New Jersey’s ABLE plan, administered through DDS in partnership with program manager, Ascensus College Savings Recordkeeping Services.

  • Click here for an overview of the ABLE to Work Act
  • Click here for Free ATM locations.

The Division of Disability Services provides education and training for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) receiving services, their families, advocates and support coordinators, as well as community partners and other stakeholders.

February Information Sessions on DDD Self-Directed Employee Models

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) offers two Self-Directed Employee (SDE) models that individuals interested in self-directing some or all of their services can choose: The Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent Model administered by Public Partnerships, LLC, and the Agency with Choice Model administered by Easterseals NJ. To learn more about self-directed services and the two models available through DDD, visit their Self-Directed Services webpage.

Public Partnerships Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent (VF/EA) Model Information Session

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Register here

Easterseals NJ Agency with Choice (AwC) Model Information Session

  • Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Register here

Family Networking Sessions

 The Office of Education on Self-Directed Services hosts networking sessions for people and families who are, or are interested in, self-directing some or all their DDD-funded services. For more information and to register, view/download Family Networking Sessions Winter 2024 (PDF)

Winter 2024 sessions are being held on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 1–3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 1–3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 5, 2024, 1–3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 12–2 p.m.

DCR Anti-Discrimination Trainings

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) offers trainings aimed at preventing and addressing discrimination through its Education and Training Unit. These interactive sessions educate participants about their rights and responsibilities under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the New Jersey Family Leave Act, the Fair Chance in Housing Act as well as raise awareness about current anti-bias issues.

All trainings are currently being offered for FREE to the public. For additional training topics and dates, click here.

All employees are entitled to a workplace that is inclusive and free from discrimination. This training will provide an overview of how the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) protects employees from harassment and discrimination. Register for March 5th from 9:30am-11:30am

This interactive, virtual training will introduce participants to the concept of implicit bias. Participants will consider how implicit bias manifests in our interactions with others and explore strategies for addressing implicit bias in ourselves and in the workplace. Participants will also learn about how the NJ Law Against Discrimination protects individuals from discrimination and bias-based harassment in the workplace. Register for March 12th from 9:30am-12:30pm

February 14, 2024

Autism New Jersey Launches Law Enforcement Initiative

Autism New Jersey is proud to formally announce its Law Enforcement Initiative, a multi-phase endeavor to increase the adoption of autism-friendly law enforcement practices. We are collaborating with individuals and entities in law enforcement at municipal, county, and state levels to advance best practices statewide.


Autism-Friendly Law Enforcement Practices

Creating a law enforcement environment that is inclusive and accommodating to autistic individuals is crucial for fostering positive interactions and ensuring the safety of both the community and those with autism.

Our list of autism-friendly practices includes both proactive and in-the-moment strategies. These can promote empathy, patience, and flexibility within law enforcement which can significantly contribute to building trust and ensuring the well-being of individuals with autism.


Brooke Ellison, Prominent Disability Rights Advocate, is Dead at 45

One of the first quadriplegic Harvard graduates, she became an author, professor and powerful voice for disabled people.

Brooke Ellison, who after being paralyzed from the neck down by a childhood car accident went on to graduate from Harvard and became a professor and a devoted disability rights advocate, died on Sunday in Stony Brook, N.Y., on Long Island. She was 45.

[S]he told The Times in 2005, reflecting on the accident that changed her life[…], “I didn’t want people to focus on what I had lost in my life, but rather on what I still had in my life… My body would not respond, but my mind and my heart were just the same as they had always been.” Click here for the full article.


Wednesday, February 14th – Nutrition and Heart Disease

A discussion on heart disease -what we should limit in our diet and what we could include to help decrease the risk. Presenter: Rachel Tansey, MA        All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm (new time in 2023), are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers.   Register here.

February 12, 2024

Feb. 13 Family Networking Session Canceled, will be Rescheduled

Due to tomorrow’s weather forecast, the Family Networking Session scheduled for Tuesday, February 13 at the Burlington County Library has been canceled and tentatively rescheduled to Wednesday, February 28. Everyone registered for the Feb. 13 session will be automatically registered for the new date and receive an updated registration confirmation.

Revised information will be posted on the Office of Education on Self-Directed Services webpage, and questions may be sent to DDD.OESDS@DHS.NJ.GOV.


NEW! DDD Resource Team Dedicates Month of March to Choking Awareness

March 28 is National Choking Awareness Day, making next month a great time to put a spotlight on choking risks and prevention. The DDD Resource Team has dedicated March 2024 to raising awareness about the risk of choking for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD), regardless of diet texture or consistency. In-person trainings will be held for provider staff at various DDD Community Services office locations on March 6, 13, 20, and 27. And virtual trainings, open to anyone, will be held throughout the month. Please visit our Health and Safety webpage or download the 2024 Choking Awareness Month Flyer for more information and to register (advance registration is required).


NEW! February Information Sessions on DDD Self-Directed Employee Models

The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) offers two Self-Directed Employee (SDE) models that individuals interested in self-directing some or all of their services can choose: the Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent Model administered by Public Partnerships, LLC, and the Agency with Choice Model administered by Easterseals NJ. We are happy to once again share the following virtual opportunities to learn more about these two models.

Public Partnerships Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent (VF/EA) Model Information Session

Easterseals NJ Agency with Choice (AwC) Model Information Session

To learn more about self-directed services and the two models available through DDD, visit our Self-Directed Services webpage.


REMINDER! DDD Update Webinar on Feb. 22

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register Now for the Feb. 22 DDD Update Webinar.

February 9, 2024

Tuesday, February 13th 12:00pm – Untangling the Complex Relationship between Suicide and Traumatic Brain Injury

Research shows that there is a relationship between suicide and traumatic brain injury, but what exactly is the relationship and how do we understand it? This webinar is presented by Matthew Peters, MD, and it will:

  • Identify the relationship between history of TBI and future risk of suicide attempt.
  • Examine TBI rates and presentation in suicide attempt survivors.

Questions? Contact BIANJ at 732-745-0200 or info@bianj.org.    Register here.

February 5, 2024

Press Releases

February 1, 2024: Human Services Announces Expanded Income Eligibility Limits for Prescription Drug Assistance Programs, Efforts to Get More Eligible New Jerseyans to Apply for Savings

February 1, 2024: NJ Human Services Awards Contracts to Offer Outpatient Services for Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness

Events

The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University has been working to enhance accessibility for all patrons. All events listed below are free and open to the public, held in accessible spaces with assistive listening systems and captions are offered for many performances. Additional access services may be provided upon request.

  • Timelapse, a dance concert. February 15-17, 8:30 p.m.
  • Love Type Beat, a new immersive play. February 16, 17, 22, 23 & 24, 8:00 p.m.
  • From Wind to Wonder!, a musical revue. February 24, 7 p.m.
  • i, heresy, a new dance work February 29, March 1 & 2, 8:30 p.m

Tuesday, February 20th: Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

The Regional Family Support Planning Council #1 (Morris, Sussex, Warren) invites parents to our special meeting to learn the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, a financial reimbursement program for New Jersey Families with potentially catastrophic medical expenses due to a child’s illness or condition.

Bring your questions! There will be ample ​Q&A time. Presentation will be conducted in English. Multi-lingual subtitles will be available.
Register here You many download the English or Spanish flyer.

January 30, 2024

Revised Behavior Management Committee (BMC) Referral Form and New BMC Helpdesk

The Division of Developmental Disabilities Office of Risk Management recently updated its Behavior Management Committee Referral Form and has developed an accompanying Behavior Management Committee FAQ. A dedicated Behavior Management Committee Helpdesk has also been established, where referral forms and other information can be submitted. Effective immediately, all BMC referrals as well as BMC related information and questions can be emailed to DDD.BMC@dhs.nj.gov.

The updated form is available in the Provider Toolkit section of the DDD Provider Information webpage. A webinar training about the BMC and use of the referral form is in development and expected to be available soon.

January 23, 2024

NEW! Webinar on Addressing Enhanced Needs Form

This webinar overview of best practices for using and implementing the Addressing Enhanced Needs Form is a collaborative effort of DDD’s Support Coordination Unit and
Provider Performance and Monitoring Clinical Services Unit. The target audience is support coordination and provider agency staff, but anyone may register to attend.

Title: Support Coordination Agency and Provider Partnerships: Using the Addressing Enhanced Needs Form in Plan Development

Day: Monday, Jan. 29, 2024
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Register now for Jan. 29 Addressing Enhanced Needs Form Webinar


Upcoming Networking Opportunities for Individuals and Families Self-Directing Their Services

The DDD Office of Education on Self-Directed Services (OESDS) is hosting the following networking events for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) and families who are or are interested in self-directing some or all their DDD-funded services.

In-Person Self-Direction Family Networking Sessions
Advance registration is required and online registration is now available!

Virtual Self-Direction Family Networking Sessions
Advance registration is required and online registration is now available!

· Hunterdon & Somerset Counties Virtual Family Networking Session – Tuesday, March 5, 2024, from 1 – 3 pm: Register for March 5 Virtual Session

To learn more about the Family Networking Sessions, visit the OESDS webpage or email the OESDS Helpdesk.

Virtual Self-Direction Peer-to-Peer Networking Session
Adults with IDD who are self-directing or are interested in learning more about self-direction are welcome to attend.

· Tuesday, February 13, 2024, from 6 – 7:30 pm on Zoom: Register for the Feb. 13 Peer-to-Peer Networking Session.

To learn more about Peer-to-Peer Networking Sessions, visit the Self-Advocacy webpage. Feb. 13 Peer-to-Peer Networking Session Flyer


 

REMINDER! Next DDD Update Webinar is Feb. 22

The next DDD Update Webinar is scheduled for Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Register for the Feb. 22 DDD Update Webinar.

January 23, 2024

NJ DHS Division of Aging Services 2024 Program Guide

Looking for senior services in NJ? NJ Department of Human Services can help!

The DoAS Program Guide is a comprehensive resource guide to federal and state-funded programs that promote the well-being of seniors & adults with disabilities living in the community. Get this program guide in English or Spanish.


Brain Injury Alliance NJ Trainings for Health and Human Service Professionals

For more information and to register for the trainings, visit BIANJ’s website bianj.org/upcoming-events/regional-seminar-2/ or email info@bianj.org.


Disability Rights New Jersey’s Assistive Technology (AT)

Disability Rights New Jersey’s Assistive Technology (AT) Center is offering Tech Spotlight, a short webinar series to raise awareness about possible AT solutions.
All Tech Spotlight webinars are 30 minutes at 12PM (EST). To see the full lineup, visit: https://at4nj.org/webinars.


Virtual Mental Health Awareness Training

With the stress and uncertainty in the world right now, learn how you can identify the emotional needs and provide assistance to others in your community, family, or organization. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer), a suicide prevention training, will be offered at no cost. See flyer attached.

Please register in advance through link below each date.

  • Question, Persuade, Refer (2 Hours) – Closed Caption*
  • February 12th 2024 6:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Register here
  • Question, Persuade, Refer (2 Hours) – Closed Caption*
  • February 14nd 2024 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Register here

* Closed captioning is available with all trainings. If assistance is needed related to an accommodation, please email Amy Hassa at least two weeks prior to the training.


Wednesday, January 24th – The Power of Community Partnerships: Strategies a Rural Substance Use Training Center is Implementing to Partner with Community Health Stakeholders in New Jersey

Nationally and in New Jersey (NJ), there is an unmet need for education and training about rural substance use. The Northeast & Caribbean Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Center (NeC-ROTAC) is a federally-funded center tasked with providing these resources to rural communities of HHS Region 2, which includes NJ. Since its inception in 2022, the NeC-ROTAC has established and built on NJ partnerships with members of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, community organizations, health care centers, and health departments serving rural communities of the state. These partnerships have been built on a mutual respect and understanding of each organization’s role in addressing rural health inequities. This seminar will provide examples of community-engaged strategies used by the NeC-ROTAC and highlight some ongoing partnership activities. Presenter: Jamey Lister, PhD; Associate Professor & New Jersey Director of the Northeast & Caribbean Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Center (NeC-ROTAC), Rutgers University School of Social Work        

All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm (new time in 2023), are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. Register here.

January 9, 2024

New Jersey Human Services Enhancing Emergency Services Programs for Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities

Programs to Focus on Individuals in Need of Immediate Services

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Human Services is enhancing the statewide emergency services programs that support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Department has awarded contracts to Community Options, Inc., Community Access Unlimited and Oaks Integrated Care to operate emergency capacity services (ECS) programs throughout the state. ECS programs support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including those with acute behavioral needs who require immediate residential and day program support. This funding enables emergency, short-term support to be available for admissions seven days per week, 365 days a year with 24-hour coverage provided. Click here to read the full article.

nTIDE December 2023 Jobs Report: Maintain Strong Employment Levels Through End of Year, Staying at Historic Highs

National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) – is issued semi-monthly by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire.

Following a historic high in November, slight declines were seen in the employment-to-population ratio and the labor force participation rate in December 2023 for people with and without disabilities. However, numbers still remain near the record levels achieved the previous month, according to today’s National Trends in Disability Employment – semi-monthly update (nTIDE), issued by Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (UNH-IOD). Click here to read more.

FREE Upcoming Webinars

Wednesday, January 10th – Let’s Get Physical: Easy Movements for Balance and Flexibility

Engaging in regular balance and flexibility activities is an important step to help maintain optimal bone and joint health. This session will highlight simple movements and stretches that can be done at home to help promote bone and joint health. Presenter: Ricardo Kairios, MS All sessions of Wellness Wednesdays begin at 12:30 pm (new time in 2023), are FREE, and will last approximately 45 minutes with time for Q&A.  To join, you will need to register and have either a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speakers. Register here.