2017-2021 Five-Year Planning Goals

1.  Self-Advocate and Family Training and Information

Goal: Assess statewide training and information available for self-advocates and families and address gaps which support individuals to exercise their rights in the various DD systems.

Implementation Targets:
• Develop a bibliography and data base of current trainings and material available for self-advocates and families.
• Identify the gaps and weaknesses in that training and material.
• Develop cognitively accessible materials necessary to deal with gaps and deliver trainings statewide on a regular basis.

2.  Direct Support Staffing Issues

Goal: Develop and implement an advocacy strategy and plan to address staffing issues.

Implementation Targets:
• Survey providers to determine the level of crisis and current issues, including gathering information of state salaries and benefits in similar positions and programs.
• Examine other states and human service programs to determine successful practices used in addressing staffing issues. Support pilot programs to determine the effectiveness of using these practices in New Jersey.
• Develop and implement advocacy strategies from best practices for resolving staffing support issues to inform political and administrative policy makers.

3.  Special Education Advocacy

Goal: Enable students and families to exercise their rights within the Special Education system.

Implementation Targets:
• Assess and create a database of current training programs and materials available to self-advocate and families about inclusive education and transition to adulthood.
• As needed develop complimentary cognitively accessible resources and tools for self-advocate and families to understand their rights to an inclusive school environment and transition to adulthood.
• Utilizing all means of technology develop user friendly access to information and training resources for transition from school life to adult life.
• Collaborate with NJ Department of Education and implement an advocacy strategy to support the distribution of information and coach child study teams statewide.
• Assist under-served school districts in forming Special Education Parent Advisory Councils to assist students and families to effectively advocate for appropriate support.

4.  Employment

Goal: Advance New Jersey’s practices/performance as an Employment First state considering all individuals with developmental disabilities.

Implementation Targets:
• Evaluate New Jersey’s Employment First policies and practices compared to best practices across the county.
• Support pilot programs utilizing identified best practices to determine the effectiveness of these practices in New Jersey.
• Develop and implement advocacy strategies for employment from best practices.
• Develop and implement an advocacy plan to increase day programming opportunities for individuals unable to obtain competitive employment.

5.  Transportation

Goal: Advocate statewide for clear policies based on the principle that transportation should be available to accommodate the lives of people with disabilities.

Implementation Targets:
• Survey and publish the results of accommodations and services for persons with disabilities on fixed-route rail and buses, Access Link, and paratransit services in each county.
• Using survey results develop and implement a transportation advocacy plan that ensures transportation is available to accommodate the lives of people with disabilities.
• Support pilot programs utilizing identified best practices to determine the effectiveness of these practices in New Jersey.

6.  Health and Wellness

Goal: Advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities to have the same access to quality healthcare as their peers.

Implementation Targets:
• Support the development and training of healthcare providers throughout the state on individuals with developmental disabilities.
• Develop materials and trainings that enable families and self-advocate exercising their right to appeal adverse health care decisions in the various systems.
• Facilitate/support the assembly and maintenance of a database of healthcare programs, providers, resources, materials beneficial in serving individuals with developmental disabilities.

7.  Housing

Goal: Advance New Jersey’s practices/performance in the provision of housing for all individuals with developmental disabilities.

Implementation Targets:
• Evaluate New Jersey’s Housing policies and practices compared to best practices across the county.
• Support pilot programs utilizing identified best practices to determine the effectiveness of these practices in New Jersey.
• Develop and implement advocacy strategies for housing from best practices.
• Develop and implement an advocacy plan to increase housing options for people with developmental disabilities.

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