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ABLE Account Enrollment Now Open in NJ

June 18, 2018

The NJ Department of Human Services today announced a new way for individuals with disabilities and their families to save and pay for disability-related expenses. Individuals and families can find NJ ABLE account enrollment information here.

Autism New Jersey is grateful to federal legislators and leaders who spearheaded the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act and the NJ champions Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-3) and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-6) who passed legislation to make it law in New Jersey. During this bill’s advancement through the Legislature, Autism New Jersey and sister disability organizations supported this legislation at key points. Then, since its passage into law in 2016, we frequently weighed in with the Christie and now Murphy administrations to communicate its high-priority level for our community.

Autism New Jersey encourages families to explore their financial savings options and find the option(s) that work best for them. If you have questions about special needs planning or any difficulties with enrollment, please contact our helpline at 800.4.AUTISM.

Autism New Jersey remains committed to advancing public policies that help individuals with autism and their families afford the extraordinary financial costs and lessen the emotional burden of autism.  Learn more about ABLE Accounts>>

 

Autism New Jersey Talks Key Issues with Acting Education Commissioner

May 15, 2018

On May 8th, Autism New Jersey’s Executive Director, Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, and Public Policy Director, Eric Eberman, met with the Acting Commissioner of the Department of Education, Dr. Lamont Repollet, to discuss the educational needs of students with autism throughout the state and the Department’s special education initiatives.Acting Education Commissioner

Dr. Buchanan raised a number of critical issues such as the special education ombudsman, autism specialist position, guidance on the new law that provides safeguards for the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, professional development for teachers, and approved private schools. Acting Commissioner Repellot was sensitive to our concerns, stated his commitment to exploring the issues further, and emphasized his support for the full range of educational placements needed by students with autism.

As the former superintendent of the Asbury Park School District, Acting Commissioner Repollet has an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by public and private schools and, more importantly, students with autism. Autism New Jersey looks forward to a continued dialogue with the Acting Commissioner and the Department to continue to improve educational opportunities for students with autism. 

 

Higher Standards for Behavioral Supports

Autism New Jersey effectively advocates for changes to improve service delivery

May 15, 2018

Last week, the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) released the revised Supports Program Policies and Procedures Manual and Community Care Program Policies and Procedures Manual which include updated provider qualifications for Behavioral Supports that are based on the recommendations made by Autism New Jersey and the NJABA Adult Services Workgroup.

Last year, Autism New Jersey and the NJABA Adult Services Workgroup convened a Behavioral Supports Workgroup made up of professionals in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to review the language and qualifications for Behavioral Supports and formulate recommendations for improvement. Autism New Jersey met with the DDD to share the workgroup’s recommendations and discuss making changes to the qualifications. After months of work and collaboration with the DDD, we are pleased to see that our hard work has paid off. The updated provider qualifications will now ensure that only individuals who have received proper clinical training and/or who are under supervision, particularly in ABA, can provide Behavioral Supports. Read more>>

 

Governor Murphy’s 2019 Proposed Budget Includes Increased Funding

April 28, 2018

On March 13, 2018, Governor Murphy released his proposed budget for the fiscal year 2019. With budget hearings underway in Trenton, we eagerly await the Legislature’s review.

We are encouraged by Governor Murphy’s prioritization of individuals with I/DD, including autism, as evidenced by the inclusion of funding for new services in the Children’s System of Care and Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). Read more>>

 

New Jersey Autism Prevalence Rate Rises to 1 in 34 in New CDC Report

State Prevalence Rate Up 19%; National Rate Up to 1 in 59

April 26, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report today showing the rate of children identified with an autism spectrum disorder remains at 1 in 59 children nationally.  This statistic is based on the CDC's evaluation of health and educational records of 8-year-old children in 2014 in 11 states, including New Jersey. 

New Jersey again has the highest rates of those states evaluated, with 1 in 34 (3% of children).. This percentage is higher than the average percentage identified with ASD (1.7%) in all communities in the United States where CDC tracked ASD in 2014. The New Jersey rate marks an increase of 19% from the previous 1 in 41 statistic released two years ago.  Learn more>>

 

Governor releases Transition Committee Reports

February 14, 2018

On January 26th, Governor Murphy released final reports from the 14 Transition Committees that were charged with establishing priorities and recommendations for the first 100 days of the new administration covering. Our Executive Director, Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, was one of forty plus members of the Human and Children Services Transition Committee. Although the report from the Human and Children Services Transition Committee covers a vast array of issues, there were a number of recommendations in the report that will directly impact the autism community. Of most importance to our community, the report recommends that the Murphy Administration appoint members to Developmental Disability Fee-for-Service Transition Oversight Board, distribute the $20 million FY 2018 budget appropriation for Direct Support Professionals, establish a nonprofit resource center, and enact legislation establishing a caregiver task force to determine how best to assist families of individuals with special needs. We are pleased to report that the $20 million budget appropriation for Direct Support Professionals is in the process of being distributed. We look forward to getting updates on the other recommendations and our continued work with the Murphy Administration within the first 100 days and the months and years to come. You can read the full report here.

 

New Law Protects Students with Disabilities

Requires long overdue regulations, limitations for use of restraint and seclusion

January 18, 2018

Legislation that garnered bipartisan support was signed into law by Governor Christie on January 15, 2018. Where there are currently no regulations that govern the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, this new law establishes protections for students and much needed requirements for the use of restraint and seclusion.

Autism New Jersey actively advocated for this law since the bill’s introduction in February 2016. Read more>>

 

Governor Murphy Takes the Oath of Office

Makes appointments for key commissioners

January 18, 2018

On January 16th, Phil Murphy was sworn in as the 56th Governor of the State of New Jersey.

In his inaugural address, he noted that "a stronger and fairer New Jersey is rooted in an economy that creates better jobs and provides higher wages...and, which remembers that we all have value and we all can contribute, including, and especially, the differently abled." Although his term just began, Governor Murphy has been hard at work filling key cabinet positions over the last few weeks. Read more>>

 



News & Media

Autism New Jersey successfully works with national, regional, state and local reporters and producers to address the issues affecting New Jersey's autism community. If you are a reporter or producer seeking accurate information for a story about autism, as well as New Jersey families affected by autism and the professionals that support them, we can help.

Contact
Jessica Barkosky, Communications  & Marketing Manager 
609.588.8200 x25
jbarkosky@autismnj.org

AUTISM NEW JERSEY
500 Horizon Drive, Suite 530 Robbinsville, NJ 08691
Phone: 609.588.8200; 800.4.AUTISM | Fax: 609.588.8858
Email: information@autismnj.org

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