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17th Anniversary of the Olmstead Decision for Community Living for Individuals with Disabilities

Source: Administration for Community Living. June 2016
 
Seventeen years ago, on June 22, 1999, the Supreme Court decided in Olmstead v. L.C. (Olmstead) that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with disabilities cannot be unnecessarily segregated and must receive services in the most integrated setting possible.
 
The case was brought by two Georgia women whose disabilities include intellectual disabilities and mental illness.

NJ Paid Family Leave - How Can We Make it Better?

NJ is one of only a few states that has paid family leave insurance for families who need to take family leave.  But it isn't being used as much as it should, and it isn't helping families as much as it could.  So how can we make it better?  The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), in collaboration with Advocates for Children of New Jersey, the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, and other advocates, released the findings and recommendations from the New Jersey Parenting Project: Protecting Workers, Nurturing Families: Building an Inclusive Family Leave Insurance Program. This is

LEND Application Pending; Boggs Center Recruiting Possible LEND Family Trainees!

The Boggs Center of Excellence on Development Disabilities, in collaboration with SPAN and other partners, has submitted an application to serve as NJ's LEND project.  They are interested in recruiting family trainees. Family trainees would participate in NJLEND alongside graduate students in Dentistry, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Nursing, Nutrition, Psychology, and Social Work. If we are funded, the program would begin in September and trainees would participate in NJLEND for 300 hours over the course of the academic year, ending in May.

SPAN to Collaborate with National Family Voices in National Center for Family-Professional Partnerships

SPAN partnered with National Family Voices in a successful application to serve as the National Center for Family-Professional Partnerships for 2016-2019 (http://mchb.hrsa.gov/progr…/familypropartnerships/index.html). Funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), the NCFPP is one of six national centers funded to provide technical assistance to improve outcomes for children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN). SPAN's Executive Co-Director Diana Autin will serve as Project Co-Director with Nora Wells and Bev Baker of Family

ESSA: Concerns about school climate as an accountability measure

Source:  National Initiative for Transforming Student & Learning Supports

Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) brings with it concerns and issues about what will and should be done to ensure that every student succeeds. One focus is on improving how accountability is assessed. School accountability is a policy tool with extraordinary power to reshape schools - for good and for bad. Systems are driven by accountability measures. This is particularly so under "reform" conditions.

Newark Schools Water Crisis - Children At Risk

A Brief Look at Lead Poisoning: Lead can build up in the body over a period of months or years. Even a small amount of lead in the body can cause serious problems–hence the term lead poisoning. Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable, because their mental and physical abilities are still developing. Exposure to lead-based paint or paint dust is the most common avenue to lead poisoning. This exists in older buildings and poses a serious health hazard. The reality is that lead poisoning can come from other sources besides paint, including drinking water that contains lead. As the

Parents as Leaders in Early Childhood: Creating Change so ALL Children Succeed

Calling on Parent Leaders who are committed to working together to create change for children from birth to 8!  Come together to learn and share the knowledge and skills for successful leadership and advocacy at the Parent Leadership Institutes sponsored by SPAN's START Project.  Three (3) regional Institutes will feature parent leaders and professionals discussing best practices in addressing: 

  • Family Literacy
  • Access to High Quality Early Care and Education
  • Inclusion in Early Childhood
  • Positive Behavior Supports in Early Childhood Programs
  • Early Learning issues and More

Click here to find dates

SPAN Applauds USDE Actions to Address Widespread Disparities in Special Education

The U.S. Department of Education took a critical step today addressing widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities, proposing a new rule to improve equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  The nation's special education law, IDEA, aims to ensure fairness in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. Yet disparities persist, and students of color remain more likely to be identified as having a disability and face harsher discipline than their white classmates.

In order to address those inequities,

Supported Decision Making and Alternatives to Guardianship

On Tuesday, 2/16/16, SPAN Executive Co-Director, Diana Autin presented a webinar on Supported Decision Making and Alternatives to Guardianship.  With close to 200 registrants, the webinar was well received and highlighted the critical importance of supporting youth with disabilities in making choices and decisions about their own lives.  Missed the webinar?  Click here to access a recording and other important resources!

USDE Calls on Schools to Address Discrimination & Harassment

On December 31, 2015, former Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, and the now Acting Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., released a letter discussing their concerns with discrimination and harassment based on student race, religion, or national origin in schools and institutions of higher education.

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