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Make a Lasting Impression
The SPAN Parent Advocacy Network invites our friends, parents, partners, and affiliated organizations to take part in a unique opportunity to be featured on our Tree of Gratitude, which will grace the entryway of our new office. 

Each year, SPAN reaches thousands of children with the greatest challenges in New Jersey, the US, and internationally. We are proud of our mission to help parents help their children find success in today’s world.

More than 91% of our program funding comes from grants. However, we need individual and corporate contributions to help us meet the quickly changing educational, mental health and healthcare needs of the most vulnerable families in our communities. And remember, since SPAN is also a trainer of professionals, your gift reverberates and can help families across the country!

mother with child with down syndrome

“We became educated and confident to advocate on our children’s behalf.”

– Michelle and Jose Perez

Annual Reports

Testimonies from Our Parents and Partners

Scroll with the arrows to read what people are saying about
How We Make a Difference!

“Although there are many organizations that consider themselves advocates in the disability field, I will tell you that no one else is aggressively watching out for children’s issues—all of them—the way SPAN does. As a mom, I really appreciate that.”  — Brenda R., parent

“SPAN acts as a mega-clearinghouse of relevant and useful information. They do an excellent job of organizing and distributing information from multiple sources related to children with special needs.”  — Pam Kelley, formerly of  Central Jersey Family Health Consortium

“Because of this workshop, my child’s behavior problems are now being properly addressed by the school.”  — A parent who attended SPAN trainings
“SPAN’s commitment to families, particularly those facing the greatest challenges, is evident in all aspects of its work, ensuring that family perspectives are always at the forefront of all state initiatives.”  — A state partner
“I called dozens of state, county and local agencies seeking guidance and support… Rarely, if ever, did I receive return calls. When I reached you, things changed. You opened my eyes to help that could be provided by my daughter’s school, via an IEP or Section 504 plan. You carefully and thoroughly guided me through the process of accessing these services for her.”  — A parent who called our Warm Line @ 1 (800) 654-SPAN (7726)

“Our collaboration-partnership is possible and effective because we have trust in each other, equality and a balance of power, a shared vision and commitment to the same goals.”  — Gloria Rodriguez, former Assistant Commissioner, NJ Department of Health

“I became involved with working for SPAN-NJ as a family resource specialist. In this position I was able to work on various projects in order to empower, guide and educate Hispanic parents in the special education law. This job not only allowed me to empower myself and others to help their children, but also inspired me to continue this work with other disabled populations.”  — An advocate parent
“The workshop was wonderful and inspiring. The question and answer time was helpful and empowering.”  — A parent who attended SPAN trainings
“I was a deeply worried mom before I called you last week regarding our son’s issues. After we finished the conversation, I was an advocate for my son…. You have been an enormous help for me to know what my rights are as well as the responsibilities of the school district, and explained the law. Also you shared many informative tips and ideas about how to effectively communicate with the school. I could never have achieved my goals without your help.”  — A parent who called our Warm Line @ 1 (800) 654-SPAN (7726)
“After all these years, I finally know about the IEP. This is very valuable information that gives the law in a way that made it understandable.”  — A parent who attended SPAN trainings
“SPAN offered me more than just help, they gave me a lifeline and helped me with my health, marriage, and essentially to get my life back. We struggled as a couple with our six year old son with autism and deaf-blindness… My son was non-verbal and had many self-injurious behaviors and did not sleep at nights so our home life was very difficult. When I was connected to SPAN, this was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.”  — A parent
“I learned to be more proactive. I now understand how to ask for services. I now understand the rights of my child.”  — A parent who attended SPAN trainings
“I was ashamed so I almost didn’t come to this workshop. Now I know there is somewhere to go for help with my child in the juvenile justice system. I know their rights and I know where to turn.”  — A parent
I learned more so I can help other parents. I will try my best to relate this information to the school liaison; perhaps we can educate all the parents that are in the dark!”  — A parent who attended SPAN trainings
You have been with us every step of the way. Your knowledge about how to navigate this system has been priceless to us, and I cannot thank you enough. Without your guidance, my daughter would not be able to make it through her school day.”  — A parent
“As a former family resource specialist for SPAN, I now bring all of my knowledge to my country of Dominican Republic where the rehabilitation law has just begun. There is a desperate need for awareness and empowerment for individuals with disabilities and I hope to share what I know with them. Thank you SPAN-NJ for giving me the tools to become an advocate!”  — Luz, an advocate mother
“SPAN has been an inspiration for raising awareness to families of children with special needs that they can make a difference in their schools and the community.”  — A parent who attended SPAN trainings
“The consistent and targeted help and information that I learned helped me start to really believe that my family had a bright future. We had asked and cried out for help in the past and always heard ‘No’ as the answer, but once we learned our parental rights, we learned how to ask and we were amazed that we were able to get results and the supports that our son needed.”  — A parent

Guidestar’s Seal of Transparency

Platinum Seal

We are proud to have earned the 2022 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStarUSA! By adding information about our goals, strategies, capabilities, achievements, and progress indicators, we are highlighting the difference we help to make in the world.