A Publication of the Division of Developmental Disabilities
Vol. V, Issue VIII December 2011
firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Christie, Governor
Kim Guadagno, Lt. Governor
Jennifer Velez, Commissioner
Dawn Apgar, Deputy Commissioner
“WE ARE MAKING HISTORY HERE!”: ARAB AMERICANS AND DISABILITIES CONFERENCE DRAWS OVER 150 PEOPLE
“We are making history here!” said Amani Shahin, one of the Arab American panelists at the December 10 Arab Americans and Disabilities Conference held at the Somerset D o u b l e t r e e Hotel. Ms. Shahin, who has a sibling with a developmental disability, was one of a dynamic panel of parents, siblings, and individuals with disabilities. The panel, moderated by Raja Salloum, a therapist at the Mental Health Center of Passaic County, followed an excellent keynote by Helen Samhan, former Executive Director of the Arab American Institute in Washington, DC. Samhan gave the audience a rich overview of the history and culture of Arab Americans in the United States.
Approximately half of the registrants at the conference were families and professionals from Arab American communities and networks in New Jersey; the other half was professionals who work for disability and human service organizations in New Jersey. Many of the workshops they attended were geared toward helping Arab Americans understand the resources and services open to them as citizens and residents of New Jersey, from infancy to adulthood.
The other workshops focused on issues, customs, and cultural dynamics within Arab American communities that need to be understood in order to develop more effective, culturally sensitive supports for families and individuals.
The conference was also the first of its kind that participants were aware of that focused on Arab Americans and disabilities in the United States. The strong support in planning the conference from leaders in Arab American organizations to representatives from human service agencies, like the Division of Developmental Disabilities, led to articles in Arabic newspapers, a first ever Radio Tahrir interview with leaders of the conference, and the filming of interviews and parts of the conference for a weekly show called “The Bridge” on ART, Arab Radio and TV. (The tentative broadcast date is Friday, December 23 at 10 pm.)
However, it was the spirit of the day and the pervasive sense of gratitude for a place to talk about issues related to disabilities that were the real highlights. NJ
Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez, in her opening remarks, noted the Department’s commitment to serving Arab American individuals and families more effectively. The spirit led to a decision midway through the day to organize an Arab American support network in New Jersey for
families. Those interested in participating should contact Raja Salloum email@example.com or Alia Suqi firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attendees also enjoyed a wonderful lunch of Middle Eastern cuisine and the chance to browse nearly 20 exhibits with information on available supports and
services. Maysoon Zayid, a nationally known comedian and commentator who happens to have cerebral palsy, was also part of a special panel. The people who wanted to meet her afterward were one indication of her celebrity status.
The conference was coordinated by The Boggs Center in partnership with the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities, the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities, Disability Rights New Jersey, the NJ Division of Disability Services, and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, along with five other co-sponsors
and partners in collaboration with 11 Arab American organizations and networks.
For more information, see the conference program at http://rwjms.umdnj.
edu/boggscenter/conferences/CulturalAwarenessConference.html or contact Bill Gaventa at email@example.com.
Direct Support Professionals Advance their Skills in Supporting
Recognizing the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the College of Direct Support (CDS), Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Jennifer Velez announced that more than 1,500 direct support professionals in the state have taken courses to advance their skills in providing care to people with developmental disabilities.
In September 2010, DHS announced the launch of this advanced internet based
educational program for professionals providing direct care to people receiving services through DHS’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).
Implementation of the CDS began in November 2010. “It speaks volumes about the commitment these caregivers have to their clients that they are availing themselves of this innovative learning system,” said Commissioner Velez. “Care strategies are evolving constantly and now, with this sophisticated curriculum, staff can keep up with these advances, earn credits, and expand their skill-set.”
The majority of DDD consumers live at home with their families - a situation made possible, in part, by the supplemental support of professional caregivers. For individuals who live in DDD-funded residential programs, or one of the seven state-operated developmental centers, direct support professionals are the primary caregivers.
“Whether they are providing supplemental assistance to family caregivers or full-time care, direct support professionals assist people with developmental disabilities in living more independently and in achieving personal goals,” added Velez.
The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, in collaboration with DDD, provides coordination and technical assistance for the CDS. Staff members from 65 private provider agencies have participated in CDS to date and the seven state-operated developmental centers recently joined the program. There are approximately 30,000 full and part-time caregiving professionals in New Jersey serving DDD consumers.
In addition to the required pre-service trainings for all direct support professionals in CPR, First-Aid, Medication, Developmental Disabilities and Preventing Abuse and Neglect, the College of Direct Support offers courses on a variety of topics, such as Autism, Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes, Depression, Individual Rights and Choice, Employment Supports, and Positive Behavioral Supports.
“The challenge today for direct care professionals is meeting a wide-variety of
needs in diverse environments,” said Commissioner Velez. “The College of Direct Support provides information that prepares staff members for caregiving and advances the professionalism of this dedicated workforce.”
Direct support professionals assist people with developmental disabilities with daily tasks, including meal preparation; assistance in taking medications; bathing; dressing; and getting to work and activities. Most are employees of private provider agencies under contract with DDD. To learn more about the College of Direct Support in New Jersey, click here.
DHS Commissioner Receives Leadership Award at NJACP Conference
At the 28th Annual New Jersey Association of Community Providers’ (NJACP) Conference, DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez was presented with the NJACP 2011 Public Policy Award. The event took place at the Atlantic City Convention Center on November 18, and the Commissioner was honored during a special luncheon for her commitment to the forward movement of public policy to support community inclusion and quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The conference is held each year to provide educational forums to explore best practices in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. This year’s theme was “Your Search Engine for Innovation.”
Pictured from left to right are:
Rachel Simon (keynote speaker),
Kim Todd (CEO of NJACP),
Jennifer Velez (DHS Commissioner),
Genie Drobit (NJACP President of the
Board of Directors), and
Ray Fantuzzi (Immediate Past President, NJACP Board of Directors)
USA PARALYMPICS EXPANDS OUTREACH Most people with physical or visual disabilities don’t have the chance to participate in regular sports activities. By partnering with community and national organizations across the country, U.S. Paralympics is working hard to expand these opportunities. Starting with official Paralympic Sport Clubs, a network made of hundreds of community-based programs, our reach is growing and the goal is to have 250 clubs in American cities by 2012.
Research proves daily physical activity raises self-esteem, helps individuals develop peer relationships, increases achievement, enhances overall health, and improves quality of life.
This searchable database will allow you to find a program in your community so
you can get active now: http://findaclub.usparalympics.org/programs.aspx
A “SEASON OF SERVICE”
Below is a message to DDD’s stakeholders from Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez:
You may have noticed more news stories and articles about volunteerism these last few weeks. It's the nature of the holidays, but it also is in response to a call from Governor and Mrs. Christie. They have announced a statewide 'Season of Service' and are encouraging New Jerseyans to support the state’s non-profit organizations with their time.
Governor and Mrs. Christie recognize, as we do at the Department, the valuable work the non-profit community performs on behalf of residents. They also know that there is an increased number of people requiring assistance and that the work you do is buoyed by the generosity of others.
Whether through entitlement programs or in soup kitchens, in health care centers, at child care agencies, in organizations for people with physical or developmental disabilities, working with addiction and mental health disorders,
or in service to the visually impaired or hard of hearing – you all are integral to New Jersey’s safety net. For you, every day of every week of every month of every year, is your season of service.
As we all know, the need for services lasts beyond the holidays. That’s why the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism has expanded its resources to include more information for the public regarding service organizations and how to
help by developing the "Volunteerism and National Service - New Jersey Program Directory.” It is a listing of the various volunteer centers, Americorps, Vista and Senior Corps programs in New Jersey.
Happy Holidays to everyone, and on behalf of the people you serve, thank you.
VOLUNTEERS AT THE HEART OF ABILITY Some think of it as community service; others refer to it as volunteering or civic engagement. Enable, Inc. simply calls it a great way to help persons with disabilities experience healthy interactions and strong community involvement.
Volunteers are an integral component of Enable’s services for hundreds of men and women with disabilities and their families in Central New Jersey.
The organization’s “Connect with Enable” volunteer program educates and involves local citizens, including high school and college students, retired persons, corporate teams, faith-based groups, and scout troops, in the range of residential and in-home support.
Last year, over 750 volunteers shared 5,500 hours to benefit Enable’s consumers. These men, women, and young adults provide friendly visits, plant flowers, celebrate birthdays, sand decks, prepare meals, and even hold hands. While Enable is hesitant to place a dollar value on the generous time these volunteers donated, The Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs committed to advancing the common good in America, estimates the financial worth of these hours to be over $118,000.
“People come to us because they want to connect to an important cause, make a difference, and meet new friends. They represent individuals and groups at different stages of their lives, and they come from all over Central New Jersey,” explained Sharon Copeland, Enable’s executive director. “Still, there is a common thread in every one of these volunteer experiences: the connection they make. They experience how their unique contribution–whether it’s painting a room or teaching a game of chess–makes a meaningful difference for another human being.”
The volunteer program was born out of Enable’s commitment to helping consumers live fully, as active neighbors in their local community. The philosophy behind all of the organization’s programming includes a strong mandate to ensure that persons who live within Enable’s residential care or receive support
through Enable’s in-home services have strong relationships with the communities in which they live.
Research points to the value of using volunteers to help integrate persons with disabilities into their local community. Although a group home may be developed in a community setting or a person with a disability may live in his or her own home, most professionals agree that access alone does not create acceptance into the neighborhood.
One national survey reported that 8 out of 10 residents with disabilities have no regular social contacts with non-disabled people. Another report states that almost half of the people served in four different community settings had no close friends at all.
Moreover, less than one person in four had a friend who was not also a client in the same service. (Studies noted in Members of Each Other, John O’Brien and Connie Lyle O’Brien, 1996.) When the general population has more interaction with individuals with disabilities, there is greater understanding, acceptance, and involvement of people with disabilities in everyday activities and events.
“We always have a variety of opportunities to involve new friends. Two of our more current needs are helping as a friendly visitor and getting ready for our Annual Walk where consumers participate,” explained Copeland. “There isn’t a volunteer who we haven’t found a great fit for, and there isn’t a volunteer who hasn’t thanked us for the experience we have given him or her.”
Loni, a volunteer in her twenties, would agree. She spends time as a Friendly Assistant with Ashley, a teenager who has a disorder that causes unexpected seizures. Ashley’s health issues often leave her feeling isolated. During their time together, Loni and Ashley watch television, talk about their favorite music, and read magazines. “Loni is a godsend to our family,” shared Ashley’s mother Pam. “It makes Ashley so happy when Loni comes to see her. She is a terrific mentor and just like a big sister.”
Learn more about Enable’s volunteer programs by visiting www.enablenj.org or
calling 609-987-5003, x124.
A team of volunteers from Bristol Myers-Squibb recently primed and painted a deck at Enable’s group home.
FCA RELEASES FIVE NEW FACT SHEETS ON CRITICAL CAREGIVING ISSUES
Family Caregiver Alliance's (FCA) National Center on Caregiving has released five new fact sheets detailing critical issues in caregiving and long-term care in the US.
The new and updated publications join a comprehensive library of more than 60 FCA fact sheets that cover many of topics relating to family caregiving, from financial implications to policy impacts, demographics, chronic health conditions, caregiver health, and family dynamics.
All fact sheets are available for FREE on the FCA website at www.caregiver.org. The new titles are:
-Selected Caregiver Statistics:This offers an updated synopsis of a wide range of statistical and demographic studies of unpaid/family caregiving in the US. Topics include an examination of the numbers of caregivers, age, relationships between caregiver and care recipient, gender, race, duration of care, impact on employment, economic value, stress on the family, access to support, and more.
-Caregiving with Your Siblings: This provides a description of the often complicated changes in family roles as the dynamics shift during care for ill or elderly parents. The fact sheet identifies strategies to reduce stress and conflict, responses to expectations, sharing the responsibilities, and more. This fact sheet also is available in Spanish and Chinese.
-Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI):This gives information on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this perplexing brain disorder. The fact sheet discusses how MCI differs from Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias, when it is a precursor to AD, how to cope with memory loss and other challenges, key sources of support, recommended readings, and more.
-Legal Issues for LGBT Caregivers: This updated fact sheet includes specific information for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as they deal with aging, caregiving, and incapacity. Topics include: creating an estate plan, Durable Powers of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directives, qualifications for Medicare or Medi-Cal, and the use of other legal tools, such as a Living Will.
-Special Concerns of LGBT Caregivers: This new fact sheet further discusses the unique considerations of caregivers in the LGBT community. Topics include: car for domestic partners, friends or spouses; redefinitions of family; information on finding supportive health and service providers; discrimination; and maintaining well-being.
According to FCA Executive Director Kathleen Kelly, "The fact sheets are used by families, service providers, researchers, policy experts, reporters and legislative staffs, and in healthcare and academic settings as well. They were developed in response to needs we have seen in the community for clear, unbiased information about caregiving—a complex subject that touches nearly everyone and impacts public policy at all levels."
Family Caregiver Alliance and the National Center on Caregiving offer local and national programs to support and sustain the important work of families and friends caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions. A wealth of caregiving advice, resource listings, newsletters, fact sheets, research reports, policy updates, discussion groups, and the Family Care Navigator are available free on our website. Visit http://www.caregiver.org or call (800) 445-8106 for more information.
THE NEW JERSEY COUNCIL ON DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES 20TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBIT
The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities recently invited members of the public to view an exhibit commemorating 20 years of providing resources and self-advocacy training for people with developmental disabilities and their families. The exhibit was on display in Goldfinch Square at the New Jersey Statehouse from Monday, October 17 to Friday, October 21. From there, the exhibit moved to the New Jersey State Library, where it was on display on the library’s ground level from Monday, October 24 to Friday, October 28.
This exhibit featured key aspects of the Council’s activities and mission, showcasing its community outreach initiatives; self-advocacy and family support
programs; as well as the work of several grant projects the Council has supported over the years. The multi-table display aimed to educate the public on the Council’s goals and functions, and to share its vision of a truly inclusive society for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Since its establishment in 1971, the New Jersey Council on Developmental
Disabilities has pursued its mandate to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and their families have every opportunity to participate in the design and implementation of programs, services, and supports that promote self-determination and community inclusion.
Through outreach, leadership and advocacy programs, and through innovative grant projects, the Council works to realize its vision that all individuals with developmental disabilities have the opportunity to be active members of their community; to set real goals and make their own choices; and to exercise the same rights, privileges, responsibilities, and opportunities that any other New Jersey resident enjoys.
from the Division of Developmental Disabilities
News From The Boggs Center William “Bill” Gaventa, MDiv, Honored with Special Recognition Award from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities
William “Bill” C. Gaventa, MDiv, recently was honored with the Special Recognition Award by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). The Special Recognition Award is presented to an individual in recognition of outstanding contributions toward creating more inclusive communities for people with developmental disabilities and their families. It was noted that “Bill’s leadership has heightened awareness of the value of spirituality in the lives of people with disabilities and provided the tools for faith-based communities to welcome them. For more than 35 years, Bill has worked tirelessly at a local, state, national, and international level to improve awareness of the importance of religion in the lives of individuals with disabilities.”
The award was presented to Bill at the AUCD 40th Annual Conference in Arlington, Virginia on November 8. Bill is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and the Director of Community and Congregational Supports at The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
SPECIAL NEEDS TALK RADIO
The Coffee Klatch - Special Needs Coffee Klatch Ltd. – is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing resources and educational programs for special needs
families. In an effort to continue providing outstanding broadcasts to the special needs community, Special Needs Coffee Klatch Ltd., has expanded with the addition of a sister network, Special Needs Talk Radio.
Special Needs Talk Radio is a forum for parents, educators, and experts within the special needs community that was established to help them learn from one another and to offer support.
To date, the success and response to the programs on The Coffee Klatch have been overwhelming. The programming covers a broad range of topics and children’s disorders, which has brought a unity among followers as well as a greater understanding of these children, a greater respect for their parents, and the acceptance and appreciation of the differences in both.
Become empowered, become confident, become the best parent you can be. Meet and learn from those who have dedicated their careers to treating, protecting, and educating special needs children. Meet the parents who have
walked in your shoes, understand your fears, and are here to guide you.
Listen to Special Needs Talk Radio at:
http://www.specialneedstalkradio.com/ Follow the show on TWITTER: #TheCoffeeK
WHEN YOU HAVE MEDICAID AND OTHER INSURANCE: BALANCE BILLING, CHOOSING PROVIDERS, AND OTHER ADVICE ON THIRD PARTY LIABILITY Prepared by the NJ Department of Human Services, this new guide aims to help
individuals comprehend health coverage in New Jersey if they have Medicaid and Medicare and/or other health insurance coverage. The TPL Coverage Guide is also meant to assist Medicaid Health Plan members and families in understanding the details with service payments.
A Spanish translation is available as well. To view the guide, visit:
AbilityPath.org is an online hub and special needs community to help parents and professionals to learn, connect, and live a more balanced life—through all phases of a child's growth and development. The website combines social networking features with expert content from AbilityPath.org’s team of educators, parents, therapists, and medical professionals.
AbilityPath.org's mission is to build a community that brings together professionals and parents of children with special needs from around the globe to learn, share, and strengthen the process of supporting the ongoing healthy development of children and youth with special needs and disabilities. Content is available in English and Spanish and features advice, toolkits, and other practical day to day living tips so families can learn, laugh and live a more balanced life. AbilityPath’s community blogs, forums, events, and groups allow parents to connect and share experiences and stories, providing an outlet of support and encouragement throughout their parenting journey.
AbilityPath.org was created by Community Gatepath, a non-profit with over 90 years of experience serving families and children with special needs. Community Gatepath fosters hope, dignity, and independence among children and adults with disabilities. It is one of the largest providers of services for people with disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over 8,500 individuals annually receive support or direct care through Community Gatepath.
ANNOUNCEMENTS_The_Sierra_Group_Candidate_Sourcing_Division__ANNNOUNCING__PAID_SUMMER_INTERSHIPS_–_LEADING_INVESTMENT_BANK'>ANNOUNCEMENTS The Sierra Group Candidate Sourcing Division
PAID SUMMER INTERSHIPS – LEADING INVESTMENT BANK JOB OPENING: Summer Analyst / Summer Associate DATE POSITION AVAILABLE: June 2012 LOCATION: New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Menlo Park, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Europe, Calgary, Toronto, the UK Salary Range: Competitive Wall Street Salary – during 10 week internship Education: Students of all Majors are encouraged to apply! http://www.barcap.com/seeyourself
When you Apply Online be CERTAIN to check REFERRED by ‘Other’ then type in – The Sierra Group.
CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY when you are called for an interview: 800-973-7687 x112. GENERAL JOB DESCRIPTION: Summer Analyst Internships available in the following areas: Investments Banking, Sales & Trading, Research, Operations, Finance, Technology, Human Resources, Compliance, Event and Roadshow Marketing, Credit Risk, Market Risk and Legal.
Summer Associate Internships (MBA) available in the following areas: Investment Banking, Sales & Trading, Research
Job Seekers with Disabilities, including Veterans are in DEMAND in today’s diverse workforce. At the Sierra Group, we continue to offer an array of ways to connect you to these companies.
IT IS OUR JOB TO HELP YOU BE SEEN.
For more information and to register with the Sierra Group’s Recruiting Portal, go to:
and Mercer County Coalition for Coordinated Transportation Host Stakeholder Event
The Mercer County Coalition for Coordinated Transportation held a stakeholder meeting in October that was attended by nearly 100 community members, each with an interest in the county’s developing mobility system. Human service organizations, advocacy groups, transit leaders, and transportation system users gathered at Project Freedom in Hamilton to hear about the county's coordination accomplishments and also to help craft an action plan moving forward.
At present, the coalition has numerous initiatives on the horizon, including the continued effort to obtain information about the transportation system and its users, the development of a series of targeted mobility projects, and the commencement of a more concerted outreach operation throughout the Mercer County community. Without adequate information, stakeholders and consumers will never quite be able to utilize the transportation system or benefit from the coalition's endeavors to the optimal extent. However, with events like this one and the tremendous showing of support from the various communities involved, it is assured that the county's commitment to improving mobility for each and every one of its residents will continue.
To learn more about this project or to get involved, contact Steve Monchak, Director of Transportation for The Arc Mercer, at (609) 406-0181 x127 or visit www.arcmercer.org.
HARD DAY’S NIGHT PAYS OFF
By: Christopher Reardon, Press Consultant for Community Access Unlimited
For more than 17 years, Reginald Payne has worked the parking lot of the ShopRite in Clark, returning carts, helping shoppers load their cars, and chatting with customers. Rain or shine, six days a week Payne moves through the lot earning his paycheck.
Eight years ago, Payne decided the 48 hours per week he works at ShopRite was not enough – he wanted more money. Since then, he works an additional 27 hours each week across the street at Target, performing the same job. Six days a week at ShopRite, six nights a week at Target.
What is unique about Payne beyond his work ethic is the fact that he is a person with disabilities. He has a developmental disability. In fact, Payne could serve as the spokesperson for National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month, which is celebrated each year in October.
Currently, there are 18.5 million people with disabilities who are employed in the United States, nearly 56 percent of the working age population with disabilities, according to the US Department of Labor. They comprise 21.1 percent of the total labor force.
Nearly one-third of workers with a disability are employed part-time, compared with about one-fifth of those with no disability. In addition, people with disabilities are more likely to be self-employed than those without.
People with disabilities also fill a cross section of occupations, according to research by the Institute for Community Inclusion. People with disabilities account for: 8.7 percent of workers in service occupations; 8.4 percent
in production, paving, and materials moving; 7.0 percent in construction,
extraction, and maintenance; 6.4 percent in sales and office occupations; 4.7 percent in professional and related positions; and 4.4 percent in management, business, and finance operations.
Through employment, people with disabilities achieve independence but also help support the community, according to Sid Blanchard, executive director of
Community Access Unlimited (CAU), a non-profit that serves people with disabilities and at-risk youth. Payne is a member of CAU.
“Many of our members are employed, some for many years by the same company,” Blanchard said. “They are valued employees who help make their businesses stronger. They pay taxes, shop, and contribute to the local economy. These are people whose lives are flourishing.”
The businesses that employ people with disabilities benefit, as well, according to a 2010 survey of employers released by the Kessler Foundation and the National
Organization on Disability.
According to the report, “Most employers say that employees with disabilities have the same flexibility, absenteeism, and aptitude for acquiring new skills as
employees without disabilities. More importantly, one-third report that employees with disabilities have more dedication (35 percent) and less turnover (33 percent).”
In addition, despite a common misperception that there are incremental costs associated with hiring people with disabilities, 62 percent of employers surveyed
reported no increase in costs when hiring people with disabilities versus people without disabilities.
However, while companies more and more have adopted diversity programs, less than 30 percent of those surveyed have a program or policy in place regarding hiring people with disabilities, according to the report.
Payne takes a simpler view of employment the benefits. “I budget everything - bills, rent, credit union, travel,” he said. “It’s very important to pay your bills.”
Payne also enjoys traveling and recently purchased a new Ford Fusion after reaching 89,000 miles on his old car. He puts money aside for retirement, as well. “But I have a long way to go before that,” he said. Like most American workers, Payne also thinks the government takes too much money out of his paychecks.
Payne has plenty of company in the working world among his fellow CAU members with disabilities. John Hargrove has worked at Standard Nipple Works, Inc. in Garwood as a machine operator since 1987. Employment enabled Hargrove to become a homeowner. He took classes to learn about setting goals, saving money, and creditworthiness and then purchased a condo three years ago.
Michele Bartolucci has worked at the Swan Motel in Linden for 10 years, and Brian Simmonelli recently celebrated 25 years working at DureX Incorporated
in Union, a metal stamp and sheet fabrication business, earning a $1,500 bonus. He is a machine operator who works 40 hours per week.
“I like the people and my work,” Simmonelli said. “We kid around a lot. Everyone
gets along really well. Plus, I get four weeks of vacation and money that I put right in the bank.”
Businesses each day bank on employees with disabilities.
STORY IDEAS? E-MAIL US AT: DDDNEWSLETTER@DHS.STATE.NJ.US WE WILL HAPPILY CONSIDER YOUR REQUEST!
NJCDD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RECEIVES HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD FROM COMMUNITY ACCESS UNLIMITED
On October 26, 2011, NJCDD Executive Director Dr. Alison Lozano was presented with the Humanitarian of the Year award at the 31st Annual Community Access Unlimited (CAU) Gala awards ceremony and dinner dance. This prestigious honor is given each year to a person who has shown a commitment to providing ongoing support for people with disabilities and at-risk youth, and who is a force for policy change throughout New Jersey.
The CAU Humanitarian of the Year Award was presented by Dr. Deborah Spitalnik, Executive Director of the Boggs Center for Excellence at UMDNJ, who highlighted the many successes of the Council, which have come as a result of the leadership, depth of knowledge, and tireless dedication of Dr. Lozano.
In addition to receiving her award from the CAU, Dr. Lozano was also presented with a resolution from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, as well as a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from United States Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D – 6th District). These additional honors, which were presented to her by Union County Freeholders Angel Estrada and Christopher Hudak, were given in celebration of Dr. Lozano’s outstanding achievements on behalf of the developmental disabilities community.
Dr. Lozano’s legacy of service and achievement in the field of disabilities spans over 30 years. Her many professional and academic accomplishments include working as the Executive Director of the Utah Council on Developmental
Disabilities, the Director of Social Work at the Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities in Memphis, Tennessee, and as a Genetic Social Worker at both the University of Tennessee and at the Texas Department of MHMR. She has also taught at the University of Utah and University of Tennessee Colleges of Social Work.
In addition to her Ph.D. in social work, Dr. Lozano has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. In pursuing her doctorate, Lozano conducted research on the lives of parents with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which was guided by her commitment to the rights and abilities of people with disabilities.
In accepting the award, Dr. Lozano shared how her career was enriched not only by her professional activities but by her experiences raising a niece with developmental disabilities and fighting to ensure that she has a meaningful and self-directed adult life in the community. Dr. Lozano also used the opportunity to recognize and thank the many CAU members who are also NJCDD Council members and members of the Council’s self-advocacy program, the Monday Morning project. She expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to continue to collaborate with community partners, like CAU, who share the Council’s vision of building a community where all individuals enjoy full inclusion, respect, and dignity.
ARC MERCER RECEIVES TWO DISTINGUISHED AWARDS In November, the Arc Mercer was the recipient of two distinguished awards.
On November 4, the American Conference on Diversity, Mercer County Chapter, presented Arc Mercer with the 2011 Humanitarian Award. Then, on November
15, the Arc Mercer was presented with the 2011 Communicators Award by The Arc of New Jersey.
The Arc Mercer feels the work of the American Conference on Diversity is among one of the most important activities they can participate in to create a positive, inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse state; educating and empowering our next generation of leaders; enhancing NJ workplaces, and helping to create more inclusive communities. The Arc Mercer was honored for their commitment to embracing and promoting diversity, inclusion, respect, and understanding in the Mercer County area.
Additionally, The Arc of New Jersey honored the Arc Mercer with the Communicators Award for its employee newsletter, The Arc Angel. This communication tool is recognized as an effective and innovative tool to keep employees informed about their agency. Each month employees look forward to receiving the newsletter that is attached to their paycheck. The Arc Angel is published for employees by the Human Resources Department. Upcoming events are highlighted as well as regular features, which include information on the Employee of the Month and the Consumer of the Quarter. Employees enjoy reading about each other and they get to know where other employees work and what they do. The Arc Mercer is honored to have received this award and looks forward to celebrating with The Arc of New Jersey and all other award recipients!
A Publication of the Division of Developmental Disabilities
The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) was created in response to the need for better and more effective services for state residents with developmental disabilities. Advocates for those services included many parents and other family members who wanted community-based alternatives to the institutional care that had been their only option for many decades.
Today, more than 43,000 individuals are eligible to receive services funded by the division, including a growing number who are under the age of 22. Most DDD-eligible individuals live in the community, either with family or in a community residence such as a group home or supervised apartment or in a Community Care Residence with a family caregiver. Almost 2,600 individuals reside in one of the seven developmental centers now administered by DDD.
Contact us at:
P.O. Box 727
Trenton, NJ 08625-0726
DDD Information and DHS Central Registry Hotline:
Visit us on the Web at: ww.state.nj.us/humanservices/ddd