Key IssuesNJ Developmental Disabilities Advocacy Network
The following are the key issues on which the Developmental Disabilities Advocacy Network is currently focusing our efforts.
To build a stronger and fairer New Jersey, the state is obligated to allocate finite funding across all areas of state services. Given the wide gap between available funds and often complex individual needs, we must focus on the full range of services and optimize allocation of both federal and state funding to help individuals achieve their best life in the community. Read More
Public transportation in and around New Jersey is generally limited, but especially for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The same can be said for private transportation services such as Uber or Lyft. One of the most broadly used public transportation services for NJ residents with I/DD, Access Link, must be expanded.
Within the current DDD system, there are significant gaps in quality and safety for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) across in-home care and community-based service options. A common issue that many families face is the fact that information regarding the care and safety of their loved ones with I/DD is not transparent and readily available. Read More
The NJ Division of Rehabilitative Services (DVRS) does not adequately support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Division places “competitive employment” as a priority, focusing services toward those with fewer support needs. This leaves behind those with more significant support needs, for whom competitive employment may not be as realistic a goal. Read More
Separate from looming potential cuts or caps to the Medicaid program, New Jersey’s service delivery system for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) is already severely under-funded. Read More
Ultimately, many of the challenges individuals and families experienced in obtaining support and services have their root in an inadequate line of communication between state agencies, policymakers, and individual and family advocates. Well before the state decides to implement new policies, there must be regular, in-depth, and systematic communication with the individuals and families who will be affected by the system of policy changes in question.
It has become apparent to families that the state of New Jersey does not share their view of what constitutes “person-centered planning”. While the state seems to view this concept as a simple matter of meeting certain criteria on a checklist, individuals and families desire thoughtful planning that actually helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to achieve their life goals. For true person-centered services to be achieved is it vital that the state is on the same page as advocates. Read More
Overall, New Jersey’s system for housing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in community-based settings is underfunded, underdeveloped, and lacking in options.