NJCDD Advocacy in Action Newsletter - November 2018
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The NJCDD’s Advocacy in Action e-newsletter provides important announcements and event updates for the Council’s programs, grants, and special initiatives. It also provides key information about public policies and other news impacting individuals with disabilities and their families.
  • People & Families
    Fall 2018 Issue
  • Julie Hoker Appointed ACL Commissioner
  • Community Innovations Projects
  • Dental Grant
  • November Statewide Family Support Meeting
  • SHA Conference
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Fall Issue of People & Families Magazine
The fall issue of NJCDD’s quarterly magazine, People & Families is available at

This issue celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Family Support Act. Readers will also be introduced to Paul Aronsohn, the states’ first ombudsman for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and more.

People & Families focuses on important issues for New Jersey’s developmental disabilities community. Published quarterly, the magazine provides current information for families and self advocates. It highlights organizations, programs, and individuals who make positive contributions for the developmental disabilities community. Newsworthy state and national stories are also featured.
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The ACL Appoints Julie Hoker Commissioner
The Adminstration for Community Living (ACL) welcomed Julie Hocker as the Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities. Hocker brings to the role extensive experience in operational process improvement, risk management, and effectiveness assessment. 

Hocker joins ACL from the Charles Koch Foundation, where she served as a senior manager since 2016. In that role, she led several key initiatives to improve the foundation’s operations, including development of an integrated technology and data solution for fundraising, grantmaking and expenditures. Hoker led a redesigning process to improve investment tracking and enable better analysis of effectiveness. She was also instrumental in the creation and implementation of risk-management processes. 

Previously, Hocker served in a variety of roles with The Vanguard Group and as an analyst for the Administration for Children and Families. In addition, she has been a senior policy fellow for the Center for Human Dignity at the American Conservative Union Foundation since 2015.
Community Innovation Project
NJCDD Announces Community Integration Projects
The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities’ Community Integration Projects (CIP) encourage new and innovative activities designed to bring meaningful change.

Grant funds support short-term projects of up to 12 months. Bidders can request up to $10,000. 
NJ Family Support Planning Council Statewide Meeting
Saturday, November 17, 2018
9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Hilton Garden Inn Hamilton
800 US Route 130
Hamilton Township, NJ 08690
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Addressing Barriers to Quality Dental Care for
I/DD in New Jersey
The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD) awarded Columbia University’s National Center on Children in Poverty a $150,000 one-year grant to identify barriers to dental care for people with developmental disabilities in New Jersey.

“This project will further the work of the NJCDD and our comprehensive five-year advocacy plan for New Jersey that identifies how to improve statewide capacity to deliver dental services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), “said Mercedes Witowsky, executive director, NJCDD.

Since October 1, 2018, Columbia University researchers and staff have been working with dental, medical and social services providers as well as consumers, caregivers and advocates to assess barriers to quality dental care. They will also develop recommendations to address those barriers.

Columbia University will assess the needs of people with I/DD and their caregivers through one-on-one interviews. Columbia will also develop a database of dental services.

Columbia University will partner with Rutgers School of Dental Medicine’s Special Needs Patients’ Clinic in Newark, New Jersey, and the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry.
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20th Annual SHA Conference
“Great Expectations – Building on the Past, Envisioning the Future”


Friday, December 7, 2018 8a.m.-4p.m.
Renaissance Inn Woodbridge
515 US Highway 1 South, Iselin, NJ 08830
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Advocating for Adequate Pay
October 29 marked a day of events highlighting efforts to bridge the pay gaps for NJ residents including direct support professionals.

NJCDD representatives including Kevin Nunez, people with I/DD, advocates, and agencies converged on the NJ State House with the Coalition for a DSP Living Wage. Participants encouraged lawmakers to support increased wages for direct service professionals (DSPs). Statewide efforts continue to push for competitive wages for DSPs who provide essential hands-on support for 30,000 NJ residents with I/DD.

Related News...
NJCDD Chair, Paul Blaustein and Public Policy Coordinator, Bob Titus attended an evening event sponsored by the United Way’s Asset Limited, Income, Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Project. The ALICE Project is a nationwide effort to quantify and describe the number of households that struggle financially. The Project raises awareness about a large hidden segment of New Jersey’s population that struggles to afford basic necessities. Guest speakers included NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney and NJ Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.
New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilties
PO Box 700, Trenton , NJ 08625-0700 | |

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New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities
20 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608

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