Age Related Concerns

Legal Services State Agencies Assisted Technology Services The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section has compiled a guide that provides an overview of Federal civil rights laws that ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities.  One of the laws reviewed in this overview include the Americans with Disabilities Act.  To review this guide, please click here. Legal services are sometimes necessary in order to effectively advocate for the rights of individuals with disabilities.  Free legal services in New Jersey are available by contacting the agencies below. Click here for a referral list of Legal Services in NJ and surrounding areas. New Jersey Protection and Advocacy Inc. Incorporated in 1994, NJP&A was subsequently designated by the Governor to serve as New Jersey’s protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities. Legal Services in New Jersey Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ), an independent, non-profit organization, coordinates the statewide Legal Services system. LSNJ strives to ensure equal access to justice under law to all people of New Jersey, providing free legal assistance to low-income people in civil matters. OSERS (Office of Special Education & Rehabilitative Services) The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages. In supporting President Bush’s No Child Left Behind agenda and the New Freedom Initiative, OSERS provides a wide array of supports to parents and individuals, school districts and states in three main areas: special education, vocational rehabilitation and research.  Back to top

” “In order to understand the rules that the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) uses to provide services, it is a good idea to review DDD’s Division Circulars.  These are documents issued by the Director of DDD setting policy for the various agencies within the Division.  Circular topics range from how DDD makes a determination of eligibility to waiting list procedures and guardianship services.  Read through the relevant division circular to understand the requirements for eachservice they offer.In an effort to more efficiently meet the needs of individuals with disabilities, DDD is partnering with other state agencies to provide current Transition related information specifically to individuals and their families identified by DDD as graduating from the education system in 2006 and 2007. The Transition program will be known as Pathways to Adult-Life. If you are still in school you should read information on DDD’s Transition Initiative. The Department of Human Services houses The Division of Disability Services and the Division of Mental Health.  These agencies may have services available to benefit your situation.  One example would be the NJ Workability program.   NJ Workability is a program that allows certain employed people with permanent disabilities, whose earnings are too high for them to qualify otherwise for Medicaid coverage, to receive full New JerseyMedicaid benefits. In some instances, people who qualify for the program may have to pay a monthly premium of $25 per month for one person or $50 per month for a couple.Review other programs that may be beneficial by visiting the Division of Disability Services website. The mission of the Division of Mental Health Services in New Jersey is to promote opportunities for adults with serious mental illness, and children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disturbances to maximize their ability to live, work, socialize, and learn in communities of their choice. This is accomplished through a comprehensive culturally competent system of care, including psychiatric inpatient settings and community-based support services comprised of partnerships among the Division of Mental HealthServices, other State agencies, consumers, families, providers, and mental health advocates, with the understanding that adults with serious mental illness and children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disturbances are entitled to dignified and meaningful lives.  To determine if the Division of Mental Health offers services that would be beneficial to your situation, please visit their website.  The Department of Labor and Workforce Development offers employment and training services that apply to everyone.  There may be resources that can be used in addition to the ones through DVRS.   All of the department’s services can be accessed through a One-Stop Center located in each county.  Services available through the One-Stop Centers include access to computers to post resumes and conduct job searches, assistance in registering for services, a review of an applicant’s job qualifications, experience, readiness, abilities, etc., vocational counseling, job opening referrals, job training referrals and much more.  Please visit the Department’s One-Stop Centers online for more information.People naturally worry that they will lose their social security benefits if they work.  The Social Security Administration has implemented several work incentive programs so people do not have to choose between work and benefits.  One program, the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program, is an employment program for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work. The Ticket Program is part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 – legislation designed to remove many of the barriers that previously influenced people’s decisions about going to work because of the concerns over losing health care coverage. The goal of the Ticket Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtainemployment, vocational rehabilitation (VR), and other support services from public and private providers, employers, and other organizations.NJ Workability is the Medicaid Buy-in program in NJ. This program allows individuals who work to be eligible for Medicaid, as long as they have earnings of less than $45,864 annually and not more than $748 of unearned income monthly. SSDI is not counted as unearned income in applying for this program. Therefore, SSDI cannot block eligibility. Under this program, a person may not have a premium of more than $25 a month, but may not have a premium to pay at all. Premiums are applied on a sliding according to earnings. New Jersey Work Incentive Network Support (NJWINS) is a statewide joint Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach (BPAO) project of Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey and Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey, funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration.  To find out more information on the Ticket to Work, NJ Workability and other programs, visit the NJWINS website. The NJ Housing Resource Center was developed as a one-stop internet tool to help families review residential options. This is a collaborative project between the NJ Division of Disability Services, Department of Community Affairs and the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.  As the waiting list for residential services through DDD is over 3,000 people, families may want to explore all other housing options that exist in New Jersey.  For more information on residential funding options, please visit the NJ Housing Resource Center website.                                                                                                                                                Employment for adults with autism is becoming more of a reality than ever before.  Adults with autism can receive necessary supports through several different funding sources in New Jersey.  All available resources should be explored in order to support someone with intense support needs at work.  DVRS and DDD are the primary funding sources for supported employment services for adults with autism.  For a list of agencies that serve adults with autism, please visit COSAC’s resource section. 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To increase the opportunity for successful employment, families should explore possible assistive technology that may assist the adult with autism to maintain employment.  The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a free consulting service designed to increase the employability of people with disabilities by: 1) providing individualized worksite accommodations solutions, 2) providing technical assistance regarding the ADA and other disability related legislation, and 3) educating callers about self-employment options.  For information about many types of reasonable accommodations, contact the Job Accommodation Network.   The Northeast ADA and IT Center provides training, technical assistance and materials on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Accessible Information Technology. Youth with intellectual disabilities have not had many chances to go to college. This is changing as individuals across the country begin to create opportunities for these youth to reap the benefits of postsecondary education.  Information on post-secondary education and training resources is located through Think College. The Center for Self Determination offers assistance to individuals and organizations that are attempting to change their systems of support based upon self-determination principles. It builds upon rapidly growing experience and learning about creating individual budgets, developing support coordinators who work for each individual receiving support, designing effective ways to help people pay for the support and services they purchase, and helping public and private agencies create the needed changes in their organizational structures. NJHelps can tell you whether your family might be able to get help from any of these programs: Food stamps, Medicaid (health insurance), NJ Family Care (health insurance), Low Income Home Energy Assistance, Work First New Jersey (temporary assistance for needy families and general assistance), NJ Cares for Kids (child care assistance), and Kinship Navigator Program (assistance for relative caregivers). CaregiverNJ is a guide to available resources for adults and their families living in New Jersey. Access Link is NJ TRANSIT’s paratransit service required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Access Link provides paratransit service comparable to the local bus service. This service is specifically for people whose disability prevents them from using the local fixed route bus service.  Eligibility is determined using the three categories provided in the ADA. You may be eligible for Access Link if: Information on New Jersey transportation resources can be located at New Jersey Transit’s website. Back to top