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Areas of Focus & Objectives


Priorities of Disability Rights New Jersey

Protection and advocacy program goals and priorities ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable populations are served and the most critical, far-reaching issues are addressed. Goals and priorities also assist Disability Rights NJ as it faces a demand for representation that often exceeds the resources of the P&A system.

Disability Rights NJ began a new priority cycle in the fiscal year starting October 1, 2018. In preparation for the development of new priorities, Disability Rights NJ distributed new priority rating surveys and conducted focus groups of people with disabilities, their families, professionals, health care and service providers and others about the needs of people with disabilities and the barriers to addressing those needs. The data collected was shared with our advisory groups and staff for development into priorities, goals and objectives, and finally approved by the Disability Rights NJ Governing Board at its September 2018 meeting.

If you would like to be provided with surveys, or if your group would like to host a focus group to help Disability Rights NJ modify or update its goals and priorities, please contact our outreach office at 609-292-9742.

To access a priority survey, click the appropriate link below:

Disability Rights NJ’s Priority Rating Survey

Disability Rights NJ’s Priority Rating Survey in Spanish

Individuals can submit comments on Disability Rights NJ’s priorities in writing (210 S. Broad Street, 3rd Floor, Trenton, NJ 08608 or email advocate@drnj.org), over the phone (800-922-7233 toll-free in NJ only or 609-292-9742), and online at www.disabilityrightsnj.org

Current Goals and Priorities

(Revised September 2018)

Goals and priorities in effect through the 2022 fiscal year are listed below. Comments or questions regarding Disability Rights NJ’s current priorities should be directed to at 609-292-9742 or advocate@disabilityrightsnj.org

GOAL 1 – ABUSE AND NEGLECT

  • PRIORITY: DISCHARGE FROM INSTITUTIONS
    • To ensure that individuals with disabilities in institutional settings are discharged to community settings with appropriate supports and services.
  • PRIORITY: INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
    • To ensure that the rights of individuals with disabilities in institutions and community settings are protected.
  • PRIORITY: UNUSUAL AND SUSPICIOUS DEATHS
    • To ensure that unusual and suspicious deaths of persons residing in state-operated or sponsored institutions and programs are appropriately investigated and responded to.
  • PRIORITY: REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE
    • To ensure that beneficiaries of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income are not exploited or subjected to abuse and neglect by representative payees.

GOAL 2 – DISCRIMINATION

  • PRIORITY: HOUSING
    • To ensure that people with disabilities have greater access to accessible, affordable housing and experience decreased housing discrimination.
  • PRIORITY: EMPLOYMENT
    • To ensure that people with disabilities experience decreased employment discrimination and gain increased opportunities.
  • PRIORITY: VOTING
    • To ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity and can exercise the right to register and vote.
  • PRIORITY: PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES
    • To ensure that people with disabilities have non-discriminatory access to public accommodations and public entities.

GOAL 3 – COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES

  • PRIORITY: COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES AND SUPPORTS
    • To ensure that people with disabilities have access to appropriate community-based supports and services to promote integration and independence.
  • PRIORITY: ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION
    • To improve the availability of accessible transportation for people with disabilities.

GOAL 4 – HEALTH CARE

  • PRIORITY: HEALTH CARE
    • To ensure that people with disabilities have access to appropriate health care services.

GOAL 4A – DECISION MAKING

  • PRIORITY: DECISION MAKING
    • To ensure that the rights of individuals with disabilities are protected through informed, supported, individual and/or surrogate decision making.

GOAL 5 – CHILDREN

  • PRIORITY: EDUCATION
    • To ensure that children with disabilities receive equal educational opportunities in the least restrictive setting appropriate for their needs.
  • PRIORITY: COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES AND SUPPORTS
    • To ensure that children with disabilities have access to appropriate community-based supports and services.
  • PRIORITY: BULLYING
    • To ensure that children with disabilities do not experience bullying in educational settings.
  • PRIORITY: JUVENILE JUSTICE
    • Improve the diversion of children with disabilities from the njuvenile justice system and the access to appropriate services and supports of children with disabilities in juveile justice facilities.

GOAL 6 – ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

  • PRIORITY: STATE LEVEL ACTIVITIES
    • To conduct state level activities to increase awareness and acquisition of assistive technology.
  • PRIORITY: STATE LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES
    • To conduct statewide leadership activities to increase awareness and enhance the use of assistive technology.
  • PRIORITY: COMMUNITY CHOICE FUND
    • To facilitate the discharge of people with disabilities and elderly residents of nursing homes to the community through access to assistive technology devices and services.
  • PRIORITY: ADVOCACY
    • To increase access to assistive technology through individual advocacy and legal representation.

GOAL 7 – EMPLOYMENT

  • PRIORITY: REHABILITATION SERVICES
    • To ensure that people with disabilities receive services on a timely basis consistent with the Rehabilitation Act.
  • PRIORITY: WORK-RELATED OVERPAYMENTS
    • To assist beneficiaries of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income who receive notices of work-related overpayments to contest disputed overpayment claims and obtain waivers of repayment as appropriate.
  • PRIORITY: TICKET TO WORK AND WORK INCENTIVES
    • To assist beneficiaries of Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income to remove barriers to employment.
  • PRIORITY: EMPLOYMENT FIRST
    • To promote policies and practices that maximize employment potential in integrated settings for competitive wages.
  • PRIORITY: TRANSITION
    • To ensure that the state’s vocational rehabilitation programs maximize employment transition services for students and vocational rehabilitation clients transitioning from school to adult life

GOAL 8 – CONSUMER OUTREACH, EDUCATION AND TRAINING

  • PRIORITY: UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS
    • To increase services to historically underserved urban, rural and minority persons with disabilities.
  • PRIORITY: EDUCATION AND TRAINING
    • To promote the education of consumers and their families regarding disability rights and issues.
  • PRIORITY: SELF-ADVOCACY
    • To promote consumer participation in self-advocacy and rights education and training.