Support & Advocacy

DISABILITY RIGHTS NEW JERSEY (DRNJ)

Is a private, non-profit, consumer-directed organization established to:

  • Advocate for and advance the human, civil and legal rights of citizens of New Jersey with disabilities.
  • Promote public awareness and recognition of individuals with disabilities as equally entitled members of society.
  • Advise and assist persons with disabilities, family members, attorneys and guardians in obtaining and protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities.
  • Provide education, training and technical assistance to individuals with disabilities, the agencies that serve them, advocates, attorneys, professionals, courts and others regarding the rights of individuals with disabilities.

DRNJ's activities are grounded in its belief in the inherent value and worth of all individuals and their right to equality of opportunity and full participation in their communities.

Visit DRNJ: http://www.drnj.org/index.htm for additional information

THE STATEWIDE PARENT ADVOCACY NETWORK (SPAN)

Is an independent 501(c)(3) organization committed to empowering families as advocates and partners in improving education and health outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth.

SPAN offers families and professionals information, resources, support and advocacy assistance addressing: effective parent involvement, child care, general and special education, dropout and bullying prevention, child welfare, health care, mental health, youth leadership, transition to adult life, incarcerated youth, military family support, violence prevention & more. SPAN is a "one stop" for New Jersey families.  SPAN is New Jersey's Parent Training and Information Center; Family to Family Health Information Center; Family Voices State Affiliate Organization; Parent to Parent USA affiliate; and a chapter of the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health.

SPAN can help with:

  • Advocate for children.
  • Secure appropriate services.
  • Keep children in school.
  • Navigate education, health, mental health systems.
  • Prepare for life after high school.
  • Connect with other parents who understand
  • Become an effective partner in improving our schools.
  • Be a catalyst to improve services for children and families.
  • Access resources and information.

Visit SPAN: http://www.spannj.org for additional information

UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY (UCP)

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is an international nonprofit charitable organization consisting of a network of affiliates. UCP is a leading service provider and advocate for adults and children with disabilities. As one of the largest health nonprofits in the United States, the UCP mission is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network.

History - UCP was founded in 1949 by Leonard Goldenson (who would later become Chairman of the broadcast network ABC) and his wife Isabel, and Jack and Ethel Hausman. United Cerebral Palsy pioneered the use of fundraising telethons.

Service Provider - UCP through its almost 80 local affiliates across the United States, Canada and Australia provide a broad array of services and resources to children and adults with developmental disabilities acquired at birth or as a result of injury. Each affiliate provides a different menu of services tailored to their local needs and capabilities, but often include education, employment, health & wellness, housing, parenting & family training and support, sports & leisure, transportation and travel assistance. With a combined budget of more than $750 million for research, public policy advocacy and direct services. System-wide, an average of 85 percent of all revenue is dedicated to programs.

Advocacy - In addition to raising money for services and research, UCP also engages in public policy advocacy, including promoting the right of people with a disability to vote, and the provision of services. In the United States, UCP was one of the catalyst organizations advocating for the adoption of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990. More recently, UCP has been on the cutting edge of disabilities rights with programs such as Life Without Limits, a national initiative to empower people with disabilities to envision and build a better future for themselves and their community. UCP leads the Life Without Limits initiative in cooperation with former Congressman Tony Coelho (D-CA). Another significant initiative is called Don't Block My Vote, which was launched in 2004 to help engage people with disabilities and their supporters in the election process.

Visit UCP: http://www.ucp.org for additional information