Author: Donna Bouclier

Protections for those with DD receiving services from the Division of Children’s System of Care becomes law!

A3386 ScaSa (2R) Provides protections for children under the age of 18 with developmental disabilities and individuals with developmental disabilities ages 18-21 receiving services from Division of Children’s System of Care.
Bills and Joint Resolutions Signed by the Governor 8/7/17. Approved P.L.2017, c.213. This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month following the date of enactment.  Read more: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2016/Bills/A3500/3386_R2.PDF

Commemorating the 27th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Today we pause to take a moment to not only celebrate, but to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On behalf of the ANCOR staff and Board of Directors, we are honored to represent ANCOR during this historical moment, and even prouder to represent our members who make the vision and dream of the ADA a reality.

Over the past several months, this promise of community integration, representing the core American values of independence and equal opportunity, has been deeply challenged as Congress has put forward legislation that demonstrates a shocking insensitivity and/or profound lack of understanding of what it takes to ensure that people with disabilities have the supports and services required to live, work and participate in the community.

Medicaid is that lifeline. It is the foundation of virtually all disability services and true community integration – imperfect, yes, but it has transformed hundreds of thousands of lives, and continues to do so every single day. It has enabled the establishment of an incredibly diverse fabric of supports that ANCOR members have fought for decades to build.

That’s why it is profoundly disappointing that twenty seven years after the passage of one of the greatest pieces of civil rights legislation, we are still fighting to prove that people with disabilities can and will thrive in the community, and that the Medicaid program and disability service providers are a key tool in ensuring that reality.

Yesterday, the Senate voted on a motion to proceed on consideration of the House-passed health care bill, the American Health Care Act (Act). This bill is a direct hit to the core values of the ADA – that people with disabilities are equals and that they deserve the investment of their fellow Americans in their worth and potential. Today, like twenty seven years ago, ANCOR is at the forefront of a fight to stand up for the rights of people with disabilities, their families, and those that know America is a better place when we value each other.

Although we face a tough time ahead, today we celebrate the extraordinary advances that never would have been possible without the ADA becoming the law of the land. We celebrate the wondrous technological, social, architectural and programmatic advancements in our society that the ADA delivered on. We celebrate the work that service providers do on a daily basis to implement the promise of the ADA. We celebrate the direct support professionals who show us the meaning of hard work and dedication every day. And we celebrate people with disabilities that make America whole.

We will continue to relentlessly advocate to protect the legacy and vision of the ADA, but today we pause briefly in that fight to mark this important anniversary which ANCOR and so many others worked hard to achieve. Happy 27th Anniversary of the ADA.

ABCD is a member of ANCOR.

Coalition for DSP Living Wage Budget Update

Following the news of our recent budget victory, we have received a number of questions regarding the $20 million line item and when we expect this funding will be available to the State’s Direct Support Professional workforce. With this in mind, we thought it important to share with you an update and some additional information about how the budgeting process works.

Appropriations in the Budget have corresponding language and in this instance, the language surrounding the $20 million for Direct Support Professionals is very complicated. As per the language, the Legislature has until October 1, 2017 to determine how to proceed with the distribution of the increase. We are working hard to get the funding released as soon as possible but we believe this process will take several months.

We understand that this delay is inconvenient, but please know we are actively advocating for a speedy resolution. Thank you again for all of your support in FY17 and keep a look out for more information in the coming weeks.

The Coalition for a DSP Living Wage Steering Committee Members

The Arc of New Jersey

The Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities

The New Jersey Association of Community Providers

Autism New Jersey

New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Family Support Coalition of New Jersey

New Jersey Statewide Self-Advocacy Network

The Statewide Regional Family Support Planning Councils

ABCD thanks Patti Carlesimo

ABCD thanks Patti Carlesimo (Executive Director, LADACIN) for serving as the President of ABCD’s Board of Directors 2013-2017 and congratulates Keith Kearney (Executive Director UCP of Hudson) as he begins his term as our new President of the Board of Directors.

Picture included. (from left to right—Dr. Dan Keating, Patti Carlesimo and Keith Kearney)

25th Anniversary Commemoration of the Passage of the ADA

donnaDonna Bouclier, participated in the 25th anniversary commemoration of the passage of the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, held outside Philadelphia City Hall at Richardson Dilworth Park on Saturday. She was on the Planning Committee of the very first ADA Celebration in Philadelphia three years ago for the inaugural display of Justin Dart’s wheelchair at the National Constitution Center. Donna reunited with Senator Tom Harkin, the original sponsor of the ADA, before he spoke to the hundreds of advocates who attended. She used to meet with Senator Harkin in Washington, DC when he was in the U.S. Senate, in her role as Co-President of NConSD (National Coalition on Self-Determination).