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Current Center News

New Resource on Voting in New Jersey’s 2020 Primary Election

Voting in NJs 2020 Primary Election cover imageThere will be changes to the voting process for this year’s Primary Election to keep people healthy and safe from COVID-19. New Jersey’s Primary Election has been postponed to July 7th and most people will Vote-By-Mail. This one-page resource developed by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, Disability Rights New Jersey, and the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities provides information for people with developmental disabilities about options for voting in the 2020 Primary Election.

Caroline Coffield, PhD, Honored with Distinction of Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

 

Caroline CoffieldCaroline Coffield, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Director of Pre-service Training at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, and Training Director of NJLEND, was honored with the distinction of Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). The designation of Fellow is conferred after an individual has at least 7 years of continuous membership in AAIDD, with an established record of participation in the professional and business affairs of the Association, and is judged to have made a meritorious contribution to the field of intellectual disability. A member of AAIDD since 2008 and Co-chair of its Health and Wellness Interest Network since 2015, Dr. Coffield’s contributions to program development, improvement of service systems, teaching, and research have benefitted people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New Jersey and their families.



Margaret Gilbride, JD, CT, Elected President of National APSE - the Association of People Supporting Employment First

Margaret Gilbride
Margaret Gilbride JD, CT, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Director of Transition and Employment at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, was elected President of National APSE - the Association of People Supporting Employment First. She began her term as President of the National APSE Board of Directors on June 16, 2020. Margaret Gilbride also serves as President of the New Jersey chapter of APSE. APSE is the only national organization with a focus exclusively on inclusive employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

 


The Boggs Center’s Commitment to Racial Justice


“In just three months, a microscopic particle has laid bare human mortality", Elizabeth Dias wrote in the New York Times on June 7, 2020, of the coronavirus. In the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that a policeman knelt on the neck of George Floyd and ended his life, the racism of the United States was laid bare. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, and the disproportionate deaths of black people due to COVID-19, are inextricably linked as vivid and wrenching examples of systemic racism, discrimination, and inequity. The Black Lives Matter movement and on-going demonstrations for justice challenge us to address racism and discrimination directly, educating and examining ourselves, evaluating our work, and empathizing with the pain and fear that is continually experienced by black colleagues, friends, and those we teach and serve.

 

As a program dedicated to promoting full participation in all aspects of community life, we know that racism and other forms of discrimination intersect with disability. We are painfully aware that premature births and
maternal mortality are disproportionately high in the black community; that young black children are more likely than their white peers to be diagnosed or classified as having emotional or behavioral disorders rather than developmental disabilities and more likely to be expelled from school, even in pre-school; that disabilities are diagnosed at later ages in children from black and other minority communities, and that they are less likely to have access to specialty care than their white counterparts and more likely to be given medication rather than treatment; and that the persistent income inequality between black and white families is heightened when a black family has a child with a disability.

 

The Boggs Center is committed to promoting and advancing racial justice and cultural and linguistic competence. We welcome those who wish to collaborate in creating equity and justice. We take on this work with an urgency of purpose, the necessity of looking inwardly and outwardly, and with open hearts. In this work and all we do we will heed the words of James Baldwin:

 

“The moment we cease to hold each other,
the moment we break faith with one another,
the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.”

June 2020


Boggs Center Faculty Members Author Article Published in Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

Boggs Center faculty members, in collaboration with colleagues from Children’s Specialized Hospital, authored an article about their collaborative research which was published in the May 2020 edition of Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. Caroline Coffield, PhD, The Boggs Center’s Director of Pre-service Training and Manuel Jimenez, MD, MS, Director of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at The Boggs Center, were two co-authors of the article, “Parental Concerns of Underserved Young Children at Risk for Autism.” The research described in this manuscript examined the language that families from underserved backgrounds use to describe their concerns about their young child’s development and behavior. Findings from this research provide insight about the kind of language families might use to express concern about their children’s development to professionals. To learn more, the article can be accessed electronically using the following link: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/756674

 

The Boggs Center Celebrates Graduation of New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Class of 2019-2020

 

On May 30, 2020, The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities hosted a virtual graduation ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of the New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Class of 2019-2020.
Partners 2019-2020 graduation image
New Jersey Partners in Policymaking is a leadership development and advocacy education program for adults with developmental disabilities and family members available through The Boggs Center with funding from the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities. This year's graduates included 7 self-advocates, 15 parents, 2 siblings, and 1 student trainee prepared to work toward meaningful change in our state.

Using online technology, Colleen McLaughlin, The Boggs Center's Associate Director and Partners Project Director, welcomed graduates and invited guests, and provided an introduction to the New Jersey Partners in Policymaking program. Mercedes Witowsky, Executive Director of the NJ Council of Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD) and Paul Blaustein, NJCDD chair, brought remarks about the impact of the Partners program and the important role graduates play in advocacy. Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, Executive Director of The Boggs Center, delivered messages of inspiration, hope, and a charge to action as part of the event. Through panel presentations, this year's graduates shared what they learned in the program and their plans for advocacy after graduation. Each graduate was celebrated through display of their photo and advocacy action priority area.

To learn more about this year's graduates, their experiences over the past 8 months, and the impact of the Partners program, view the Graduation Panel Presentation Recording featuring the New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Class of 2019-2020.

Congratulations to the New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Class of 2019-2020:

 

Melanie Ayers
Sharon Artz
Marlene Brockington
Phyllis Brown McNair
Joseph Calabrese
Yen Chau
Keith Diaz
Yewande Efodili
Christopher Haase
Laura Haney
Brie Lantini
Karen Mancinelli
Kelly McGrath
Elizabeth North
Carol Petties
Nancy Pietrobon
Gervonn Rice
Lori Rickles
Donna Riopel
Jeffrey Schumacher
Julia Simko
Renee Townsend
Rashika Verma
Neng Wang
Zahmiah Wilkerson
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boggs Center Celebrates the Graduation of the 2019-2020 NJLEND Fellows at the 4th Annual Maternal and Child Health Leadership Symposium


2019-2020 NJLEND Fellows On May 8th, 2020, The Boggs Center celebrated the graduation of the 2019-2020 NJLEND Fellows at the New Jersey Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NJLEND) program’s 4th annual Maternal and Child Health Leadership Symposium. Held virtually this year in response to COVID-19, the event featured a keynote address, “A Leadership Journey: Working Towards Equity, Inclusion, and Cultural and Linguistic Competence,” by Wendy Jones, MEd, MSW, Research Instructor, Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development, UCEDD, and was attended by those from the Rutgers community, New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families and Department of Health, SPAN Parent Advocacy Network, and other state and community organizations. The 12 graduating NJLEND Fellows presented their definitions of leadership. Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and LEND Program Director, closed the ceremony with an address to the graduates.


NJLEND Fellows presented their Leadership Project Posters at a separate virtual session on Friday, May 1, sharing the culmination of their year-long projects with each other and the NJLEND Faculty. To learn more about the 2019-2020 NJLEND Fellows, as well as their faculty Mentors, visit the NJLEND Fellow Leadership Project Poster page on The Boggs Center website.


Congratulations to the 2019-2020 NJLEND Fellows and Boggs Center Interdisciplinary Trainees: Aimee Ascolese, MSW, Carol Dinnocenzio, BSN, RN, APN, Kasey Dudley, Anne Lyle, APN, CPNP-AC, Jessica Middleberg, PsyD, Madison Perry, PsyD, Rachel Shafrir, BA, Jacqueline Shinall, MS, Deirdre Sumski, MGC, Lily Yip, Angie Hernandez, BA, Kelly McGrath, BSW, Morgan Neumann, and Patricia Shelton, BS.


Part of a national network, The Boggs Center’s NJLEND program provides graduate-level interdisciplinary training aimed at preparing the next generation of health and allied health leaders to address the needs of children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), related developmental disabilities, and other maternal and child health populations. Funding for LEND programs is authorized by the Autism CARES Act and is administered through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.



New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Now Accepting Applications

NJ Partners in Policymaking graphic

 

New Jersey Partners in Policymaking is a leadership development and advocacy education program for adults with developmental disabilities (over age 21) and family members of young children and transition age youth available through collaboration between The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, and Disability Rights New Jersey. The goal of this program is to prepare the next generation of disability advocates to work toward meaningful change in our state.

 

The 2020-2021 Partners in Policymaking sessions are currently scheduled to take place using a hybrid model that combines virtual learning through the use of online technology and in-person training sessions, beginning in September 2020 and continuing through April 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic brings uncertainty with how long social-distancing measures will need to be in place. While we hope to be able to meet in person in January, the situation will be monitored and accommodations to continue with virtual learning will be made as needed.

 

New Jersey Partners in Policymaking is committed to building a diverse group of participants that is reflective of the needs, geography, and cultural and ethnic backgrounds of New Jersey. The Partners program is now accepting applications from people with developmental disabilities and family members for the class of 2020-2021.

 

Visit the NJ Partners in Policymaking page on The Boggs Center's web site to learn more about the program, download the application, and apply.

Applications must be received by June 30, 2020. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by July 30, 2020.

 


Lily Yip, 2019-2020 NJLEND Family Fellow Featured in AUCD Emerging Leaders Map

Lily YipLily Yip, 2019-2020 NJLEND Family Fellow, 2019 New Jersey Partners in Policymaking graduate, and mother of two adult children with autism and developmental disabilities, is featured in the Association of University Centers on Disabilities’ (AUCD) Emerging Leaders Map. The map showcases the contributions of diverse trainees and early career leaders in the AUCD Network. This year’s map highlights the work emerging leaders have done to enhance access for people with disabilities and facilitate dialogue and collaboration between centers. View Lily’s profile on the Emerging Leaders map to learn more about how she is working to improve access for individuals with disabilities through participating in The Boggs Center’s leadership education programs.

 

 

Information and Resources Related to COVID-19

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDC imageAcross the world, we are experiencing an unprecedented set of challenges as we all work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing and other protective measures. Having reliable, up to date information and resources to help us better understand COVID-19, necessary health and hygiene precautions, and strategies to maintain emotional well-being is important to us all. 

 
The Boggs Center, as New Jersey’s federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and New Jersey’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program, has compiled a selection of resources from New Jersey and across the country that may be useful to the disability community across the state. 

View links to COVID-19 resources


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