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Fall 2011

NJ Alliance For Full Participation Holds 2011 Summit and Shares New Resource

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The NJ Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) Summit 2011, Employment: First Choice for Everyone, was held on Friday, October 28, 2011 at The Heldrich Center in New Brunswick in conjunction with National Disability Employment Month. A total of 110 people, including family members, advocates, employment specialists, state employees, and supported employment providers met to discuss how New Jersey can become an Employment First State and to respond to the vision of the National AFP goal of doubling the employment rate for people with disabilities by 2015. Attendees received a new resource for students in the transition process and their families. Several members of the NJ AFP attended the national AFP Summit 2.0, Real Jobs - It's Everybody's Business, in November with 1,200 other national leaders.

View "Everyone Can Be Employed" Resource


The Boggs Center Honored with the Arc Angel Award by The Arc of Somerset

Deborah Spitalnik accepts the Arc Angel award

The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center was honored with the 2011 Arc Angel Award by The Arc of Somerset. The special award was presented to The Boggs Center for its partnership and inspiration in enhancing the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

The award was accepted by Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Executive Director of The Boggs Center, at the Arc Angel Gala on November 18, 2011 in Bedminster, NJ.



William “Bill” Gaventa, MDiv, Honored with AUCD Special Recognition Award

Bill Gaventa AUCD AwardWilliam C. Gaventa, MDiv, was honored with the Special Recognition Award by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). The Special Recognition Award is presented to an individual to recognize outstanding contributions toward creating more inclusive communities for people with developmental disabilities and their families. It was noted that “Bill’s leadership has heightened awareness of the value of spirituality in the lives of people with disabilities and provided the tools for faith-based communities to welcome them. For more than 35 years, Bill has worked tirelessly at a local, state, national, and international level to improve awareness of the importance of religion in the lives of individuals with disabilities.”

The award was presented to Bill Gaventa at the AUCD 40th Annual Conference in Arlington, Virginia on November 8, 2011. Bill Gaventa is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Community and Congregational Supports at The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Pictured are Anthony Antosh, AUCD President Elect and Conference Chair; Bill Gaventa; and Daniel Crimmins, AUCD President.

Positive Behavior Support in Schools Team Hosts Visiting Teachers from Iceland

On October 20 and 21, the Positive Behavior Support In Schools (PBSIS) team hosted 35 visiting teachers from Ingunnarskoli School in Iceland.  The teachers traveled to New Jersey as part of their annual professional development on Positive Behavior Support.  The visit provided an opportunity for everyone involved to participate in an international exchange of ideas and experiences related to implementing Positive Behavior Support.  They were interested in learning new and innovative ideas for how to implement Positive Behavior Support at their school in Iceland.  The group visited 6 NJ PBSIS schools: Bordentown High School, Irwin Elementary School, Hammarskjold Middle School, Fords Middle School, Martin Luther King Elementary School, and James Madison Intermediate School.  Hosting schools provided a rich curriculum of activities during the visit to showcase PBSIS at their school including:  PBSIS demonstrations of raffle drawings, student-led building tours; panel discussions with students and teachers; presentations of PBSIS implementation at the school and outcome data; classroom visits; instructional and celebration assemblies about behavior expectations.  

To learn more about PBSIS in New Jersey, visit
To read local news coverage of the event, visit Edison’s The Sentinel and PhillyBurbs

Michael Knox, PhD, Delivers Remarks at a Celebration of the Reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act Hosted by Senator Robert Menendez

Micael KnoxMichael Knox, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Deputy Director, represented the Center at a celebration of the reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act hosted by Senator Robert Menendez on October 17. Speaking at the Gerard J. Dynes NJ Regional Day School for children with autism in Jersey City, Dr. Knox said, “In addition to reducing barriers to screening and diagnosis, and supporting University Centers of Excellence to prepare future professionals to diagnose autism and other developmental disabilities, the Act promotes both basic and clinical research and ensures access to the most up to date information about evidence-based best practices for diagnosis and intervention strategies for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Outcomes from the act [enacted in 2006] have included: increasing awareness through the ‘Learn the Signs. Act Early’ initiative; development of new diagnostic tools; screening of more than 46,000 infants and children; and expanded training to increase the supply of highly qualified personnel to work with children with autism spectrum disorders.” According to Senator Menendez, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act 2011 will provide $231 million per year for the next three years.
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The Boggs Center Welcomes 2011-2012 Student Trainees

Three students are participating in The Boggs Center's Interdisciplinary Traineeship Program coordinated by Caroline Coffield, PhD, Instructor of Pediatrics and Interdisciplinary Training Coordinator of The Boggs Center. Sindhu Shamasunder is a Public Health major at Rutgers University. Sindhu will complete her Bloustein Public Health Internship at the Boggs Center. Gwendolyn Roberts is a student in the Rehabilitation Counseling Master Program at the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions.  Both students are supervised by Caroline Coffield, PhD. Shamika Boswell, a MSW student at Rutgers University School of Social Work, is an advanced standing student who started her field placement at The Boggs Center this summer and will continue through the 2011-2012 academic year. Shamika is supervised by Kathy Roberson, MSW, Policy and Information Coordinator.

The Boggs Center Welcomes 2011-2012 Clinical Pastoral Education Students

2011-2012 CPE StudentsSeven students are participating in Clinical Pastoral Education Program at The Boggs Center, directed by Rev. Bill Gaventa, MDiv, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Community and Congregational Supports The Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Program is a training program initiated by The Boggs Center in collaboration with community agencies in New Jersey. The Program is accredited by the national Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. The 2011-2012 CPE students and placements are: Bido Aguessy, The Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation; Wayne Hopkins, The Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Wesley Allen, Quality Management Associates; Jeanie Manson, The Arc of Atlantic County; Annie Martin, Community Access Unlimited; Assenka Oksiloff, Arc of Mercer; and Deacon Michael Scannella, Bancroft.

Your Guide for Making Medicaid Managed Care Work for You Revised Medicaid Managed Care cover

Your Guide for Making Medicaid Managed Care Work for You
has been revised and re-printed in English and Spanish. The guide was developed by The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services. This second printing was funded by the NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities.

The guide explains managed health care in New Jersey. It gives individuals and families an opportunity to learn about how managed care works and to keep track of important information about their doctors and health care services.

Chapters include: 1) What is Managed Care and How Does it Work? 2) How to Use Managed Care; 3) Tips on Improving Your Health Care and Being Healthy; 4) What You Can Do If You Have Problems and Concerns About Your Doctor, Your Health Care or Your HMO; Glossary; My Important Information; and Sources of Help.

Download the guide on The Boggs Center web site or call the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services at 1-800-356-1561 for hard copies.

National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is September 11-17, 2011

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In celebration and recognition of DSPs across the State of New Jersey, we are pleased to announce the inaugural edition of the New Jersey Workforce Development Insider.

Through this newsletter, stories about the impact DSPs have on the lives of people with disabilities are told, agencies share how they are using the College of Direct Support to enhance the knowledge and skills of their staff, and other topics related to DSP workforce development are addressed. 

View the Fall 2011 issue of the Workforce Development Insider



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