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Current Center News

 

Episode 7 of BoggsCast Now Available

BoggsCast The Boggs Center is excited to share the latest episode of BoggsCast, a podcast where faculty and staff explore best practice, showcase success stories, and help listeners envision possibilities for innovation through interviews with state and national experts.

In this episode, Regina Rodriguez Sisneros, Director of Equity Initiatives and Systems Innovations for the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDS), discusses equity, diversity, and inclusion.

BoggsCast episodes and full transcripts are available on the Podbean App, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify apps and websites. Listen wherever and whenever works for you!
Podbean
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify

 

6th Annual NJLEND Maternal and Child Health Leadership Symposium

Join us on May 6, 2022 for the 6th Annual New Jersey Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Maternal & Child Health Leadership Symposium, a program of The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities.

6th Annual NJLEND MCH Leadership SymposiumThis online symposium will feature a keynote conversation with Susan Stillman, EdD & Lynne Tamor, PhD on Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Tools for Leadership, Providing Support, and Relationships and will recognize the accomplishments of the 2021-2022 class of NJLEND Fellows and Boggs Center Interdisciplinary Trainees.

There is no charge for this program. Space is limited and advanced registration is required.

Learn more and register for the 6th Annual NJLEND Maternal and Child Health Leadership Symposium

 

New Jersey Partners in Policymaking 2022-2023 Hybrid Program 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 COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring some uncertainty. The 2022-2023 Partners in Policymaking sessions are currently scheduled to take place using a hybrid model which combines in-person and virtual learning. A fully virtual option for those that are immunocompromised or have an immunocompromised family member that prevents in-person participation will be made available.

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 2022-2023.

Download the application to learn more about the program and apply

Applications must be received by June 30, 2022. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by July 31, 2022.

Visit the NJ Partners in Policymaking page on The Boggs Center's web site for additional information.

 

Graduate Fellowship Opportunity for the 2022-2023 Academic Year

NJLENDNew Jersey’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NJLEND) program provides graduate-level interdisciplinary training to prepare the next generation of health leaders, family members, and advocates to address the needs of children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, and other maternal and child health populations.

NJLEND is now accepting applications on a rolling basis through May for the 2022-2023 program year.

Interested graduate and doctoral level students, family members, and advocates with disabilities can learn more about the 9-month program on the NJLEND page.


Registration is Open for the Spring 2022 Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series

 

Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series Spring 2022

The Boggs Center’s Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series is a community and continuing education program provided for professionals, policymakers, individuals with disabilities, and family members to enhance their knowledge and skills in innovative approaches and state of the art practices for people with developmental disabilities.

The webinars are free of charge. Space is limited and advanced registration is required. Open to people who live or work in New Jersey.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and Person-Centered Practice
Regina Rodriguez Sisneros l Friday, April 1, 2022 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 l Webinar


Supported Decision Making
Michael J. Kendrick, PhD l Friday, April 8, 2022 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 l Webinar
NJLEND CE Event Recognizing Autism Acceptance Month
Neurodiversity, Self-Advocacy, and Self-Determination
Julia Bascom l Friday, April 22, 2022 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM l Webinar

Acknowledging and Fostering the Critical Role of Support Coordinators

Jennifer Turner, LCSW l Friday, May 13, 2022 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM l Webinar

 

Learn more and register for the Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series


Episode 5 of BoggsCast Now Available

BoggsCast The Boggs Center is excited to share the latest episode of BoggsCast, a podcast where faculty and staff explore best practice, showcase success stories, and help listeners envision possibilities for innovation through interviews with state and national experts.

In this episode, Emily Shea Tanis, PhD, Associate Research Professor at the University of Kansas Lifespan Institute, discusses technology for community living.

BoggsCast episodes and full transcripts are available on the Podbean App, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify apps and websites. Listen wherever and whenever works for you!
Podbean
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify


Boost NJ2 Week: February 23 - March 1

 

Boost NJ2 Week: Feb. 23-March 1

During Boost NJ2 Week (February 23 - March 1), vaccination partners across the state will offer clinics with walk-in availability to help make booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines as accessible as possible. Booster shots reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death. Learn more about where to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot during Boost NJ2 Week: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/boostnj

 

Melissa Cheplic Co-Authors NADD Publications

Mental Health Approaches to IDD cover
Melissa Cheplic, MPH, NADD-CC, Senior Training & Consultation Specialist at The Boggs Center, is co-author of Mental Health Approaches to Intellectual/Developmental Disability: A Resources for Trainers - 2nd Edition and the accompanying Trainee Workbook for Mental Health Approaches to Intellectual/Developmental Disability - 2nd Edition.

Published by NADD, these resources support the education of professionals and care providers on promoting mental wellness among people with I/DD.

 


Episode 4 of BoggsCast Now Available

BoggsCast The Boggs Center is excited to share the latest episode of BoggsCast, a podcast where faculty and staff explore best practice, showcase success stories, and help listeners envision possibilities for innovation through interviews with state and national experts.

In this episode, Julie Lounds Taylor, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Investigator at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, discusses transition to adult life.

BoggsCast episodes and full transcripts are available on the Podbean App, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify apps and websites. Listen wherever and whenever works for you!
Podbean
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify

 

Registration is Open for the 2022 Facing the Future Virtual Event

Facing the Future Virtual Event Registration is open for the Facing the Future Virtual Event on Friday, March 25, 2022. Co-sponsored by The Boggs Center and NJ APSE, this event is intended to provide an opportunity to gather virtually to learn, celebrate, and re-commit to making employment first a reality for the diverse group of New Jerseyans with disabilities. It will provide us an opportunity to consider the intersectionality of disability, the juvenile justice system, race, and poverty. It will also challenge us to look at our roles in transition and employment services through a lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).

Join us for this rare opportunity to hear two champions of employment first as well as EDI: Wally Tablit, who is both the Chief Mission and Diversity Officer of AtWork! and the EDI Officer of APSE, and Hasan Davis, author of Written Off: How One Man’s Journey Through Disability, Poverty, and Delinquency is Transforming the Juvenile Justice System.

Learn more and register


COVID-19 Booster Shots are Now Available for Everyone 12 Years and Older

 

Text reads “Vaccine Facts for New Jersey’s Developmental Disabilities Community; The CDC now recommends: Booster shots 5 months after 2nd dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for everyone over 12; 3rd primary dose for some immunocompromised children ages 5-11; Contact your child’s primary healthcare provider with questions or concerns.” Learn more about COVID-19 Booster Shots and Vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/specific-groups.html” Images of vaccine and child showing bandage after receiving shot from healthcare provider.

COVID-19 booster shots are now available for everyone 12 years and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now also recommends:

• Booster shots at 5 months after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 12 years and older
• An additional, third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to complete the primary series for some immunocompromised children from ages 5-11

Contact your child’s primary healthcare provider with questions or concerns.

For up-to-date information about COVID-19 booster shots and vaccines, visit:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/specific-groups.html

 

Boggs Center COVID-19 Vaccine Facts SeriesCOVID Vaccine Facts Series covers


The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities is pleased to share the COVID-19 Vaccine Facts Series which addresses common myths and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines. Made possible through funding from the federal Administration on Community Living, the series includes resources with information to support the following facts:

• The COVID-19 Vaccine is Effective Against the Virus
• The COVID-19 Vaccine Will Not Make You Sick with COVID-19
• Safe & Responsible COVID-19 Vaccine Development
• Had COVID? You Still Need the COVID-19 Vaccine
• The COVID-19 Vaccine Does Not Harm Fertility or Pregnancies

 

Available in English and Spanish

Download the Vaccine Facts Series and other resources related to COVID-19

 

Episode 3 of BoggsCast Now Available

BoggsCast The Boggs Center is excited to share the latest episode of BoggsCast, a podcast where faculty and staff explore best practice, showcase success stories, and help listeners envision possibilities for innovation through interviews with state and national experts.

In this episode, Adriane Griffen, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, Senior Director, Public Health and Leadership at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, discusses disability inclusion in public health programs, training, and leadership.


BoggsCast is available on the Podbean App, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify apps and websites. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with the newest episodes.
Podbean
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify

 

Exploring Possibilities & Supports: An Information Gathering Toolkit

Information Gathering Toolkit coverThe Boggs Center is excited to share Exploring Possibilities & Supports: An Information Gathering Toolkit. This resource provides people with developmental disabilities, family members, and Support Coordinators with Person-Centered Thinking and Charting the LifeCourse tools and concepts to use when exploring life possibilities and planning for supports.

      • The information gathered can be used, together with conversations, to inform the person-centered planning process in the following ways:

        • People with disabilities and their families can use the Toolkit to prepare to work with Support Coordinators to develop their Person-Centered Planning Tools (PCPTs) and New Jersey Individualized Service Plans (NJ ISPs)

• Support Coordinators can distribute in advance of meetings and use the Toolkit to guide planning conversations in meetings

• Direct Support Professionals can help those they support to share ideas about their lives and contribute to the planning process themselves


Download Toolkit in English and Spanish

 

Episode 2 of BoggsCast Now Available

BoggsCast The Boggs Center is excited to share the latest episode of BoggsCast, a podcast where faculty and staff explore best practice, showcase success stories, and help listeners envision possibilities for innovation through interviews with state and national experts.

In this episode, Andrea Witwer, PhD, Associate Professor at The Ohio State University, and Director of Training and LEND Associate Director at the Nisonger Center, discusses mental health needs among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

BoggsCast is available on the Podbean App, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify apps and websites. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with the newest episodes.

 

BoggsCast is available on the Podbean App, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify apps and websites. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with the newest episodes.
Podbean
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify

 

Colleen McLaughlin, MEd, Honored as Outstanding Professional of the Year by MyGOAL

Colleen McLaughlin & Genevieve KumapleyColleen McLaughlin, MEd, Associate Director of The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, was honored as Outstanding Professional of the Year by MyGOAL, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting people with autism and other intellectual disabilities across the lifespan. This recognition highlights Ms. McLaughlin’s contributions to supporting the developmental disabilities community and vision in advancing meaningful lives. The award was presented at the 13th Annual MyGOAL Autism Gala on November 6th, where Ms. McLaughlin served as keynote speaker. Her remarks focused on the values of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Partners in Policymaking program and ways in which the voice and vision of people with disabilities and families inspire our work.

Pictured: Colleen McLaughlin, Associate Director of The Boggs Center (left)
Genevieve Kumapley, MyGOAL Founder & Executive Director (right)


 

Introducing BoggsCast: A Podcast by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities

 

BoggsCast: A Podcast by The Boggs Center on Developmental DisabilitiesThe Boggs Center is excited to introduce BoggsCast, a podcast where faculty and staff explore best practice, showcase success stories, and help listeners envision possibilities for innovation through interviews with state and national experts.

The inaugural episode features an interview with Emily Ladau, Disability Rights Activist, Writer, and Digital Communications Consultant. In this episode, Emily discusses disability allyship and storytelling to connect about disability.

BoggsCast is available on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify apps and websites. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with the newest episodes. Episodes and full transcripts can also be found at: http://theboggscenter.podbean.com.

Listen on your preferred app or website:
Podbean
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify


Get Ready for the Upcoming Election with Voting: It’s Your Right

The upcoming General Election on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021 will determine New Jersey’s next Governor, State Senators and Assembly Members, and county and local officials.

Get ready for the election by reading Voting: It’s Your Right, a guide about voting rights and the voting process in New Jersey developed by The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities in collaboration with its Developmental Disabilities Network Partners, Disability Rights New Jersey and the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Voting: It's Your Right coverThe recently updated 5th edition, available in English and Spanish, provides readers with information on:


• Registering and preparing to vote
• Options for voting by mail and in-person, including early voting
• Voting rights and accessibility
• Contacting election officials with questions

Important dates to remember:

October 23, 2021 - October 31, 2021 – In-Person Early Voting Period
October 26, 2021 – Deadline to apply for a Vote-by-Mail Ballot by mail for General Election
November 1, 2021 – Deadline to apply for a Vote-by-Mail ballot in person at your County Clerk’s office (before 3:00pm)
November 2, 2021 – Election Day – polls are open for in-person voting from 6:00am-8:00pm. If you are voting by mail, your ballot must be postmarked, placed in a secure ballot drop box, or delivered to your county’s Board of Elections Office by 8:00pm.

 


Take The Boggs Center 5-Year Core Grant Community Survey!

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is New Jersey’s federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD) under the Developmental Disabilities Act.

The Boggs Center will be submitting its five-year plan to the Administration for Community Living (ACL). It is important that our plan be grounded in the experience, voices, and input of people with disabilities, families, and those who work on their behalf.

Computer and mobile phone with survey on screenThe Boggs Center created a brief survey to gather this information. The survey will provide you with an opportunity to provide input into The Boggs Center’s current work, future work, and the needs of the community. Your responses will contribute to The Boggs Center’s goals for the next five years.

Survey responses will be anonymous. Please submit your response to the survey by October 31, 2021.

Click here to take the survey

Thank you for taking time to complete the survey. We are grateful for your contribution.

 

Fight the Flu: It’s Important to the Disability Community!


Getting a flu shot is important to the disability community. The flu shot is the best way to protect against the flu. It reduces the risk of serious flu-related illness requiring care in hospitals continuing to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources from The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities explain the importance of the flu shot to the disability community and help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities understand what to expect when getting the shot.

Fight the Flu coverFight the Flu: It’s Important to the Disability Community explains why getting the flu shot is important to the disability community and provides recommendations and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

Getting a Flu Shot Social Story coverGetting a Flu Shot: A Social Story for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities helps readers understand why it’s important to get a flu shot and what to expect when getting the shot. Direct Support Professionals, family members, and others that provide support can use this social story to prepare people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for getting the flu shot by printing or sharing with the person on a computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Download Fight the Flu Resources in English and Spanish

 

 

New Resource on Sharing Your Vision in Advocacy

Cover - Sharing Your Vision in AdvocacyPeople with developmental disabilities and their families have to opportunity to advocate for supports, services, and systems change as the State plans for the renewal of the NJ FamilyCare (1115) Demonstration Waiver. New Jersey Family Care is also called the NJ Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver.

The Boggs Center developed Sharing Your Vision in Advocacy: Providing Stakeholder Input to provide information to help you advocate by sharing your vision for the future and the ways you’d like supports and services to help you achieve the life you want. Public comment sessions will be held by the Department of Human Services (DHS) on September 13th and September 27th. Information about submitting comments to DHS and registering for public comment sessions can also be found in the document.


Registration is Open for the Fall 2021 Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series

Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series Fall 2021The Boggs Center’s Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series is a community and continuing education program provided for professionals, policymakers, individuals with disabilities, and family members to enhance their knowledge and skills in innovative approaches and state of the art practices for people with developmental disabilities.

The webinars are free of charge. Space is limited and advanced registration is required. Open to people who live or work in New Jersey.

The Movement for Disability Rights: Perspectives Across Generations300th DDLS Session
Judith E. Heumann, MPH and Liz Weintraub
Friday, October 1, 2021 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM l Webinar

Technology Solutions for Community Living

Emily Shea Tanis, PhD, FAAIDD l Friday, October 8, 2021 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
l Webinar

Disability Inclusion: Building Capacity of Partners

Adriane Griffen, DrPH, MPH, MCHES l Friday, October 29, 2021 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM l Webinar

Supporting Self-Determination Across the Life Course
Karrie Shogren, PhD l Friday, November 5, 2021 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM l Webinar

 

Learn more and register for the Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series

 

 

Margaret Gilbride, JD, CT, Interviewed for Mental Health Crossroads Podcast

Margaret GilbrideMargaret Gilbride, JD, CT, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Transition, Employment, and Aging & Disability at The Boggs Center, was interviewed about grief and loss in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for the Mental Health Crossroads Podcast produced by The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center. Listen to the 2-part podcast interview.



Family Survey on COVID-19 and Vaccines

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDC imageThe Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities is developing resources and materials to share up-to-date information and support decision-making about COVID-19 and vaccines. We are interested in hearing from families of children and emerging adults with disabilities to guide this process.

If you are a family member of a child or emerging adult with a disability, we are asking for your help in answering this survey, which should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Your responses will be completely anonymous. The information we learn will be used to develop resources and materials for families and emerging adults.

Take the Family Survey on COVID-19 and Vaccines by September 3

The survey, and the development of resources and materials for families, is part of The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities' commitment to the health and well-being of children and adults with developmental disabilities and to empowering individuals with disabilities and their families. This survey is supported, in part, by funding from the Administration on Community Living to The Boggs Center as New Jersey's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service.

Please share this survey link with families, groups, or organizations to help ensure we reach as diverse an audience as possible.

 

Boggs Center Faculty & Staff Author Journal Articles


Journal of Developmental Pediatrics coverBoggs Center faculty members Caroline N. Coffield, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Preservice Training, Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, Professor Pediatrics and Executive Director, and Manuel E. Jimenez, MD, Assistant Professor and Director of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at The Boggs Center, conducted a study of the experiences of Latino families of children recently diagnosed with autism. An article about this project, a collaboration with Jill Harris, PhD and Children's Specialized Hospital, was recently published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

Coffield C.N., Spitalnik D.M., Harris J.F., Jimenez M.E. (2021). Exploring the Experiences of Families of Latino Children Newly Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, May 3, 2021.

Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation coverBoggs Center Training & Consultation Specialists, Bethany Chase, MSW, LSW, CESP, Jessica Short, BA, CESP, and Robert Kimmel, MAT, BCBA, CESP, authored articles recently published in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Chase, B. (2021). Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: Collaborating with Families to Create Employment Opportunity. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 54(3), 279-283.

Kimmel, R. (2021). More than Memes: Embracing Social Media for 21st Century Supported Employment. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 54(3), 289-293.

Short, J. (2021). A Snapshot of Potential: Using Situational Assessments to Capture the Moment. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 54(3), 261-264.

New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Now Accepting Applications
Deadline extended to July 9, 2021
NJ Partners in Policymaking graphic

New Jersey Partners in Policymaking is a leadership development and advocacy education program foradults with developmental disabilities (over age 21) and family members of young children and transitionage 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 2021-2022 Partners in Policymaking sessions are currently scheduled to takeplace using a hybrid model that combines virtual learning through the use of online technology and potentially in-person training sessions. 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. Individuals from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds and those who identify as LGBTQ+ are encouraged to apply. The Partners program is now accepting applications from people with developmental disabilities and family members for the class of 2021-2022.

Download the application to learn more about the program and how to apply

Applications must be received by July 9, 2021. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by July 30, 2021.

Visit the NJ Partners in Policymaking page on The Boggs Center's web site for additional information.

The Boggs Center Celebrates the Graduation of the 2020-2021 NJLEND Fellows at the 5th Annual Maternal and Child Health Leadership Symposium

NJLEND Class of 2020-2021 photo collageOn May 7th, 2021, The Boggs Center celebrated the graduation of the 2020-2021 NJLEND Fellows at the New Jersey Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NJLEND) program’s 5th annual Maternal and Child Health Leadership Symposium. Held virtually this year in response to COVID-19, the event featured a keynote address, “The Meaning of Resilience: Building Self-Healing Communities,” by Dave Ellis, Founding Executive Director, The Office of Resilience, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, 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. There were brief video presentations by each of the 20 graduating NJLEND Fellows sharing their personal definitions of leadership, the culmination of the year-long Defining Leadership: Charting Your Trajectory Learning Exercise.

NJLEND Fellows presented their Leadership Project Posters at a separate virtual session on Friday, April 30, sharing the culmination of their year-long projects with each other and the NJLEND Faculty.

Congratulations to the 2020-2021 NJLEND Fellows and Boggs Center Interdisciplinary Trainees: Alexandra Gil, MA; Alexis M. Morgan, BS; Ana Carolina Ford, BSN, RN; Angela Otto-Ryan, BSN, RN, CBC; Angela Alberti, MEd, BSN, RN; Brie Marisa Latini; Isabella Massaro, BA; John Palatucci, MPA; Karen Stanfar MPH, RDN, LD; Kelly McGrath BA, CSW, LSW; Lena Qasem, BSN, RN; Michelle Shulman-Repole, MSN, MPH, APN, CPNP-PC; Nadejda Tomarev, MD; Norna P. Jules, BS; Odeilis Dominguez, MD; Samantha Breitbart, BSN, RN; Sharon Plafker Artz, PsyD; Stephanie L. Michael, BA, IMH-E; Susan Colacello; Tara Palamarik; Ariana Gover-Chamlou; Dillon Reitmeyer, MSW; Morgan Neumann; and Marina Khrizman, DO.

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.

To learn more about the NJLEND program, view the NJLEND 2020-2021 Annual Report.

 

New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Now Accepting ApplicationsNJ Partners in Policymaking graphic

New Jersey Partners in Policymaking is a leadership development and advocacy education program foradults with developmental disabilities (over age 21) and family members of young children and transitionage 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 2021-2022 Partners in Policymaking sessions are currently scheduled to takeplace using a hybrid model that combines virtual learning through the use of online technology and potentially in-person training sessions. 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 2021-2022.

Download the application to learn more about the program and how to apply

Applications must be received by June 25, 2021. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by July 30, 2021.

Visit the NJ Partners in Policymaking page on The Boggs Center's web site for additional information.


New Video: Considerations for Individuals at COVID-19 Vaccination Sites

 

New Jersey Department of Human ServicesL Considerations for Individuals with Disabilities at COVID-19 Vaccination SitesThe New Jersey Department of Human Services and The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities produced a webinar for COVID-19 vaccination sites with considerations for individuals with disabilities. The webinar serves as a guide to help ensure COVID-19 vaccines are accessible to all New Jerseyans, including individuals with disabilities. Together, by ensuring accommodations, we can help promote a healthier New Jersey for everyone.   View the Video

 

The Boggs Center Celebrates Graduation of New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Class of 2020-2021

 

NJ Partners in Policymaking Class of 2020-2021

On April 17, 2021, The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities hosted a virtual graduation ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of the New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Class of 2020-2021.

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 11 self-advocates and 14 parents 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. Gwen Orlowski, Executive Director of Disability Rights NJ congratulated the class through a speech that celebrated advocacy and collaboration. 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. 

NJ Partners in Policymaking Graduation 2021


Through panel presentations, this year's graduates shared what they learned in the program and 
theirplans for advocacy after graduation. The event culminated with Jaime Zahid celebrating each graduate through a slide show that highlighted their success 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 2020-2021.

Congratulations to the New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Class of 2020-2021:

Maria Anderson
Tammi Kaminski
Erin Putman
John Berardi
Amy Kiger
Ana Maria Rivera
Charlotte Borgersen
Steffen Klenk
Iris Rivera
Robert Chester
Gabriella Mariello
Tara Szymanek
Maria Chirelli
Johanne Mayer
Jill Tobin
Pamela Giacchi
Jorge Murphy
Carla Vicari
Milagros Gonzales
Stephen Odukoya
Anjali Viswanath
Lisa Hernandez
Nicole Parks
Joanna Wuehr


Alexis Yeatts

 


Interprofessional Group of NJLEND Faculty and Nutrition Fellow Write Article for Exceptional Parent Magazine

 

Exceptional Parent Oral Health An article on oral health and nutrition concerns for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) written by an interprofessional group of NJLEND Faculty and Nutrition Fellow was published in the February 2021 issue of Exceptional Parent Magazine. Jane Ziegler, DCN, RDN, LDN, NJLEND Nutrition Faculty, Evan Spivak, DDS, NJLEND Dental Faculty, and Karen Stanfar, MPH, RDN, LD, NJLEND Nutrition Fellow, authored “Oral Health and Nutrition Concerns in Autism Spectrum Disorders” to provide information about autism-related behaviors, dietary habits, medical comorbidities, and medication use which may contribute to oral health and nutrition concerns. The article promotes an interdisciplinary approach, involving both dentist and nutritionist, in the development of care plans that account for the specific needs of individuals with ASD and address any co-occurring conditions, medications, and associated behaviors. Interventions demonstrating the importance of adopting a coordinated and multi-specialist approach to care are also described in the article. This collaborative publication exemplifies NJLEND’s commitment to interdisciplinary leadership development for faculty and fellows.

 

5th Annual NJLEND Maternal and Child Health Leadership Symposium

Join us on Friday, May 7, 2021 for the 5th Annual New Jersey Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NJLEND) Maternal & Child Health Leadership Symposium, a Community Education Event with recognition of 2020-2021 NJLEND Fellows.

Dave EllisThis online symposium will feature a keynote presentation by Dave Ellis, Founding Executive Director, The Office of Resilience, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, on The Meaning of Resilience: Building Self-Healing Communities. Dave Ellis is a national leader in providing trainings and facilitating conversations on the lasting impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and generational trauma.

There is no charge for this program. Space is limited and advanced registration is required.

Learn more and register for the 5th Annual NJLEND Maternal and Child Health Leadership Symposium

 


Building Resilience in Families with Young Children

 

Exceptional Parent guide coverThe Act Early COVID-19 Response teams are working to bolster the 4 steps of early identification of developmental delays and disabilities and to improve resiliency among families with young children during COVID-19 response and mitigation efforts. As one strategy to achieve these goals, the New Jersey team leads, Caroline Coffield (The Boggs Center) and Deepa Srinivasavaradan (CDC's Act Early Ambassador to NJ), along with Stephanie Michael (The Boggs Center/NJLEND Trainee), authored an article, Building Resilience: Resources to Help Families Grow from Challenging Times, featured in the 2021 Guide of Exceptional Parent magazine. This article, disseminated to a national audience of parents of children with disabilities, describes each protective factor of the Strengthening Families approach and provides resources to support for building resilience through crisis and change from sources including “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” materials, Zero to Three strategies and materials, and resources from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center.

 

 

Rob Kimmel Elected President of NJAPSE

 

Rob KimmelRob Kimmel, MAT, BCBA, CESP, Training & Consultation Specialist for the Employment and Transition projects, was elected President of the New Jersey Association of People Supporting Employment First (NJAPSE) chapter. APSE is the only national organization with a focus exclusively on inclusive employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

 

 

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources for the Developmental Disabilities Community

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus that spreads easily and can make people very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine protects against COVID-19, and is an important tool to help stop the pandemic. People with developmental disabilities, their families, and supporters play an important role in preventing COVID-19 by getting a vaccine.

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities has developed two new resources to provide information about COVID-19 vaccines and help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities understand what to expect. Available in English and Spanish.

COVID-19 Vaccine Facts for the Developmental Disabilities Community-CoverCOVID-19 Vaccine Facts for the Developmental Disabilities Community provides information about COVID-19 vaccines, including:
• When, where, and how to get the vaccine
• What to expect when getting the vaccine
• What to expect after getting the vaccine
• How to continue to stay safe before and after getting the COVID-19 vaccine


Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine: A Social Story for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities-Cover Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine: A Social Story for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
helps readers understand why it’s important to get a COVID-19 vaccine and what to expect before, during, and after vaccination. Direct Support Professionals, family members, and other supporters can use this social story to prepare people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for getting a COVID-19 vaccine by printing or sharing on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.


View COVID-19 Vaccine Resources for the Developmental Disabilities Community


Registration is Open for the Spring 2021 Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series

 

Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series Spring 2021The Boggs Center’s Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series is a community and continuing education program provided for professionals, policymakers, individuals with disabilities, and family members to enhance their knowledge and skills in innovative approaches and state of the art practices for people with developmental disabilities. The Spring 2021 Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series features national experts on autism and transition, disability advocacy, job development, and mental health needs.

 

  • Preparing Families to Support Youth on the Autism Spectrum as They Transition to Adulthood
    Presented by Julie Lounds Taylor l Friday, April 16, 2021 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM l Webinar
  • Nothing About Us Without Us: Centering Disabled People in Disability Advocacy
    Presented by Emily Ladau, BA l Friday, April 23, 2021 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    l Webinar
  • Beyond Traditional Job Development: The Art of Creating Opportunity
    Presented by Denise Bissonnette, MEd l Friday, May 14, 2021 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM l Webinar

  • Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
    Presented by Andrea Witwer, PhD l Friday, May 21, 2021 l 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM l Webinar

 

The webinars are free of charge. Space is limited and advanced registration is required.
Learn more and register for the Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series

 

The Boggs Center’s “Year at a Glance” Provides Snapshot of Work in FY2020

Boggs Center Year at a Glance FY 2020 coverAs New Jersey’s federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program, The Boggs Center promotes inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of community life through community and student training, technical assistance, research, and informational materials. The Boggs Center’s “Year at a Glance” report provides a snapshot of the Center’s work in Fiscal Year 2020.

View The Boggs Center’s “Year at a Glance” report for FY2020

For a more detailed look at the Center’s efforts to fulfill its mission as New Jersey’s federally designated UCEDD and LEND program during FY2020, including new activities and programmatic adaptations in response to COVID-19, view The Boggs Center’s Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020.

 

The Boggs Center Shares Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020

Boggs Center FY20 Annual Report coverEach year as I write to share the contributions of The Boggs Center and our collaborations with all of you, I appreciate what we have been able to accomplish together and also am always aware of how much more there is to be done. Looking back on the past year has, for all of us, been a very different and difficult experience. Little in any of our collective experience has prepared us for the loss and disruption in every family and community, things that have been experienced even more devastatingly in the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and the supporters and systems that work on their behalf.

From July 2019 up to early March, we continued to provide the educational programs, technical assistance to communities and systems, research and information that have been the hallmark of our partnerships and mission. In March, with the onslaught of the pandemic, all our lives changed.

This report reflects the dedication and efforts of everyone at The Boggs Center in the ways that, as individuals and as an organization, we have worked to convert our programs and activities in virtual and remote formats that continue to support the disability community while keeping everyone safe. We are gratified to have so many people attend the DD Lecture Series virtually, utilize our new "Just in Time Webinar Series" and to have been able to teach our fellows, students, and community trainings remotely. Developing and curating resources on COVID-19 targeted to people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers has been one of our highest priorities. We are gratified that we have been able to involve medical students from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in these processes.

In listening sessions with our federal DD Act partners, Disability Rights New Jersey and the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, the expressions of concern in the community, as well as our Consumer Advisory Council, have guided our actions and direction. Please let us know what other things would support our community.

In the disability community, we have always been aware of how interdependent we all are. Our collective efforts to support public health and safety measures, as all our efforts at The Boggs Center, are devoted to enhancing the common good. For all those who have lost loved ones, are struggling with illness, separation from services and economic loss, our hearts are with you.

We strive for ways to support our community now in the amidst of the pandemic and looking ahead to the time when we can be in each other's presence and continue to create support and opportunities for people with disabilities, families, and those who work on their behalf.

With warm good wishes,

Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics and Family Medicine and Community Health
Executive Director, The Boggs Center and NJLEND

View The Boggs Center's Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020

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