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Archived News

Fall 2019


The Boggs Center Serves as Foundational Partner in the New Jersey Council
of County Colleges’ VISION 2028

Vision 2028The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities has committed to addressing disparities in access to higher education based on race, ethnicity, geography, and disability by partnering with the New Jersey Council of County Colleges to achieve its VISION 2028 strategic action plan, along with other statewide partners. VISION 2028 provides a framework for implementing initiatives that aim to increase the percentage of New Jersey’s working-age adults who have earned a post-secondary credential or degree to 65% by the year 2025.

In a press release about the initiative, Deborah Spitalnik, PhD, Executive Director of The Boggs Center and Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, described the Center’s dedication “to working in partnership with the community colleges to create more opportunities for postsecondary education and career preparation for individuals with disabilities, infuse disability awareness and information into community college curriculum, and contribute to developing and sustaining the workforce that supports people with disabilities.”

The VISION 2028 executive summary and full report are accessible at:


DDLS From Your Desk and DDLS On-the-Go Episodes Available

The Boggs Center is excited to share two new ways to access key points and takeaways from selected sessions of our Developmental Disabilities Lecture Series. Learn about pressing topics, emerging trends, and innovative approaches in services and supports for people with disabilities from nationally-known experts in the field through DDLS From Your Desk and DDLS On-the-Go.

DDLS From Your Desk

DDLS From Your Desk is the Center’s web-based video series, and is accessible anytime and anywhere with an internet connection.

The Fall 2019 episode, “Best Practices in Employment Supports: Where Do We Go with What We Know?,” features Kelly, Nye-Lengerman, PhD, Research Associate at the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota. Viewers will learn:


  • The barriers to competitive integrated employment
  • What the national data tells us about employment for people with disabilities
  • Strategies that employment professionals can use to establish successful relationships with job seekers and their families
  • How information learned through research can lead to changes on a larger level

Watch episode

DDLS On-the-GoDDLS On-the-Go is the Center’s podcast featuring brief interviews with presenters and perfect for listening while zipping around or stuck in traffic.

The inaugural episode, “Invaluable: The Unrecognized Profession of Direct Support,” features
Amy Hewitt, PhD, Director of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota. Listeners will learn:


  • The primary challenges contributing to the Direct Support Professional (DSP) Workforce Crisis
  • How the DSP Workforce Crisis impacts people with developmental disabilities, their families, and provider organizations
  • Effective strategies for addressing issues related to DSP recruitment and retention
  • Recommendations for advocacy around DSP Workforce Issues

Listen to podcast
Subscribe to RSS feed

Full-length audio recordings and handouts for all recent DDLS sessions are also available

William Waldman Joins NJLEND Faculty to Share Expertise on Leadership

Bill WaldmanWilliam Waldman, former Commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Human Services and recently retired Professor of Professional Practice at the Rutgers School of Social Work, has joined The Boggs Center’s New Jersey Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NJLEND) program faculty. Waldman’s career in social work and dedication to serving the public began at the Essex County Welfare Board and continued in various roles with the State of New Jersey, including his tenure as Director of the Division of Youth and Family, Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, and cabinet member for three state governors.

As NJLEND faculty, Waldman will focus on the program’s leadership curriculum, infusing more than 50 years of practice experience in supervision, management, policy development, and governance at the local, state, and national level into the development of a 4-part curricular series for Fellows. Deborah Spitalnik

Rutgers School of Social Work recently hosted the William Waldman Fellowship Gala to honor Waldman’s dedication to social justice in the state of New Jersey and to Rutgers. The gala, held on Friday, October 11th, supported the establishment of an endowed fellowship in Waldman’s name to assist students balancing education with family and work. Deborah Spitalnik, PhD, The Boggs Center’s Executive Director and Director of NJLEND, participated in a panel presentation on the need for bipartisanship to advance social justice as part of the event.

To learn more about William Waldman, his lifelong career in social work, and his leadership experience, visit:


The New Jersey Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NJLEND) Program Enters Its Fourth Year at The Boggs Center

NJLEND 2019-2020 CohortThe Boggs Center’s NJLEND program began its fourth year with an orientation on September 6, 2019. Through the NJLEND program, graduate-level fellows prepare to provide interdisciplinary, family-centered, culturally competent care addressing the complex needs of children with autism and related disabilities as well as other maternal and child health populations. Fellows participate in the weekly Didactic Seminar Series, as well as a range of experiential learning, leadership development, and clinical training opportunities. In addition, each NJLEND Fellow is mentored by a family living with disability. Children’s Specialized Hospital, with its extensive expertise and patient population with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and broad network of clinical services statewide, is the primary partner for clinical training aspects of the program. Rutgers’ Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center is also a clinical partner.

NJLEND represents a unique set of university, state, local, and family partnerships. The 2019-2020 NJLEND cohort includes 13 fellows, representing 5 academic disciplines from Rutgers and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, as well as family fellows who have children with disabilities. NJLEND provides fellows the opportunity to learn from experts in the field and receive support and mentoring from faculty in their respective discipline. NJLEND faculty come from 8 unique disciplines, including: Dentistry, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Genetics, Nursing, Nutrition, Psychology, Social Work, and Family.

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, a component of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Pediatrics, is home to the NJ Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Training Program. NJLEND is funded through the Maternal and Child Health Bureau in the federal Health Resources and Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Services. Funding for LEND programs is authorized by the federal Autism CARES Act (Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support) [P.L. 113-157].

Visit the NJLEND page to learn more.


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