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June 14, 2023 | Issue 83 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

HRC logo

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Declares LGBTQ+ State of Emergency in US

The largest LGBTQ+ advocacy organization in the U.S. on June 6 declared its first national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans, citing the proliferation of legislation in statehouses across the country aimed at regulating the lives of queer people.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said over 70 bills it considers anti-LGBTQ+ were passed in statehouses this legislative session, double last year's previous record. Some 525 bills were introduced, virtually all by Republicans, including more than 220 affecting transgender people, HRC said.

On June, 6, HRC issued LGBTQ+ Americans Under Attack, a new report detailing the anti-LGBTQ+ bills. To counter what the organization calls the resulting "dizzying patchwork of discriminatory state laws that have created increasingly hostile and dangerous environments for LGBTQ+ people," HRC also issued a national warning and downloadable guidebook for the LGBTQ+ community.

To read the entire HRC release, click here.


Rutgers State of Early Intervention Study Cover photo

National Audit Finds Fewer Young Kids Accessing Early Intervention, Special Ed

The number of young children with disabilities receiving early intervention and special education dropped dramatically in recent years and access to these services varied significantly by state, according to a new report issued by the National Institute for Early Education Research at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

For the report, researchers looked at data from the 2020-2021 school year and evaluated trends between the 2005-2006 and 2020-2021 academic years.

They found that 3.7% of children under age 3 received early intervention in the fall of 2020, but access was far from equitable. At the high end, 10% of Massachusetts youngsters were enrolled in the program, compared to a low of just 1% in Arkansas and Hawaii.

Meanwhile, 6% of kids ages 3 and 4 received special education services nationally, but that number ranged from 14% in Wyoming to under 3% in Alabama.

The report also found that Black, Hispanic and Asian children were less likely than white kids to be in early intervention or special education at young ages.

Katherine Neas, deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education, stated, “We know that when we help kids get the supports that they need at the earliest age, they have better life outcomes. I think we need to think creatively about what the solutions are to these problems.”

To read an article on the report published in Disability Scoop, click here.

To access the full report directly, click here

Join the NJAIJ for Their Trenton Takeover on 6/26!

NJAIJ Trenton Takeover flyer image

The New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ) hosts a quarterly lobby day, the Trenton Takeover, to advocate for their immigration rights priorities. June is Immigrant Heritage Month and it's also when the State budget is due!

They use this opportunity to host their largest lobby day of the year, pairing legislative visits with a rally and press conference reminding lawmakers that immigrants deserve to "Take Up Space" -- both at the Statehouse and in the State budget!

  • Orientation will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Committee Room #16
  • Lobby visits will be 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Committee Room #16 and in the hall
  • Rally begins at 12:30 p.m. sharp!

If your organization would like to consider sponsoring this event for NJAIJ, click here for sponsorship information.

If you, your organization and members would like to attend, RSVP here.

Upcoming Events

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them.

Highlighted Event This Week

Center for Transition to Adult Health Care for Youth with Disabilities flyer image

Virtual Open House: We Are Looking for Youth to Join the Youth Development Initiative (YDI) - Learn How

The Center for Transition to Adult Health Care for Youth with Disabilities is looking for young people (ages 12 - 17) with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who are ready to learn about healthcare transition, self-advocacy, and getting ready for adulthood.

Join Center staff at either of two virtual Open House meetings to learn about this new opportunity to Join the Center's Youth Development Initiative (YDI)

Open House Dates:

Tuesday, June 27, 5:30-6:60 PM ET



Wednesday, July 19, 5:30-6:30 PM


For more information or any questions, contact Rachel Shandler at [email protected]

To visit the Center website, click here.

See all of SPAN's upcoming events with details and registration links here 

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Accessibility in Video Games

Read our latest youth blog post, "Accessibility in Video Games," on how the video gaming industry is removing barriers for people with disabilities by partnering with accessibility experts.

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