SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

January 17, 2024 | Issue 113 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

Photo of NJ Governor Murphy next to SPAN's Youth Engagement Manager, Johan Mora Valverde

Pictured with Governor Murphy at the bill signing is SPAN's own Youth Engagement Manager, Johan Mora Valverde.

NJ Passes Data Disaggregation, Language Access and Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Bills

New Jersey has the second highest proportion of immigrants of all U.S. states spanning over 50 different countries and speaking over 155 languages. Over 40% of immigrants do not speak or read English proficiently, resulting in language barriers that prevent fair and equal access to state agency and public services. Language Access Bill S2459/A3837 required all state agencies that provide direct services to provide translation and interpretation in the state’s top 7 languages. In the similar spirit of granting access and visibility, Data Disaggregation Bill S2415/A3092 required agencies that collect demographic information to disaggregate for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to include Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian and Indian diaspora residents. Prior categories used by New Jersey state agencies collapsed over 70 ethnicities and countries of origin into just two racial groups (Asian and white), rendering distinct needs and differences within these communities invisible.

The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights ensures that domestic workers in New Jersey who provide invaluable services for families and elderly, disabled, and sick adults will have basic protections against discrimination and the right to unemployment, workers compensation paid leave insurance.

The bills passed the NJ Senate on January 7 and were signed into law by Governor Murphy on January 12.

For more on the bills, click here.


EP Magazine cover image

EP Magazine Releases 2024 Navigating Special Needs Resources Guide

EP Magazine has just released their EP Guide 2024 issue packed with inspirational stories, expert insight, and valuable resources for families/caretakers of children, youth and young adults with disabilities and special healthcare needs.

Included in the issue is an article authored by SPAN's own Lauren Agoratus, M.A. entitled "Diagnostic Odyssey for Rare Disorders" on page 48.

To access the issue, click here.

Black Teen Girls and Young Women with Autism and Their Parents Sought for Healthcare Roundtable

Family Voices graphic asking for black autistic girls and young women to volunteer for the discussion and study

Family Voices is leading a project to improve health care for Black girls and young women (inclusive of trans and nonbinary identities) with autism. The project team, led by Black women with autism, is hosting virtual roundtable discussions to find out about the health care experiences of Black girls with autism, and participants are paid $150 for their time. They are specifically looking for Black teen girls and young women with autism, as well as their parents/caregivers.

To learn more and apply to participate, click here.

Upcoming Events

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

Highlighted Event This Week

NJ Family Care logo

New Jersey Family Care/

Medicaid Access and Eligibility


Thursday, January 18, 2024

12 Noon - 1:00 PM EST


If you, or a family member, or people you know have insurance through NJ Family Care or Medicaid, you may need to take steps to continue receiving coverage. This webinar will provide an explanation of the Medicaid "unwinding process," the appeals process, and an overview of the current Medicaid eligibility criteria.

Featured Speaker:

Lee Ginsburg, Esq.

Community Health Law Project

Sponsored by The New Jersey Statewide Network for Cultural Competence.

To register for the webinar, click here.

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

Para recibir la edición en Español de este boletín semanalmente en su correo electrónico 

haga clic aquí para suscribirse
SPAN Youth Hub image

Martin Luther King Day 2024

Read our latest youth blog post, Martin Luther King Day 2024, to learn about his enduring message of compassion and empathy and how to achieve equality beyond legal recognition. Understanding each other is critical to lasting change in our communities. 

To access the post, click here.

Subscribe to The Bridge by CLICKING HERE

Share your SPAN testimonial story! CLICK HERE

Join the SPAN Team - View Open Positions here

Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Instagram