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September 13, 2023 | Issue 96 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

HHS logo

Proposal to Strengthen Protections Against Discrimination Based on Disability

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights(OCR) announced a proposal to update regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits disability discrimination by recipients of federal funding. 

The proposed update to the HHS Section 504 regulations:

  • Clarifies obligations in several important areas that are not explicitly addressed in the current rule
  • Improves consistency with legislative developments since the current regulations were issued.

Highlights of new areas addressed in the proposed rule include:

  • Discrimination in medical treatment
  • Accessibility of medical equipment
  • Web, mobile app, and kiosk accessibility
  • Child welfare programs and activities
  • Community integration
  • Value assessment methods

Starting on September 14, HHS will be seeking public comment on the proposed rule for 60 days. Input from the disability and aging communities is essential!

Note: We will share instructions for submitting comments as soon as the information is available.

For complete coverage of the HHS announcement and a more in-depth analysis of the proposal by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), click here.


Assistive Technology for Education, Access and Alternative/Augmentative Communication

The Assistive Technology Industry Association(ATIA) is offering free webinars for updates on various AT products.

AT for Education and Access on September 20, 2023 will focus on apps for:

  • Independent Note Taking
  • Accessible Reading
  • Writing Math Assignments
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Studying
  • Using AT on Public or Shared Computers
  • Text-to-Speech

AT for Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) on September 27, 2023 will focus on:

  • Eye Gaze Computer Access
  • Computer Controls
  • Video for Expressive Communication
  • AAC Coaching for Communication Partners

Both sessions will be available live or as a recording.

Learn more and register here

View SPAN's playlist of AT-related webinars here

Register and attend one of the upcoming AT workshops hosted by SPAN here

Medicaid Termination of Eligibility - What You Need to Know

NJ FamilyCare is in the process of reviewing all members to see if they still qualify for coverage.

Members enrolled in NJ FamilyCare should:

  • Make sure that NJ FamilyCare has the correct contact information. Call 1-800-701-0710 to update contact information
  • Respond immediately to any mail from NJ FamilyCare. 

If a person receives a Medicaid termination letter, they should:

  • Immediately request a Fair Hearing following the instructions included in the letter and get legal help.
  • Hearings must be requested within 10 days of the date on the termination letter for benefits to continue during the hearing process.
  • Keep a copy of the denial letter and proof that the Fair Hearing request was sent via fax or certified mail. 

If a person becomes ineligible for NJ FamilyCare, they can apply for coverage through GetCoveredNJ due to "special circumstances."

View a detailed presentation by DRNJ and The Arc of NJ here

For legal and advocacy assistance, contact one of these agencies:

Assistance from these agencies is available in multiple languages.

Upcoming Events

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

Highlighted Event This Week

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Workshop

This workshop focuses on the right to services and accommodations for students with disabilities and special healthcare needs who may not be eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

September 20, 2023

7:00 - 8:00 PM

This workshop will be offered on additional dates in the future as well.

Register for any of the scheduled workshops on this topic here.

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

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The Power of Gratitude

Read our latest youth blog post, "The Power of Gratitude," on having a grateful mind and developing a framework of positivity that lets you see challenges as a gift or an opportunity to overcome adversity.

To access the post, click here.

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