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

November 1, 2023 | Issue 103 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

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November is National Family Caregivers Month

Governor Murphy has issued a proclamation naming November as Family Caregivers Month in New Jersey, supporting National Family Caregivers Month, led yearly in November by the Caregiver Action Network.

National Family Caregivers Month is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country.

The theme for National Family Caregivers Month 2023 is #CaregiversConnect.

In his proclamation, Governor Murphy recognizes the following:

  • "WHEREAS, caring for a person with a disability, someone who is chronically ill or an older family member at home can be enormously strenuous and stressful undertaking for both the caregiver and the family member receiving care; and"

  • "WHEREAS, our communities must be made aware of the commitment of New Jersey's caregivers, so that they receive the tools and services they need to continue providing exemplary care to our most vulnerable residents."

To read the full proclamation, click here.


Boggs Center Be a Host Family Flyer image

Boggs Center Seeks Families of Children with Disabilities to Participate in Seminar to Help Medical Students

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is seeking families of children with disabilities to act as "host families" to help medical students better understand your experiences.

Please download the flyer pictured above for more details on the program, or click the website link here.

If you have questions or would like to participate, please contact the Training Coordinator, Carrie Coffield, PhD, at [email protected].

In Memoriam

Elizabeth Smith

Betsy Smith photo

SPAN mourns the passing of a pioneering self-advocate who changed the educational experience for many children in New Jersey and across the country. Elizabeth, affectionately known as Betsy, was one of the first students with Down syndrome to be included in general education classes in New Jersey, and was a tireless advocate for people with disabilities throughout her life.

Betsy was one of the founding Board members of New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education. The organization has posted a tribute to Betsy here.

NJ's BEAD Initial Proposal 1 Is Out for Public Comment and 11/8 Public Outreach Meeting

ConnectNJ logo

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will be allocating $263.7 million to New Jersey to help improve access to affordable, high-speed, reliable internet in unserved and underserved communities across New Jersey. The funding allocation will essentially be the program budget for developing and deploying the federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program in New Jersey and ultimately implement the state’s plan.

The New Jersey Office of Broadband Connectivity is pleased to announce that its Initial Proposal Volume 1 is now available for public comment until November 29, 2023. Your input can help ensure that this program will meet the internet needs of those who need it most!

In order to assist with the public comment process, the Office is offering an "Internet for All" public outreach meeting on November 8 at 12:00 noon, where they will discuss IP1 in more detail, the public comment period and answer your questions.

To register for the 11/8 meeting, click here.

For more on BEAD and to submit public comments, click here.

Upcoming Events

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

Highlighted Event This Week

ConnectingNJ Community Forum Flyer image

ConnectingNJ Community Forum

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 6:00 PM ET


Over the past few months, First Lady Tammy Murphy and the Departments of Health, Children and Families, and Human Services have been working together to develop strategies to improve Connecting NJ (CNJ), New Jersey’s statewide referral system supporting pregnant and parenting families with children, birth through age five, by providing connections with critical services such as home visiting, WIC, food assistance programs and more.


The parent voice is critical to ensuring CNJ responds to the needs of New Jersey families. To that end, they would like to invite you to join them for a discussion about CNJ, so they can learn how the system can best support you.  They will be hosting a virtual evening community forum for parents and families on Wednesday, November 8th at 6pm to solicit feedback and input on their ten-year vision for Connecting NJ, from now through 2033. 


To register, please click here


Parent attendees who have registered prior to the start of the meeting will receive a $50 gift card for their participation. There is limited capacity, so this meeting will be first come, first served.

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

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The Power of Patience

Read our latest youth blog post, "The Power Of Patience," about the benefits of patience and how to begin mastering the skill.

To access the post, click here.

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