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

August 17, 2022 | Issue 41 (View newsletter as webpage)  Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

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Community Engagement:

A Pathway to Competitive Integrated Employment

The employment of individuals with disabilities benefits our communities and our nation as they maximize their skills and talents and contribute fully to our economy.  Individuals with disabilities are often unemployed, underemployed, or employed at low wages because of low expectations.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services released A Framework for Community Engagement — A Pathway to Competitive Integrated Employment.

The Framework presents a Federal vision for community engagement by individuals with disabilities to inform policymakers and service providers.

Supported community engagement enables individuals with disabilities to expand skills and experience. The benefits include:

  • Building relationships and social networks
  • Sharpening workplace skills
  • Learning work skills

Community engagement provides meaning and purpose specific to the individual. Examples of community engagement opportunities include:


  • Continuing education classes
  • Volunteering
  • Using a computer at a public library

The framework also describes how service systems work together to support community engagement and links to resources for families, young people, and providers.

Review the framework here

Learn more about "competitive integrated employment" here 

View the REAL Transition Partners webinar to learn about Individualized Plans for Employment


New Maternity Coverage Tool for Expecting Parents in New Jersey

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A new tool was created to provide expecting parents guidance about coverage for Maternity Leave. 

Maternity leave in New Jersey has two parts: 

  • Temporary Disability Insurance - benefits while pregnant or recovering from childbirth
  • Family Leave Insurance - benefits while bonding with and/or caring for a new baby 

The tool empowers parents by providing them with a personalized timeline estimate of benefit coverage periods for maternity leave.

See the Maternity Coverage Timeline Tool here

Learn about benefits for non-birthing parents here

SPAN will be funded by the NJ Department of Labor to provide information and support to New Jersey families around our state's paid leave options

New Jersey Legislative Policy Forum on School Segregation & Opportunity

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Thursday, August 25, 2022

7:00 - 8:30 PM

St. Paul Baptist Church

Montclair, NJ

Fifty-nine years ago the Great March on Washington called for the immediate desegregation of America's Public Schools. Today, New Jersey schools are some of the most segregated in the nation. This is a result of policies that are still in place. 

Community, faith, education, and labor leaders along with parents, policymakers, and elected officials will gather at this forum.  

The purpose is to review current and proposed legislation to reverse policies that drive segregation and repair damage that policies have caused to children, families, and communities. 

The forum will be hosted by: 

  • Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover
  • Rev. Dr. Willie D. Francois
  • (invited) Assemblywoman Mila Jasey
  • Legislative Black Caucus Chair Shavonda Sumter, and
  • Senator Joe Cryan

Learn more about the Forum here

Register to attend here

Upcoming Events

See what's happening

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

Highlighted Event this week

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Community In-Service:

An Introduction to Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders

This Friday!

Friday, August 19, 2022

12:00 - 1:00 PM

Join us to learn from the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders. This presentation will promote a more positive, inclusive, and successful learning environment for individuals with these disorders.

Learning Objectives include:

  • Understanding the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of TS and associated disorders such as OCD, ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, mood disorders, and depression
  • Recognition of the ways TS and associated disorders can affect academic performance and peer social interactions
  • Increased awareness of strategies and accommodations that can have a positive impact on the academic success of a student with TS and associated disorders

Register Here

Spanish interpretation is available upon request.  

Interpretacion en Espanol Disponible, si se requiere.

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


Share your SPAN testimonial story! CLICK HERE

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