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August 3, 2022 | Issue 39 (View newsletter as webpage)  Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

US Dept. of Education logo

New Guidance - Equitable Discipline of Students with Disabilities

The US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) have issued important new guidance regarding equitable discipline of students with disabilities.

Some of the most important areas addressed in the guidance include: 

  • a focus on “informal removals,” which the guidance notes are tantamount to suspension/expulsion and require the same procedural safeguards;
  • the fact that the use of restraint and seclusion is not evidence-based and could be a violation of student rights;
  • the requirement to comply with federal laws that provide procedural safeguards to students and parents if threat/risk assessments are conducted; and
  • the fact that schools may need to make reasonable accommodations for interactions between youth with disabilities and school-based law enforcement.

You can find the press release and links to the new guidance, which includes:

  • a comprehensive guide and brief fact sheet from OCR,
  • a comprehensive Q&A document from OSEP, and
  • a resource from OSEP on "Positive, Proactive Approaches to Supporting Children with Disabilities: A Guide for Stakeholders"

Review the resources here

The documents are in the process of being translated into Spanish!

SPAN is reviewing this guidance and considering how to update our training and resource materials to reflect the guidance.


Communication Supports Within Inclusive Instruction:

What Parents Need to Know 

Decorative photo of young children

"Communicative competence is defined as the successful use of communication skills between two or more communication partners in which the message sent by the sender is understood by the receiver."

All students communicate, but some may need options other than oral speech, or in addition to oral speech. A new TIES Center resource provides guidance for families, and other IEP team members, on how to build communication supports within inclusive instruction.

The comprehensive resource includes information about: 

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Legal background for obtaining communication supports
  • Resources on Communication Supports in Inclusive Classrooms

Download the TIES Parent Brief here

Explore more resources from the TIES Center here


Review resources on Inclusion here, developed and reviewed by the SPAN START-EPSD project in collaboration with New Jersey Office of Special Education Programs (NJOSEP), specifically for families to use in supporting their children in leading inclusive lives.

Financial Hardship Among People with Disabilities

United for ALICE logo

Today is the official launch of ALICE in Focus: People with Disabilities!

ALICE refers to households that are:

 Asset Limited, Income Constrained, & Employed. 

While18% of people with disabilities in the U.S. lived in poverty in 2019, another 34% were also struggling, in households that earned above the Federal Poverty Level but less than what it costs to afford the basics. 

Between families in poverty and those who are ALICE, more than half of all people with disabilities in the U.S. lived in a household which struggled to afford essentials in the communities where they lived. These data hold true for New Jersey as well. 


The website includes National and State Data in an easy-to-use Data Dashboard and State-Specific research briefs that provide key findings for each state. 


Review ALICE Research Briefs and Dashboards here


View the Introductory Video here 

It brings key data highlights to life with perspectives from national leadership committee members, advocates, and allies, including those with lived experience.

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

New Jersey Community of Care Consortium

Join us for an interactive panel discussion with Parent Leaders and State partners on issues related to access to health care systems and navigating resources and supports.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

10:00 AM - Noon

Via Zoom

The NJ Community of Care Consortium (COCC) meets three times a year and brings together: 

  • state agencies
  • family, health, advocacy, and disability organizations 
  • parents, youth, and professionals

The group advocates to improve systems of care for Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs (CYSHCN) and their families.

The COCC consists of 4 workgroups, each co-chaired by a parent and a professional:

  • Medical Home and Community Resources
  • Early and Continuous Screening
  • Transition to Adulthood
  • Adequate Public and Private Insurance

Spanish Interpretation is Available  

Interpretacion en Espanol Disponible 

Register Here

Learn about the Maternal and Child Health Bureau Core Outcomes for CYSHCN and their families

For assistance contact: 

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

Join the SPAN Team - View Open Positions here

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