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

October 11, 2023 | Issue 100 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

NJ FamilyCare logo

Medicaid Eligibility Unwinding: Helpful Videos

Since March of 2020, NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid has followed special rules related to the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). These rules have allowed most NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid members to keep their health coverage, even if they no longer qualified – for example, if their income was too high. However, Congress passed legislation that said state Medicaid programs had to go back to following normal federal rules as of April 1, 2023.

NJ FamilyCare has re-started eligibility reviews. This means that all members enrolled in a NJ FamilyCare program will be reviewed to see if they still qualify for coverage. As part of this review, many members will receive mail from the State of New Jersey or their County Board of Social Services. Members will have to provide or confirm additional information so NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid can decide whether they still qualify for healthcare coverage. Members who do not respond to NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid mail may lose their coverage.

To help understand the process, videos about the return to regular renewals have been created. You can view them below.

StayCoveredNJ Announcement Video in American Sign Language (ASL)

StayCoveredNJ Announcement Video in English

StayCoveredNJ Video de Anuncio en Español


Rutgers Study Flyer

Rutgers Seeking Participants with a Limited Spoken Language Disability for a Research Study

A team at Rutgers University is conducting a research study focused on evaluating social-communication and other behaviors in individuals with developmental disabilities.

They are currently looking for study participants between the ages of 10 - 35 years old who have limited spoken language (i.e., nonspeaking or use primarily single words or simple phrases to communicate), and who have a caregiver who can provide information about childhood development and current behavior and experiences.

Participants may include individuals with diagnoses with intellectual disability, Down syndrome, or other genetic diagnoses, or autism spectrum disorder. Previous diagnosis not required.

Participants without autism diagnoses are needed to understand their specific social and communicative strengths and difficulties.

For more information, download the flyer pictured above or email [email protected].

To complete the survey, click here.

NJCAT Stakeholder Survey

Decorative image

The Rutgers Developmental Disabilities Planning Institute (DDPI) is conducting a multi-step research study to evaluate the NJCAT (NJ Comprehensive Assessment Tool) currently used by the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).


To begin, DDPI staff met with forty stakeholders, including DDD program staff, to discuss areas for improving the NJCAT. Using the information gathered in those discussions, DDPI created a web survey for all DDD stakeholders, called the NJCAT Stakeholder Survey.


DDPI recently sent an email invitation to complete the web survey to people receiving DDD services and/or their guardian (if they have one) and to DDD/Medicaid approved providers. We invite all DDD stakeholders to complete the NJCAT Stakeholder Survey. It is anonymous and takes about 15 minutes to complete. The information collected will be used to help guide a revision of the NJCAT.


The NJCAT Stakeholder Survey closes at midnight on Tuesday, October 17, 2023.



Upcoming Events

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

Highlighted Event This Week

Ending Seclusion and Reducing Restraint in NJ Schools  panel discussion flyer image

Eliminating Seclusion and Reducing Restraint in NJ Schools

A Panel Discussion

Saturday, October 21


Montclair State University

Please join a panel of experts discussing the use of restraint and seclusion in New Jersey schools. They will discuss current legislation, the harm caused by Restraint and Seclusion and alternative approaches to create safer schools for students, teachers, and staff.

Panel moderated by SPAN's own Institutional Policy Director, Peg Kinsell.

On the campus of Montclair State University at One Pine Street, Montclair, NJ.

To reserve your spot, click here.

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

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SPAN Youth Hub graphic image

Open-Mindedness and

Why it Matters

Read our latest youth blog post, "Open-Mindedness and Why it Matters," on how open-mindedness welcomes new opportunities and relationships. 

To access the post, click here.

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