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

October 5, 2022 | Issue 48 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

Decorative image of student at a computer.

Why Statewide Testing Participation Matters for All Students

Statewide testing requirements have been a feature of public K–12 education since1994 but questions about testing participation persist, such as:

  • “Why is it necessary for students to participate?”
  • “Which students should participate?”
  • “What is the impact of participation on funding and decision making?

The National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) has developed a toolkit to identify and describe reasons why all students, including students with disabilities, English learners, and English learners with disabilities should take state tests.

The toolkit is intended to provide a neutral but useful mechanism to guide positive, thoughtful conversations about student testing participation. It includes: 

Flyer for Families that addresses: 

  • How does taking state test help my child? 
  • How does taking state tests help my school? 
  • How can I support my child?

Flyer for Students to help them understand: 

  • How does taking state tests help me? 
  • How does taking state tests help my school? 
  • What can my family and I do so I feel supported? 

Materials that IEP Teams can use when making decisions about state test participation decisions. 

View the entire toolkit here

Visit NCEO’s website to access additional resources 


NJ Dept. of Education Logo

New Jersey Special Education Website Updates

The newly designed NJDOE - OSE website is easy to navigate and contains lots of helpful content for families and professionals.  

It includes links to sections for:

Check out the new website here

Recommendations to Increase Access in Organ Transplants

Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities logo

The Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities is a coalition made up of: 

  • Doctors
  • Scientists
  • People with disabilities 
  • Family members of people with disabilities 
  • Ethicists

The Center for Dignity looks at discrimination in healthcare for people with disabilities to find out why it happens. One area where discrimination is found is disability bias, affecting which people receive organ transplants.

The Center for Dignity recently issued recommendations for closing the gap of systemic inequality for people with disabilities in organ transplant allocation. The recommendations address: 

  • Transparency in Selection Criteria for Organ Allocation
  • Person-Centered Planning
  • Supported Decision-Making
  • Disability-Related Criteria for Transplants
  • Need for more data about disability bias in organ transplants

Lauren Agoratus and Josie Badger of SPAN are members of the Subcommittee that developed the recommendations. Other committees include Prenatal Diagnosis, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention, and Aging/End-of-Life.

Read the Transplant recommendations here

 See Recent Blog Posts here about Language Access and the Double Burden of Racism and Ableism


Upcoming Events

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

Highlighted Event this week

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Mental Health First Aid

In-Person Training

Thursday, October 13, 2022

10:30 am to 4:30 pm


South Region Winslow Twp. Library 35 Cooper Folly Road, Atco, NJ

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among adults.

Participants will learn about: 

  • Common signs and symptoms of mental health and substance abuse challenges.
  • How to interact with a person in crisis.
  • How to connect a person with help.

The training also includes expanded content on trauma, substance use and self-care

Note:  2 hours of pre-work are required

Presented by: Amy Hass MSW MHFA/ QPR Trainer and her team from NJ Department of Human Services

For more information contact: Nicole Pratt, Director, LEAD Project at SPAN 

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


SPAN Youth Blog Highlight

Hispanic Heritage Month is a U.S. celebration of cultures from different Latin countries. Learn more about the month and how you can recognize the influence of Hispanic Americans in the blog post, "National Hispanic Heritage Month."

Click here to subscribe to the Youth Blog

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