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

August 30, 2023 | Issue 94 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

Photo of Beverly Roberts

In Memoriam: Beverly Roberts

Our hearts are broken.

It is with profound and utter sadness that we pause to remember our dear friend, Bev Roberts, who improved the lives of countless individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Bev was brilliant and embodied the spirit of the word advocacy. She was the link between families and systems, helping families understand the system and helping decision-makers understand the impact of their choices on families. She welcomed the opportunity to share her vast knowledge and expertise and we are all better off for it. Through her position as Director, Mainstreaming Medical Care at Arc of NJ, and the very way she lived her life, Bev leaves a legacy of dedication, compassion, and caring that we should all strive to emulate.

We send our deepest condolences to her family, friends, colleagues, and loved ones.  We will miss her dearly, but her memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew her. 


OSERS logo

Expect, Engage, Empower: Successful Transitions for All!

Introductory Blog Post

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) has released the first in a series of blog posts on secondary transition.

To improve transition planning and transition services the Office believes that:

  1. The education and vocational rehabilitation systems must work together,
  2. Critical discussions about the future and transition planning process must start sooner, and
  3. ALL students with disabilities should have the opportunity to learn about all post-secondary opportunities and make the best choice for themselves.

The blog also takes a look at some data, resources and initiatives that show us where we are and where we need to go. For instance, data from 2019 and 2020 showed us that we still have a long way to go to improve post-secondary outcomes for students with disabilities.

To view the data, and so much more, access the blog by clicking here.

Connecting NJ Seeks Community Input for Strategic Plan

ConnectingNJ logo

Connecting New Jersey (CNJ) serves as New Jersey’s referral system designed to support pregnant and parenting families with children from birth through age five by providing connections with a wide range of critical services such as home visiting, WIC, food assistance programs and more.


The effectiveness of this program is a component of solving New Jersey’s maternal health crisis as well as a critical component of the universal home visitation program, which will allow every mother across the state to receive at least one at-home visit from a nurse within two weeks of delivery, beginning in January 2024.


CNJ will host three forums to hear from community leaders and organizations, service providers, and most importantly, families and mothers. Forums will be held at 10 a.m. on:


1.  Wednesday, September 13th 

2.  Tuesday, September 19th 

3.  Wednesday, September 27th 


To register, click here.


Feedback can also be provided Wednesday, September 20th at 10:00 am at the Infant Child Health Committee meeting.


Register for that by clicking here.


You can also share your written comments here:


To learn more about SPAN’s partnership to support Early Childhood Initiatives in New Jersey, contact Deepa Srinivasavaradan, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives: [email protected]

Upcoming Events

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

Highlighted Event This Week

Understanding Developmental Expectations webinar flyer

Understanding Developmental 

Expectations for Preschool-Aged Children and their Supporting the Healthy Development

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

1:00 - 1:45 PM ET


Come join this session to learn about the developmental expectations for preschool-aged children, how you may be able to monitor their healthy development, and support their social-emotional well-being. Presenters will share helpful strategies and resources that parents and caregivers can use during their everyday interactions with their child(ren) as well as information about programs and organizations they can connect with to support positive outcomes. 


  1. Lilian Mekhail, MD, FAAP: Developmental behavioral pediatrics fellow at Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  2. Deepa Srinivasavaradan, IMH-E®️: Director of Early Childhood Initiatives, SPAN Parent Advocacy Network

To register, click here.

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

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haga clic aquí para suscribirse
Sioree Fundraiser Flyer

Join Us for Our End of Summer Soiree Fundraiser

Join us on on Friday, September 29th, from 6-9pm to help us kick-off the SPAN 2023 Parent Leadership Conference the next day. Enjoy a relaxed evening of cocktails, canapés, and conversation - along with music, a silent auction, raffle prizes and fun, as we say our goodbyes to summer and welcome the Fall. Together we will raise a glass and raise funds to improve the lives of children and their families.

Click Here for tickets and details.

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