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January 11, 2022 | Issue 13 (View newsletter as webpage)

Important News

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Children with Special Health Care Needs: Coverage, Affordability, and HCBS Access - Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on children with special health care needs. This has highlighted the importance of health insurance coverage, affordability, and benefit package contents, like home and community-based services (HCBS). This issue brief:

  • describes key characteristics of children with special health care needs and
  • explores insurance affordability and benefits for children covered by Medicaid/CHIP compared to those with private insurance only.

Data from the 2019 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), are summarized and analyzed in graphic displays for ease of understanding.

Read the entire brief at this link.

Learn more about SPAN's work related to families of children with special health care needs at this link.



NJ Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)

Information from PRAMS is used to help plan better health programs for New Jersey mothers and infants and impact maternal and child health policy and practice.

One out of every 50 women giving birth each month is selected for the PRAMS survey, and more than 70% participate, totaling approximately 1,500 interviews annually. They are asked about their feelings and experiences before, during and after pregnancy. 

View topical and data reports as well as the newest data on maternal and infant health, prenatal care, Cesarean deliveries, health insurance, breastfeeding and sleep practices at this link.

SPAN's Sister to Sister offers free community doula support for pregnant people who are residents of Newark, East Orange, and Irvington, NJ, from pregnancy up to 6 months postpartum. Learn more here (link).

U.S. Office of Special Education Programs Policy Letter: English Learners with Disabilities

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This letter of informal guidance interpreting policy addresses whether IDEA requires that the IEP include language development goals if the child is an English learner. Key points from the guidance include:

Each IEP team must decide whether a language development goal is needed by considering:

  • Does the English learner's disability affect their participation in the general education curriculum?
  • Does the student need interventions related to their disability that impact the child’s developing English language proficiency?

Civil Rights law also requires that an English learner must receive needed English language services.

The letter also includes resources that address best practices for developing IEPs and providing instruction for English learners with disabilities.

Read the entire letter at this link.

Learn more about SPAN's Policy and Advocacy work at this link.

Upcoming Events

See what's happening this month

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them. Check out our Event Calendar (link) for details and registration links.

Upcoming Events include (links):

And more (link)!

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Language Access Required for Parents to Participate in Children's Education

Under civil rights law, all parents have the right to information about their child’s education in a language they understand. When a child enrolls in school, the school will ask the parents about the language they would like to use when communicating with the school. This helps the school identify language needs so they can provide an interpreter or translated documents, free of charge.

Language access includes translated documents and an interpreter for meetings and conversations. Parents have the right to these services even if they speak some English. These rights are unchanged if the student can speak or read English.

Review a fact sheet (link) about the rights of parents and guardians who do not speak, listen, read, or write English proficiently because it is not their primary language. 

SPAN has a number of resources for families available in multiple languages at this link.

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