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Town Hall Meetings - Your Opportunity to Educate Congress

Town Hall meetings are going on across the U.S. during Congress' February recess. Check out this state-by-state list.  Share this information with families in your networks.  Plan to attend, share your stories and opinions and make sure that family voices heard on health care, education, jobs, the environment and all of the issues affecting our children and families.

Telling the Story: The Importance of Health Care and Paid Leave

Check out these real-life stories demonstrating the importance of healthcare and paid family and sick leave and health coverage.  The storybook on Health Care is available at: www.spanadvocacy.org/content/healthcare-lifesaver-storybook-2017 and you can find the storybook for paid family leave and sick time at: www.spanadvocacy.org/content/paid-family-medical-leave-sick-time-storybook-2017

New Resources on Inclusion

Source:  FPG Center at UNC-Charlotte

Did you ever have someone ask you for a definition of inclusion? Or did you ever wish you could quickly access the research that documents the benefits of inclusion for young children with and without disabilities? If you answered yes, you may find this issue of Resources within Reason useful. It features resources that will help you quickly pull up and share definitions, research findings, and access essential examples of the evidence for inclusion.

U.S. Education Guidance on Civil Rights of Students with Disabilities

Source:  US Dept. of Education, Office for Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Education released three new sets of guidance today to assist the public in understanding how the Department interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities. These guidance documents clarify the rights of students with disabilities and the responsibilities of educational institutions in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to learn.

 The guidance released today includes a parent and educator resource guide; a Dear Colleague letter (DCL) and question

Including Young Children with Disabilities in Typical Early Childhood Settings

Check out this article in Exceptional Parent Magazine by SPAN's NJ Family Voices Coordinator, Lauren Agoratus, and NJ Inclusive Child Care Project Director, Denise Bouyer-Hargrove, on tips for parents on including young children with disabilities in typical early childhood settings.  Read the article at http://www.spanadvocacy.org/content/including-young-children-disabilitie...

Focus groups on care coordination for families and youth with special healthcare needs!

The NJ Department of Health, SPAN, and the American Academy of Pediatrics-NJ Chapter, are partnering to facilitate a series of focus groups of parents of and youth with special healthcare needs around care coordination!  Be a part of the solution!

PLAN & PREPARE - Register Ready

New Jersey Special Needs Registry for Disasters

"Register Ready" is a free, voluntary and confidential web-based program designed to identify the needs of people who may find it difficult to get to safety in the event of an emergency.

People with access and functional needs (or caregivers on their behalf) are encouraged to register electronically, if possible, by accessing www.registerready.nj.gov. Alternatively, they can call New Jersey’s toll-free 2-1-1 telephone service.

How has the Affordable Care Act impacted children with special healthcare needs?

Find out how the Affordable Care Act has impacted children and youth with special healthcare needs and their families in this article published in the August 2016 issue of Exceptional Parent magazine.  To read the article and access its resources, go to http://www.spanadvocacy.org/content/aca-impact-children-special-healthca....

Jeanne McMahon Joins SPAN as Director of Health & Family Support Programs!

Jeanne McMahon has joined SPAN as Director of Health and Family Support programs, including maternal and child health and children with special healthcare needs activities. She oversees SPAN's Medical Home Initiatives and improving pregnancy/reducing birth defects and developmental disabilities activities.  Learn more about Jeanne at http://www.spanadvocacy.org/content/jeanne-mcmahon-joins-span-director-h...

ADHD & Section 504 Guidance from US DOE Office for Civil Rights

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued guidance clarifying the obligation of schools to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  The guidance can be found here

Over the last five years, OCR has received more than 16,000 complaints that allege discrimination on the basis of disability in elementary and secondary education programs, and more than 10 percent involve allegations of discrimination against students with ADHD.

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