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SPAN Applauds USDE Actions to Address Widespread Disparities in Special Education

The U.S. Department of Education took a critical step today addressing widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities, proposing a new rule to improve equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  The nation's special education law, IDEA, aims to ensure fairness in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities. Yet disparities persist, and students of color remain more likely to be identified as having a disability and face harsher discipline than their white classmates.

In order to address those inequities,

Supported Decision Making and Alternatives to Guardianship

On Tuesday, 2/16/16, SPAN Executive Co-Director, Diana Autin presented a webinar on Supported Decision Making and Alternatives to Guardianship.  With close to 200 registrants, the webinar was well received and highlighted the critical importance of supporting youth with disabilities in making choices and decisions about their own lives.  Missed the webinar?  Click here to access a recording and other important resources!

USDE Calls on Schools to Address Discrimination & Harassment

On December 31, 2015, former Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, and the now Acting Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., released a letter discussing their concerns with discrimination and harassment based on student race, religion, or national origin in schools and institutions of higher education.

Early ID of Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities

Listen to this webinar to find out what works in helping communities learn the signs of developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder and Act Early!  SPAN’s Deepa Srinivasavaradan, our NJ Act Early Ambassador and Family Resource Specialist, and Malia Corde, SPAN’s Parent to Parent Coordinator and Improving Birth Outcomes Program Manager, are featured presenters on this webinar from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Association of University Centers on Disability.  Also you can access Promising Practices, a collection of locally inspired models and activities

Happy New Year! SPAN Web-Based Resources for Families

Happy New Year!  Looking for information about early intervention, education, transition to adult life, health and mental healthcare?  Check out the resources on SPAN's website via this "mini-map" at  Want answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the special education process?  View our FAQ video clips at where you can also find videos on early intervention, Response to Intervention, and dispute resolution.

NJ Parent Link Resources for Parents!

Navigate Parenthood, Navigate New Jersey. 

  • Log on to NJ Parent Link
  • Experience a New Jersey best practice model for innovative IT communication 
    between government & citizens. (National Association of State Chief Information Officers, 2011)
  • Share NJ Parent Link with your family, friends and colleagues today!


Affordable Care Act Helps Connect New Jerseyans to Health Care!

Check out the stories of three diverse New Jerseyans who accessed healthcare through the Affordable Care Act! Watch their video at Cover NJ Video - .
For more information, go to
CoverNJ site –
CoberturaNJ site –

Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day designated to “give back to the community.”  Created in 2012 to contrast with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is gaining in popularity!  Last year $47.5 million was donated to a Giving Tuesday cause.

SPAN has joined this movement, and we hope to increase support and recognition of our efforts to empower families to partner with professionals and improve services to and outcomes for children, youth and families.  We are asking for your help to spread the word.  Please –

·         Follow us on twitter and retweet our #Give2SPAN tweets to your networks –


IDEA Celebrates its 40th Birthday thanks to Parent Advocates!

On November 29, 1975, parents and advocates succeeded in securing the education rights of our children with disabilities!  The passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), guaranteed access to a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment to every child with a disability. Subsequent amendments, as reflected in the IDEA, have led to an increased emphasis on access to the general education curriculum, the provision of services for young children from birth to five, transition