Laws and regulations provide guidance and clarification about what is and is not acceptable when providing supports to individuals with disabilities. A number of Federal laws address accessibility and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. These laws cover access to a wide range of facilities and services, including housing, transportation, employment, telecommunications and voting. Knowing one’s rights under the laws, or complying with their requirements, typically means getting the right information from the proper source.
Sometimes you can do it alone; sometimes you need guidance and expertise in order to get the job done right. Filing your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan is a process that may require professional assistance. When advocating for your child, do your research and get support from a professional or a friend.
“She is a tree of life for those who hold fast to her, and happy are those who support her.”
New Jersey Resources
It is important for parents to know their rights related to ensuring their child receives an appropriate education. Please refer to PRISE (Parental Rights in Special Education) for additional information online.
The Official Website for the state of New Jersey is where parents/caregivers can go to find more state specific information on education.
The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) is an independent 501(c)3 organization committed to empowering families as advocates and partners in improving education, health, and mental health outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth. SPAN is a “first stop” for New Jersey families. SPAN is New Jersey’s Parent Training and Information Center; Family to Family Health Information Center; Family Voices State Affiliate Organization; Parent to Parent USA affiliate; and a chapter of the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health.
Family Support Center of NJ (FSCNJ) offers various resources as a service to families seeking information and referral.
NJ Parent Link is a State of NJ page that offers a list of links for State, Federal and community resources.
The ARC of New Jersey is the state’s largest organization advocating for and serving citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. There are different offices in each county (i.e. Camden, Gloucester, Burlington, etc.).