Employment First In New Jersey – What’s It Mean and How Can It Help You?

Employment First - New Jersey Gets to Work

First Employment – Disability Second

Employment First - New JerseyIn April of 2012, Governor Chris Christie declared New Jersey an Employment First state. With this simple declaration, New Jersey became a part of a national movement that is “centered on the premise that all citizens, including individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in integrated employment and community life.” (Via Departement of Labor) This urges local publicly-financed systems to adjust their programs and policies to promote integrated, competitive employment opportunities for people with disabilities and special needs.

Phew. That was a lot of three-syllable-words.

In plain-speak though, what does it all mean? It means

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Where Does Your NJ Candidate Stand on Disability Issues?

New Jersey Governor

The New Jersey gubernatorial race is in full swing and voting will take place this November 7th. We reached out to all the current candidates (as of May  12, 2017) to find out their stances on issues that are important to people with disabilities and special needs and their families, living in New Jersey. We wanted to share these statements with you, our readers, to ensure you know each candidate’s stance on the issues facing the disability community.

With the federal government proposing sweeping changes to public policies that could have a direct impact on state services for people with disabilities and special needs, it has never been more important to elect a strong leader for New Jersey. Easterseals has advocated for and provided services to people with disabilities and their families for nearly 100 years, helping them to live, learn, work, and play in their communities. That’s why we have gathered these statements for your careful review, as they will help you make an informed decision when entering the voting booth this November.

Click on the photos of your candidate to read the statement they provided. (DISCLAIMER: This does not represent every NJ gubernatorial candidate currently running, as not all gave statements in response to our call.)

Candidates are presented in alphabetical order as not to show any preferential treatment towards any one candidate.

Bill Brennan NJ Governor Candidate
Bill Brennan (D)

Jim Johnson governor candidate
Jim Johnson (D)
Raymond Lesniak Governor NJ
Raymond Lesniak (D)
Phil Murphy Governor Candidate
Phil Murphy (D)
Steven Rogers NJ governor candidate
Steven Rogers (R)
Joseph Rudy Rullo governor candidate
Joseph Rudy Rullo (R)
Hirsh Signh NJ Governor candidate
Hirsh Singh (R)
John Wisniewski governor candidate
John Wisniewski (D)

Mark Zinna governor candidate
Mark Zinna (D)

 

A Big Win for Students With Disabilities at the Supreme Court!

Supreme Court Building IEP

Our latest blog topic comes to us from Hinkle, Fingles, Prior, & Fischer, a Jersey-based law firm that represents people with disabilities and their families in the tri-state area. They detailed a landmark decision handed down by the Supreme Court that affects how Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) are deemed “appropriate.”

As IEP’s begin to be set, we want to make sure you stay up-to-date on all the important issues so you’re able to effectively advocate for your loved ones.

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Terrific Thanksgiving Tips – Safety, Gratitude, & Inclusion

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here and we want to share a few holiday safety tips so you can enjoy a safe and fun holiday. It is also a time to reflect on the things you are grateful for and ensure that all can partake in this family-themed holiday. Read on to hear from our staff and a parent of one of our program participants. 

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Accessible Vacation Destinations? You Know it!

Van in paradise

Everyone Deserves a Vacation

by Elise Giacobbe

Summer is here and the thought crossing everyone’s mind is, “I need a vacation.” We’re all ready to get away and enjoy some well-deserved relaxation. However, before you pack your bags, you may need to make some preparations if you are taking a trip with someone who may have special needs. Many important questions need to be answered: will medical needs be available? Is the area accessible? Will we have fun?

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Transition to Graduation – What’s Next?

graduation20

Three Paths Well Traveled

Transition woodland pathsSummer is almost here and as many students with disabilities are either graduating or seeing their peers graduate from high school they may be asking themselves, “What’s next?” That’s why we’ve asked Margaret Gilbride, JD, CT to be our guest blogger

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Disability, Life, and Moments That Matter

Quote of Teddy R "Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort"

#lifesmoments

Moments pass, life changes, we move on.

There are those times however, that stick out as significant and universal. Maybe it’s when you graduated high school? Or got your driver’s license? Or the first time you tied your own shoes? These moments are milestones. We use them as indicators of a life fully lived. All people, whether they have a disability or not, are entitled to

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The Greatest Thing about Having a Child with Special Needs

Eric Packages Items at the Work Center

A Proud Father Speaks About Special Needs

Last month, we spoke about different steps you could be taking to best manage your loved one’s disability. This month, we’d like to focus on the bond that forms between a parent and a child with special needs. That’s why we sat down with Harold Finkel, retired engineer, Easter Seals volunteer, and parent of a child with special needs to ask him about

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How to Manage Your Loved One’s Disability

Caring for a loved one with a disabilityCaring for a loved one with a disability can be one of the toughest jobs around. Non-stop, physical, mentally and emotionally exhausting; adjusting your life to accommodate someone who is living with an intellectual or physical disability can be a daunting challenge. Though, by implementing these three simple concepts into your approach to daily care management, you can take steps towards removing some of the stresses that may be affecting both you and

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