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Proposed New Law Establishing Strong Penalties for Recklessly Endangering Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

May 13, 2015

Senator Robert Singer and Senate President Steve Sweeney today announced new legislation that would upgrade current law to better protect those with developmental disabilities from being victimized by the acts of others that are dangerous and potentially deadly. The bill would better define reckless endangerment laws and increase punishment and penalties for putting others at risk, with the strongest penalties for those with cognitive impairments.

"...Autism New Jersey is grateful for Senator Singer and Senator Sweeney’s leadership, compassion, and desire for justice. If their legislation is enacted, it would criminalize activity that creates substantial risk for individuals with developmental disabilities and assess greater legal penalties for such action,” said Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, Executive Director of Autism New Jersey. “Individuals with autism would have new protections under the law and make New Jersey a safer place for everyone, especially our most vulnerable citizens..."

Current law is limited in its ability to prosecute those who knowingly endanger others or target them because of a mental disability. Senator Singer and Senator Sweeney rewrote the current endangerment statutes into one generalized law that includes gradations in punishment based on the injury to the victim or the status of the victim.

Under the bill, it would be a crime of the fourth degree to recklessly engage in conduct that creates a “substantial risk of bodily injury” to a person with a developmental disability, punishable by a prison term up to 18 months or a fine up to $10,000, or both; a crime of the third degree if the conduct creates a “substantial risk of serious bodily injury,” with potential prison term of three to five years, a fine up to $15,000, or both, and a second degree crime if it creates a “substantial risk of death,” subject to a term of five to ten years, a fine up to $150,000, or both. Read more>>

 

Sold Out 2nd Annual Transition Conference Offered Essential Information

More than 300 attendees participated in Autism New Jersey's conference focused exclusively on the transition to adulthood.

April 21, 2015

Autism New Jersey’s 2nd Annual Transition Conference held on April 20, 2015 in Woodbridge was a resounding success. More than 300 attendees had specialized workshops to choose from as well as time with expert exhibitors, all focused exclusively on the transition to adulthood. 

Transition is a critical time in the life of a person with autism, requiring careful planning on the parts of both caregivers and professionals. Navigating the changes from school to the adult service system is incredibly challenging. We thank our esteemed speakers for their presentations on a variety of legal, educational, vocational, social, and financial topics specifically addressing adolescence and the changes that come with the end of the high school years. Read more>>

 

National Autism Indicators Report: Transition Into Young Adulthood

April 21, 2015

On the heels of Autism New Jersey’s sold out Transition Conference held yesterday, we’re pleased to share Drexel University’s A.J. Drexel Autism Institute’s “National Autism Indicators Report.” The report provides important findings regarding the transition into young adulthood that will inform and reinforce Autism New Jersey’s public policy and family support efforts. It details and substantiates the many challenges that youth entering adulthood experience, providing some striking statistics. Learn more>>

 

 

DDD Announcement Regarding Re-Assessment; System Reform Webinars Offered

April 15, 2015

The New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) recently announced that it will be assessing everyone who is currently eligible for Division-funded services, except those individuals who were assessed since November 1, 2014, as a part of the Division’s transition to a Medicaid-based, fee-for-service (FFS) system. This re-assessment comes as DDD begins to implement its current system reforms (set to begin July 1) and is a key component to determining an individual’s “tier,” which impacts provider rates and budgets.  Additionally, DDD is offering webinars on its system reform and the implications for those entering its services and those already participating in its services.  Learn more>>

 

New DDD Webinar Now Available:  Tiering in the Fee-for-Service System

March 15, 2015

As the Department of Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD or “the Division”) moves closer to the anticipated July 1, 2015 implementation date of the shift to a Medicaid-based, fee-for-service system, it is more important than ever that stakeholders understand what that change will mean. The Division has released a new webinar entitled Implementing the Rate Structure: Tiering in the Fee-for-Service System, which provides an overview of the concept of “tiering” with respect to individuals who receive Division-funded services.   Learn more>>

 

DDD’s Statewide Transition Plan Public Comment Period Open

February 26, 2015 -- **UPDATE**

Thanks to all the members and stakeholders who took the time to submit comments to DHS/DDD regarding the Statewide Transition Plan.  What’s Next?  Learn more>>

February 10, 2015 -- **UPDATE**

Stakeholder feedback on this issue is critical.  Autism New Jersey has additional information to help you craft you your comments about DHS/DDD's Plan.  Learn more>>

January 29, 2015

The New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is requesting public comment on their “Statewide Transition Plan” for the Medicaid Waiver through February 26, 2015.  If you or your loved one receives or is eligible for services via Medicaid, then New Jersey’s plan will affect you. Learn More>>

Amendments to NJ Insurance Mandate Expand Autism Coverage

Provide First-of-its-Kind Access to ABA Coverage for Adults

February 6, 2015

The New Jersey Individual Health Coverage Program Board and the New Jersey Small Employer Health Coverage Program Board (IHC and SEH Boards) have adopted amendments to the individual and small employer health benefits that expands coverage of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to adults with autism and removes visit limitations for occupational, physical and speech therapies to treat autism. The amendments were adopted in November 2014 and are effective as of January 2015. Read more>>

 

Announcement:  DDD Seminars Provide An Overview of Support Coordination Model in the New Fee-for-Service System

January 14, 2015

The New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) continues to move forward from a contracted system of care reimbursement to a Medicaid-based fee-for-service (FFS) system.  This is a complex systems change which will require parents, providers, and stakeholders to stay informed on up-to-date developments. 

In an effort to walk providers through the Support Coordination element of this system change, Christine James, DDD Director of Quality Improvement & System Reform, presented a seminar, How is Case Management for DDD Services Changing? An Overview of the Support Coordination, on January 14th.  A variety of important information was shared pertaining to Support Coordination such as:

  • Support Coordination Model Overview
  • Support Coordination Agency Policies
  • Accessing Support Coordination
  • Support Coordination Responsibilities
  • Support Coordination Documentation Requirements
  • iRecords
  • Monitoring
  • Quality Oversight of Support Coordination Agencies.

Click here to download the Provider Seminar Slide Presentation:  "How is Case Management for DDD Services Changing? An Overview of the Support Coordination Model in the New Fee-for-Service System."

The Division will conduct a similar seminar for families at a later date.  (The scheduled January 21, 2015 session was postponed due to inclement weather.) The slide presentation from the family seminar will be posted once it is made available to the public.  

 




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