Attends Press Conference in Support of Helping Medicaid Recipients
Work and Obtain Education
Gwen Orlowski, Executive
Director of Disability Rights New Jersey, was invited to attend
the press conference of Assembly Human Services Chairwoman Joann
Downey, Senator Vin Gopal and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling at the
New Jersey State House today. Below are her remarks...
On behalf of Disability
Rights New Jersey (DRNJ), thank you to Senator Gopal, Assemblywoman
Downey, Assemblyman Houghtaling, Congressman Kim and Anna Landre
for taking an issue that is so critically important to individuals
For more than 20 years,
DRNJ has served as New Jersey’s officially designated protection
and advocacy agency. Our mission is to protect, advocate for and
advance the human, civil and legal rights of persons with disabilities
in pursuit of a society in which persons with disabilities exercise
self-determination and choice – and to advocate for the rights of
individuals with disabilities to equality of opportunity and full
participation in their communities.
To that end, we support
the efforts of today’s press conference: to find new solutions to
ensure that individuals with disabilities have full access and choice
with respect to the decision to attend post-secondary education,
including out-of-state colleges and universities, engage in employment,
and otherwise pursue the spectrum of community activities that the
rest of us take for granted.
Federal law requires
states to provide the necessary supports and services to individuals
with disabilities to ensure integration and self-determination.
An inadequate array of robust services and supports can lead to
unnecessary institutionalization, as well as isolation in one’s
own home. The segregation that can result not only illegally denies
the individual with a disability the enjoyment of pursuing a full
and meaningful life, it also denies society all the benefits the
person could contribute had they been allowed to pursue their full
DRNJ stands ready to
provide technical assistance on the current New Jersey landscape
of services and supports available through Medicaid, the Division
of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and other state programs.
Through our deep experience in working on these issues, we know
the gaps and can be a resource to help identify solutions.
Asks State Comptroller to Investigate State’s Management of Program
for NJ Citizens with Disabilities
Disability Rights New
Jersey (DRNJ) has asked the New Jersey State Comptroller to investigate
the state’s failure to exercise effective oversight of two programs
intended to support people with disabilities living in the community.
Both the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Personal Preference
Program (PPP) and the Division of Developmental Disabilities’ (DDD)
Self-Directed Services are service delivery models that allow seniors
and individuals with disabilities living in the community greater
opportunity to choose where and with whom to live by directing and
managing their own services. The Medicaid-funded programs depend
on the state’s contracted fiscal intermediary to make timely payments
to employees and vendors hired and selected by the programs’ participants.
In June 2017, Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL), a subsidiary of Public
Consulting Group (PCG), assumed fiscal management responsibility
for both programs. Despite more than one year of planning and an
additional year of operation, PPL/PCG continues to have difficulty
operating the program as intended, resulting in people with disabilities
losing employees and being unable to access services.
Despite repeated complaints to DHS and DDD by DRNJ, families, and
provider and advocacy organizations, DHS has not taken effective
action to ensure that individuals with disabilities dependent on
PPL/PCG are able to hire and pay direct service personnel and receive
services in their approved service plans without excessive delays
and interruptions. Because of the lack of action by the Department,
DRNJ is asking the State Comptroller to exercise his responsibility
to review the performance of the state programs and contracts.
here for complete press release and copies of letters
Introduced - Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries
has been introduced in Congress that would protect people with disabilities
from financial exploitation, abuse and neglect.
this video to learn more about what you can do to help protect people