National & State Scan: New Jersey

  • The lead agency in with oversight of policy and services for children and youth with an ASD is the Department of Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities; other state agencies contributing to the work and services include the Department of Human Services Division of Disability Services, Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs, Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • State-level commission or workgroup pertaining to ASDs: Interdepartmental Work Group on Autism Spectrum Disorders launces as an entity to improve collaboration and coordination among the many state agencies serving individuals with an ASD; the Council on Developmental Disabilities funded by the Federal Government and codified by the State government, the Council provides a platform for state agencies, consumers, family members, and advocates to shape the social and policy environment in the state for individuals with an ASD – including support for research on policy issues and model programs; previously, the Adults with Autism Task Force was established in 2007 through state legislation for the purpose of developing a comprehensive plan to meet the needs of adults living with autism in the state. It consisted of 13 members including the commissioners of Human Services, Health and Senior Services, Education, and Labor and Workforce Development; plus the chairman of the Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism; 8 public members as appointed by the Governor, President of the Senate and Speaker of the General Assembly
  • Notable state-level transition-related activities specific to students with disabilities include: the State Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) leads with many of the transition-related resources such as a “Transition to Adult Life Workshop” and “Information Packet” and “Online Resource Guide”; Autism New Jersey (ANJ), formerly New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community (NJ COSAC) is also engaged in transition work including tools such as webinars and professional trainings for schools.
  • Unique postsecondary education and vocational programs within the state for individuals with an ASD include: The College of New Jersey, Career & Community Studies Program; also an Asperger’s Syndrome Pilot Initiative established in 2007 to provide vocational, educational and social training services through community-based service sites. The pilot was in partnership with the National Institute for People with Disabilities of New Jersey.
  • The percentage of youth with special health care needs who received the services necessary to make transitions to all aspects of adult life, including adult health care, work, and independence, as reported in 2009/10 for NJ, 41.8% (n=302)