Without proper legislative and budgetary support, people with disabilities ranging from mental illness to intellectual and developmental disabilities are waitlisted until staff is available.

TRENTON, NJ, March 24, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Easterseals New Jersey, a leading disability services nonprofit, will host its annual Advocacy Weeks from March 20-31, bringing together community members, advocates, and lawmakers to promote disability rights and inclusion in the state.

Our Advocacy Weeks will consist of a series of virtual and in-person events, including virtual listening sessions and in-person meetings with legislators. The annual event is aimed to raise awareness about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and promote policies that improve their lives.

Due to a combination of staffing shortages, transportation concerns, insufficient reimbursement, and a slow licensing process, too many are finding barriers to the critical services they need. With almost 527 people on our waiting list, Easterseals New Jersey could expand its care by almost 13% with the proper resources.

“Easterseals New Jersey is committed to promoting the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of society,” said Brian Fitzgerald, President and CEO of Easterseals New Jersey. “Our Advocacy Weeks are an important opportunity to bring together policymakers, families, self-advocates, and social service professionals to find solutions that promote greater equity and access for all.”

Our message is simple: End waitlists! Solutions include:

• Adequate funding for disability services
• Ensuring NJ invests in a living wage for staff
• Ending professional licensing backlogs
• Fixing transportation for the disability community

For 75 years, Easterseals New Jersey has helped individuals and families with disabilities or special needs live, learn, work and play in their communities with equality, dignity and independence. Annually, over 4,000 people in New Jersey with disabilities receive services in programs designed to help them achieve independence and full community-integration. For more information on Easterseals New Jersey and its statewide disability services, visit eastersealsnj.org.

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