Senator Singer Bill to Help Adults with Developmental Disabilities Clears Panel

Senator Robert Singer sponsors legislation, approved today by the Senate health committee, that would expand access to support services for some adults with developmental disabilities.

Singer’s bill, S-3298, would allow a person with disabilities between the age of 21 and 26 who transitions from receiving services from the Division of Children’s System of Care to qualifying for support from the Division of Developmental Disabilities to be eligible, under certain circumstances, to attend and participate in both an adult day program and an employment program.

“This will help ensure that more New Jersey residents with developmental disabilities can receive the help and resources that meet their current needs,” said Singer (R-30). “When a high-needs individual turns 21 and becomes an adult, they don’t become less dependent on outside support and assistance, but they age out of beneficial programs. We don’t want them to feel abandoned. This legislation will help ease the transition by maintaining a stable support system for their benefit.”

Under current law, people with developmental disabilities age out of special education programs after age 21 and can participate in an adult day program or an employment program, but not both at the same time.

The bill would allow qualifying individuals to attend special education programs and to simultaneously participate in adult day and employment programs.

“The programs offer different types of services and training,” said Singer. “When combined, they can more fully reach the needs of the individual. It shouldn’t be an either-or approach.”

Singer’s legislation would also help those who, at a younger age, had issues that prevented them from being enrolled in special education programs but who made progress with those issues and would now benefit from attendance at a special education program.

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