Disability Health & Wellness Initiative
The New Jersey Disability Health & Wellness (DH&W) program is located at the Division of Disability Services. The DH&W program staff consults and collaborates on projects that seek to promote healthy living and prevention of secondary conditions for people with disabilities. As such, the Division works to identify gaps in the State healthcare system; improve state surveillance activities; and facilitate partnerships between state agencies, community organizations and service providers and individuals with disabilities. The Division continuously seeks funding for initiatives that will help meet those needs. The DH&W program staff works with policy makers, health educators, public and private agencies, and experts in the field of health and wellness to brainstorm and implement ways to integrate health and wellness options for people with disabilities into the general health promotion activities in existence within the state.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Prevention of Secondary ConditionsFunded originally by the CDC in 2002, the Division developed the necessary infrastructure to establish a core unit of health and wellness for people with disabilities. A few of the projects accomplished with CDC funds that have had significant impact include, but are not limited to:
1) A grant award to DAWN Inc., one of New Jersey’s Centers for Independent Living, positioning them to bring a series of nationally recognized mini health workshops to New Jersey titled “Living Well with a Disability”. (2005)
2) The Division designed and hosted two statewide conferences:
“Disabilities and Addictions” (2004)
“The Unheard Voice: Addressing Violence Against Women with Disabilities” (2004)
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – New Jersey Health Initiatives (RWJF-NJHI)
The Unheard Voice: Addressing Violence Against Women with DisabilitiesAs a direct result of “The Unheard Voice” conference, the Division was awarded a multi-year grant (2005-2010) from the grant making program of the RWJF, NJHI to continue addressing violence and abuse against women w/ disabilities. Two training programs were developed and administered, targeting women with disabilities and healthcare professionals. The trainings were designed to promote awareness and surveillance of domestic violence and available resources and interventions.
LINKS-The Unheard Voice - Handbook for Healthcare Providers
-The Unheard Voice - Handbook for Women with Disabilities
-The Unheard Voice – Handbook for Women with Disabilities – accessible MS word format
-The Unheard Voice – Handbook for Healthcare Providers – accessible MS word format
-SPANISH VERSION LINK – for Women w/ Disabilities
New Jersey State Office of Victim Witness Advocacy
The Unheard Voice: Addressing Violence Against Women with DisabilitiesThrough a multi-year grant from the STOP Violence Against Women Act (2014), the Division is working collaboratively with our sister agency, the Division of Developmental Disabilities, and two of the state’s leading agencies focusing on domestic violence and sexual assault of women, to adapt and deliver existing training material. The target audiences for this training effort include women with more severe cognitive/intellectual disabilities, direct support staff, professionals working with women with disabilities, and domestic violence and sexual assault professionals throughout the state. As materials are adapted/created, they will be posted to this online site.
Emergency Food Provider Accessibility Project With multiple awards from the Kessler Foundation (2011, 2013), the Division is able to distribute a one-time award to hunger prevention programs/food pantries operating within the NJ Emergency Food Provider System, for capital improvements. Selected food pantries successfully demonstrate the need for accessibility and develop a well detailed plan on how they can make their building more accessible to people with physical disabilities. Preference is given to food pantries that offer additional assistance programs (i.e. food stamps). In many cases, minimal capital improvements can afford people with physical disabilities access to the food, clothing and other assistance that is provided in these buildings.
New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM)
Emergency Planning and Disaster Preparedness for People with DisabilitiesWhen addressing the health and overall wellness of a person with a disability, disaster and emergency preparedness must be taken into consideration. It is important that people with disabilities and their family members make plans to protect themselves in the event of disasters. With a sub-grant award from the Department of Law and Public Safety (2013), Office of Emergency Management, the specific aims of the Emergency Planning and Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities project are to:
1) Develop/create materials to educate people with disabilities, through training sessions hosted across New Jersey, on various aspects of emergency planning and disaster preparedness;
2) Provide resources to people with disabilities who attend the training, for use before, during and after an emergency
New Jersey Department of Health
Assessing Access and Functional Needs of a CommunityDisasters and emergencies can strike quickly and without warning, with people being forced to leave or confined to their home. Vulnerable populations, such as seniors, people with disabilities or chronic health conditions and the poor are more likely to die or be left behind during a disaster. With a sub-grant award from the NJ Department of Health, the specific aims of the Assessing Access and Functional Needs of a Community project are to:
1) Develop/create materials to educate members of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRCs) and other local health department officials, through training sessions hosted across New Jersey, to ensure competent services for their Access and Functional Needs Population.
2) Provide a train-the-trainer program for these professionals to further educate their volunteers on meeting the needs of people with access and functional needs before, during and after an emergency.