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First Published Friday, 30 January 2009

New Jersey State House

Fwd:


Hello,


As many of you recall, earlier this month we worked with NJ Assemblyman
Louis Greenwald and NJACP to introduce legislation which, if passed, will
close five of New Jersey’s seven institutions and shift the funds into
community services. This effort has the potential to empower thousands of
individuals with developmental disabilities, including many autistic adults,
to live in the community. You can see a press conference announcing the
legislation here <http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=5XBgr2CFwtg>, the bill text
here <http://www.njleg. state.nj. us/2008/Bills/ A4000/3625_ I1.HTM>and an
endorsement from the New Jersey Star Ledger and the Philadelphia Inquirer here
<http://blog. nj.com/njv_ editorial_ page/2009/ 01/group_ homes_make_ moral_economi. html#more>and
here<http://www.philly. com/inquirer/ opinion/20090124 _Editorial_ _The_Disabled. html>.
This bill is an extremely important step towards ensuring a future with
quality of life for thousands of adults with developmental disabilities
living in New Jersey. Currently, the state ranks near to last in the country
in regards to community services for adults with disabilities and uses
institutions at one of the highest rates of any state. New Jersey ranks 49th
out of 50 in terms of the average number of individuals segregated into
institutions yet also ranks 40th out of 50 in terms of the amount of money
allocated to community services funding. Click here
<http://www.njacp. org/images/ stories/Briefing %20Paper% 20A3625%284% 29.pdf>for
a comprehensive briefing
paper<http://www.njacp. org/images/ stories/Briefing %20Paper% 20A3625%284% 29.pdf>on
why A3625 is so important, providing supporting data, facts and
analysis
explaining why A3625 will lead to a better live for adults with
developmental disabilities in New Jersey.


Ten years after the *Olmstead v. L.C. *decision ruling that people with
disabilities have a right to receive services in the community rather than
in segregated institutions, we still have a long way to go. No one should
have to live in an institution. Today, we as a society possess the ability,
the expertise and the sense of justice to end this system of segregation. In
order to do that, we need your help. This
<http://www.change. org/autisticadvo cacy/actions/ view/support_ a3625_and_ community_ living_for_ new_jerseyans_ with_development al_disabilities>action
alert will use your zip code to send your letter supporting A3625 directly
to your state legislators. Unfortunately, only New Jersey zip codes apply.
If you live in New Jersey and are unsure as to your zip code, feel free to
look it up by going to this link <http://www.nj. gov/infobank/ njzips.htm>.
The link to our action alert is as follows:
http://www.change. org/autisticadvo cacy/actions/ view/support_ a3625_and_ community_ living_for_ new_jerseyans_ with_development al_disabilities



Please help support this effort by posting this message to your mailing
lists, blogs, websites and other distribution mechanisms. Together we can
empower people with disabilities everywhere.


Nothing About Us, Without Us!


Ari Ne’eman
President
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
1660 L Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
http://www.autistic advocacy. org
732.763.5530



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