Menendez Joins Bergen County Community in ADA 25th Anniversary Celebration

Menendez Joins Bergen County Community in ADA 25th Anniversary Celebration

Announces federal funding to support NJ parents of children with disabilities

PARAMUS, NJ – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today joined educators, elected officials, disability advocates and members of the Bergen County community at Bergen Community College in a celebration marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Senator used the occasion to announce that the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey (SPAN) has been awarded the first installment of $454,835 in a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to provide training and support for families of infants and children with disabilities.

“Everyone has the right to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, regardless of their ability and their mobility,” said Sen. Menendez to the over 200 people in attendance for the commemoration. “Today, to truly celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, let’s pledge that this year we will work together – all of us – to never lessen in our efforts to advance the rights of people with disabilities, both here at home and across the world.”

Sen. Menendez also received recognition, during the event held at Bergen Community College, from a local advocacy group for his leadership on behalf of the disability community, including his efforts to pass legislation to assist those with Alzheimer’s and autism and, as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in championing the ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Newark-based SPAN received $454,835 for the first budget period—October 2015 through September 2016—under the U.S. Department of Education’s Parent Training and Information Center Program. The grant would provide more than $2.25 million in funding to SPAN over the next five years, if approved in each subsequent year.

SPAN will provide information, training, support on early intervention, education and transition to adulthood for families of children (from birth to age 26) with disabilities and professionals who serve them, with focus on families at greatest risk due to poverty, race/ethnicity/language/immigration status, involved in child welfare or juvenile justice or other factors.