CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information

NJ Developmental Disabilities Council

People with developmental disabilities are entitled to the same basic
human and civil rights as all individuals, whether they live with
family, in the community or in congregate-care residential facilities.
Certain laws specifically address the rights of people with

Federal Legislation

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act

People with developmental disabilities have a right to
appropriate treatment for their disability;

Treatment should be designed to maximize the

The federal government and the state both share an
obligation to ensure that public funds are not provided to
any residential program that does not meet certain stan-

Nonresidential programs must be appropriate to the
individualsbeing served.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

All federal government agencies must take
affirmative action to employ and promote people with

People with disabilities must have access to federal
government buildings and public transportation.

Private companies with federal government
contracts must take affirmative action to employ and
promote people with disabilities.

People with disabilities cannot be refused benefits or
services from any agency, program or activity receiving
federal money because of disability if the person is
otherwise qualified for the benefits or service.

Individuals with Disabilitzes Education Act

All children, regardless of disability, are entitled to
a free, appropriate education;

Local school districts must provide or procure
services for 3- to 21-year-olds with disabilities;

School-age children with disabilities must be
educated in the least restrictive environment, in the
same ways and in the same places and nondisabled
pupils, as much as possible;

Local school districts must offer, without extra
charge, appropriate support services to students with
disabilities, including transportation, speech therapy,
counseling and learning aids.

The Americans with Disabilities Act

Employers cannot discriminate against qualified
individuals with disabilities and must reasonably
accommodate applicants or employees with disabilities;

Transit authorities must provide comparable
paratransit or other special transportation services
to individuals with disabilities who cannot use
fixed-route bus services; new buses and trains must
be able to accommodate passengers with disabilities;
existing train and bus stations must become accessible
by the year 2010;

All public accommodations cannot bar entry or
refuse service to individuals because of disability;

Telephone companies must offer telephone relay
services to individuals who use telecommunications
devices for the deaf or hearing-impaired;

State Laws and Regulations

Family Support Act of 1993

Calls for the creation of regional councils, made up of
family members and people with disabilities, that are
required to develop a plan to meet the needs of families.

Acknowledges that families themselves are able to
define their own needs and select their own services.

Family supports must be chosen by, controlled by
and monitored by families.

Developmenally Disabled Rights Act

Individuals living in developmental centers must
receive humane treatment;

Each person with a developmental disability must
have a written Individualized Habilitation Plan, which
includes habilitation goals and services needed.

Patients' Bill of Rights

The civil rights of persons receiving mental health
services in New Jersey cannot be denied;

Except in emergencies, patients have the right to be
free from restraint and isolation, and from
unneccessary or excessive medication;

Mental Health patients have the right to refuse
shock treatment, psychosurgery or sterilization;
patients may consult with persons of their choice
before making an informed consent.

Legal Assistance

The Division on Civil Rights, New Jersey Department of Law
and Public Safety, is responsible for investigating allegations of
discrimination and for seeking resolution through conciliation,
hearings or court orders. People with disabilities can file a
complaint by calling any ofthe division's enforcement branches.

Division on Civil Rights Enforcement Branches

Atlantic City Office, 1548 Atlantic Avenue
Atlantic City, NJ 08404
(609) 441-3100

Camden Office, State Office Building,
101 Haddon Avenue, Camden, NJ 08103
(609) 757-2850

Newark Office, 31 Clinton Street,
PO Box 46001, Newark, NJ 07101
(201) 648-2700

Patterson Office,100 Hamiliton Plaza, Room 800,
Paterson, NJ 07505
(201) 977-4500

Trenton Office, 383 West State Street, CN 090
Trenton, NJ 08625-0090
(609) 292-4605

New Jersey Protection & Advocacy, Inc., is the state's
federally funded protection and advocacy system, designed to secure
the rights and services people with developmental disabilities are
entitled to under law. Previously housed within the Department of
the Public Advocate as the Division of Advocacy for the
Developmentally Disabled, the agency became a private agency in
October 1994.

New Jersey Protection & Advocacy, Inc.
210 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ 08608
(609) 292-9742 Fax 777-0187