What is SEPAG?

    Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG) is a parent-led advocacy group focused on policies, programs, and practices within the Saddle Brook School District. Families and caregivers of student(s) with learning needs or students eligible for or receiving services under an IEP or 504 plan are encouraged to attend SEPAG Meetings.

    SEPAG provides parents with tools and information to work collaboratively with the school district and to be more effective advocates for their children with special educational needs. Our meetings consist of featured conversations/ presentations as well as support, resource sharing, and the ability to connect with other members of the special education community. Meetings with featured topics are our attempt to get those with similar concerns in the same room at the same time, but all are always welcome! SEPAG will be meeting via Zoom on the third Tuesday of every month.

    Next meeting: Tuesday, December 6th at 7pm.



    Dear SEPAG Families,

    We hope that you are doing well. We have been very busy trying to coordinate our schedules and thank you all for your patience. We will host our first meeting on Tuesday (12/6) at 7PM via Zoom. (Link to follow.)

    The SB Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SB-SEPAG) is a volunteer group of parents and guardians that provides input to the district as well as support and information to parents and caregivers of children with special needs.

    Each district board of education is charged under the New Jersey Special Education Code to ensure that a special education parent advisory group is in place to provide input to the district on issues concerning students with disabilities (Subchapter 6A:14-1.2, paragraph (h)).

    The purpose of this letter is to ask for your help and consideration in joining members of our school staff and community to examine the issues, concerns, and successes involving our special education programs and students. This Special Education Parent Advisory Group (SEPAG) would meet throughout the school year and would provide a forum where we could discuss our existing programs and services as well as plans for improvement.

    At the SEPAG meetings the advisory group will:

    1. Identify systemic concerns that affect special education students as a whole
    2. Develop and prioritize 1 -3 concerns for this school year
    3. Gather email contacts
    4. If you are interested in becoming part of this group, please let us know.

    We look forward to having the opportunity to meet with you!


    Monica Maniscalco, President & Melissa Allende, Vice President


    Navigating the NJ DDD Service System System


    Nkechi Okoli, Coordinator, Employment & Transition to 21 Unit, DDD



    This workshop will provide an overview of the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities’ intake and 

    eligibility process related to the Supports Program and the Community Care Program.


    The workshop will address:

    • The relationship between Medicaid eligibility and program eligibility;

    • Available Medicaid Waiver services;

    • The support coordination agency process;

    • The role of the support coordinator.


     To register in advance for the December 1 Webinar, please visit https://bergen.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Y_iQ1vSTSamwWqhDuqL4PA 

    To register in advance for the December 2 Webinar, please visit https://bergen.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_x77F2xl1RmyN2Ld0vTkNwg








    Parent-to-Parent Exchange Meetings

    Parent-to-Parent Exchange Meeting Facilitator Lauren Lavelle, a parent coach and a professional in the field of disabilities, will moderate these timely and informative meetings.

    for Parents of Students under age 21 with Disabilities Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. https://bergen.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMufu6oqjgoH9QXwhYunlVifvZHCXu4kc-e


    for Parents of Adult Children age 21 and over with Disabilities Thursday, October 13, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. https://bergen.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUscuGgqDwoEtVlOTQ4SRn_xPQ0OpekOk


    To attend these Zoom meetings, please register at the links listed above Future meetings are scheduled for Parents of Students under 21: Nov 8, Dec 13, Jan 10, Feb 14, Mar 14, Apr 11, May 9, June 13, July 11 Parents of Adult Children age 21+: Nov 10, Dec 8, Jan 12, Feb 9, Mar 9, Apr 13, May 11, June 8, July 13

    For more information, please call 201-343-6000 ext. 4076

    What You Need to Know About the SSI Application Process

    Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2022

    Time: 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

    Presenters: Tracy Cahn, Esq. Risa Rohrberger, Esq Cahn & Rohrberger LLC


    This workshop will address the following questions:

    • What do I need to do before applying for SSI benefits for my child?

    • Besides SSI, is there any other Social Security program I should be applying for?

    • What forms will Social Security ask us to complete and how should we fill them out?

    • My child works; how should I address this when I apply for her/his benefits?

    • How do I appeal a denial?


    To attend on November 15, please register at https://bergen.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zuVC2ZAnSJCX9C6S4Rb0Sw


    Flyer-Social Security Workshop Series



    Children's After-School Treatment Services







    Want to connect with other NJ Youth?
    Join our weekly Youth Chat



    There's a new one each week based on our SPAN youth chats!
    To read the latest and subscribe, click here.



    Please see the information below about the Register Ready Resource available through the Office of Emergency Management and please consider including information about this valuable resource on your websites.


    Register Ready is a confidential and secure database designed to help emergency managers and first responders plan for and support people who have disabilities and access and functional needs (DAFN) who may need assistance in the event of a disaster. Permanent and seasonal New Jersey residents with DAFN should register if they might need help evacuating, sheltering in place or at a public shelter, or require special emergency assistance. Individuals with a temporary disability, such as a high-risk pregnancy or other serious medical condition, are also encouraged to register.


    Please note:

    •  Individuals can register at no cost at www.registerready.nj.gov or by calling 211.

    •  The Register Ready brochure is available in 9 difference languages and can be accessed at:  https://nj.gov/njoem/plan-prepare/access-functional-needs.shtml





    Nicholas Pecht, M.P.A. (he/him)

    System Partner Lead

    Department of Children and Families

    Children’s System of Care

    Office of Community Services

    50 East State St., 3rd fl.

    Trenton, NJ 08625

    Cell Phone: (201) 280-9596

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    Disability Rights New Jersey, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to advancing and protecting the human, civil, and legal rights of people with disabilities.

    • We aggressively investigate reports of abuse and neglect wherever a person with a disability may be receiving services.
    • We thoroughly monitor facilities and community-based programs to ensure that people living in those facilities and using those services are free from abuse and neglect, and that their rights are not violated.
    • We provide legal representation, without charge, to people with disabilities in cases that fall within our priority setting process.
    • We are dedicated to providing education, training, and technical assistance to people with disabilities, their families and advocates, the agencies that service them, and policy makers among others.
    • We provide state-of-the-art access to information and advice about assistive technology.
    Read Our Story


    Event Spotlight: ASL Story Time for Kids
    LSL Corner
    All About Audiology
    "AllAboutAudiology" is a podcast hosted by Dr. Lilach Saperstein, an audiologist helping parents and teachers of children with hearing loss, or anyone interested in hearing health, to understand audiology topics. On the podcast, we explore how hearing works and discuss tools for becoming empowered advocates.
    "My child can hear but doesn't understand!"
    "Is my child deaf?"
    "Should I use sign language?"
    "Do I need a hearing aid?"
    "Should I get my hearing tested?"
    "Pros and cons of cochlear implants"
    "What are ear tubes?"
    Every other week, in the All About YOU segment, Dr. Saperstein answers your questions about anything from ear infections and tubes to deciding on cochlear implant surgery, deaf education, and sign language.
    iTunes required for subscription
    Described & Captioned Media Program
    DCMP educates students with sensory disabilities, along with their parents and teachers. Their major network-produced, educational content is carefully customized to serve the needs of K-12 students, as well as adult students studying to meet the needs of blind and deaf students.
    Join us on facebook!
    Join our Facebook page to check out resources, videos, tips, and articles shared regularly with the group. Resources to support deaf children virtually are also shared as they become available. Click on the Facebook button to join!
    If you would like to receive information about the COVID-19 vaccine for your child(ren), please email mdujue@spanadvocacy.org.
    Contact kmakowski@spanadvocacy.org if you have any questions about our program.
    SPAN Parent Advocacy Network Deaf Mentor Program

    Is your child's placement 

    The pandemic has underscored the need for flexible, effective, high-quality special education services, smaller classes, and emotional support services. If your child's program is not meeting their needs, talk to your Child Study Team case manager about your concerns. It might be time to consider a change in placement.
    Our Outreach Coordinator, Joanne DeSimone, can help. She can offer information, referral, guidance, and support. As a former special education teacher and the parent of two sons with disabilities, she knows the ropes and can guide parents through common special education advocacy issues.
    Help is a phone call away: 973-407-0596

    Annual NJ Transition Conference
    The Annual NJ Youth Transition Conference was created for youth ages 14-21+ who experience I/DD, their families, caregivers, and the professionals who serve them.
    October 3 - 7th, 2022


    Coffee and Self-Care with the Nurtured Heart Approach® (4-Session Series)