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    Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families
    Annual Report for 2019 - Submitted July 8, 2020

    Paul S. Aronsohn

    Click here for full PDF



    Are You a Caregiver in New Jersey? Make Your Voice Heard


    To register to testify or provide written testimony, click HERE.

    Registration will be closed two days before each hearing. Testimony is limited to 5 minutes. Once registered you will be given a one-hour time frame in which you will be called upon to speak.

    For more information, email doas.caregivertaskforce@dhs.nj.gov or VISIT HERE.

    New Jersey has experienced over 400,000 positive cases and approximately 16,000 deaths associated with COVID-19.  Vaccination is the latest tool in our toolbox to stop the spread.  New Jersey recently rolled out COVID-19 vaccines step-by-step to serve all who live, work or study in the state.

    Beginning in mid-December and continuing into early 2021, vaccine access will be given to New Jersey’s Phase 1A Group: health care workers, who are paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.  Phase 1A also includes long-term care residents and staff.

    The Phase 1A definition of health care workers includes Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in the State’s Developmental Centers and IDD group homes, day programs, and Self-Directed Employees in private homes.  DSPs are now eligible to receive a vaccine at one of the COVID vaccine locations listed in the link below.  We are working with the Department of Health to ensure that residents in group homes, which are considered high-risk congregate settings, receive vaccinations as Phase 1A continues.  Information will be forthcoming regarding eligibility for individuals with disabilities and chronic medical conditions not residing in high-risk congregate care settings.

    Please view and distribute the three (3) documents:

    1.       Letter from New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Commissioner Judith Persichilli

    2.       Phase 1A Factsheet

    3.       List of current New Jersey Vaccine Sites (subject to change)


    During the pandemic, Social Security has continued to provide service online and by phone while our offices remain closed for walk-in service. Our local office employees are busy answering calls to their office. While we offer many online and phone options to help you, we recognize that in-person assistance is sometimes necessary.

    Though walk-in service is not available, we may be able to schedule an in-person appointment in certain situations. We have updated information on our Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) web page to explain situations involving help with benefits or a Social Security number when we may be able to schedule an appointment. If you believe your client qualifies for an in-person appointment, ask your client to call their local office. They can look up the phone number for their local office by accessing our office locator.  Please note that appointments may not be immediately available, depending on local health and safety conditions and staffing.  An in-person appointment may be possible if your client: 

    • Is without food or shelter, including utilities or is without medical care or coverage and needs to apply for or reinstate benefits.
    • Currently receives benefits and has an urgent need for payment to meet expenses for food, shelter, or medical treatment, and cannot receive the payment electronically.
    • Is age 12 or older applying for their first SSN card.
    • Needs to update or correct their SSN information (e.g., name, date of birth, or citizenship) to obtain income, resources, or medical care or coverage, or other services or benefits (e.g., filing a tax return, applying for housing, seeking an Economic Impact Payment). 

    Please visit and subscribe to our Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) web page to keep up to date during the pandemic. I encourage you to share this information with your members, colleagues, affiliates, and other interested parties.



A Message from the Director

  • Hello from the BCSS CAPE Resource Center.  We serve the special needs community by providing access to information, resources, services, referrals and educational opportunities.  Explore our website to learn about the many features and services the Center brings to you at as aLinda caregiver/family member, a professional or an individual with disabilities.

    We are all experiencing numerous challenges and emotions these days and caring for a loved one with a disability can present additional issues and concerns. Please feel free to reach out to me for a friendly ear and/or for information/resources to assist you. Our Zoom Webinars on topics such as guardianship, understanding governmental benefits, safety in the community, etc. are underway. Check out our archived webinars, too. Our Virtual Parent/Caregiver Support Workshops facilitated by Doreen Moran have resumed and based on the participation, are a wonderful success. The support groups meet monthly. Although they are free, registration is required.

    As we continue to plan our future workshops, if you have any suggestions about topics, please let me know.

    To join our email list for more information about our future workshops, please sign-up HERE - https://lp.constantcontact.com/su/V9b5SEg/parentssignup

    Hope to see you (virtually) soon!! Of course, feel free to contact me at the BCSS CAPE Resource Center if you have any questions/concerns, etc. WE ARE OPEN. 201-343-6000 x 4076 or by email at linwie@bergen.org. Stay safe and be well! All the best,

    Linda Signature





BCSS CAPE Resource Center

  • The BCSS CAPE Resource Center serves as a...

    A hub for educators, community members and individuals living and working in and around Bergen County to locate services and resources for those with developmental and other disabilities;

    We offer...

    Resource Coordination/Information

    • Resource coordination includes intake as well as referral to the system of services and educational resources in Bergen County and the surrounding communities.
    • Educational materials, such as fact sheets, journal articles, publications, directories, etc., on topics related to people with disabilities;

    Educational Workshops (Areas of interest include…)

    • Transition Planning
    • Parenting Skills
    • Guardianship/Estate Planning/Special Needs Trusts
    • Housing Options
    • Monthly Parent Support Groups
      • Monthly Aspen Dads Groups
      • Monthly Parent Support Group for parents/caregivers with youth 14 yrs. and older

    Linda Wieseneck, Director, is available to answer questions and to provide consultation and support regarding special services and community resource options.  Follow up ensures quality of services.

Contact Us

  • Main Office:
    201 343-6000 x4067 

    Linda Wieseneck, L.C.S.W.  x4067

    Social Worker:
    Diahann De Ruggiero, M.Ed., M.S.W.  x6588

    Administrative Assistant:
    Linda Pais-Crosson x4076