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New Jersey Legislative Disability Caucus Backgrounder

The establishment of this Bi-partisan Legislative effort represents the hard work of many disability advocates. We at hip support this initiative and look forward to enhancing our communication with our elected officials and program leadership.
                                                                                               Brian Fitzgibbons

November 2020

New Jersey Legislative Disability Caucus Backgrounder  


To serve as a bipartisan forum within the New Jersey Legislature for lawmakers and their staff to consider the impact on the disability community when shaping ALL public policies in the Garden State through increased awareness and a greater understanding of the complexities of the disabilities service system and issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.  

25.6% of adults in the U.S. have some type of disability.

24.6% of adults in New Jersey have some type of disability.

Did you know?
Disability cost in healthcare expenditures are $1.4 billion per year** in New Jersey.


  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 61 million Americans – 25% of the population – have a disability that “impacts major life activities”. 
  • Approximately 25% of adults in New Jersey identify as having some type of disability. This equates to 2,227,250. * 
  • Despite progress, adults with disabilities in New Jersey and across the country continue to experience significant differences in health characteristics and behaviors compared to adults without disabilities. ** 
  • The jobless rate for persons with a disability continues to be about twice as high as the rate for those without a disability. *** 
  • People with disabilities live in poverty at more than twice the rate of people without disabilities. ****

12.5% of all US males and 12.8% of US females have a disability


Individuals with disabilities, their families and organizations that serve, support and advocate for individuals with disabilities in New Jersey will be a resource to the NJ Legislative Disability Caucus, providing education and programming as needed. Legislators who join the caucus agree to be champions for individuals with disabilities in New Jersey by meeting with them in their district offices; participating in quarterly education forums; and above all, promote policies to improve the lives of people with disabilities and consider the impact on the disability community in shaping all public policies in New Jersey.  

* Disability & Health U.S. State Profile Data for New Jersey (Adults 18+ years of age), Centers for Disease Control.  

** Disability-associated healthcare expenditures are presented in 2006 dollars as reported in Anderson et al, 2010. This value represents approximately 26% of total healthcare expenditures for the state of New Jersey.  

*** Current Population Survey (CPS), US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, February 2020.  

****Disability Poverty Connection Report, National Council on Disability, October 2017 


Founding Caucus Members  

Senator Stephen M. Sweeney – Chair  

Senator Anthony M. Bucco  

Senator Kristin M. Corrado  

Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr.  

Senator Vin Gopal  

Senator Thomas H. Kean, Jr.  

Senator Fred H. Madden, Jr.  

Senator M. Teresa Ruiz  

Senator Troy Singleton  

Senator Joseph F. Vitale  

Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson  

Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro  

Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti  

Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer  

Assemblywoman Joann Downey  

Assemblywoman Aura K. Dunn  

Assemblyman Louis D. Greenwald  

Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling  

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle  

Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt  

Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez  

Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz  

Assemblywoman Carol A. Murphy  

Assemblywoman Holly T. Schepisi  

Assemblyman Adam J. Taliaferro  

Assemblywoman Britnee N. Timberlake  

Assemblyman Anthony S. Verrelli  

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker 


2021 Issue Briefing Schedule  

Virtual or in Trenton – One hour for Caucus members and their staffers 

 January 26 @ noon – Covid and the Disability Community  

April 27 @ noon 

 July 27 @ noon  

October 26 @ noon 


The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD) is proud to announce the Supporting Agencies for the NJ Legislative Disability Caucus:  

New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities  

Autism New Jersey  

Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey  

New Jersey Association of Mental Health & Addiction Agencies, Inc. (NJAMHAA)  

New Jersey State Independent Living Council  

Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families  

SPAN Parent Advocacy Network  

Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey  

The Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities (ABCD)  

The Arc of New Jersey  

The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School  

The New Jersey Association of Community Providers (NJACP) 

New Jersey Legislative Disability Caucus Backgrounder

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