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Special Initiatives
Under 2008 Supplemental Special Needs Funding

In 1986 the New Jersey legislature passed N.J.S.A. 18A:72H-4 which established the Special Needs Grant Program to assist New Jersey college students who are visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing, or who have learning disabilities. Through this program, the Commission on Higher Education annually disburses funds to eight institutions in the state to operate regional centers for students with disabilities. Two of these centers specialize in services for deaf and hard of hearing students, and five provide additional supports to students with learning disabilities. The eighth center specializes in adaptive technology and provides services to all of New Jersey’s colleges and universities. (See page 7 for a list of the Regional Centers.)
Last year the legislature recognized the accomplishments of the regional centers and appropriated a one-time increase of $500,000. These funds are being used to support two initiatives: 1) the enhancement of services already offered at each regional center, and 2) the implementation of innovative initiatives. The centers and their funded projects are listed in the charts below.


Cumberland County College: Project Assist

• Conduct a one-day conference to increase awareness and understanding of learning disabilities with keynote speaker, Jonathon Mooney. October TBD.

For additional information call (856)691-8600 ext. 282 or email

Fairleigh Dickinson University Regional Center

• Identify, evaluate, and use a software series to remediate deficits in basic skills mathematics.
• Provide a training workshop for high school teachers and college service providers.

New Jersey City University: Project Mentor

• Expand existing summer orientation program to include high school juniors.
• Add a peer mentoring component.

Ocean County College: Project Academic Skills Support

Offer a speaker series with three national speakers:
• Richard Harris: A Faculty Member and the Student with a Disability: Value of Universal Design, Thursday, May 1, 2008 at Bergen Community College and Friday, May 2, 2008 at Middlesex County College
• Robert Brooks - Fostering a Positive School Climate and the Importance of Resilience, Thursday, October 2, 2008 at Ocean County College and Friday, October 3, 2008, location to be announced
• Richard LaVoie - Turning on the Tuned Out Student, Thursday, December 4, 2008 at Ocean County College and Friday, December 5, 2008 at New Jersey City University

For additional information call (732)255-0400, x2359 or email

The College of New Jersey: Adaptive Technology Center for New Jersey Colleges

• Conduct a pilot project to explore high-speed scanning of textbooks for NJ college students with disabilities.
• Determine the feasibility of sustaining this service beyond the funding period.


Bergen Community College Center for Collegiate Deaf Education

• Hire five professional notetakers for the spring 2008 semester.
• Provide special training to the notetakers to use new technology as part of the service.

Camden County College: Mid-Atlantic Postsecondary Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing

• Hire a ‘student coach’ to assist students with personal and academic concerns, act as an overall student advocate, and serve as a liaison between faculty, staff, sign language interpreters, and college administration.
• Purchase additional assistive listening devices.

Cumberland County College: Project Assist

To increase student success in developmental math courses:
• Provide workshops to students to improve study skills.
• Add supplemental instruction in developmental math courses.
• Train tutors on strategies for developmental math.

Fairleigh Dickinson University Regional Center

Provide a speaker series on Successful Transition to College for Students with Learning Disabilities:

• Vincent Varrassi: Whatever Happened to My IEP? March 11, 2008.
• Robert Brooks: Building Resiliency in College-Bound Students with Learning Disabilities, April 15, 2008.
• Scott Marfilius: Assistive Technology for Success in College, May 6, 2008.

For additional information call (201)692-2087 or email

Middlesex County College: Project Connections

• Upgrade adaptive computer lab.
• Add five computer stations equipped with assistive technology software in student study area.

New Jersey City University: Project Mentor

• Expand assistive technology inventory.
• Provide technology training to students, staff, faculty, and community.

Ocean County College: Project Academic Skills Support

• Provide leadership training to peer tutors and mentors.
• Integrate tutors and mentors in Student Success and Developmental Math courses.
• Provide three-day training institute on diagnostic testing and accommodations.
• Expand use of technology in the classroom.

The College of New Jersey: Adaptive Technology Center for New Jersey Colleges

• Create trouble-shooting guides for assistive technology software.
• Expand the inventory of the Adaptive Technology Loan Program.
• Disseminate the New Jersey Higher Education Disability Support Directory to all high schools in the state.


Forcina Hall, Room 101

The College of New Jersey

P.O. Box 7718

Ewing, NJ 08628-0718

P) 609.771.2795




Professor Amy G. Dell

Managing Editor

Anne M. Disdier