The Honorable Richard J. Codey and Ari Ne’eman, President and Co- Founder of Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Among the Disabilities Advocacy Honorees

Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey (PLAN/NJ), the only non-profit social service agency of its kind in New Jersey that provides life-long assistance to individuals with disabilities, recently held its awards ceremony, “A Celebration of Abilities,” honoring several distinguished New Jersey leaders who have made significant and long-term contributions to persons with disabilities and mental health challenges in New Jersey.

Over 130 guests gathered to attend the event, held at The New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, NJ on May 12, 2016.

The event began by honoring The Honorable Richard J. Codey, who received the Mental Health Award of Excellence for creating a lasting impact on law, policy and quality of life for people with mental health disabilities in New Jersey.

The 2016 Trailblazer Award was presented to Ari Ne’eman for empowering and transforming society by widening its views of people with disabilities.  Mr. Ne’eman is Co-founder, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and who also serves as Chairman of the National Council on Disability’s Policy & Program Evaluation Committee in Washington, DC.

“The object of autism advocacy should not be a world without autistic people — it should be a world in which autistic people can enjoy the same rights, opportunities, and quality of life as any of our neurotypical peers,” stated Ne’eman in his keynote address.

“We were so pleased to share this special evening with our honorees and to publicly recognize their advocacy efforts for people with disabilities in our state and beyond,” said Ellen Nalven, Executive Director of PLAN/NJ. “Their extraordinary work, activism and commitment to elevate the lives of people with disabilities and mental health challenges in New Jersey in all areas of life including civil and social rights, medical care, employment, housing, recreational activities and community involvement issues are all widely recognized.”

The event also honored:

  • Donna Custard, President, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation, who received the Business Champion Award for her commitment to increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
  • Bruce Dalziel, PLAN/NJ former Board Member, who received the Parent Advocate Honor for his dedication to sustained actions that assist individuals with disabilities.
  • Jennifer Joyce, Director, Employment, Transition and Day Services, The New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities, who received the Leadership Award for dedication to life-enhancing programs and services for people with disabilities.
  • Chayln Bryant, a PLAN/NJ Service Coordinator, who received the Outstanding Staff Member Award;
  • Chelsea Palermo of Red Bank, Efrain “Frankie” Santos of Saddle Brook, and Christina Sabo of Jamesburg received Life Planning Partner Awards Ms. Palermo is a professional jazz vocalist who was the evening’s entertainment and performed with The Vincent Troyani Jazz Trio.


We set a new course of action for the next five years

With our son at the table, we recently gathered the whole family and reevaluated many aspects of the plan that directs his lifestyle….

We would like to sincerely thank PLAN|NJ

We would like to sincerely thank PLAN|NJ for everything — your services, your help and your caring….

Each small change presents a new adjustment

Each small change in my son’s health presents a new adjustment that we all must make: a new exercise protocol, a new doctor, a new work environment or residential program….

Top 7 Reasons to Choose PLAN|NJ – One parent’s view:

TRUST You can unequivocally trust the staff at PLAN|NJ to care about your loved one as if they were a member of their own family (which they figuratively become when you choose PLAN|NJ)…

Our family highly recommends and wholeheartedly endorses PLAN|NJ

“Our family highly recommends and wholeheartedly endorses PLAN|NJ to anyone looking for help caring for and protecting a loved one with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our daughter is 17 years old and has IDD…


“We rest easier knowing there is a comprehensive plan in place for our daughter that will assist others in guiding her day-to-day life, as well as her long-term stability and well-being, when we are no longer here.”


“I have a true appreciation for PLAN|NJ because in view of COVID-19 and all of the shut downs and quarantines, PLAN|NJ has continued steady operations throughout the pandemic.”



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One in four adults in the United States lives with an intellectual,

developmental, or physical disability or a mental health challenge. 


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Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey (PLAN/NJ)
PO Box 547
Somerville, NJ 08876-0547
908-575-8300 (Phone)
908-927-9010 (Fax)


Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities
Association of People Supporting Employment First
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Guardianship Association
National PLAN Alliance


PLAN|NJ’s mission is to help families of individuals with disabilities answer all of the challenging questions embedded within the larger one: “Who will care for my loved one when I am gone?”

We coordinate the supports needed by individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities, and challenges with mental health, including people with autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, severe mental illness and more.