Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney participated in a panel today as part of Kean University’s World Autism Awareness Day celebration. The panel, “Awareness to Action: Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum from Pre-K to Postsecondary,” included Kean University President Lamont Repollet, the Dean of their College of Education, Barbara Ridener, and two parent advocates who also work at the university.
“A desire to improve New Jersey’s special education services is what initially inspired me to get involved in politics and all these years later it continues to be a driving force behind my legislative priorities,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “I am a strong believer that all spaces should be accessible to all people, and especially the I/DD community. It gives me an immense sense of hope for the future to see so many universities taking steps, like Kean has, to make their campuses accessible and give these students a chance to further their education.”
“Senate President Steve Sweeney is a tireless advocate for children and adults with special needs across this great state,” said Kean President Lamont Repollet, Ed.D. “His expertise, experience and legislative leadership are vitally important as we work to build a pre-K to bachelor’s degree pipeline for New Jersey students with autism and other developmental disabilities. We are grateful for his partnership and look forward to working together on this issue and others impacting our state and its citizens.”
The discussion focused on turning awareness into action and exploring the educational experience from Pre-K through postsecondary from the perspective of policymakers, faculty members, parents, and students.