Department of Human Services | Second Annual Real Life Choices Conference for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
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For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2008

For Information, Contact:
Pam Ronan, 609-292-3703

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is co-sponsoring the second annual “Real Life Choices” (RLC) Conference, in partnership with Neighbours, Inc., RLC participants and their family members, on Saturday, April 5, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick.RLC is an at-home service option for DDD eligible individuals to self direct. A budget, based on each person’s needs, is provided for individuals to obtain services such as respite care, job coaching, transportation and in-home supports.

“Real Life Choices is about empowering individuals to direct their own budgets and choose their own services,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “The flexibility of this option enables a person to individually tailor the types of services that will enable them to continue to live at home.”

DDD developed RLC in 2002 and there are currently 671 RLC participants. As funding becomes available, t his option is offered to DDD eligible individuals who are either graduating from high school or registered on the “priority” section of the DDD waiting list.

DHS Assistant Commissioner Kenneth Ritchey, who oversees DDD, will be in attendance and Darius Weems, a 15-year old with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, will present a heartwarming keynote address.

This conference is coordinated by Neighbours, Inc., an agency under contract with DDD, and is free-of-charge for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. For information, contact Neighbours, Inc., by calling 1-866-585-0022, or visit

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