Resources for People with Disabilities

Montclair Police Department Special Needs Questionnaire

The Montclair Police Department offers a Special Needs Questionnaire designed to assist those who require special assistance in emergency situations. The information provided by you on this form will be held in the strictest confidence and will be shared only as necessary to ensure your safety in case of an emergency.

Special Needs Questionnair information will be entered into the Montclair Police Department’s dispatch computer database so that in the event of an emergency, the Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services of the Township of Montclair can better serve you. If you have any questions regarding this form, please contact the Community Policing Bureau at (973) 509-4740.

Download Special Needs Questionnaire

If you’re disabled, coping with the “everyday” is hard enough. So navigating the world of resources can seem daunting. Luckily, there are agencies that can help make sense of it all for you. Although the information below may seem geared for people with life-long disabilities, there are resources listed for those with temporary handicaps as well. Agencies and resources are listed by local, county, state and federal levels.

Montclair & Vicinity

The Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities (PwD), advocates for residents, develops and maintains community awareness of people with disabilities and provides a resource for residents and visitors. Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m., and are open to the public.

The PwD, along with the Police and Fire Departments, developed a Special Needs Registry. Residents who may require special assistance can be listed, in strictest confidence, with first responders. In the event of an emergency, response teams will be prepared to act appropriately and quickly, perhaps resulting in a life saved rather than lost. Registry forms are available at the Municipal Building and on-line at > Government > Departments > Police > "Special Needs Form” (right hand side of the page).

DIAL, Inc., (2 Prospect Village Plaza, Clifton, 973-470-8090, is part of a state-wide network of non-residential centers designed and operated to provide services to individuals with significant disabilities. These services include information and referral, advocacy, peer support, and independent living skills training.

Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled of Metrowest is a multi-faceted agency providing a full spectrum of services to individuals and families coping with conditions that severely impair their ability to function independently. Located at 395 Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange, they can be reached at 973-325-1494.


The New Jersey Department of Human Services works in partnership with families, consumers, advocacy groups, service providers and state and municipal officials throughout the state to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are protected and that they and their families have access to quality programs and services that meet their needs. Services include, but are not limited to, the provision of health care for people with special needs, community living, employment-related and day programs, community-based mental health and in-patient care for both children and adults with emotional and behavioral problems, and assistive technological devices for people who are blind or deaf. The New Jersey State website at humanservices/dds/, is well organized and up-to-date. If you don’t surf the web, ask a family member or friend to do it for you, or go to your local library and ask for assistance. You can also come to the Montclair Division of Social Services at 205 Claremont Avenue (973-509-4906). We can help you research and fill out forms.


National organizations which support your particular disability, such as the MS Society and the National Federation of the Blind, can offer invaluable help. and provide links to other resources.

The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. Main office (800-772-1213) or go to

The American’s with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, and modifications were recently signed by the Congress and the President. It has four components: they cover employment, state and local government facilities (buildings, transportation), public accommodations (stores, theaters and medical offices) and telecommunications.

Information about the ADA can be found at . This link will direct you to issues of employment, transportation, healthcare, building access and other resources. To learn more, visit: The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission ( and the Job Accommodation Network for employment issues ( 

Information about telecommunications can be found at the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center ( and the Federal Communications Commission ( 

The Montclair Board of Education and the Special Education Parent Advisory Council is available to help parents and students with special needs. A helpful website can be found at

The New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) provides services that enable individuals with disabilities to find jobs or keep their existing jobs.

Horizons at Scales Plaza is nearing completion. Located in Clifton, off Van Houten Avenue, there will be 208 units, with 20 units for people with disabilities, 20 units for other special needs and the rest for seniors. Support services through Volunteers of America will be on site. Tenants interested in special-needs housing should call Horizons at 914-693-3011.

An on-line resource for rentals can be found at the New Jersey Housing Resource Center    (  Click on "Find Housing" and follow with "rentals with accessibility features."

Independent Living Centers ( are typically non-residential, private, non-profit, consumer-controlled, community-based organizations providing services and advocacy by and for persons with all types of disabilities. Their goal is to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum potential within their families and communities.

To learn more about making homes more accessible, consult:

The All-Access Playground at Edgemont Park is equipped to accommodate children with or without disabilities, has extra-wide ramps to allow caregivers to help the disabled maneuver the various equipment and safety features such as soft padding on the ground.

The Park Street YMCA actively recruits workout partners for The Buddy Program.  Y members help others with special needs in the fitness center as both work-out together. The program coordinator can be reached at 973-744-3400.

The WAE Center for Creativity, a non-sectarian center for “wellness, arts and enrichment”, is associated with the Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled of Metrowest (see above). WAE Center offers such classes as yoga and meditation, painting and creative writing.

All theaters in the area must be wheelchair accessible; and many offer “open captioned” performances, as well as hearing assistance devices. A good site to find a performance is at

The Township Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department offers many programs that are accessible to people of all ages with disabilities. In the summer, the Department arranges special pool times when families with disabled members can enjoy a relaxing swim.

The Essex County Office for the Disabled can be reached at 973-395-5837. Besides making referrals to the many resources in the County, they also offer the Personal Assistant Services Program (PASP) for permanently, physically disabled persons 18-65.

Handicapped parking tags and spaces:  Residents wishing to obtain a temporary handicapped parking placard for their vehicle can obtain one from the Police Department. This tag can be used for up to 6 months. Contact Mirela Duka at 973-509-4938.             

A permanent tag can be obtained from the State Department of Motor Vehicles. The process is described at:

A handicapped parking space can be designated in front of a residence. The process involves an application with the PD, a letter from the applicant’s doctor attesting to their permanent disability, and a recommendation by the PD to the Township Council and Township Engineer.

A good website – – may provide a resource for your particular needs.

Wheelchair accessible vans are available through Essex County Special Transportation. Call 973-395-5858 for reservations.

Montclair Rehabilitation Organization (MRO) specifically provides transportation to those confined to a wheelchair. Information and reservations can be obtained at 201-396-8025.

NJ Transit Access Link offers people with disabilities paratransit service comparable to the local bus service. Passengers must be able to travel to and from the curb. There is an application process for eligibility to this program. Call 800-955-2321.

The Senior Care & Activities Center (973-783-5589) and Mountainside Hospital (973-429-6000) offer programs for caregivers.