The Arc of PA Releases Report: Pennsylvanians Living with a Disability Faced More Significant Hurdles During Pandemic
A new report finds that those living with a disability faced bigger challenges and hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.The report – “COVID-19 Health Care Barriers Among People with Disabilities – is the first part of a multi-year effort funded by the CDC’s COVID-19 Health Disparities Grant to improve health equity.”
Read more here.
Governor Wolf Signs Proclamation Announcing Direct Support Professional Recognition Week in PA
Governor Wolf signed a proclamation announcing that September 11-17, 2022 is Direct Support Professional Recognition Week in Pennsylvania! This week is set aside to honor DSPs for the important work they do supporting individuals with Intellectual Disability and Autism (ID/A).
Read the proclamation here.
ODP Announces 30 Day Public Comment Period
The Department of Human Services is accepting comments on Pennsylvania’s Final Statewide Transition Plan (STP) for Home and Community-Based Services which can be accessed at HERE.
Comments will be accepted no later than 11:59 pm on September 22, 2022. Stakeholders may provide public comment through one of the following methods:
- Electronic comments submitted via email - Stakeholders are asked to use the subject header “PA Final STP” and submit comments to the following mailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Written comments submitted via mail - Mailing address: Department of Human Services, Office of the Secretary, P. O. Box 2675, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675.
- Verbal and written comments during public comment webinars
The following dates and times below are for stakeholders to participate in the public comment webinars:
- Webinar Specific to STP Information for OCDEL:
September 12, 2022
9:00 am to 10:00 am
Please register for the webinar by emailing: email@example.com
- Webinars Specific to STP Information for ODP:
- Webinar Specific to STP Information for OLTL:
ODP Family Satisfaction Survey Highlights
The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) would like to thank you for taking the time to complete the Family Survey about your satisfaction with the support your loved one receives from Supports Coordinators (SC) so they can live the life they want to live. 512 family members took the survey. We understand that your time is valuable. We sincerely appreciate your honest feedback as we work to improve our services and supports for people and their families moving forward to help them achieve their vision of a fulfilling Everyday Life.
Access some of the survey highlights HERE.
The Arc of Erie to Host 2022 Buddy Walk
You are invited to participate in The Arc Erie County 2022 Buddy Walk on Saturday, September 24, 2022, hosted by The Erie Sports Center. This will be a fun-filled day for your entire family, a time to meet with organizations that provide services and to raise money for The Arc of Erie County, a member of the Achieva Family of Organizations so that we can provide more services in the greater Erie area. We are currently providing educational and adult advocacy services and family supports in Erie and surrounding counties, but we need your support to serve more families. If you have a family member with a disability, work with children or adults with disabilities or just want to support people with disabilities and their families, join us! You will be glad you did!
There is a $20 per person registration fee that includes a Buddy Walk t-shirt. Every dollar counts and is appreciated! For more information about The Arc’s services or the Buddy Walk, contact Katherine Reim, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-272-7729 or www.thearcoferie.org.
PA Developmental Disabilities Council Seeking Nominations for Council Members
PADDC is seeking nominations for Council members who are:
- Individuals with developmental disabilities;
- Parents of children with developmental disabilities; or
- Family members of adults with developmental disabilities
The PA Developmental Disabilities Council (PADDC) empowers individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to help shape policies that impact them. We have reopened our application process and are looking for people from diverse backgrounds to apply. Pennsylvania is a state with great diversity in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, military/veteran status, disability, location, and lived experience, and we desire a Council that reflects that diversity. We believe that our differences make us stronger, and we encourage people from different backgrounds who believe they have something to contribute to the Council to apply.
You can nominate yourself, a family member or friend, or a leader in the community who is willing to serve. Please see our page with frequently asked questions (FAQ) to learn more about what it means to be a Council member and how the Council works. Nomination Forms are also available on the page.
Competence and Confidence Partners in Policy Making for Families of Children in Early Intervention (C2P2 EI) 2022-2023 Application is Now Open
A FREE leadership development training for families of children receiving Early Intervention Infant/Toddler or Preschool services.
- Learn about the Infant/Toddler and Preschool Early Intervention (EI) system.
- Connect with other families.
- Build skills to advocate for their family and others.
- Have a child between the age of birth-five who is currently receivingPennsylvania Infant/Toddler or Preschool EI services.
- Have a desire to advocate for themselves and others.
- Can commit to participation in all 8 sessions
Questions related to the application process and/or the program can be addressed to: Sarah Holland at email@example.com
Applications are due by September 9, 2022
. Access the application HERE
PA ABLE Surpasses $75 Million Savings Milestone
"Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced that the PA ABLE Savings Program has surpassed $75 million in assets for the first time. PA ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) is a tax-free way for Pennsylvanians with qualifying disabilities and their families to save without affecting eligibility for government disability benefits. Funds are easy to access and may be used for a wide range of disability-related expenses."
Read article here
Disability in the News
Medicaid Program Helping People Leave Institutions Headed To More States
"Following years in limbo, a popular Medicaid program that helps people with disabilities move from institutions to community-based living will become more widely available.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said this week that the Money Follows the Person program will expand to three new states and two U.S. territories."
Read article here.
The goal of this publication is to provide a guide for state officials to better understand the state policy landscape for supporting family caregivers, and to identify opportunities for innovation in their states.
Final Segment of State Policy Roadmap for Family Caregivers Released
The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) just released the final component of the State Policy Roadmap for Family Caregivers.
View the State Roadmap.
HHS Expands Home and Community-Based Services in Five New States and Territories for Older Adults and People with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), awarded approximately $25 million in planning grants to five new states and territories to expand access to home and community-based services (HCBS) through Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program. With these awards, 41 states and territories across the country will now participate in MFP.
For more information here.
Thousands May Join Class Action Suit Over Special Education Delays
"In 2019, parents of 10 children with disabilities filed suit against the New Jersey Department of Education for taking too long to resolve disputes about how their children should be educated. Now, a federal district judge has ruled that their case could become a class action suit, potentially including an estimated 15,000 families who say students have been harmed over the years by administrative delays."
Read article here.
"As the 2022 midterm election season kicks into high gear, considerable public attention is being given to congressional, state and local campaigns. Primaries are coming to an end and broadcast and social media ads are heating up. I fondly recall the advice given to me as a child in Chicago: “Vote early and vote often.” In Pennsylvania today, we have a different sort of chicanery surrounding local and state politics."
More Than a Ramp: Citizens with Disabilities Need Adequate Voting Access
Read article here.
Address Abuse in 'Community-Based' Settings, Too
"The Preventing Abuse and Neglect of Vulnerable Americans Act, a new bill co-sponsored by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Mark Kelly (R-Ariz.), would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to "make certain information" about intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IIDs) "available on a public website," including substantiated reports of abuse and neglect. "
Read article here.
Major Gene Study Spots DNA Tied to Autism, Other Disorders
"More than 70 genes are very strongly associated with autism and more than 250 are linked to the condition, a major new genetic analysis has revealed. The analysis is the largest of its kind to date, involving more than 150,000 participants, including 20,000 diagnosed with autism.
Read article here.
Intellectual Disabilities and Sexual Assault
"The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities defines Intellectual Disability as a condition characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior that originates before the age of 22. Minnesota law defines sexual assault as any sexual contact without a person’s consent."
Read article here.
Well-Meaning Reactions That Frustrate People with Disabilities
"Some of the most annoying things disabled people hear in their everyday lives aren’t precisely wrong or deliberately offensive. But, they are misplaced and upsetting in the context of how people with disabilities actually live."
Read the article here.
The Center for Law and Social Policy Releases Fact Sheet on Youth Mental Health and School-based Services
The Center for Law and Social Policy released a fact sheet entitled Addressing the Youth Mental Health Crisis Through Equitable School-based Services. The fact sheet highlights the severity of the mental health crisis facing young people, illustrates the benefits of school-based mental health supports, and suggests important considerations for creating effective school-based resources.
Read fact sheet here.