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September 1, 2022
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Pennsylvania News

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:

  1. Electronic comments submitted via email - Stakeholders are asked to use the subject header “PA Final STP” and submit comments to the following mailbox:
  2. Written comments submitted via mail - Mailing address: Department of Human Services, Office of the Secretary, P. O. Box 2675, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675.
  3. 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:
  • Webinars Specific to STP Information for ODP:
September 8, 2022
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Register Here

September 12, 2022
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Register Here
  • Webinar Specific to STP Information for OLTL:
September 15, 2022
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Register Here

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 or 888-272-7729 or

Register here. 

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.

Participants will:

  • Learn about the Infant/Toddler and Preschool Early Intervention (EI) system.
  • Connect with other families.
  • Build skills to advocate for their family and others.

Applicants should:

  • 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 or 717-682-6094.

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

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.

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.

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. 

More Than a Ramp: Citizens with Disabilities Need Adequate Voting Access

"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."

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

PA Office of Developmental Programs


Medication Administration Student Course Overview for Trainers

Positive Approaches Volume 11, Issue 2 Now Available!

Residential Vacancy Report for August 2022

ODP Announcement 22-099: Revision to the Enhanced Communication Rate for Services August 2022

ODP Announcement 22-098: Clarification on Combining Partial Units for Services Subject to Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)

Monkey Pox--What You Need To Know

September Self Advocate Spotlight Series

ODP Announcement 22-097: Clarification of Deaf Services 

ODP Announcement 22-096: Open for Public Comment: Pennsylvania's Statewide Transition Plan for HBCS

ODP Announcement 22-095: Correction of Enhanced Rates for the Adult Autism Waiver Transportation Trip Service

ODP Bulletin 00-22-06 – Medical Assistance

SAUI Hosting Waiver Changes with ODP on Sept. 9
Legislative Updates from Katie Yost 


  • No legislative updates. 
 "Learn More"



Finally Home: Housing Symposium
September 7, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Values Into Action invites you to attend their virtual housing symposium Finally Home on September 7, 2022 from 9 AM to 4 PM. The event will include a day of presentations and discussions around housing for people with disabilities. The program will include:

  • Opening speaker Erica McFadden, Director of Independent Living at the Administration for Community Living
  • Hearing the experiences of people on their Finally Home journey
  • Learning how you can get involved from David Gates
  • Discussing the role of technology in our Everyday Lives
  • Closing presentation from Kristin Ahrens, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs
Pre-registration is required. 

Register Here. 

The Arc of PA's Discovery Training
September 7-9, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

This 3-day training will teach attendees a process used as an alternative to traditional vocational assessment in order to support customized employment goals of individuals with significant disabilities that are typically not given consideration for competitive community. In addition to the 3-day training, those seeking certification are required to complete additional fieldwork with a learning partner under the guidance of a mentor. Direct service providers of Advanced Supported Employment/Customized Employment are required to have this certification in PA.

Register Here

DHS' Webinar on Medication Administration Student Course Overview for Trainers
September 8, 2023 from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

This webinar will provide an overview of Student Courses in the new Medication Administration Platform.
Trainers will learn how to create new student classes (including Practicum Observer classes), view grader reports of their students, and enter presentation and remediation grades.

ACRE Basic Certification Training - via Zoom
September 12 - 14, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

The Arc of Pennsylvania’s Making Employment Work course is an ACRE Basic Certification Training. To receive certification, participants must attend a 3-day, live webinar training and then complete a self-paced, online curriculum. Completing this certification course will qualify individuals to provide Supported Employment services with Pennsylvania’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Office of Developmental Programs. Our training combines lessons learned from traditional Supported Employment and Customized Employment techniques.

Register Here

The Arc US' Virtual Conference on Transforming Crisis
September 13, 2022 from 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM

For Black people, people of color, and particularly those with disabilities, an encounter with law enforcement while in crisis can lead to traumatizing and even fatal outcomes. The introduction of 988, the new national crisis hotline, has created momentum for advocates to push the tide towards a mental
health, peer support, and community de-escalation model for crisis response

Learn about: 
  • How disability, race, and law enforcement interact;
  • The individual, family, and community impact of crisis responses gone wrong; and 
  • Alternatives to law enforcement led crisis response at the local and federal levels
Register Here

Taking a Deeper Dive into a Project of National Significance: Community Collaborations for Employment 
September 13, 2022 from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Please join the DETAC as we welcome three CCE Grantees (Arizona, Kansas, and Massachusetts) as they share insights about the strategic framework, they established to help optimize opportunities for youth with I/DD to achieve competitive integrated employment within Tribal reservations, rural, urban, and suburban communities.

Register Here. 

PA DD Council's Self-Advocate Spotlight
September 15, 2022 from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The Pennsylvania Disabilities Council (PADDC) will be hosting The Self Advocate Spotlight Series, which highlights how self - advocates are demonstrating their own leadership skills, while also using their voices to mentor others.

Featured for September is Mark Steidl. Mark (and support staff, Lilly Abreu) is the founder of Self Advocacy Voices, a self advocate led organization in Western PA.

Register Here. 

Supported Decision Making Panel Discussion
September 19, 2022 from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

The Pennsylvania Disabilities Council (PADDC) will be hosting a Supported Decision Making Panel Discussion. Supported decision making allows a person with disabilities to make their own decisions. It is an alternative to guardianship. Supported decision making is meant to be flexible in how it is applied from individual to individual and even how it is applied to the same individual over time.

Join the PADDC for this panel discussion that will provide a general overview of supported decision making and discuss what is happening nationally on this topic.

Register Here. 

The Arc US' Engagement in the Early Intervention Program Planning Process for Parents and Professionals
September 20, 2022 from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

The process of program planning in early intervention and special education can be challenging at times. This webinar will provide an overview and brief history of IDEA Part C & B, program planning requirements, and strategies that support more meaningful engagement in early intervention programs.

Register Here. 

The Arc US' Promising Practices for People with Dual Diagnosis
September 22, 2022 at 2:00 PM

Join The Arc US for a presentation about promising programmatic practices for people with dual diagnosis. Get an overview of community-based service promising practices for an emerging, dually diagnosed population.

Learning objectives:
  • Community based program modalities and promising clinical practices, including residential, employment, and meaningful day curriculum, plus treatment and programming integration and oversight
  • Challenges and opportunities in supporting this population, including internal and external stakeholder collaboration and communication
  • Staffing support and training needs

Register Here. 

The Voices of People with Disabilities and Older Adults - Strengthening Advocacy in the HCBS Settings Rule - Webinar
September 23, 2022 at 2:00 PM

The Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule can improve community-based services and supports for people with disabilities and older adults for decades to come. A key requirement of the Settings Rule is that states hear from people with disabilities and older adults about how the state can best implement the Rule.

ACL is hosting this webinar to provide participants with an opportunity to learn when and how to invite and/or provide feedback on state efforts to comply with the rule. Presenters will share key dates, strategies, and examples of how powerful the voices of people with lived experience can be in creating more opportunities for choice and control in service delivery, and advancing the quality of services. 

Register Here

The Arc of PA's Customized Job Development Training - Via Zoom
October 3 - 5, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The Arc of Pennsylvania's Customized Job Development training will teach attendees the skills needed to find jobs that meet both the needs of an individual with disabilities while matching the needs of an employer. After the training, attendees seeking certification will then complete approximately 40 hours of fieldwork with a learning partner.

Register Here
Copyright © 2022 The Arc of Pennsylvania, All rights reserved.
The Arc of Pennsylvania
1007 Mumma Road, Suite 100
Lemoyne, PA 17043
717.234.2621 | 1-800-692-7258
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The Arc of Pennsylvania 
Serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Sherri Landis, Executive Director
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