Labor & Industry Ends Waitlist For Individuals With Disabilities, Opening Services For All
"For the first time since 1994, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) will reopen the order of selection (OOS) to significantly disabled (SD) and non-significantly disabled (NSD) individuals, terminating the waitlist for all SD and NSD applicants seeking vocational rehabilitation services. The change goes into effect today, August 8."
Read the press release 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.
Disability in the News
Federal Partners Release Resource Leveraging and Service Coordination to Increase Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities
On August 16, 2022, along with the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and partners from other federal departments, OSERS' Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) released Resource Leveraging and Service Coordination to Increase Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities
The resource, which comprises a Federal Joint Communication to State and Local Governments and a Frequently Asked Questions document, focus on the benefits of and support for blending, braiding, and sequencing resources to increase Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) for people with disabilities.
Read more about this new Resource and CIE
Senate Passes Budget Reconciliation Bill
On August 7th, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 by a vote of 51-50 with Vice President Harris breaking the tie to join all Democrats in supporting the bill. This legislation will directly impact people with disabilities and their families by lowering drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, continuing health insurance subsidies, and taking steps to address climate change. However, the legislation does not include a badly needed investment in home and community-based services. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives to be voted on. You can read The Arc US’s statement on this bill here.
Administration for Community Living and Federal Partners Announce Two New Resources to Expand Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) and partners from across the federal government jointly developed two new resources to help expand opportunities for competitive, integrated employment (CIE) for people with disabilities. CIE – jobs alongside coworkers with and without disabilities, in integrated settings in the community, at competitive wages, and with opportunities for advancement – is a critical part of community living.
The Arc US Staff Presents on Marriage Penalties to Social Security Advisory Board
On July 29th, The Arc US’s Director of Financial Security Policy, David Goldfarb, presented to the Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB) on marriage penalties contained within Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. He was joined by colleagues from the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) and Justice in Aging. SSAB is an independent federal government agency that advises the President, the Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters of policy and administration of Social Security and SSI. The recorded briefing and materials are available here.
Expert Testimony Shows Early Childhood Investments Deliver High Returns
The House Committee on the Budget released a report in late July based on expert testimony showing that a collection of supports to young children including nutrition, high quality childcare, universal preschool, and family tax credits leads to societal benefits. According to committee Chair John Yarmuth (D-KY), “Supporting our youngest Americans is one of the most concrete ways we can set our nation up for success. We call these programs investments because they pay off — literally — for children, for their families, for our society, and for our economy.” He reinforced that beyond the important impact on child development and wellbeing, “funding of critical early childhood programs leads to multiplier effects in many ways.” The report states, “In sum, high quality early childhood programs can yield a $4 to $9 economic return per $1 invested.”
Congress Punts On Aid For Struggling Disability Services System
"An ambitious plan to shore up Medicaid home and community-based services nationwide with the largest investment ever in the program has been whittled down to nothing.
After more than a year of negotiation, President Joe Biden is expected to sign a reconciliation bill tackling climate change and health care costs. The legislation now known as the Inflation Reduction Act is the latest iteration of a what was originally expected to be a much more expansive measure encompassing Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, including $400 billion in spending on home and community-based services."
Read article here.
‘People Will Die Waiting’: America’s System for the Disabled is Nearing Collapse
"Private agencies that provide services for the intellectually and developmentally disabled have long warned that, without fresh state and federal funding, they would be unable to provide housing and staff support to the growing number of Americans who need care.
Over the last 12 months, the Covid-19 pandemic’s lingering effects and once-in-a-generation inflation have turned dire predictions into sobering truths, and agency directors, who for years hobbled along on shoestring budgets, have done in 2022 what not long ago would have been unthinkable: closed their doors."
Read article here.
PBS Documentary Explores Shortcomings Of Disability Support System
"What happens when a family is left to care for an adult who is deaf, blind and has autism without support? That’s the focus of a new documentary that’s set to premiere on national television.
The 60-minute film “He’s My Brother” follows co-director Christine Hanberg and her family as they look at what their future holds with her brother Peter, 31, who has multiple disabilities."
Read article here.