July 16, 2020
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National News 

Supreme Court Rules School Voucher Programs Must Include Religious Schools
On June 30, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.  The Arc is disappointed in this ruling because it is likely to lead to an increase in public funding for schools that are not subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. See The Arc’s statement.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces National Disability Month Theme
The U.S. Department of Labor announced that “Increasing Access and Opportunity” is the 2020 theme for October’s annual observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).  This year is the nation’s 75th observance of NDEAM, which is administered by the Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).  Read more here.  

Report Shows Most States Are Not Meeting IDEA Obligations
The U.S. Department of Education found that only 21 states deserved the “meets requirements” designation with regard to Part B for the 2018-2019 school year. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia were placed into the “needs assistance” category. Two states were placed in the “needs intervention” category. The findings come from an annual mandatory assessment of state compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Pennsylvania is listed in the Meets Requirements category.

Pennsylvania News

Pennsylvania Meets U.S. Dept of Education's Highest Recognition 
The Office of Child Development and Early Learning’s Bureau of Early Intervention Services and Family Supports has announced the U.S. Department of Education's determination that Pennsylvania meets the requirements and purposes of Part C and Part B of the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA).  Pennsylvania’s Infant Toddler Early Intervention program under Part C of IDEA is one of only a handful of states that has met requirements for 12 of the last 14 years.  Pennsylvania’s special education program under Part B of IDEA is the only state of the seven largest states to meet requirements for 13 of the last 14 years. 

Fingerprinting Locations Opening
Early Childhood Education professionals in need of fingerprinting can view the location map on the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services website.  93 IdentoGO locations are open and 33 remain closed as of June 23, 2020. Individuals may call IDEMIA Customer Service using the toll-free number 844-321-2101 to confirm a location’s operating status prior to scheduling their appointment and traveling.

Results of the Direct Support Workforce and COVID-19 National Survey 2020


Legislative Updates (From Katie Yost) 
  • Representative Mihalek and Senator Judy Ward have circulated companion co-sponsorship memos on establishing the Nonprofit Economic Emergency Delivery System (“NEEDS”) Grants Program. This Grant Program would be for eligible community-based human services nonprofit organizations who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and funded through CARES Act money received by the Commonwealth.
  • HR 950: Representative Tom Murt has introduced a resolution marking September 2020 as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Month. It has been referred to the House Health Committee.
  • HB 2640: Representative Austin Davis has introduced legislation that would institute a Direct Care Worker Wage Advisory Board, a minimum wage for Direct Care workers, and a Direct Care Worker registry. This legislation has been referred to the House Labor & Industry Committee.
  • HB 2650: Representative Tom Murt has introduced legislation that would establish a registry of caregivers who have been charged or convicted of abuse or neglect of an individual with a disability. This legislation has been referred to the House Human Services Committee.
  • Governor Tom Wolf signed into law HB 1841 and HB 1910, which were part of the Police Reform packages that went through the House and Senate. They are now Act. 57 of 2020 and Act 59 of 2020 respectively.
  • HB 2684: Representative Boback has introduced legislation that would extend the Family Caregiver Support Act to cover individuals who assist in the care and primary responsibility of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder and individuals with disabilities. This legislation has been referred to the House Human Services Committee.   

Office of Developmental Programs

Announcements  & Communications

Take Action & "Learn More" Opportunities

Action Alert
It's Time for the Senate to Act!

Tell Congress to Include the Disability Community in COVID-19 Relief Bills

July 22, 2020, 4:30 - 6:00 p.m., Learning from our History: Living Beyond the Walls of the Institution.  Join the Western Pennsylvania Disability History Consortium, Temple University Institute on Disabilities, and Pennhurst Memoral and Preservation Alliance for a facilitated virtual discussion of the obstacles to living beyond the walls of institutionalized settings, current issues in community-based services, and what the future might hold.  Facilitator:  Guy Caruso, Western Coordinator, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University and Invited participants include:
Brenda Dare, self-advocate, Independent Living Project Manager for Transitional Paths to Independent Living; Jamie Ray-Leonetti, Associate Director of Policy, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University; Debbie Robinson, Executive Director, Speaking for Ourselves;  Nancy Thaler, former Deputy Secretary for the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs. 

To attend this and other events throughout the 30-day celebration, visit Disability Pride Virtual PA 2020 for a complete schedule of events:

The Arc of PA - Making Employment Work:  ACRE Basic Certification Training

The Arc of PA - Discovery Training

ODP Virtual Training Offerings July 2020

SAU1 - July Antivirus Power Connect Calendar

2020-2021 Competitive Integrated Employment Grant Applications - The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Bureau of Special Education is requesting competitive integrated employment grant applications for the 2020-2021 school year.  Local Education Agencies, including school districts, intermediate units, charter schools, approved private schools and chartered schools for the deaf and the blind interested in establishing or expanding effective, competitive integrated employment programming for youth with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Collaboration with community agencies is encouraged.  An informational webinar regarding the grant application process will take place on Friday, July 31, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. To join the webinar use the following link:  The Request for Application (RFA) and link to the application can be found on the Secondary Transition webpage of the PaTTAN Website by accessing the following link:  Applications must be submitted by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, August 28, 2020.

New Video: How the Census Can Give People With Disabilities a Fair Chance - Have you seen the new video on the 2020 census, made in partnership with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and featuring Elizabeth Graham from The Arc of Prince George's County?   WATCH NOW

PIE Info: Slice of Pie, Volume 21, Issue 2, 2020 - The Policy Information Exchange brings you the Slice of PIE, an ongoing publication keeping readers informed about important public policy issues. The Policy Information Exchange is funded in part by the PA Developmental Disabilities Council.  Click here to read A Slice of Pie, which includes a printable version; state news and bills of interest; and national news.   Click here for Slice of Pie Archives.

Pennsylvania Family Support and Home Visiting Conference Recordings
When the Pennsylvania Family Support and Home Visiting Conference couldn’t be held face-to-face in March 2020, it was decided to provide as many of the presentations as possible through online webinars. The resulting webinar series includes 11 of the most requested sessions at the original conference, like:
  • Using the Ages and Stages Questionnaires
  • Families in Recovery
  • Trauma and Addiction: A Tangled Relationship
  • Home Visiting and Intimate Partner Violence: Prevalence and Best Practices
All of the webinars were recorded and are available online .

State of Babies Yearbook: 2020 - ZERO TO THREE recently released State of Babies Yearbook: 2020, a report and advocacy tool on how the nation’s babies are faring.  “By nearly every measure across all states, children living in poverty and children of color face the biggest obstacles, such as low birthweight, unstable housing, and limited access to quality early learning experiences,” according to ZERO TO THREE. “The report further highlights major disparities that begin before birth, especially for Black children, driven by systemic racism and social injustices.”  See Pennsylvania specific information.
2020 Kid's Count Data Book - Now available is the 2020 KID’S COUNT® DATA BOOK , a state-by-state report on child well-being published annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  The 2020 Data Book ranks Pennsylvania 20th in the nation for overall child well-being. The report is a comprehensive national reviews of child well-being and uses 16 indicators across four domains to rank each state: economic well-being, education, family and community, and health. The data utilized in the 2020 report was captured in 2018, so the impact of the COVID-19 crisis is not reflected.

Learn More...

Resilience and Recovery in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Read full article
Loneliness and COVID: A Self-Advocate's Perspective - Read full article
Social Stigma Associated with COVID-19 Read full article
Understanding Transition Stress - Read full article
COVID-19 Individual Health Action - Read full article
Tips for Managing Conflict Over Social Distancing - Read full article
How To Build Resilience - Read full article
Masks: Cloth Face Coverings and Surgical Face Masks - Read full article
A Champion of Supporting Families - Read full article

Masks: Cloth Face Coverings and Surgical Face Masks - Read full article
Staycation vs. Vacation: How to Have Fun and Still Be Safe - Read full article
Why We Wear Masks in Public - Read full article

CDC Updated Guidance for Direct Service Providers - Read full article
Artists Who Have Found Creative Ways to Offer Hope Amid the COVID-19 Crisis - Read full article

Compassion Fatigue - Read full article
CDC Communication Toolkit - 
Read full article

Your Voice in Harrisburg 

Upcoming Activities from The Arc of PA Staff:  In the next two weeks, The Arc of PA staff will be participating in these meetings and activities of special interest: 

Sherri Landis, Executive Director: State Chapter Executives Monthly Conference Call, PA Disability Weekly Meeting, Coalition for Inclusive Community, Disability Integration Task Force, Information Sharing & Advisory Committee/Racial Equality Workgroup, Stakeholder COVID -19, ReOpening Schools Task Force, PIE Policy Call/PA Disabilities Planning Council, Technology 1st Coalition, National State Executives Monthly Call, P2A Fundraising Coordination and various meetings with local chapters & executives.   

Katie Yost, Manager of Government & Chapter Relations:  Various virtual meetings with the PA House and Senate, PA Developmental Disabilities/Policy Information Exchange, Coalition for Inclusive Community, Disability Integration Task Force, Technology 1st Coalition, PA Schools Work, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Strategic Initiatives Call, P2A Fundraising Coordination Call, PIE Policy Call, & PA Developmental Disabilities Council Meeting.  
To view archived copies of In Touch:
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Lemoyne, PA 17043
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The Arc of Pennsylvania 
Serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Sherri Landis, Executive Director
Shirley Keith Knox, LSW, Communications Director, Editor