September 24, 2020
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Federal News

The Arc Mourns the Loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
On September 18, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. Justice Ginsburg served on the Supreme Court for 27 years. She authored the majority opinion in the landmark case Olmstead v. L.C. in which the court ruled that people with disabilities have a right to be free from inappropriate institutionalization and to be served in the “most integrated setting appropriate to the needs.” See The Arc’s statement.

USCCR Recommends Phase-Out of Subminimum Wage
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) released a report in which they recommended a phase-out of subminimum wages under Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  

CDC Issues Eviction Moratorium Order
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an eviction moratorium order that is in effect from September 4, 2020 to December 31, 2020.  To be protected, a renter must submit a signed declaration to their landlord. The CDC has provided a model declaration form.

Pennsylvania News

COVID-19 Updates in PA's Intellectual Disability/Autism System:
Statewide Totals (Individuals Receiving Home and Community Based Services) (9/16/2020):

  • Southeast Region - 89 deaths
  • Northeast Region - 13 deaths
  • Central Region - 12 deaths
  • Western Region - 12 deaths
  • Statewide Total = 126 deaths
  • TOTAL Statewide Individuals COVID-19 Confirmed = 1295
State Center Update:  Polk - Less than 5 individuals COVID-19 positive

PA Supreme Court Extends Mail-In Ballot Deadline To 3 Days After Election Day
The mail-in ballot deadline was extended to three days after Election Day.  Click here for the story.

Guide for Families for In-Person/In-Home EI Services During COVID 19
The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) developed the Guide for Families for In-Person/In-Home EI Services During COVID 19. This was designed to help families understand the guidance that has been provided to their local Early Intervention programs, as well as to assist them in navigating concerns, considerations and questions they may have, as it relates to in-person/in-home services during COVID-19.

Guidance Issued for School Districts Navigating COVID-19
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) partnered with the Department of Health (DOH) to develop the following information to help school districts navigate COVID-19 decision-making for the 2020-21 school year. School Districts will use this data to inform decisions whether to offer in-person, blended, or virtual instruction.  Determining Instruction Models During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Office of Child Development and Early Learning Announcement 20 #15: 
This Announcement explains changes to the policy regarding parents/caretakers caring for their own children in a child care setting during the COVID-19 pandemic-related Proclamation of Disaster Emergency. Click to read.


Legislative Updates (From Katie Yost) 

  • Senator Tartaglione has circulated a co-sponsorship recognizing October 2020 as “National Disability Employment Awareness Month”.
  • Representative Boback has circulated a co-sponsorship memo recognizing November 2020 as “Family Caregiver Month”.
  • SR 361: Senator L. Baker has introduced a resolution marking September 2020 as “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. This bill has been referred to Senate Rules & Executive Nominations.
  • HB 1363: Representative Murt’s Bill of Rights for Individual with Disabilities was brought before the Senate Health & Human Services Committee Meeting. There was no action.
  • SB 890: Senator Mensch’s Expansion to Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on September 21st. 
  • The House Human Service Committee has scheduled an Informational Meeting on updates and improvements of child care at Deveraux centers across the Commonwealth. It will be held on Tuesday, September 29th at 9 a.m. It will be available via live stream.

Take Action & "Learn More" Opportunities

It's Time for the Senate to Act!
Tell Congress to Include the Disability Community in COVID-19 Relief Bills


The Arc has made COVID-19 resources for disability advocates. 
They include plain language documents and videos explaining the coronavirus pandemic. They also explain how the pandemic is affecting daily life.  SEE RESOURCES

20th Employment Supports Symposium connecting talent to opportunities (with logos of networks for training and development, Philadelphia DBHIDS, and Phila On The Job)

Connecting Talent to Opportunities!  Fall Employment Symposium.  Fall Symposium:  Register here:  
Register Here. 
CPS Emerging Practices Webinar/Southeast Region: September 25, 2020 - 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm.  Hear from fellow providers Carousel Connections and SPIN about how they are rethinking CPS and Employment programs.  REGISTER.
Disability Rights PA - Read their September Newsletter here.   
October 8, 2020 (10:00 AM - 11:30 AM) - Introducing Transition Discoveries:  In this webinar, learn about the Transition Discoveries framework for improving secondary transition programming. The framework includes a two-year implementation progression with stakeholder surveys, action planning and implementation protocols along with online training modules and resources.  Please register online by visiting the PaTTAN website at
Competence and Confidence Partners in Policymaking—Early Intervention (C2P2 EI) 2020-2021:  Free Training, over a number of weekends, to help parents Learn the Early Intervention System and actively participate in your child’s team.  Virtual and In-person sessions are planned.  Sessions start in October.  APPLY NOW!   APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 18, 2020 Questions? contact Cathy Roccia-Meier at the Institute on Disabilites at Temple University by Email: or Tel: 215-204-1772.

The 2020 Pennsylvania Autism Training Conference - September 29 – October 1, 2020:  Registration is Now Open.  Login or create an account on MyODP.  (To create an account go to and follow the instructions.)  Once you are logged in, you can go directly to the registration page with this link:

Learn More...

PATC 2020 Registration Now Open!  Read full article
DSP Appreciation Week: September 13-19, 2020:  Read full article
Sexual Abuse During the COVID-19:  Read full article

An Important Perspective on Race and Disability:  Read full article
ODP Webinars:  Read full article 

Impact of COVID-19 on Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - Read full article
DSP Appreciation Week: Read full article
Mask Resources for Children - 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: PA Disability Weekly Meeting, Coalition for Inclusive Community, Disability Integration Task Force, PIE Policy Call/PA Disabilities Planning Council, National Chapter Executives Meeting, Meet the Candidates Series, Community Imperative Coalition, Facebook Live with Auditor General, PA Schools Work, and various meetings with local chapters & executives, and a vacation!   

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, PIE Policy Call, SAGA Committee, Meet the Candidate Series, State Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention Services, and PA Schools Work.
To view archived copies of In Touch:
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The Arc of Pennsylvania
1007 Mumma Drive, 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
Shirley Keith Knox, LSW, Communications Director, Editor