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July 7, 2022
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As of today, the 2022-2023 PA State Budget is still being negotiated. Once a finalized agreement is enacted, we will provide updates on the line items that support the IDD community. 

Pennsylvania News



COVID-19 Regulatory Suspension Extended

Pursuant to Act 30 of 2022, the suspension of various regulatory provisions under the state disaster emergency declaration that are currently in effect and which were set to expire on June 30, 2022, are now extended until October 31, 2022. 


A list of the regulations that were suspended in whole or in part and their current status is available here.
 


Pennsylvania Receives Highest Recognition of Infant/Toddler and Preschool Early Intervention Programs 
 

The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) received notice from the U.S. Department of Education that Pennsylvania’s Infant/Toddler and Preschool Early Intervention programs meet all the requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for year 2020-21. This is the Department’s highest recognition regarding the performance of each state’s Part C and Part B programs. Pennsylvania is one of the largest states to continue to meet requirements in the Infant/Toddler and Preschool Early Intervention programs over the past 16 years. This ongoing recognition speaks to the overall quality of the local Early Intervention programs.

Learn more about Pennsylvania's Early Intervention programs on the PA Department of Education and Department of Human Services websites.

 



Changes Coming to Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance Program for the HealthChoices Physical Health Plans

Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services (DHS) is changing which Physical Health Managed Care Organizations (PH plans) are available for Medical Assistance (MA) consumers. This was a competitive process that allowed DHS to improve access to care and the quality of care for MA consumers. The PH plan changes are effective September 1, 2022. MA Consumers will need to select a new PH plan if they are currently enrolled in:

  • Aetna Better Health statewide
  • Highmark Wholecare (formerly Gateway Health Plan) in the Northwest zone, and
  • United Healthcare in the Southwest and Lehigh/Capital zones.
 
If a consumer who needs to choose a new PH plan does not do so by August 16, DHS will auto-assign them to a to PH plan. It is vital for consumers to actively choose a PH plan to avoid being autoassigned to a PH plan that may not include their current providers in its
network. MA consumers will not lose health coverage if they do not select a PH plan.
Coverage will automatically continue under the PH plan they are autoassigned.
 
MA consumers must contact PA Enrollment Service to choose a new PH plan or change from one PH plan to another.
  • Going to PA Enrollment Services (enrollnow.net), or
  • Using the mobile app called PA Enrollment Services (available through the Apple store or Google Play), or
  • Calling 1-800-440-3989 (TTY: 1-800-618-4225) and select Option 6 to speak with a representative. Hours of operation are Mon - Fri, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 
More information is available at dhs.pa.gov/PlanSelection. Those interested in sharing this information can access resources in the stakeholder's toolkit
 


 

PA Local Districts Struggle as State Special Education Funding Drops

"A report released in May of this year by the Education Law Center and the advocacy coalition PA Schools Work found the state of Pennsylvania paying less towards special education despite an increase in the number of students needing special education services. Local districts now have to make up the budgetary difference, creating financial hardships for underfunded districts."

Read article here




Disability in the News


Importance of 'Meaningful Moments' Between Support Staff and People with Profound Learning Disabilities
 

"Meaningful moments of interaction between support staff and people with profound learning disabilities were explored in a recent study that found that they contributed to greater job satisfaction and motivation. The study published in the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities looked what makes a moment of interaction meaningful to support staff and what circumstances facilitate meaningful moments of interaction taking place."

Read article here
 

People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Struggled with Mental Health during COVID Lockdowns

"People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) struggled with their mental health during the COVID-19-induced lockdowns and subsequent restraints on community services, according to a new study published today in Psychiatric Services."

Read article here. 
 

 

Covid -19 Vaccine Available for Children Under Five 
 
Recently, the CDC issued guidance about the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five and younger. The Public Health Communications Collaborative updated their COVID-19 toolkit with resources about vaccination for young children, including answers to tough questions. Your Local Epidemiologist, informed by data from the FDA external advisory committee , details the safety and effectiveness of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, for young children. We hope these resources are helpful to the families in your community with younger children.

 



National Education Data: More Students with Disabilities Served over Past Decade in Public Schools

"The percentage of public school students with disabilities has increased over the past decade, with children, teens and young adults getting help through a wide variety of programs, new federal data finds.

In a report called Condition of Education 2022, data from the U.S. Department of Education found that in the 2020-21 school year, 7.2 million students with disabilities were served under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA." 

Read article here
 



Researchers Discover Solutions to Gender Bias in Autism Diagnoses

"Published in Biological Psychiatry, a multidisciplinary study led by the University of Minnesota demonstrated that an equal number of girls and boys can be identified as having concerns for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when screened earlier, correcting large gender differences in current diagnoses."

Read article here
 

ANNOUNCEMENTS/COMMUNICATIONS FROM
 
PA Office of Developmental Programs

 

SAU United As 1 July Event Flyer

PA OSHA Consultation Program - Free Webinar 

ODPANN 22-078  Additional Opportunity for Certification Program for Cornell University's Work Incentive Practitioner Credential

ODPANN 22-077 Notice of Change to Federal Reimbursement of Transportation Costs

ODP Announcement 076-18 Re-Issue:  Required Dual Diagnosis Training for Provides Newly Enrolling to Provide Residential Habilitation Services

ODP Announcement 22-076: Delay in the Effective Date of Renewals for the Consolidated, Community Living and Person/Family Directed Support Waivers

Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) July External Training and Events Calendar

ODP Announcement 22-036: UPDATE: Announcing an online Tool for Reporting Residential Vacancies

ODP Announcement 22-072: HSRI Announces Staff Stability Survey Extension


ODP Announcement 22-073: Human Rights Webinars: Making A Determination Webinars Available NOW on MyODP 

ODP Announcement 22-070: Incident Management (IM) Trainings Available on MyODP
Legislative Updates from Katie Yost 

 

 
  • Representative Frank Farry's House Resolution 212, which would direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the supports and services people with IDD or autism utilize under the Office of Developmental Programs, passed the House in a vote of 173-27. 
 
  • Senator Michele Brooks' Senate Bill 924, which would halt the planned closure of Polk and White Haven State Centers, passed out of the House Health Committee in a vote of 15-10. It is now eligible to be brought for a full vote by the House; however, it has not been scheduled for a vote at this time. 
 "Learn More"

 

Trainings/Workshops


ODP's Adult Autism Waiver Updates 
July 11, 2022 from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

The purpose of the meeting is to provide updates on the Adult Autism Waiver, answer questions, and provide technical assistance and support. These meetings are held for all ODP providers and Support Coordinators providing AAW services. The Virtual Office Hours (VOH) starts with an overview of any new ODP Announcements and includes a) highlights of new practices, b) a review of topics and questions sent in advance, and c) a discussion of any concerns that have come up in the past few weeks. Providers will be able to ask questions directly of AAW Regional Office (RO) Representatives. 

Register Here



PA DD Council's Self-Advocate Spotlight Series
July 11, 2022 at 2:00 PM

The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council invites you to join us for a compelling series of virtual advocacy discussions. The Self Advocate Spotlight Series will kick off in July and is an opportunity to hear from individuals with developmental disabilities about the remarkable things they are doing to make Pennsylvania a better place to live. At the July virtual spotlight session, Michael Anderson will tell us about filing and winning an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit against the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to allow Direct Support Professionals to attend events without paying admission when accompanying a person with a disability who needs their support.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81349897271?pwd=dtXOC194FpMOejkqNsNhhZ6G0B3h8D.1

Meeting ID: 813 4989 7271
Passcode: Vw3Vkd

 

ODP's Building Relationships with DeafBlind Individuals 
July 13, 2022 from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Combined hearing and vision loss limits the opportunity for incidental learning, communication exchanges, and socialization. Having a strong relationship creates a sense of safety, minimizes anxiety, and empowers individuals to explore and engage with the world. This training will review essential components and associated skills for building those relationships with individuals with combined hearing and vision loss.

Register Here
 

ODP's Medically Complex Conditions Training Series - Part 2: Nutritional Intake Assistance
July 14, 2022 from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


ODP is offering a training series for Intellectual Disability/Autism (ID/A) Supports Coordination Organizations and Administrative Entities (AEs) on supporting individuals with medically complex conditions. The training series will cover a variety of topics aimed at increasing capacity for supports professionals when providing care for individuals with medically complex conditions. Part 2: Nutritional Intake Assistance will offer guidance from medical professionals Jenifer Baker RN and Margie Fend RN from the Milestone Health Care Quality Unit. 
 
Note: This series replaces the previously announced ‘Children with Medical Complexities’ training series.

Register Here
 

OMHSAS and ODP's Statewide Quarterly Positive Approaches & Practices Meeting
July 14, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM


This meeting aims to provide the most recent research and resources for people with mental health and behavioral challenges, intellectual disabilities, autism, and other developmental disabilities to live an everyday life.

Register Here. 
 

ODP's Quality Assessment and Improvement Cycle 2 Year 1 Training Webinars
July 18, 2022 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM 
or
July 19, 2022 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM


These training sessions will provide an overview of the Office of Developmental Programs’ (ODP) QA&I Cycle 2 Year 1 Review Process for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 - 2023.  Attendees need only attend one of the two available sessions as the same content will be covered during both sessions.

July 18th - Register Here. 
July 19th - Register Here
 

PA ABLE Savings Program Webinar - Webinar
July 21, 2022 from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM


The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL), is offering a webinar on the topic of the PA Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Savings Program. A PA ABLE account gives individuals with qualifying disabilities (eligible individuals) and their families and friends, a tax-free way to save for disability-related expenses while maintaining government benefits. Federal and state law authorized the creation of PA ABLE accounts. The Presentation will be given by a Representative of the PA Treasury Department.
 
OLTL Service Coordinators, Direct Service Providers, CHC-MCO staff and any individuals that work on employment are strongly encouraged to participate in this webinar that will help you understand the PA ABLE Program and how it can benefit the OLTL participants you serve.

Register Here. 
 

ODP's Independent Monitoring for Quality IM4Q Virtual Annual Statewide Training (Day 1 & Day 2)

Day 1 - July 26, 2022 from  9:00 AM - 5:30 PM - Register Here - Deadline: July 12th
Day 2 - July 27, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 1:15 PM - Register Here - Deadline: July 12th 

 

ACRE Basic Certification Training - via Zoom
July 27 - 29 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
 

ODP's Medically Complex Conditions Training Series - Part 3: Skin Care, Elimination Assistance
July 28, 2022 from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

ODP is offering a training series for Intellectual Disability/Autism (ID/A) Supports Coordination Organizations and Administrative Entities (AEs) on supporting individuals with medically complex conditions. The training series will cover a variety of topics aimed at increasing capacity for supports professionals when providing care for individuals with medically complex conditions. The Part 3: Skin Care, Elimination Assistance will offer guidance from medical professionals including ODP’s Central Regional Nurse Audrey Wicks, RN and The Advocacy Alliance Heath Care Quality Unit’s Dr. Sharon Falzone DEL, RN. 
 
Note: This series replaces the previously announced ‘Children with Medical Complexities’ training series.

Register Here
 

ACRE Basic Certification Training - via Zoom
August 17 - 19, 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

 
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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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