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May 12, 2022
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Pennsylvania News



PA Primary Election Resources

The State of Pennsylvania will hold its primary on Tuesday, May 17th. Disability Rights Pennsylvania has put together a comprehensive list of resources to support individuals with disabilities who want to exercise their right to vote.

Click on each of the guides below to learn more!

 


Gov. Wolf Calls on General Assembly to Invest in Older Pennsylvanians, Individuals with Disabilities Through Property Tax Relief Program

"Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Representative Steve Malagari, Senator Maria Collett and community leaders today to discuss Gov. Wolf’s call for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to immediately use a portion of the $1.7 billion in unspent American Rescue Plan Act dollars to help older adults and individuals with disabilities through property tax and rent rebates to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic."

Read full press release here. 



Gov. Wolf: New Funding Awarded to Arc Human Services for Manufacturing Job Training Program in Washington County

"Governor Tom Wolf today announced new funding for Arc Human Services, Inc. through Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career Program (MTTC), to support a job training program in Washington County that will help place individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities with jobs in the manufacturing industry.

“I’m proud to support this wonderful program,” said Gov. Wolf. “This grant is helping to provide individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities the training and support to obtain employment within their communities. Employment that will increase their independence, ensure they secure a livable wage and provide them the opportunity to have happy, lifelong careers.”

Read full press release here. 
 



ASD Online Safety Training Needs Survey
 

The Office of Developmental Program (ODP) and the Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training Collaborative (ASERT) want to learn more about the training and resource needs of professionals who support individuals on the autism spectrum in safely navigating virtual platforms (the internet, meeting platforms, and other online spaces).   

Please take a few minutes and complete the ASD Online Safety Training Needs Survey.

The data collected from this survey will be used by ODP to inform training and resource development.       

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact ASERT at info@paautism.org.    

NoteThis survey is anonymous and any contact information that you provide will be kept separately from your survey responses.   

Please send any suggestions or questions related to this article or requests for additional resources to RA-basprovidersupprt@pa.gov

 
 

Pennsylvania Landlord Sued by DOJ for Discrimination, Refusing to Allow Disabled Tenants to Keep Support Animals

"A legal complaint filed in federal court by the U.S. Department of Justice alleges that Perry Homes, Inc., a property management company headquartered in Cranberry, Pennsylvania, violated the rights of multiple disabled tenants who rented apartments at their Old Towne Rentals property."

Read full article here. 



We Requested Services in Pa. for Our Autistic Child 27 Years Ago and Never Heard Back

"Our son, David, had several diagnoses that led to a general conclusion of autism spectrum disorder, and he is considered medium functioning. We completed the hospital’s required 25-page form to obtain services for him. It has now been 27 YEARS, and we still haven’t heard back from anyone at that hospital."

Read full article here. 
 



Disability in the News



Ed Department Cracks Down On Special Ed Failures During COVID-19

"Federal officials have reached an agreement with one of the nation’s largest school districts after students with disabilities were shortchanged during the COVID-19 pandemic and advocates say the deal should prompt other districts to re-examine their actions too."

Read full article here. 
 

The Arc Reacts to Supreme Court Ruling Weakening Remedies Available to People with Disabilities Experiencing Discrimination

"Yesterday, in Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller, P.L.L.C., the U.S. Supreme Court held that damages for emotional distress are not recoverable in lawsuits alleging violations of two federal civil rights statutes covering people with disabilities—Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This decision will harm people with disabilities who experience mental distress and emotional injury resulting from discrimination in all aspects of public life, including medical offices, schools, workplaces, state and local government programs, and other settings."

Read full press release here. 
 
 

Advocates Push for More State Funds for Disability Services and Higher Wages for Workers

"Advocates for people with disabilities are pushing for additional millions in the Commonwealth’s budget in the next fiscal year to raise wages and shore up staffing for home and community-based services."

Read full article here. 



How Stress and Gastro Issues Affect Kids With Autism

"For some children with autism, there's a connection between gastrointestinal problems and stress, anxiety and social withdrawal, a new study suggests. The findings could help efforts to develop personalized treatments for autism patients with gastrointestinal problems such as stomach pain and constipation, the University of Missouri researchers suggested."

Read full article here. 
 

Senators Want To Raise SSI Asset Limits

"A bipartisan push is underway on Capitol Hill to update a major facet of the Supplemental Security Income program for the first time in over 30 years.

U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said this week that they have introduced legislation to increase the amount of money that SSI beneficiaries can save without being disqualified."

Read full article here. 

 

Disney Making Movie Centering On Girl Who’s Nonverbal

"Disney is set to film a new movie about a girl with cerebral palsy who’s nonverbal and uses a wheelchair and her experience seeking out an inclusive education.

The movie, which will stream on Disney+, is an adaptation of Sharon M. Draper’s novel “Out of My Mind.”

Read full article here. 

 
 

Better Assess the Needs of People with Multiple Disabilities

"How do we assess the needs of people with severe multiple disabilities? Unable to communicate verbally and physically, this population has nearly no possibility of expressing itself. They are therefore sometimes considered as "untestable" by the scientific and medical community. Thanks to eye-tracking technology, a team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) has succeeded in identifying and evaluating certain perceptive and social-emotional abilities in nine children and adolescents with multiple disabilities, opening the way to personalized care."

Read full study here. 


 

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Data Shows Increase in Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence, Provides New Data on 4-Year-Olds

"Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) researchers, as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) network, report an increase in the number of children in Tennessee with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)."

Read full article here. 
 



New Program May Help Parents of Children with Autism, Study Finds

"Researchers at Penn State and the University of South Carolina have recently found that a program for parents of children recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) shows promising evidence of helping parents access services for their child, strengthening their co-parenting skills and contributing to their well-being overall.

Autism Parent Navigators (APN) focuses on the knowledge, skills, and support that parents need during the transition period after a professional informs them of their child’s ASD diagnosis, said Mark Feinberg, program co-developer and research professor with Penn State’s Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC)."

Read full article here. 

 

Grocery Store Simulator Helps Students with Autism build Career Skills

"There's all different places in the community that do hire people with special needs," said Rachel DiCerbo. "But there's definitely a big need for it still. DiCerbo, an occupational therapist at The Nexus School, didn't know much about the autism population until she started working with them. Now, she has her dream job."

Read full article here. 
 

ANNOUNCEMENTS/COMMUNICATIONS FROM
 
PA Office of Developmental Programs

 
 
ODP Announcement 22-055: Qualification Process for New Intellectual Disability Autism Providers Applicants Update


2022 Everyday Lives Conference Virtual Platform Training

ODPANN 22-053 - Posting of Certified Investigator (CI) Forum Question & Answer Documents and Announcement of Open Registration for June Certified Investigator Forum

ODP Announcement 22-052: Gross Adjustments for ODP Waiver Service

ODP Announcement 22-054: Upcoming Medication Administration Scheduled Outage

ODP Announcement 22-051: Final Fee Schedule Rates for New Services Funded Through ODP’s Waivers


ODP Announcement 22-050:  Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-2023 Individual Support Plan (ISP) Renewal Guidance

ODP Announcement 22-048: Incident Management Family Guide

ODP Announcement 22-049: Supports Coordination Return to In-Person Individual Monitoring Guidance for SCOs - Q&A Document
Legislative Updates from Katie Yost 

 

  • No legislative updates at this time. 
 "Learn More"

 

Trainings/Workshops


PA Family Network's Safety in the Community Workshop
May 17, 2022 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Join PA Family Network Advisors as we plan and problem solve for the safety of your loved one with intellectual disabilities and/or autism by:

  • sharing practical skills and strategies for safety at home, work, and in the community;
  • identifying possible ways to apply LifeCourse Framework and Tools in useful, flexible, and simple ways; and
  • supporting each other by discussing steps toward a vision for remaining safe within our community while living a meaningful and good life.

Join the Zoom Meeting HERE
Meeting ID: 829 0563 3941
Passcode: 637984
One tap mobile: 1-646-558-8656

 



The Arc of Pennsylvania's Customized Employment Training - via Zoom
May 18-20, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

This 3-day training provides a comprehensive overview of Discovery (an alternative to traditional vocational assessments) and how to complete Discovery. For those seeking to become certified providers of Discovery through Marc Gold and Associates, it is the prerequisite training for certification. Individuals not seeking certification will gain valuable information and insight and may attend as auditors of the course.

This course is for:
Job Coaches and Job Developers, OVR Counselors, Supports Coordinators, Transition Coordinators, School Transition Teams, Parents and Families

Register Here
 



PA Family Network's Family Forum
Mey 18, 2022 from 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM


Families, join the PA Family Network with our guest speaker:
Darcy Elks, PA Family Network Advisor Presenting: An Exciting Option: Inclusive Post -Secondary Education!

  • Learn about options for inclusive post-secondary education; • where you can find exciting opportunities; and
  • How waiver funding may be able to assist.
Join the Zoom Meeting HERE
Meeting ID: 829 0563 3941
Passcode: 637984
One tap mobile: 1-646-558-8656

 

 

PA Family Network's Waiver Basics 101 Workshops for Families

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) provides services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and/or autism through the Person/Family Directed Supports, Community Living and Consolidated Waivers. Join the PA Family Network in this 2-part workshop to learn how waivers can support your loved one:

Waiver Basics 101 - Part 1
May 19, 2022 from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Target Audience: Families with individuals just entering the system

  • Address the importance of having a vision of your loved one’s needs to live a good life
  • Basic information of how to register, apply and access waiver services

Waiver Basics 101 - Part 2
May 20, 2022 from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Target Audience: Siblings who are interested in services a waiver can provide
  • Individual Services Plan (ISP) Basics
  • Overview of waiver services

Join the Zoom HERE. 
Meeting ID: 829 0563 3941
Passcode: 637984
One tap mobile: +1-312-626-6799

 



Opening and Returning to Full Capacity for Day Center Programming, Infection Prevention Principles
May 23, 2022 from 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM 


This webinar is for residential and day service providers, families, and SCOs to cover best practices for reopening day service provider facilities. Topics to be covered include best practices in screening participants, sanitation protocols, mitigation strategies, masking, distancing, and more.

Register Here. 
 



Opening and Returning to Full Capacity for Day Center Programming, Infection Prevention Principles
May 23, 2022 from 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM 


This webinar is for residential and day service providers, families, and SCOs to cover best practices for reopening day service provider facilities. Topics to be covered include best practices in screening participants, sanitation protocols, mitigation strategies, masking, distancing, and more.

Register Here. 

 

VOH Children with Medical Complexities Training Series - Part 2: Infection Control
May 26, 2022 from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


Virtual Office Hours to continue discussion around Part 2 of ODP's Children with Medical Complexities Training Series on Infection Control.

Register Here. 
 

PA Family Network's Using the Lifecourse Framework for Transition
May 31, 2022 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

What happens when the bus stops coming? Do you need a Vision and Plan? Join PA Family Network Advisors for an interactive workshop to:
  • Discuss thought-provoking questions surrounding a new day to day plan;
  • Obtain information and resources to be used during this time of change;
  • Address questions and concerns specific to Transition Age;
  • Utilize the LifeCourse Framework and Tools in useful, flexible, and simple ways.
Become empowered to have conversations about reaching dreams and finding purpose after high school.

Join the Zoom HERE. 
Meeting ID: 829 0563 3941
Passcode: 637984
One tap mobile: +1-312-626-6799

 

The Arc of Pennsylvania's Discovery Training - Virtual
June 1 - 3, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 


LEARN about the “DISCOVERY” approach to vocational assessment. This online course offers an alternative to traditional ways of identifying job seeker’s interests, skills, and conditions for on-the-job success. This 3-day online training provides a comprehensive overview & instruction on facilitating the Discovery process. 

Register Here. 
 

The Arc of Pennsylvania's Advocacy & Policy Conference
June 6 - 7, 2022


Join us for our annual Advocacy & Policy conference, June 6th and 7th! The conference is an opportunity for the disability community to come together and learn more about the critical stages of transition experienced by individuals and families. The theme of this year’s Advocacy and Policy Conference is
“Planning for Life Stages: Pathways to Success”.

Learn More & Register Here. 
 

PA ABLE Savings Program Webinar
June 8, 2022 from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

A PA ABLE Savings Program account gives individuals with qualified disabilities (Eligible Individuals), and their families and friends a tax-free way to save for a wide range of disability-related expenses while maintaining government benefits. The state and federal tax-free investment options are offered to encourage Eligible Individuals and their families to save private funds to support health, independence, and quality of life.

To help you learn about the important features and benefits of PA ABLE, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is hosting free webinars.

Some of the topics that we will discuss include: eligibility requirements for opening a PA ABLE account, the federal and state tax benefits of PA ABLE, and how PA ABLE account interacts with current benefits.

Register Here. 
 



The Arc of Pennsylvania's INCLUDI-CON: a 3-Day Virtual Gathering on Inclusion & Accessibility
June 21-23, 2022 from 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM

INCLUDI-CON is an opportunity to learn from national and state leaders about the most important topics that are impacting, not just students and educators, but the entire school community. Participants will gain crucial information on issues such as: 
  • Inclusion, belonging, and success,
  • Social and emotional health for all students,
  • Accessibility for all - for everything, and,
  • A deep understanding and approach to trauma
Cost: $30 per person – families & educators may qualify for a discount. Please email registration@includemepa.org for more information.

Note: Act 48 credits and certificates of completion can be provided. 

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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