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June 9, 2022
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Pennsylvania News

Update on PA Primary Election Results

On Tuesday, May 17th Pennsylvania held its Primary Election. Some key results below:

  • Senator Doug Mastriano has won the Republican Governor nomination, and Attorney General Josh Shapiro has won the Democrat Governor nomination. 
  • Rep. Austin Davis has won the Democrat Lt. Governor nomination, and Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso has won the Republican Lt. Governor nomination. They will run on the same ticket with their respective Governor candidate. 
  • Lt. Governor John Fetterman has won the Democrat nomination for the U.S. Senate seat race, and Mehmet Oz has won the Republican nomination
  • Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne (Lehigh) has lost his primary race. 

Register for Live Demonstration of New Streamlined Keystone STARS Designation System

On July 1, 2022, the new process for Keystone STARS pre-designation and designation applications launches into Pennsylvania’s Professional Development (PD) Registry. Moving more functionality into the PD Registry streamlines multiple processes into one system and designation for providers. Read the full announcement - ELRC -22-03.
The PD Registry team invites directors, administrators, and owners of child care programs in Pennsylvania to a live demonstration of new system features. The demonstration will be recorded and posted to the Pennsylvania Key ( website.
Register for one of these live demonstrations:
Thursday, June, 23 6-7PM or Friday, June 24, 1-2 PM

Op-Ed: We Must Address the DSP Crisis Now

"I’ve been working as a direct support professional (DSP) with John for almost 17 years, which is most of his adult life (and mine). John is in the Intellectual Disability and Autism (ID/A) community.

John is completely nonverbal and exhibits problematic behavior, sometimes severe. When I first started working with him, he had nothing in the kitchen – no dishes, cutlery, or food – because he tried to use items to hurt himself or he would throw them at someone or something. Now he has a full pantry, cupboards, and refrigerator. He couldn’t go on an outing because of his anxiety, not even a quick day trip. He would often take off his shoes and socks and sometimes he would start running, which created a safety issue for him and others. Now I’m happy to say he’s enjoyed visiting Hershey Park, Lake Erie, Boston, the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, and Gettysburg."

Read article here

Important Info Regarding the Effect of Act 12 of 2022 on Provisional Hiring Practices

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has been working to update the Provisional Hire interpretation for the field. On Friday, May 27, 2022, OCDEL received and released updated information regarding the Provisional Hiring Practices Pertaining to Act 12 of 2022. 

Learn more.


Disability in the News

Special Education Teacher Shortage Highlighted in House Hearing

Chair Rosa Delauro, (D-CT), led an oversight hearing on teacher shortages in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Services. Representing special educators and specialized support personnel, Dr. Jane West, special education expert and teacher educator told Congress, “While IDEA requires that services are delivered by qualified personnel, that is increasingly not happening. The critical obstacle is the crisis of a special educator shortage… Our shrinking capacity in higher education to prepare special education teachers threatens the pipeline...The combination of a dearth of new teachers and the high attrition rate of practicing special education teachers has generated an urgent challenge… [and] While we confront this teacher shortage tsunami, the number of students requiring services under IDEA continues to rise.” Other panelists included Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation for Teachers, Desiree Carver-Thomas, of the Learning Policy Institute, and Lindsay Burke of the Heritage Foundation.


Suicide Prevention for Persons With Autism: A Survey Being Conducted With Participation From the Autism Society of America

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University, with the participation of the Autism Society of America, are conducting a study on suicide prevention in relation to autistic adults. Suicide is a problem that needs to be better understood in relation to autism. They want to know how crisis or suicide prevention hotlines may have been helpful and what supports may have worked for those with autism in times of crisis. The survey is online and completely confidential.

Access the survey here

How Can Journalists Better Serve News Consumers With IDD

An academic research project is exploring how people with IDD consume news and how journalists can better serve them. The group, which includes a disability studies professor and two journalists, is looking for people with IDD to participate in a 1-2 hour virtual focus group. Researchers want to know where people get their news, what stories they’re interested in, any problems getting the news, and ideas to make it easier to read the news. Participants will get a $25 gift card. Questions? Call (623) 696-0104 or email You can find a plain language informational flyer here and a focus group informational sheet here.

Autistic Individuals Have Poorer Health and Healthcare

"Autistic individuals are more likely to have chronic mental and physical health conditions, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. Autistic individuals also report lower quality healthcare than others.

These findings, published in Molecular Autism, have important implications for the healthcare and support of autistic individuals."

Read more here

Changes in Brain’s Visual Areas in Infancy May Precede Autism Diagnosis

"Infants who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at 24 months old had differences in the visual processing areas of the brain that were apparent at 6 months old, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers theorized that disruption in visual processing could interfere with how infants see the world around them, changing how they interact with and learn from caregivers and their environment. These early changes could affect further brain development and play a role in ASD symptoms."

Read more here

OSEP Fast Facts: Educational Environments of School Aged Children with Disabilities

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released a new OSEP Fast Facts: Educational Environments of School Aged Children with Disabilities which explores IDEA Section 618 data. This Fast Facts takes a closer look at the environments where children with disabilities are receiving special education and related services and compares data collected from school year 2012 through 2020.


House Committee Holds Hearing on Inequities in Financial Services for People with Disabilities

The House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Diversity, and Inclusion held a hearing on inequities in financial services for persons with disabilities. Allie Cannington of The Kelsey and co-chair of the Housing Task Force of the Consortium of Constituents with Disabilities (CCD) was a witness at the hearing. Cannington testified about the low home ownership rates of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Committee also discussed the impact of Long-Term COVID for workers.

You can view the hearing here.


Legislative Updates from Katie Yost 


  • Senator Lisa Boscola has circulated a co-sponsorship memo indicating her intent to introduce legislation which would update PA's mail-in voting law to allow a family member, caregiver, or household member to deliver the absentee ballot or mail-in ballot for registered voters who are their family, patients, or in their household without an official designation. No legislative language at this time. 
 "Learn More"




ACL's Celebrating Olmstead: Working 4INclusion - Webinar
June 14, 2022 from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Join the DETAC along with the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) and speakers from two state Protection and Advocacy entities, to celebrate the anniversary of the Olmstead Decision. NDRN will share national trends for phasing out sheltered work in addition to highlighting the Employment First outcomes across the country. State expert speakers will showcase innovative and effective strategies at the state level to transition from a segregated work model to increasing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Register Here. 

ACL's Pathways to Person-Centered Decision-Making and Alternatives to Guardianship - Webinars
June 21, 2022 from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

This webinar will explore how systems are expanding alternatives to guardianship, such as supported decision-making where people choose supporters to help them make important decisions in their lives. Current efforts across the country and internationally to implement supported decision-making and other alternatives provide an historic opportunity to help people take control of their lives. In this webinar, national experts, state representatives, advocates, and people with lived experience of disability from Colorado, Georgia, and Wisconsin, will outline strategies for systems and a new NCAPPS resource to expand supported decision making so that more people can benefit from these alternatives to guardianship.

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 for more information.

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

Register Here

The Arc of Pennsylvania's Dr. Kelley and the Roadmap to the Whole Person Health - Webinar
June 22, 2022 from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Join The Arc of PA on June 22, 2022 from 10:00-11:30AM, as we invite Dr. David Kelley, Chief Medical officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Office of Medical Assistance Programs, to discuss the Roadmap to Whole Person Health.

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. 


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The Arc of Pennsylvania
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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
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