November 5, 2020
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As of Press Time, Pennsylvania's final election results were not available. 
Full coverage of the election results will be in the next issue of "In Touch".

Stay Informed

Federal News

ACL Awards Contract for Disability Employment Technical Assistance Center
The Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) Administration on Disabilities (AoD) is pleased to announce funding of a new Disability Employment Technical Assistance Center that will provide AoD grantees with the tools and resources they need to more effectively help individuals with disabilities achieve meaningful employment with competitive wages in integrated settings. The five year contract has been awarded to the Lewin Group starting on September 30, 2020.  Visit the ACL website for more information on the center.
Pennsylvania News

PA Cumulative COVID -19 Data (October 28, 2020)
Statewide Totals ---- Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities/Autism Enrolled in PA's ID/A Services:

  • Individuals COVID-19 Confirmed = 1,481 (+139 since 9/2020)
  • Deaths = 136 (+5 since 9/2020)

Governor Establishes Health Care Reform Council
Governor Tom Wolf established an Interagency Health Reform Council. Additional information may be found on the Pennsylvania Bulletin here.  The purpose of the Council is to evaluate the potential alignment of Commonwealth health care payment and delivery systems to provide efficient, whole-person health care that also contains costs, reduces disparities and achieves better health outcomes for residents of this Commonwealth.

Updated Interim Guidance for Skilled Nursing Facilities During COVID-19
The Department of Health has released the attached updated Interim Guidance for Skilled Nursing Facilities During COVID-19. This replaces the previous guidance in its entirety and brings DOH’s guidance in alignment with the three most recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Memorandums.

Legislative Updates (From Katie Yost) 

  • HR 1082: Representative Hohenstein introduced a resolution designating the month of November 2020 as ‘Assistive Technology Awareness Month’ in Pennsylvania. Introduced as a noncontroversial resolution.
  • HR 1083: Representative Heffley introduced a resolution designating the month of October 2020 as ‘Down Syndrome Awareness Month’ in Pennsylvania. Introduced as a noncontroversial resolution.
  • SR 403: Senator Martin introduced a resolution designating the month of October 2020 as ‘Down Syndrome Awareness Month’ in Pennsylvania. Introduced to Senate Rules and Executive Nominations.

Office of Developmental Programs
Announcements & Communications

20-103: Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) New Individual Support Plan (ISP) Signature Form

20-104: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Version 2 of the Operational Guide for Appendix K: Emergency Preparedness and Response for the Community Living, Consolidated, and Person/Family Directed Support (P/FDS) Waivers

20-105: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):  Version 2 of Operational Guide for Appendix K: Emergency Preparedness and Response for the Adult Autism Waiver (AAW)

20-106 REISSUE: ODP Non-Residential Heightened Scrutiny Announcement

Critical Information for ODP CPS, Residential, and ICF Providers: Pharmacy Partnership (COVID-19 vaccination)

ODP Monthly Trainings - November 2020 Virtual Trainings

Supports Broker Certification Training Virtual Classes

Interim Act 24 Reporting Extended to October 28, 2020

Person Driven Planning for Life after High School – Meeting the Needs of All

Thresholds of Community Spread Report

PAFN: Peace of Mind Planning for Siblings

Take Action & "Learn More" Opportunities

Family Support Needs Assessment Now Available:  The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) released a new assessment covering needs and challenges experienced by families with young children and opportunities to address these needs and better serve families across Pennsylvania.  The federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) requires states to complete a needs assessment every four years to document the statewide landscape of maternal, young child and family health, and assess capacity and scope of home visitation services.  Read the press release for additional details.
Disability Rights Pennsylvania
Read the Disability Rights PA's Most Recent Newsletter here.

Read the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council's Recent Newsletter:  Click here to view and download a PDF version of the newsletter.
Comment to Improve PA's Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP):   The Department of Human Services and other stakeholders are working on suggestions to improve Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP).   Three online sessions are being held.
  • Option 1: Tuesday, November 17 from 6:00-7:30pm. (Register here)
  • Option 2: Wednesday, November 18 from 1:00-2:30pm. (Register here)
  • Option 3: Friday, November 20 from 10:00-11:30am. (Register here)
If you have questions about these sessions, please submit them here. Thank you for considering this opportunity to provide your opinion. We look forward to hearing from you.
Happy Assistive Technology Awareness Month!  The Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is hosting their 6th Annual Photo Contest throughout the month of November. The contest is live at and will run through November 30, winners announced on December 4.   For the contest, we want people to #ShowUsYourTech by submitting a photo of them with their AT and a caption about what their technology means to them. Winners will be announced on December 4 through email and on their website.  Prizes include a $500, $100, and $10 Gift Card. 

PCADV & OCDEL Team Up for Domestic Violence Awareness Toolkit:  The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) have teamed up to create a domestic violence awareness toolkit to educate family support workers and Family Supports staff on how domestic violence may impact the clients and families they serve while screening for intimate partner violence. The toolkit also aims to provide domestic violence programs with a deeper understanding of the OCDEL network and the services their programs provide within all communities across the Commonwealth.

Read the Self-Determination Housing of Pennsylvania's Newsletter here


Public Safety During COVID-19 Read full article
ODP Encourages you to Vote!  Read full article
PATC Rewind: The Personal Stories Collection Read full article

A Message From ODP Deputy Secretary Kristin AhrensRead full article
Understanding Quarantine AIDinPA ResourcesRead full article

Remembering Disability Advocacy Visionary Graham Mulholland -  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: The Arc of PA Strategic Planning, Intellectual Disabilities/Autism Coalition, Special Education Stakeholder Coalition, Advocacy & Policy Conference Planning, State Chapter Executives Monthly Call, Chapter Relations Committee, ISAC, Coalition for Inclusive Community, PA Schools Work Mobilization, Adult Protective Services Advisory Board, Disability Integration Task Force, PIE Policy Call/PA Disabilities Planning Council, 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, Disability Integration Task Force, PIE Policy Call, Intellectual Disabilities/Autism Coalition, The Arc of PA Employment Q&A, Chapter Listening Session, PA Schools Work, Advocacy & Policy Conference Planning, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Task Force, and the Coalition for Inclusive Community.
To view archived copies of In Touch:
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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
Shirley Keith Knox, LSW, Communications Director, Editor