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July 21, 2022
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Pennsylvania News


PA State Budget Finalized

On July 8th, Governor Wolf signed into law the FY 2022-2023 State Budget for Pennsylvania. It is a $45.2 billion budget (including Enhanced FMAP and ARPA funds) and is an 2.9% increase over FY 2021-2022. Senate Bill 1100 passed the House in a vote of 180-20 and the Senate in a vote of 47-3. Senate Bill 1100 provides general and additional funds for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year, which runs July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.
 
Key bills part of the budget process: You can access a spreadsheet that compares the FY 2021-2022 state funding with the state funds appropriated in Senate Bill 1100 here. Please note this spreadsheet does not have a separate breakout of the Federal Enhanced FMAP or ARPA dollar allocations within the General Appropriation.

We are still waiting for the different department to provide breakdowns on how money will be allocated/spent from the Senate Bill 1100. Many of the finer details will not be known till DHS releases their Blue Book later this summer/early fall – we will update you as more information comes available. Some key points we know now:
  • Department of Human Services
    • The ID Community Waiver line item will provide enough funding to remove 832 individuals off the Emergency Waiting list (732 individuals to the Community Living waiver and 100 individuals to the Consolidated Waiver.
    • The ID Community Waiver line item will cover the recent rate refresh increase undertaken by ODP to raise DSP salaries to a $15/hour median. However, no additional state funds were allocated to raise the rates above ODP’s rate refresh.
    • The human services fiscal code establishes an HCBS Augmentation fund in which savings from the closures of the PA’s state centers will go to provide further funding to HCBS, specifically DSP rates, housing, and removing more individual with IDD on the waiting list. 
    • ODP will no longer use the prudent pay system to pay providers for the services they give.
  • Department of Education
    • Special Education received a $100 million increase in funding. This is historic increase and brings the total increases to state Special Education over the last 3 years to $175 million.
    • The education fiscal code includes a one year extension to Act 66 of 2021. The extension allows for students with disabilities who turned 21 during the 2021-2022 school year or between the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school year the ability to attend the 2022-2023 school year and stay through their 22nd birthday. Parents have until August 1st to make the decision on if their child will take advantage of the repeat school year. You can learn more on this at PDE’s website.  
You can read The Arc of Pennsylvania's press release on the finalized budget here
 


Act 55 of 2022 & Students with Disabilities Turning 21

On July 8, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 55 of 2022 (Act 55) into law. The Act permits a student with a disability who was enrolled during the 2021-22 school year and turned age 21 during the 2021-22 school year, or between the end of the 2021-22 and the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, to attend a school entity during the 2022-23 school year and receive services as outlined on their most recent Individualized Education Program (IEP) with all the protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Parents/guardians and students who want to take advantage of Act 55 must complete, sign, and submit the Act 55 of 2022 Student Enrollment Notification Form to the student’s school entity on or before August 1, 2022.

Below is a link to the form to download and complete:

Act 55 of 2022 Student Enrollment Notification Form  (PDF)

For a student with a disability who turned 21 during the time periods listed above: both the parent/guardian and the student must complete the form. Forms are to be submitted to the school entity in which the student will attend in the 2022-23 school year – they may not be submitted to PDE.

You can learn more on this at PDE’s website.  
 




Disability in the News



Rollout of 988 – a Direct Line for Suicide Prevention and Crisis Support

Starting July 16, 2022, 988 will serve as a direct link for suicide prevention and crisis support. People who call, text, or chat with 988 will be directly connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The existing Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) will remain available.
 
Attached you will find a one-pager for 988. Information can also be found on the Department of Human Services’ website here.  
 

Expanded Availability of At-home COVID-19 Tests for People Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision 

Last month, the Biden-Harris Administration launched an initiative to expand the availability of at-home testing options that are more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. The tests work with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone app to provide users with audible instructions and test results. Read more about the tests.
 
Due to very limited supplies when the program began, each order included only two test kits. People were asked to order these tests only if they did not have options for using the traditional kits. Starting today, the program is expanding. People will now receive 12 test kits with each order. In addition, anyone who is blind or who has low vision is now encouraged to order the more-accessible tests.

If you placed an order before July 7 and received only two tests, you may place another order now to receive 12 additional tests. (Your name and shipping information are not retained after your order is filled, so there is no way to automatically ship additional tests.)

How to get the tests:
Order online or by calling 1-800-232-0233.
  • Each order now includes 12 rapid-antigen tests that are more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. These will ship in six separate packages, each with two tests. Each package will have a separate tracking number.
  • Orders will ship free, while supplies last.
Need more assistance? 
The trained staff at the Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) can provide additional assistance with:
  • Ordering tests.
  • Understanding instructions for test administration and test results.
  • Providing alternative instructions for traditional at-home tests for people who are unable to access, read, or understand the manufacturer’s version.
  • For those who cannot use an at-home test, DIAL operators can:
    • Assist with ordering “swab and send” kits to collect a sample and mail it back for results.
    • Connect callers to local organizations for assistance locating other testing options in their community, including in-home testing programs or transportation or companion support to visit a community-based testing site.
Call 888-677-1199 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern) or email DIAL@usaginganddisability.org.
 

New Guidance Helps Schools Support Students with Disabilities and Avoid Discriminatory Use of Discipline
 

The U.S. Department of Education announced the release of new guidance from its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to help public elementary and secondary schools fulfill their responsibilities to meet the needs of students with disabilities and avoid the discriminatory use of student discipline.

These newly released resources are the most comprehensive guidance on the civil rights of students with disabilities concerning student discipline and build on the Department’s continued efforts to support students and schools through pandemic recovery.
 



Help Develop a New App That Helps Teens and Young Adults With Disabilities Speak Up for Their Needs

Teens and young adults ages 14-22 with intellectual or developmental disabilities can help develop a new app to evaluate skills for adulthood success and help speak up for their needs. The study involves one meeting either in person or online. A parent/guardian will also be asked to answer some questions about the teen/young adult. Compensation provided. To participate or ask for more information, please call 352-273-9365, email yell@phhp.ufl.edu, or visit https://yell.ot.phhp.ufl.edu.

Learn more here
 

Study on Providing Direct Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This survey is being conducted by the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) in partnership with the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota. The goal of the survey is to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on direct support professionals.

Access the survey here.
 

House Appropriations Committee Approves Appropriations Bills 

On June 30, the House Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS-ED) and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bills. These bills include overall increases of 13% and 12%, respectively. Many of The Arc US' priority programs received substantial increases.

The most significant increases were Office of Disability Employment Policy (45%), Lifespan Respite Care Act (75%), State Grants to Remove Barriers to Voting (47%), IDEA Personnel Preparation (163%), and Vocational Rehabilitation Demonstration and Training Programs (172%). Click here to see a listing of discretionary programs and their proposed percentage cuts.

Additionally, the L-HHS-ED appropriations bill prohibits the Department of Education from funding any entity that uses electric shock devices as a form of aversive conditioning or discipline. If passed, the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) will have to either cease use of their painful electric shock devices or forgo federal education funding. This language was included in the House-passed L-HHS-ED appropriations bill last year but was not included in the final package. 

 
 

Education Department Announces Initiative to Support Students

On July 5, the Department of Education announced their newest initiative to support all students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department launched the “National Partnership for Student Success," which will recruit 250,000 new tutors and mentors to support students.

You can read more about the initiative here
 



CMS Proposes Rule to Advance Health Equity, Improve Access to Care, and Promote Competition and Transparency
 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing actions to advance health equity and improve access to care in rural communities by establishing policies for Rural Emergency Hospitals (REH) and providing for payment for certain behavioral health services furnished via communications technology. Additionally, in line with President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, the calendar year (CY) 2023 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System proposed rule includes proposed enhanced payments under the OPPS and the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) for the additional costs of purchasing domestically made NIOSH-approved surgical N95 respirators and a comment solicitation on competition and transparency in our nation’s health care system.

For a fact sheet on the CY 2023 OPPS/ASC Payment System proposed rule, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/cy-2023-medicare-hospital-outpatient-prospective-payment-system-and-ambulatory-surgical-center.

For a fact sheet on Rural Emergency Hospitals, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/rural-emergency-hospitals-proposed-rulemaking.

The OPPS/ASC Payment System proposed rule is displayed in the Federal Register with a 60-day comment period. The proposed rule can be downloaded at: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2022-15372/medicare-program-hospital-outpatient-prospective-payment-and-ambulatory-surgical-center-payment

 

When ASD Occurs with Intellectual Disability, a Convergent Mechanism for Two Top-Ranking Risk Genes May Be the Cause

"University at Buffalo scientists have discovered a convergent mechanism that may be responsible for how two top-ranked genetic risk factors for autism spectrum disorder/intellectual disability (ASD/ID) lead to these neurodevelopmental disorders."

Read more here
 

'This Law Will Save Lives': New Florida Purple Alert to Protect Missing Adults with Disabilities

"A new Florida plan started Friday to protect missing adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities - and politicians believe it could've saved the life of a Treasure Coast man. Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse set the plan, known as the Purple Alert plan, into motion.It will help to find missing adults suffering from mental, cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities through alerts and support from the community in the search."

Read article here

Advocates Call for More Autism Training for Crisis Hotlines Ahead of 988 Launch

"National suicide prevention hotlines are bracing for an influx of calls when the new, shorter number – 988 – launches July 16. Proponents are hopeful it will ease access to services, decrease unnecessary interactions with the police, and save lives. But some advocates are asking whether it will be ready to serve people with autism.

Research shows people with autism spectrum disorder have a much greater risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Despite this – and despite doctors identifying more than 2% of 8-year-olds as having autism – ongoing survey research indicates that many people with autism don’t feel served by these hotlines. Some advocates also fear that the 988 number may unintentionally increase the use of the Baker Act to detain children with autism at mental health centers."

Read article here



ANNOUNCEMENTS/COMMUNICATIONS FROM
 
PA Office of Developmental Programs

 
Legislative Updates from Katie Yost 

 

 
  • No legislative updates. 
 "Learn More"

 

Trainings/Workshops


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 

 

PA Family Network's Transitions Throughout the Lifespan 
July 26, 2022 from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

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 times of change;
  • Utilize the LifeCourse Framework and Tools in useful, flexible, and simple ways.
Register Here. 
 

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
 

Choosing a Health Care Power of Attorney - Webinar
July 27, 2022 from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM


This session on advance care planning and healthcare decision making will focus on four critical elements in healthcare decision making and advance care planning:
  1.  How do you help someone identify the person “who” can serve as a healthcare power of attorney?
  2. What options exist for people who have no unpaid supports in their lives? What is the role of the service provider and how can we help people find that person “who” can serve as a decision maker?
  3. What are the implications of culture on helping someone identify “who” can be their healthcare power of attorney?
  4. What is the role of state surrogate decision making laws in designating “who” will make a healthcare decision?
Register Here
 

Meeting of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
July 28, 2022 from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM


The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) will host a virtual meeting for its members to identify emerging topics to examine in the Committee's Report to the President. All the PCPID meetings, in any format, are open to the public. This virtual meeting will be conducted in a presentation and discussion format. View more details published in the Federal Register notice.

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
 

ODP's SIS Basics Review Webinar
August 3, 2022, from 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM 
or August 10, 2022, from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

The Office of Developmental Programs and Keystone Peer Review Organization, Inc. (“Kepro”) will host a Supports Intensity Scale – Adult (SIS-ATM) Basics training webinar, which will provide an overview of the SIS- ATM and PA Supplement assessments, as well as tips on how to prepare for the assessment interview to ensure quality outcomes. Both sessions will cover the same material. You only need to register for one session.

Register Here for August 3rd Session
Register Here for August 10th Session
 

Building Relationships: Engaging with Employers to Elevate Competitive, Integrated Employment - Webinar 
August 9, 2022 from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM


Join the DETAC as they jointly reflect how grantees can strategically engage with employers to foster and promote an environment of shared trust aimed to enhance competitive, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Webinar participants will learn about The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Additionally, two DETAC subject natter experts will highlight innovative strategies to measure the level of current partnership engagement with employers and the impact of your direct and indirect employment services.

Register Here. 
 

Dual Diagnosis Professional Conference Series: Promising Positive Practices to Address the Mental Health Treatment and Service Needs of People with IDD Throughout the Lifespan
August 11, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 12:15 PM


In this 3-hour training Dr. Joan Beasley will present best practices in mental health services and supports for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities throughout the lifespan. The presentation will include the perspectives of people with lived experiences as well as practitioners. The START model will be presented to demonstrate the effective use of these practices in cross systems crisis prevention and intervention. See the attached flyer for more information.

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 of PA's Discovery Training
September 7-9, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM


A 3-day training in which Attendees who successfully complete our course will receive an Discovery certification. This is a nationally recognized professional certificate. Direct service providers of Advanced Supported Employment/Customized Employment are required to have this certification in PA.

Register Here
 

ACRE Basic Certification Training - via Zoom
September 12 - 14, 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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