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May 26, 2022
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As an organization that works with school communities in support of children, their teachers, and staff, we are feeling the shock of yesterday’s senseless killings. The entire community will deal with this unthinkable trauma far into the future. Our prayers and condolences are with the devastated families; with the survivors wounded physically and emotionally; and for the entire Uvalde community.

Pennsylvania News


PA Primary Election Results

On Tuesday, May 17th Pennsylvania held its Primary Election. Some key results that are confirmed as of now: 

  • 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. The Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat is still undecided as Memhet Oz and Dave McCormick are too close to call. There will be an automatic recount as they are within the 0.5% margin of difference. 
  • Several incumbents in the PA House have confirmed losses to primary challengers as of now. They include: Rep. Stan Saylor (York Co.), Rep. Michael Puskaric (Allegheny Co.), Rep. Keith Gillespie (York Co.), Rep. Jason Silvis (Westmoreland Co.), Rep. Martel Covington (Allegheny Co.) and Rep. Pam DeLissio (Philadelphia Co.). 
  • Results of Incumbent vs. Incumbent races due to redistricting:
    • Rep. Perry Stambaugh (Perry Co.) has beat Rep. Johnathan Hershey (Juniata Co.)
    • Rep. Ryan Mackenzie has beat Rep. Gary Day (Lehigh Co.)
    • Rep. Chris Rabb has beat Rep. Isabelle Fitzgerald (Philadelphia Co.)
There are still numerous races that have not been officially decided. The Arc of PA will provide an update once all the races are confirmed. 
 


Gov. Wolf Announces DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell to Depart Wolf Administration, Names Ramez Ziadeh as New Acting Secretary

"Governor Tom Wolf announced that Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell will leave his position on July 2 after 25 years of service with the commonwealth. The governor also announced his intention to name Ramez Ziadeh to serve as Acting Secretary."

Read full press release here



Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Quality Improvement Funding Opportunity Now Available

The Department of Human Services (Department) Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) has developed a funding opportunity under an approved HCBS spending plan that will provide American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to HCBS providers to strengthen HCBS.  The purpose of the funding opportunity is for the implementation of quality improvement projects by HCBS providers to improve the services available to HCBS participants through the Community HealthChoices (CHC) and OBRA 1915(c) waivers.  More specifically, this funding opportunity is focused on supplementing activities in a manner that improves and strengthens the quality of HCBS services.  The use of the ARPA funding, however, is limited to those activities that supplement HCBS services rather than supplant the existing services. 

The Department will provide funding of up to $40,000 per approved request submission to qualified providers to help HCBS providers implement projects to improve the quality of services provided to individuals in the CHC and the OBRA waiver programs.  The Department will approve funding on a one-time basis to each qualified provider. The Department will review and approve submissions in the order in which they are received until the total funding allocated has been exhausted.

Please see the attached Funding Opportunity document for more information and for the HCBS Quality Incentive Funding Request Form. The document is also available on the Department’s Long-Term Care Providers web page under the heading “Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Quality Improvement Funding Opportunity.”
 
If you have any questions about this message, please send them to the OLTL HCBS Opportunities resource account at RA-PWOLTLHCBSOpportunities@pa.gov.
 



Governor Wolf: Pennsylvania’s Broadband Authority Ready to Deploy Minimum of $100 Million in Life-Changing Internet for All Funds

Governor Tom Wolf was joined by U.S. Department of Commerce Under Secretary Jed Kolko at Marion-Walker Elementary in Centre County today to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s $45 billion Internet for All Initiative and Pennsylvania’s readiness to manage more than $100 million in federal funds to deploy affordable, high-speed internet to Pennsylvanians.

Read full press release here

 



Disability in the News




Ed Department Ramps Up Disability Related Compliance Reviews

"With a slew of new actions and additional resources, federal education officials are taking steps to ensure that students with disabilities and their families can access school services.

The U.S. Department of Education said that its Office for Civil Rights will “soon launch” 100 compliance reviews focused on digital accessibility."

Read article here

 

Murray, Duckworth, Colleagues Call for GAO Study into the Barriers Americans with Disabilities Face Accessing Healthcare

"U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, joined a letter led by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting that the agency conduct a comprehensive, wide-ranging study into the persisting barriers that Americans with disabilities of all backgrounds experience in accessing healthcare, including access to medical treatment, services, equipment and more. U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Chair of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) also joined the letter."

Read notice here
 
 

Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill Introduced to Promote Inclusive Emergency Preparedness Protocols in Schools

"U.S. Senator Bob Casey, D-Pa. introduced the bipartisan Promoting Responsible Emergency Protocols (PREP) for all Students Act to ensure educational institutions are prepared to protect all students — regardless of age, developmental stage and ability. The PREP for All Students Act would ensure public schools, early child care education centers and institutions of higher education have the tools they need to develop inclusive emergency preparedness protocols. U.S. Representatives Susan Wild, D-Pa., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., introduced companion legislation in the House."

Read announcement here



The Arc US' Talk About Sexual Violence Project

People with IDD are sexually assaulted at seven times the rate of people without disabilities. Health care professionals are in a frontline position to educate their patients about—and potentially stop or prevent—sexual violence and abuse, but they often have little or no experience talking about this issue with people who have IDD. People with IDD are also unlikely to raise the topic on their own. They may not know what constitutes sexual violence or how to describe it.

Talk About Sexual Violence provides practical tools to address this silent epidemic through a supported decision-making lens that supports victim-centered approaches.

Access the resources here

Feds Warn Employers Against Disability Discrimination

"Increasingly common methods that employers are using to select new hires, judge performance and determine pay or promotions may discriminate against people with disabilities, federal officials say."

Read article here
 

Barbie To Add More Dolls With Disabilities

"The iconic lineup of Barbie dolls is expanding to include more with disabilities.

Mattel said this month that it is releasing the first Barbie doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids. The toymaker is also introducing a new doll with a prosthetic leg."

Read article here
 
Legislative Updates from Katie Yost 

 

  • Representative Jason Silvis' HB 2530, which would end the use of prudent pay to reimburse providers for services provided, was passed unanimously out of the House. It now will go to the Senate for consideration. 
 
  • Representative Angel Cruz has introduced HB 2612, which would require the General Assembly to ensure certified sign language interpreters are available during any televised legislative proceeding, including floor debates and committee meetings and hearings. The bill has been introduced to the House State Government Committee. 
 "Learn More"

 

Trainings/Workshops


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. 
 



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. 
 

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
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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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