October 22, 2020
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Federal News

SSA Announces Cost of Living Increases for 2021
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in 2021.  View SSA’s fact sheet for more details on the 2021 Social Security COLA.

Federal Education Department Releases Civil Rights Data Collection
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released its 2017-18 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). The CRDC includes data from all school districts and public schools across the country on topics including discipline, restraint and seclusion, and access to courses and programs. OCR also released a related issue brief on the use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities. The brief shows that students with disabilities continue to be disproportionately subjected to restraint and seclusion.  

Plain Language Vote by Mail Resources
Voting by mail is a great way to vote safely and early! But how does it work? Check out these plain language resources from the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network on voting by mail.

Pennsylvania News

Disability Rights Pennsylvania Announces

Voting Rights Email and Hotline for Voters with


00-692-7443 or email:

Election 2020 Resources

Office of Developmental Programs COVID-19 Report, October 14, 2020
These numbers include all individuals receiving community services, including people living in private Intermediate Care Facilities.  These numbers are totals through the pandemic period.
     Deaths = 133
     Confirmed COVID-19 = 1,398


Legislative Updates (From Katie Yost) 

  • HR 1027: Representative Stephen Kinsey’s resolution marking the week of September 13th-19th, 2020 as Direct Support Professional Week in Pennsylvania was unanimously adopted by the House of Representatives on October 20th.
  • HB 2931: Representative Harkins has introduced legislation that would utilize CARES Act money to create a Hazard Pay Grant Program to give workers, who’s employers qualify for the program, a $3/hour raise for 10 weeks. It has been referred to the House Labor & Industry Committee.
  • HB 2476: Representative Grove’s legislation that would require Medicaid be reformed and funding be cut by $150 million over three years was placed on the House Calendar. It has not been placed on the voting schedule at this time.
  • HB 2857: Representative Keefer’s legislation that would lock Medicaid recipients into a Medicaid plan for one year was placed on the House Calendar. It has not been placed on the voting schedule at this time.
  • Representative Hohenstein has circulated a co-sponsorship memo for a resolution that would mark November 2020 as Assistive Technology Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. No legislative language at this time.
  • HR 935: Representative Murt’s resolution recognizing October 2020 as ‘Lifesharing Awareness Month’ in Pennsylvania was unanimously adopted by the House on October 21st.
  •  HB 2684: Representative Boback’s legislation to expand the Family Caregiver Support Act to include caregivers of individuals with disabilities had second consideration on October 21st. It is now eligible to be brought up for a final vote when scheduled.



Office of Developmental Programs
Announcements & Communications
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

Interim Act 24 Reporting Extended to October 28, 2020

Supports Broker Certification Training Virtual Classes

Thresholds of Community Spread Report

ODP Monthly Trainings - November 2020 Virtual Trainings

ASD@PSU Monthly Seminar Series 

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

ODP Announcement 20-101: Temporary Closure of Older Adult Daily Living Centers, Structured Day Habilitation, and Licensed Facilities Where Community Participation Support is Provided Due to Community Spread and When Staff or Individuals Are Diagnosed

20-102 : Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Modifications to Medication Administration Course Requirements as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic

20-063 UPDATE: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Reinstatement of the Supports Intensity Scale-Adult™ and Pennsylvania Supplement Assessments

Reminder: Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) Quarterly Progress Notes Virtual Targeted Training 

Health Alert - 2020-2021 Flu Season

ODP Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Virtual Office Hour

Take Action & "Learn More" Opportunities

It's Time for the Senate to Act!
Tell Congress to Include the Disability Community in COVID-19 Relief Bills

Read the Slice of Pie, Volume 21, Issue 3, 2020 October 19, 2020:   Click here to read A Slice of Pie, which includes a printable version; state news and bills of interest; and national news. Contact the PIE Team with any questions, comments, suggestions, or information to share at PIE, c/o The Arc of Pennsylvania, 1007 Mumma Road, Suite 100, Lemoyne, PA 17043 , by email at or by phone at 800-692-7258.    
Free Decision-Making Resources – Download Now!  People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) must make many daily and major life decisions, just like people without disabilities.  There are many ways people with IDD make decisions, both on their own and with support. But a person’s ability to make decisions can change throughout their life.  The Arc US's Center for Future Planning has created free resources to help.
Upcoming State Task Force Dates/Times/Zoom Link
     Nov 4, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
     Jan 13, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
     Mar 17, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
     May 12, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting

Registration now open for 2020 Lifesharing Virtual Conference - The conference, spearheaded by the Pennsylvania Lifesharing Coalition, will take place on October 26 and October 27.  Read full article


New MyODP Podcast: Goldilocks of Support: What is Just Right?  Visit the MyODP Podcast page to Listen!

Similarities and Differences Between Flu & COVID-19  Read full article

COVID Alert PA Reminder  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, The Arc US Convention, Interview with Secretary Levine, ISAC Racial Equity Workgroup, Technology Task Force (ODP), 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, Meet the Candidate Series, Arc US National Convention, Restarting and Reinventing a Racially Just School System, Interview with Secretary Levine, State Right to Education Task Force, and the SAGA Committee.
To view archived copies of In Touch:
Copyright © 2020 The Arc of Pennsylvania, All rights reserved.
The Arc of Pennsylvania
1007 Mumma Drive, 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
Shirley Keith Knox, LSW, Communications Director, Editor