We're within 24 hours of knowing whether Pennsylvania will have a budget in 2015 or not. Representatives are considering a vote Thursday on the compromise budget framework, already passed by the Senate and supported by Governor Wolf, that includes notable increases to education and human services. If it doesn't pass, we truly don't expect a state budget to be passed in 2015. Please contact your legislators by 2:00 pm on Thursday, December 17, and ask them to get the job done by supporting the framework agreed to by the Senate and Governor Wolf.
It's easy to contact your Representative by phone or email by clicking here now!
College of Direct Support New Statewide Administrator Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Programs has released a new Informational Memo naming the Institute on Disabilities as the new statewide administrator of the College of Direct Support, a national web-based learning system designed for people who support individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.
Click here to read the memo in its entirety.
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania seeks system changes to improve the employment of people with disabilities
Recommendations include the elimination of the subminimum wage, an end to new sheltered workshop settings, and full funding for services and supports as system changes are made.
Today, members of the Board of Directors (Board) of the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) released a White Paper on the employment of people with disabilities. The paper entitled, “Community Jobs and a Living Wage: Opportunities for People with Disabilities in Pennsylvania” creates awareness about the number of people with disabilities in the workforce, examines laws and systems that have opened the doors to community integrated employment, and makes recommendations for individualized community employment at a living wage.
“This paper comes at a critical time when our state is drafting regulations on Home and Community-Based Services and an Employment First plan for Pennsylvania,” said Lucille Piggott-Prawl, Chair of the DRN Board Public Policy Committee. “The DRN Board has developed a guide map of solutions so that all people with disabilities can explore work and be meaningfully employed in our communities.”
The DRN Board unanimously approved the White Paper at their December quarterly meeting which was held in Harrisburg on Friday, December 4, 2015.
The White Paper points out that while more doors to the workplace have been open to people with disabilities, many more remain shut. The Paper cites a statistic that only 34% of working-age people with disabilities were in the labor force, compared to 75% of those without disabilities.
“The lack of employment at a living wage has severe consequences,” continued Piggott-Prawl. “Pennsylvanians with disabilities are two to three times more likely to live in poverty than those who do not have disabilities. Employment leads to independence, self-sufficiency, and self-worth. All people with disabilities should have a choice to select meaningful employment at a living wage.”
The White Paper illustrates barriers to meaningful employment at a living wage. The barriers include jobs that pay below the minimum wage, work that segregates people with disabilities from the community, lack of funding for state agencies that help people with disabilities prepare for and find jobs in the workforce, lack of opportunities for high school students with disabilities to transition to adult life, and the lack of state regulations and plans that put community integrated employment first.
The DRN Board supports choice in employment and recommends many solutions, including:
click here to read “Community Jobs and a Living Wage: Opportunities for People with Disabilities in Pennsylvania”.
The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) is the statewide protection and advocacy agency for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. DRN protects and advocates for the rights of people with disabilities so that they may live the lives they choose, free from abuse, neglect, discrimination, and segregation.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has announced that it will host the 27th annual National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) conference. The event will feature the nation’s leading adult protective services (APS) professionals and provide an opportunity for them to share their expertise. It is slated to take place in Philadelphia on Monday August 29 to Wednesday August 31, 2016 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.
This partnership comes at a time when elder justice has made its way to the forefront of an administration, as Governor Tom Wolf has listed his senior initiative as a top priority.
“Pennsylvania currently has the 4th highest percentage of individuals age 60 and over, tallying nearly 2.7 million statewide,” said Governor Wolf. “This reality only heightens our commitment to protecting our seniors from all forms of abuse and neglect, strengthening the safety net for all vulnerable adults and providing the platform where professional education and practice can take root and flourish in communities throughout the nation.”
The Department of Aging will work collaboratively with NAPSA to host a conference that sparks positive impact on the nation’s ability to protect its most vulnerable seniors.
“We are honored to serve as host for the 2016 Adult Protective Services Conference and look forward to welcoming others from around the country who share our passion,” said Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne.
NAPSA Executive Director Kathleen Quinn is enthusiastic about the opportunity to have this year’s conference in Pennsylvania. “NAPSA is thrilled to bring the only national conference for adult protective services to Pennsylvania, which has a long history of excellence in our field. The conference will be an opportunity for APS professionals serving both older adults as well as younger adults with disabilities in the Commonwealth to learn from the leading experts in the field of vulnerable adult abuse.”
“Protecting our seniors is a priority, which requires full commitment to creating a network that delivers vital services,” said Secretary Osborne. “This conference will serve as a pivotal step to further enhance our network and provide safer, more livable communities.”
For information on NAPSA, visit napsa-now.org, and for more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, visit aging.pa.gov.