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Autism Hearings Scheduled
July 12, 2002

The Department of Public Welfare recently released the following information about public hearings to gather input on autism services. Many PCPA member agencies have experience serving individuals with autism and this experience covers all ages and a variety of settings. PCPA encourages provider agencies to take advantage of the opportunity to educate state officials about the challenges that agencies have experienced in addressing this complex need in communities throughout the Commonwealth.

PCPA will be developing testimony to address policy, clinical practice, funding, and regulatory issues. We welcome input from our member agencies and we appreciate receiving a copy of any testimony that our members present. We are available to assist member agencies in developing testimony to present at the public forums. Please contact Stan Mrozowski or Lynn Keltz. The text of the DPW announcement follows.

The Department of Public Welfare has identified a need to develop a new Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Service designed to meet the needs of young children with autism-related disorders. The autism intervention literature often refers to these services as "Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions" (EIBI), and the Department has chosen this term to describe this service. DPW is expected to publish the announcement of these hearings in the July 13 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

In order to provide the opportunity to participate in the development of this new service, the Department will hold four public meetings that will focus on addressing the needs that exist for young children with autism-related disorders when defining the service, establishing staff qualifications for persons providing EIBI, and developing requirements and conditions for coverage and payment. The four meetings will be held from 9:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. at the following locations:

JULY 22, Auditorium
Pennsylvania State Game Commission
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

JULY 26, Multi-Purpose Room, Building #33
Norristown State Hospital
1001 Sterigere Street
Norristown, Pennsylvania

AUGUST 6, Regional Conference Center
Mayview State Hospital
1601 Mayview Road
Bridgeville, Pennsylvania

AUGUST 9, Learning Resource Center
Multi-Media Room
Marywood University
Adams Avenue
Scranton, Pennsylvania

To accommodate all persons wishing to participate in these open meetings,

Please RSVP by calling (717) 772-6512. Persons with a disability may use the AT&T Relay service by calling (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users). The Department may have to limit the time allotted for comments, so when calling to RSVP, persons should also indicate whether they intend to provide comments and have a time preference. Persons who intend to comment at the meeting should bring a written copy of formal comments to the meeting.

Persons who are not able to attend the public meetings may submit their comments in writing to:

DPW-OMAP
Bureau of Policy Budget and Planning
P.O. Box 8046
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105

Written comments will be accepted until 4:00 P.M. August 9.

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