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IDD Update - Member’s Recommendations Requested
August 12, 2014

RCPA continues its advocacy with the state’s administration and legislators for the continuation of current supports and services. Several federal changes may also impact our Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) system over the next few years. These changes include:

  • Home and Community Based Services Waiver Rule Changes that became effective on March 17 and amended the Medicaid regulations to provide requirements regarding person-centered plans of care, characteristics of settings that are home and community-based, as well as settings that may not be home and community-based. These requirements reflect the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ intent that individuals receiving services and supports through Medicaid waivers receive services in settings which are integrated in and support full access to the greater community. All 1915 (c) Medicaid waivers (ten in Pennsylvania) must comply with these requirements. 
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act signed into federal law on July 22, significantly limits placements at sheltered workshops and other work environments where people with disabilities earn less than minimum wage. Individuals age 24 and younger with disabilities will no longer be allowed to work for less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour unless they first receive pre-employment transition services at school and try vocational rehabilitation services. The measure also mandates that state vocational rehabilitation agencies work with schools to provide transition services to all students with disabilities. There are exceptions for those who are deemed ineligible for vocational rehabilitation and would allow individuals already earning less than the federal minimum to continue in their jobs.

RCPA strongly believes in a full continuum of services to be available to individuals with IDD, including the range of services available today both at site locations and in the community. The association also feels it is time for our members to begin planning for the possibility of changes in current service options occurring in the future. Our member’s expertise and ideas are needed to assist in developing recommendations for this possibility. RCPA is hearing from numerous members that they are already exploring options to continue to serve individuals in various services such as prevocational and vocational training, competitive employment, and new supports for those that are severely involved.

RCPA is asking members to share suggestions, pilots, options, and/or new service ideas that will assist in the continuation of necessary community supports, focus on everyday lives, and address the needs of those that may not be capable of some of the federally influenced recommendations for such issues as competitive employment. Development of these recommendations will allow RCPA and its members to remain in the leadership role in Pennsylvania’s service delivery system.

RCPA would also like to feature stories and information about member’s services, pilots, new projects or services, awards, etc. in RCPA’s monthly newsletter Those articles are due by the third week of each month. Please share your ideas, suggestions, and newsletter stories with RCPA Policy Specialist, Linda Drummond (ldrummond@paproviders.org).

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