RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


IDD Update #10-01: PA Dual Diagnosis Project, ODEP Listening Tour, DPW Restraint Bulletins, January 19 IDD Committee, Federal Legislation Pending, Choose Work Web Site, and MIG Grant
January 6, 2010

Dual Diagnosis Project
The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council has grant-funded the Dual Diagnosis Services and Supports Project which is comprised of a statewide coalition of eight Health Care Quality Units. For this grant, dual diagnosis is defined as intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental illness. The primary mission of the grant is to determine how people with dual diagnosis want to be supported, identify ways to increase the responsiveness of the support systems, review best practices, advocate for increased collaboration between systems, create public awareness to increase acceptance, and provide education to improve outcomes. PCPA’s Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Committees have been one of the grant’s focus groups addressing provider support and collaboration.

ODEP Listening Tour
The US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is scheduling a six-city 2010 Listening Tour to address critical employment issues facing people with disabilities. Individuals, self-advocates, disability organizations, service providers, and employers are invited to attend. The session for Philadelphia is January 27 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Information and registration are available at www.DisabilityListeningTour.com. The purpose of the listening tour is to gain insights into both systemic barriers and best practices regarding:

  • Effective ways to increase employment of women, veterans and minorities with disabilities;
  • Identification of federal and state systems that are effectively collaborating to achieve successfully employment outcomes; and
  • Top issues the federal government needs to address to increase participation in the labor force of persons with disabilities.

DPW Restraint Bulletins
The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has issued two cross-systems bulletins addressing strategies and practices for reducing and eliminating restraints in settings serving children and youth. The bulletins are #3800-09-01 – Strategies and Practices to Eliminate the Use of Unnecessary Restraints and #3800-09-02 – Prone Restraints in Children’s Facilities. Each program office has a contact person to assist with questions and protocol. The Office of Developmental Programs’ (ODP) contact is Pam Kuhno, pkuhno@state.pa.us or 610-562-6200.

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Committee
PCPA’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Committee meets January 19, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Central Pennsylvania College in Summerdale. Formal presentations will address Positive Practices Resource Teams Emphasis on the Dually Diagnosed and Sensory Integration and Dysfunction Overview. Committee discussion will include provider and supports coordination issues, Ascend process issues related to the Supports Intensity Scale, future training topics, and ODP financial policies.  Please RSVP by January 12 to Linda Drummond.

Federal Legislation
Several federal bills have been introduced and are of interest to the developmental disabilities field. These are available from http://thomas.loc.gov:

  • The Autism Treatment Acceleration Act (S.819 and H.R.2413) which, if passed, would require health insurers to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders and create demonstration projects to provide an array of services for individuals;
  • Rosa’s Law (S.2781) would substitute the outdated terminology “mental retardation” with the new term “intellectual disability” in federal health, education, and labor laws;
  • Jobs for Main Street Act of 2010 (H.R.2847) was passed by the House to extend the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s temporary increase in the federal share of Medicaid funding for an additional six months beyond the current expiration date of December 31. This legislation also includes $1 billion to fund the National Housing Fund Act to provide approximately 10,000 housing units across the country for individuals with extremely low income, including individuals with disabilities. The US Senate will consider this bill in January.

Choose Work
The Social Security Administration and Ticket to Work program announced the launch of a new Choose Work web site (www.choosework.net) for people with disabilities receiving Social Security Disability benefits.  This web site is in recognition of the tenth anniversary of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. Choosework.net will provide informative videos, success stories, and assistance in finding local resources.

Works for Me

Works for Me is a resource for people with any kind of disability including mental health, physical, sensory, or developmental. A hotline (866-902-4333, x192) will assist individuals with locating programs to receive the support and training needed to obtain a job and still maintain health care and Social Security benefits. Information is available at www.WorksForMe-PA.org. This resource is funded by a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and administered through the Pennsytlvania Department of Public Welfare. To subscribe to the free Pennsylvania MIG newsletter, Working for You, contact Amy Strawser at amy.strawser@ahedd.org.


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