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MR Update #04-20: College of Direct Support, CMS Forums, Benefits Planning, HCSIS Update
June 24, 2004

College of Direct Support
The Office of mental Retardation (OMR) is sponsoring a July 27 networking meeting for providers who are currently using the College of Direct Support Curriculum (CDS). An orientation session will begin at 10:00 a.m. for provider representatives to learn more about the benefits of CDS. For details see the attached Registration Form.

HCSIS Update
HCSIS Project Update #16 is available from the link. Included is information regarding ISP changes, Incident Management enhancements, and Annual Review of ISPs. For additional information contact the HCSIS Help Line at 866-444-1264.

Disability Vote Forum
PCPA was a cosponsor of a forum addressing the Disability Vote in Pennsylvania held on June 17 in Harrisburg. Over 50 participants learned how to inform persons with disabilities about registering to vote, their right to vote, and getting transportation to the polls. It is estimated that if persons with disabilities voted at the same rate as the rest of the nation, they would bring in 5 to 10 million more votes. For additional information regarding voting for individuals or for organizations contact the Disability Law Project at www.dlp-pa.org or Alliance for Justice at www.allianceforjustice.org.

BPAO
Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach Program (BPAO) is conducted under cooperative agreements between the Social Security Administration and local organizations to deliver customer-friendly analysis of the impact of earned income on SSA cash benefits and related health care. The service is available to anyone receiving an SSI and/or SSDI cash payment between the ages of 14-64. This service is targeted to those working or considering working in the near future. For details access www.socialsecurity.gov/work/ServiceProviders/bpaofactsheet.html.

Education Department
The PA Department of Education has appointed Dr. Linda Rhen as Director of Special Education beginning in the fall. Dr. Rhen is currently Executive Director at Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit.

CMS Forums
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be conducting a review of Pennsylvania’s OMR Waiver. Public forums will be held across the state beginning in late July through August. Members will be provided with the details and criteria for presenting at these forums once the information is available from OMR.

PaRC Forum
The Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council (PaRC) is sponsoring a public forum on August 11 from 1:50 – 3:15 p.m. at the Harrisburg Hilton to obtain information regarding the state’s delivery of vocational rehabilitation services and to identify best practices and areas of improvement. Questions to be addressed include:

  • What vocational rehabilitation services have worked well?
  • Which department was involved in this process and to what extent (OVR or BVS)?
  • Satisfaction level with these services?
  • How can the delivery of these services be improved?

Written or oral comments may be made to racucpca@parac.org.

IM4Q
OMR presents the Independent Monitoring for Quality Annual Retreat on July 21 and 22 at the Hilton in Harrisburg. Fifteen workshops will provide information regarding cultural diversity, data analysis, quality improvement, interviewing skills, and assistive technology. For details contact Temple University’s Institute on Disability at http://disabilities.temple.edu or 215-204-1356.

Grant
The Public Welfare Foundation supports organizations that address human needs in disadvantaged communities, especially those that include service, advocacy, and empowerment in their approach; service that remedies specific problems or systemic advocacy for changes in public policy. Grants are given for both general support and project specific usually covering one year, but also accepts funding renewals and multi-year grants. Grant categories include community development for low-income groups, criminal justice, health advocacy, access and reform, welfare reform, and special opportunities. For details contact reviewcommittee@publicwelfare.org or 202-965-1800.

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