Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Dept of Labor and Industry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2019

L&I Seeks Public Input on Proposed Changes to Pennsylvania’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services Plan

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak today encouraged Pennsylvanians to provide comments on proposed changes to the state’s vocational rehabilitation services plan. Pennsylvania expects less federal reallocation funds for the vocational rehabilitation program and must adjust the plan.

“Our primary goal throughout this process is to ensure that services continue to be provided to as many people with disabilities as possible across the commonwealth,” said Secretary Oleksiak. “I urge interested Pennsylvanians to provide us with their feedback.”

Due to the anticipated decline in federal reallocation funds, the independent Pennsylvania State Board of Vocational Rehabilitation recently voted unanimously to begin the process to close the Order of Selection, in essence creating a temporary waiting list for new OVR customers. Services would continue for current OVR customers with an Individualized Plan for Employment, as well as Pre-employment Transition Services for students with disabilities, as required by federal law.

The proposal is available in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments will be accepted for 30 days, until 5:00 PM on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, and should be emailed to OVRFeedback@pa.gov, with “OOS closing all categories” in the subject line. Written comments may also be mailed to OVR Central Office, c/o Cindy Mundis, 1521 North 6th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102.

Public meetings will be conducted in-person throughout the state in each OVR district office on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM and 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM. Individuals who are unable to attend in person can participate via phone. All meeting sites are accessible and interpreters for people who are deaf or hard of hearing will be present at each public meeting.

Following the public comment period, the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) will review OVR’s request to temporarily close the order of selection. If approved, the waiting list is expected to be implemented on July 1, 2019.

For more information, visit the OVR page on the Department of Labor & Industry’s website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Penny Ickes, 717-787-7530 or dlipress@pa.gov

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The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Announcement 19-051 is intended to provide additional guidance to AEs, SCOs, and direct service providers related to the new service definitions, provider service offerings for new services, contract creation for new services, and P/FDS cap exceptions for FY 2019-2020.

ODP issued Announcement “19-030: 2019-20 Fiscal Year (FY) Renewal Guidance” on March 10, 2019.This second communication is intended to provide clarification on how new services are treated in HCSIS; P/FDS cap exceptions and the rate load.

There are three (3) Appendices with this communication. They are as follows:

  • APPENDIX A: HCSIS Behavior for New Services (Diagram);
  • APPENDIX B: Services Considered “New” in HCSIS for Fiscal Year 2019-2020; and
  • APPENDIX C: Employment Services Specialty Changes for FY 2019-2020.

The following are treated as “new” services in HCSIS:

  • When a new provider type/specialty combination is added to an existing service in HCSIS (e., for FY 2019-2020, this applies to most employment services);
  • When a previously used procedure code is end-dated then re-added to HCSIS with a different service name (e., for FY 2019-2020, this applies to the CPS services that were previously 100% community in FY 2018-2019 and Homemaker services); or
  • When a completely new procedure code is added to HCSIS (e., for FY 2019-2020, this applies to all new CPS facility services and the new Chore service).

When a service is considered “new” in HCSIS, a provider service offering needs to be created before it’s available for SC selection. Service offerings are typically created manually by providers; however, in some circumstances, the HCSIS technical vendor will automate services this time. These changes will be visible in HCSIS on May 9, 2019. Please see the ODP Announcement for details regarding this process.

Approved Individual P/FDS Cap Exceptions Will Continue: Individuals who are currently approved for a P/FDS cap exception and are still enrolled in the P/FDS waiver will continue to be exempt from the P/FDS cap for FY 2019-2020. The exception process is intended to preserve the service plan (the types and amount of service) as it existed on June 30, 2019. Individuals approved for the exception cannot have services added, expanded, or authorized that would result in exceeding their approved individual exception cap.

Cap Exceptions for Community Participation Supports (CPS) or Transportation Trip: When an ISP is projected to exceed the P/FDS cap as a direct result of rate changes to CPS services or Transportation Trip, a request for an exception can be made to ensure there is no reduction in services.

Contact Carol Ferenz, RCPA IDD Division Director, with questions.

Training Concept. Button on Modern Computer Keyboard.

ODP Announcement 19-050 serves to inform all interested parties about several critical changes and upcoming dates. The June 30, 2019 deadline for the mandatory transition to online training has been extended. This extension is to allow for completion and review of upcoming changes and enhancements to the system. A new deadline will be set at a future date.

Important infrastructural changes to the Medication Administration Training Program will take place June 28, 2019 through Friday, August 9, 2019, which will cause an outage on all websites related to Medication Administration Training. The outage is scheduled to begin at 12:00 am Friday, June 28. Working on the system during this outage could cause work to be lost.

The specific sites affected are:

Please click on one of the following links for updates on this outage:

After the outage has concluded you will be able to use the above links to learn how to access the updated sites.

Students should begin the online Medication Administration Course no later than June 14, 2019. Students must successfully complete the online course and all online quizzes and exams by 5:00 pm on June 27. Anyone not finished by that time will lose access to coursework until the course re-opens on August 9, 2019. Certified trainers will be able to continue to request the paper exam and the manual links to the course during this outage. Submit your requests to this email address.

Train the Trainer classes will be offered this summer. The trainer candidate will need to finish the Train the Trainer courses prior to 5:00 pm on June 27 in order to register for July or early August classes.

For more detailed information, see ODP Announcement 19-050, referenced above.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is offering training designed for teams of people with disabilities who utilize the CPS service, their family members, provider staff, and SCs. Teams sit together and work together as a small group throughout a three-hour training. They are encouraged to brainstorm, network, and share ideas to explore new directions, ask new questions, and seek new information.

Provider agencies are invited to host this training at their local sites. Representatives of Tuscarora Intermediate Unit will work with the provider agency to schedule the training on a date and time that work for the individuals supported by ODP programs, families, support teams, agency staff, and agency trainers. The training is designed for a maximum of 30 participants. The provider agency would supply the training room (a space to hold a maximum of 30 people working in small groups). The trainers bring all of the training equipment and supplies.

The exact start and end times of the three-hour training will vary based on the needs of the participants and availability of the trainers. All participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the training. ODP Announcement 19-049 provides additional information regarding this opportunity.

If you are interested in hosting this training at your agency or have any questions, please send to this email. You can also call Jeff Wheeler at 800-446-5607 ext. 6881 or 412-826-6881, or Melissa Mecke at 717-901-2164.

ODP Announcement 19-048 serves as notice that an updated version of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) Contact Information for ID/Autism Coordinators is now available.

On February 14, 2019, OVR and the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) released Bulletin 00-19-01, OVR Referral Process for ODP Employment-Related Services. Attachment 4 to the bulletin is the OVR contact information for ID/Autism Coordinators; an updated version of this contact information can be found here. This version, dated 4/10/19, replaces Attachment 4 that was originally distributed with the bulletin.

This updated contact information and Bulletin 00-19-01 in its entirety can be found on the MyODP Employment page.

ODP Announcement 19-047 provides information regarding a statewide series of training sessions being offered through the PA Family Network from April to June 2019. Session topics include:

  • Creating a Vision for a Good Life;
  • Creating a Vision for a Good Life (Spanish);
  • Creating a Vision for a Good Life and Safety in Your Community;
  • Creating a Vision for a Good Life: L.E.A.D. Your Way to Healthy Relationships and Sexuality;
  • ODP Waivers: Supporting Families and Everyday Lives; and
  • Creating a Vision for Life After High School.

The announcement includes details regarding the session topics, provides a registration link with dates and locations, and summarizes the session content.

If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please submit via email.