Authors Posts by Carol Ferenz

Carol Ferenz


The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is happy to announce the publication of the Communication and… series with over 25 different diagnoses included! The goal of this series is to provide information on how each diagnosis could impact communication and offer strategies to support effective communication.

This series can be found here.

Please contact the ODP, Special Populations Unit with any questions.

ODP Organized Health Care Delivery Systems Training for Supports Coordination Organization Leadership and Administrative Entities

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is pleased to announce a training opportunity for supports coordination organizations (SCOs) and administrative entity (AE) leadership to learn more about the new language outlined in Appendix K that allows SCOs to become willing and qualified Organized Health Care Delivery Systems (OHCDS) training providers.

Read the full article here.

Photo by Sebastian Spindler on Unsplash

A Message from Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care:

On November 13, 2020, Dr. Gregory Cherpes, the Medical Director for Pennsylvania’s Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), presented a webinar in which he provided an update on COVID-19 and holiday safety. During the webinar, we learned that COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death in the US! In April 2020, the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in any one day was 2000. Current data is now showing that 5000 cases have been reported in one day, and this trend is expected to continue. At this time, our hospital capacity is not exhausted, but we are reaching a dangerous point, especially as we approach the holiday season. To keep you and your loved ones safe during the holidays, Dr. Cherpes stated, “The safest way to celebrate the holidays this year is to celebrate with people in your household.” Take into consideration the following points:

  • The duration or length of your celebration. Shorter celebrations can prevent viral transmission.
  • The number of people who are attending; smaller gatherings are safer than larger gatherings.
  • Where are people traveling from? County transmission rates vary, so stay informed of yours.
  • Are people wearing masks, washing their hands, and staying socially distant?

Consider alternative ways to celebrate the holidays this year such as virtual parties or remote game nights.

During this pandemic, we have also learned that an individual with an intellectual disability is three times as likely to suffer from complications and death from COVID-19 in comparison to the rest of the population. Learn more from The New York Times, Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care, and AID in PA.

Happy holidays! Stay safe and healthy!

The direct support professionals (DSP) workforce is essential in ensuring that individuals with intellectual disabilities/developmental disabilities (ID/DD) have the support they need to live independently in their communities. However, home and community-based service providers are seeing a shortage in the DSP workforce. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is seeking innovative solutions to address this shortage with the goal of encouraging the development of inventive business models to help stabilize the DSP labor market.

This prize competition includes three phases. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of each phase.

Submissions will be accepted starting Friday, November 20, 2020. They must be received by Friday, February 12, 2021.

Learn more here.