The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has revised the Residential Habilitation Vacancy management process in order to streamline the referral process for any vacancies that become available in a home where a Harry M class member resides. The Harry M settlement agreement was approved by a federal court judge in 2013 and was created in order to ensure Pennsylvanians are provided with necessary communication assistance services based upon their assessed needs. The agreement also establishes that the participants who are deaf have the opportunity to live with other deaf participants if they so choose.
It is not uncommon for people who are deaf to regularly interact and reside with other deaf individuals. ODP promotes individual choice and no individual will be required to move involuntarily. ODP Announcement 19-003 directs providers to notify the ODP deaf services mailbox for all vacancies that occur in a home where a Harry M class member resides in lieu of the usual process. This will allow ODP to review the opening and possibly identify a Harry M class member that communicates in a similar manner and is interested in residing in the home.
If an individual is identified, they will be offered the opportunity to live with another deaf person. If an individual is not identified within five business days, the administrative entity (AE) will have the opportunity to identify an individual who might utilize the vacancy. In that case, the AE would follow the usual process detailed in ODP Communication Packet 098-12.
For further information regarding this communication contact the ODP deaf services mailbox.