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Welcome to ACHIEVA’s Compass, an e-publication to help guide you through the world of disability.
 
Volume #13 | Issue #36
September 5, 2019

Contact Legislators in Support of Polk and White Haven Closures Announcement

From The Arc of Pennsylvania

Governor Wolf’s announcement to close Polk and White Haven centers earlier this month is another progression in moving Pennsylvania to becoming an “institution-free” state. As expected, this announcement brings fear for the parents and family members of the residents prompting them to mobilize extensively against the closure. They are calling both their local legislators and their federal legislators in opposition.
 
The Arc of Pennsylvania has spoken with Senator Casey’s office and other legislators who have said they’ve only received calls against the closure. If legislators only hear from those opposed to the closure, they will have an incomplete picture of the issue. We cannot allow Pennsylvania to reverse its course of action by re-normalizing the institutionalization of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Arc of Pennsylvania and all of its chapters need to be a leading voice in supporting this announcement.

Please call your legislators, even if you are not in the surrounding region of Polk or White Haven, expressing your support of the closures. Attached is a copy of the letter The Arc of Pennsylvania sent to all the State’s legislators, Congressmen for Polk and White Haven, and Senators Casey and Toomey. If The Arc of Pennsylvania and ACHIEVA are to realize the goal of closing all state centers within Pennsylvania, it is imperative we vocalize our support and make ourselves a resource of knowledge to elected officials.
  • Senator Bob Casey: 717.231.7540 (Harrisburg), 412.803.7370 (Pittsburgh)
  • Senator Pat Toomey: 717.782.3951 (Harrisburg), 412.803.3501 (Pittsburgh)
  • Find and contact your Legislators

Contact Information for Act 3 Hearings Regarding the Closures of Polk & White Haven Centers

From Department of Human Services

On August 14, 2019, the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) announced the impending closure of Polk and White Haven Centers. Within 30 days after this announcement the Department of Human Services (DHS) must hold an Act 3 hearing within the county where each facility is located. ODP has scheduled two public hearings to meet this requirement. This announcement provides a description of the hearing format as well as locations, dates, and times of those hearings.

Polk Center’s Act 3 Hearing
Monday, September 9, 2019 - 5 p.m. at Atlantic Avenue Church, 160 Atlantic Ave., Franklin, PA 16323. Those wishing to provide comments must register and may do so as follows: Call: 814.432.0213; Email:
RA-PWRAStateCenters@pa.gov; Written comments submitted via email to: RA-PWRAStateCenters@pa.gov.

White Haven Center’s Act 3 Hearing
Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 5 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, 411 Allegheny St., White Haven, PA. Those wishing to provide comments must register and may do so as follows: Call: 570.443.4201; Email:
RA-PWRAStateCenters@pa.gov; Written comments submitted via email to: RA-PWRAStateCenters@pa.gov.

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LOCAL BEACON

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Council on Reform – Vulnerable Populations

From Department of Human Services, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
 
The Council on Reform was established through Governor Wolf's Executive Order 2019-05 with the purpose for making recommendations to improve the support and protection of vulnerable populations, including children, adults with disabilities, and seniors. Below is a link button to the brief form to gather recommendations regarding protecting vulnerable people from abuse, neglect, abandonment and exploitation. The link to the form will be open for submissions until September 17, 2019.
 
Details on these populations and their subpopulations are as follows:
 
Children (ages 0-17) Subpopulations: African Americans, Asian American & Pacific Islanders, Latinos, LGBTQ+ Children, Young Women, Children with Disabilities, Children Experiencing Mental Illness, Delinquent Children, and Dependent Children
 
Adults with Disabilities (ages 18-59) Subpopulations: African Americans, Asian American & Pacific Islanders, Latinos, LGBTQ+ Adults, Veterans, Adults Experiencing Mental Illness, Women, Adults with Intellectual Disabilities/Autism, and Adults with Physical/Sensory Disabilities
 
Seniors (ages 60+) Subpopulations: African Americans, Asian American & Pacific Islanders, Latinos, LGBTQ+ Seniors, Women, Veterans, Seniors Experiencing Mental Illness, Seniors with Disabilities, Seniors with Intellectual Disabilities/Autism, and Seniors with Physical/Sensory Disabilities
 
If you would like to provide a recommendation for the Council on Reform to review, please click on the link button.

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Virtual Rally

From Provider Alliance

The Provider Alliance and other ID agencies across the state joined forces to advocate for increased Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) wages. The virtual rally was held on Monday September 2 (Labor Day) and was exclusively through social media.

There is a need for our legislators and communities to become more aware of the dedicated service that DSPs provide every day of the year.

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Ending Hunger in Pennsylvania!

From Department of Human Services

The Wolf Administration is taking the opportunity to travel across the state this month to showcase the powerful pairing and impact of SNAP and local food networks in our communities.During September, the Department of Human Services (DHS) is drawing awareness to the charitable food organizations that work tirelessly to fill the hunger gaps in our communities that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cannot do on its own. Food insecurity affects too many individuals across the commonwealth, with stigma and misinformation surrounding them.
 
SNAP helps more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians expand their purchasing power and put food on their tables. On average, children whose families utilize SNAP are healthier than kids whose families qualify for SNAP but are not enrolled in the program. These kids go on to have higher graduation rates, increased earnings in adulthood, and improved health outcomes throughout their life. Older adults who are enrolled in SNAP are healthier, hospitalized less often, and are less likely to go into a nursing home. More than 1.8 million people use SNAP, but SNAP’s positive impact has an even broader reach. The food bought from local grocery stores and farmers markets supports our local economies to the tune of over $2.5 billion.
 
We estimate the proposed changes to SNAP eligibility at the federal level could impact 3 million people nationwide who could lose SNAP funds, with 500,000 schoolchildren losing free breakfast and lunch at school. In Pennsylvania, this proposal could affect as many as 200,000 adults and children. SNAP, along with the tireless work of charitable food organizations across the commonwealth, helps people make ends meet and keep food on the table every day.
 
The Wolf Administration is taking the opportunity to travel across the state this month to showcase the powerful pairing and impact of SNAP and local food networks in our communities. We want to protect the SNAP program, so people can have access to the food they need.

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NATIONAL BEACON

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Intellectual and Developmental Disability (I/DD) Survey

From The Arc of the United States
 
Banner of the 2019 Intellectual and Developmental Disability Survey


The Arc of the United States wants to hear from you and your network! They want to understand what the future should look like for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be meaningfully included in their communities. Through this survey, The Arc of the United States wants to hear your perspective about how they can create a world where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive the support, services, and care they need and the respect they deserve. Your responses to the survey, combined with perspectives from the field and additional conversations with staff and board, will help inform the future of The Arc.

The survey is available in both
English and Spanish. The Arc would like to reach those in our communities who prefer to take the survey in Spanish. We've created an English toolkit and a Spanish toolkit with sample communication materials to make it easy to share the survey in both languages.

The survey should take no more than 30 minutes to complete, and all responses are anonymous. The survey deadline is September 12, 2019. If you have any problems responding to this survey, please email Shakir Cannon-Moye at
scannonmoye@communitywealth.com.

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ACHIEVA EVENTS
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ACHIEVA N'AT, Thursday, October 17, 2019
Nova Place, 100 S. Commons, Pittsburgh (North Side) 15212


ACHIEVA N'at logo that says Save The Date

Bring your friends & join us for trivia, food, beer and wine, and a performance by Marc Reisman and the Strong Way Band for ACHIEVA N'AT, October 17, 2019 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Nova Place, 100 S. Commons, Pittsburgh 15212. 

"This annual fundraiser is such a fun and enjoyable event and for a great community cause," said Steve Suroviec, President and CEO of ACHIEVA. "It's a chance to help people with disabilities so they can live the live they choose, and you'll have a great time doing it."
 
All proceeds benefit ACHIEVA's mission to support and empower people with disabilities and their families. For more information or tickets contact Allison Dushack at adushack@achieva.info or click here.
 
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW

Save The Date - Motivational Speaker Andrew Jobling


image of Andrew Jobling with the text ACHIEVA self-advocates and staff present andrew jobling
ACHIEVA self-advocates and staff present motivational speaker Andrew Jobling on September 25th, from 5:30pm - 7:00pm at 711 Bingham St.

For more information, contact Julie Trbovich at jtrbovich@achieva.info.
ACHIEVA Family Trust Logo

Speaker Series

 
Light refreshments will be available and the building is accessible with free parking.
The Basics of Special Education Law and Rights Under Section 504

Friday, September 13, 2019 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. at ACHIEVA, 711 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh (South Side), 15203

Presenter: Nancy Potter, Esq.
McAndrews Law Offices, P.C.


Click on the register button to attend in person. 

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Click on the webinar button to register and view live via webinar:

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Understanding the Application and Appeal Process for Social Security

Friday October 11, 2019 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. at ACHIEVA, 711 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh (South Side), 15203

Presenter: Lindsay Osterhout, Esq.
Osterhout Berger Disability Law

Click on the register button to attend in person.

Register button

Click on the webinar button to register and view live via webinar.

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BallyWho! Episode 2: Therapy and Horses
For the latest episode of BallyWho! Erin joined Stoneybrook Foundation's Therapeutic Riding Center to learn about Equine Therapy.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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Employment Opportunities


Information on Monthly Open Interviews that are 12 - 3 p.m in Pittsburgh on the 2nd Wednesday and the 3rd Wednesday in Greensburg.ACHIEVA has full-time, part-time and casual opportunities available with competitive salaries and benefits packages.
 
Open interviews are 12 Noon - 3 p.m. on the:
  • 2nd Wednesday of each month at 711 Bingham Street, (South Side), Pittsburgh PA 15203
  • 3rd Wednesday of each month at 316 Donohoe Road, Greensburg PA 15601

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