Category Archives: Disabilitiies

Disability Rights and Public Policy in Pennsylvania commemorative conference at Millersville University on September 28

disability conference

Click here to download the complete information as a .pdf file.


“The Pennhurst story is highlighted this week when Millersville University hosts a forum on disability rights and history on Friday, September 28. Prominent advocates, policymakers, and scholars will address the history of disability rights and current concerns in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Joining Smart Talk on WITF today (9:00 – 10 am live) to discuss the forum and the Suffer the Little Children report are Professor Dennis Downey, Ph.D., Professor of History Ermeritus and Reporter Bill Baldini.” – WITF

Friday Wrap-Up, September 21, 2018 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

Click here download the newsletter as a .pdf file.


“Nearly half of cellphone calls will be scams by 2019, report says” – The Washington Post

This article is so important — not only for the people we serve — but for everyone you know. We’ve already posted it at the Link to Aging and Disability Resources facebook pages.

robocalls mobileEver get a phone call from a number that looks suspiciously like your own? This video explains them, and what you should do about them.” 

by Hazma Shaban

“Nearly half of all cellphone calls next year will come from scammers, according to First Orion, a company that provides phone carriers and their customers caller ID and call blocking technology.

“The Arkansas-based firm projects an explosion of incoming spam calls, marking a leap from 3.7 percent of total calls in 2017 to more than 29 percent this year, to a projected 45 percent by early 2019.

“’Year after year, the scam-call epidemic bombards consumers at record-breaking levels, surpassing the previous year, and scammers increasingly invade our privacy at new extremes,’ Charles Morgan, the chief executive and head data scientist of First Orion, said in a blog post last week.”

Read this article in The Washington Post in its entirety, click here.

PADES 2018 – Registration Is Now Open!

PADES 2018

Click here or on the graphic to register.

“Wolf Administration Provides Update on Program Offering Coordinated, Quality Health Care in Homes, Communities”

DHS continues to provide access to high-quality services serving more people in the community

chc logo

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Human Services (DHS) Deputy Secretary for the Office of Long-Term Living Kevin Hancock today at the Capitol Media Center provided an update on the implementation of the Community HealthChoices (CHC). CHC launched in southwestern Pennsylvania on January 1, 2018, and is rolling out to the Southeast on January 1, 2019.

CHC is Pennsylvania’s managed care program for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, and for individuals with physical disabilities requiring long term services and supports. CHC has been developed to improve access to and coordination of medical and person-centered long-term services and supports in which people have choice, control, and access to a full array of quality services that enable them to live independent and healthy lives in the setting they choose.

“The Department of Human Services has seen great success with the CHC rollout in the Southwest. The phased rollout of CHC has given us time to listen to participants and hear their experience with the program so that by 2020 we will be delivering the best local care possible to hundreds of thousands of seniors and participants across the commonwealth,” said Hancock. “We look forward to expanding the service offerings to Southeastern Pennsylvania in January 2019 and are preparing providers and eligible participants for this transition.”

In preparation for the launch of CHC in the Southeast region, the department has coordinated efforts with the CHC managed care organizations (CHC-MCOs) to host provider information sessions as well as community stakeholder sessions. These community stakeholder sessions offer potential CHC eligible community members the opportunity to learn more about CHC, gather resources, and ask questions that will enable an individual to choose a CHC-MCO that will best meet their needs.

“One of our priorities is to continue to enhance the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the supports and services available to serve more people in communities, giving them the opportunity to work, spend more time with their families, and experience an overall better quality of life,” said Hancock. “This continued investment demonstrates a commitment to supporting elderly Pennsylvanians and individuals with physical disabilities.”

The rollout in the Southeast will include approximately 128,000 individuals. When fully implemented across the state, CHC will serve 450,000 Pennsylvanians, 94 percent of whom are dually eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare.

For more information on the CHC program, visit

To register for a Southeast Pennsylvania community informational session, please visit You can also register by telephone by dialing 1-888-735-4416. Telephone registrations will be accepted Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

SOURCE: news release

“Pennsylvania sees significant rise in heroin overdoses among people 55 and older” – The Morning Call

older overdoses“More and more older Pennsylvanians are hospitalized for heroin overdoses, according to a state report released Wednesday.” (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

by Binghui Huang, Contact Reporter of The Morning Call

“A survey released Wednesday shows a troubling rise in the number of Pennsylvanians 55 and older being hospitalized for heroin overdoses, an increase that several public health officials linked to the deadly opioid epidemic sweeping the state.

“But, they cautioned, additional study needs to be done to explain why more older adults are resorting to heroin.

“According to the survey by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, the heroin overdose hospitalization rate among those 55 and older increased 36 percent from 2016 to 2017, the greatest increase of any age group.”

Click here to read this Morning Call article in its entirety.

“A love letter to realism in a time of grief” – TEDTalk

Nietzsche quote to explain to us that when we can no longer change our circumstances, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

mark and simone

“When faced with life’s toughest circumstances, how should we respond: as an optimist, a realist or something else? In an unforgettable talk, explorer Mark Pollock and human rights lawyer Simone George explore the tension between acceptance and hope in times of grief — and share the groundbreaking work they’re undertaking to cure paralysis.”

Watch the TEDTalk program here.



“Sex, technology and disability – it’s complicated” – The Conversation

complicated“Media portrayals of sexuality often focus on a visual and verbal vocabulary that is young, white, cisgender, heterosexual and…not disabled.” from

by Phillippa Carnemola

“People living with disability are largely excluded from conversations about sexuality, and face overlapping barriers to sexual expression that are both social and physical.

“Media portrayals of sexuality often focus on a visual and verbal vocabulary that is young, white, cisgender, heterosexual and … not disabled.

“My research into inclusive design explores how design can – intentionally or unintentionally – exclude marginalised or vulnerable people, as well as how design can ensure that everyone is included. That might mean design of the built environment, everyday products, or even how information is presented.”

Keep reading this article at The Conversation, click here.


Department of Human Services Highlights Service Expansion for Pennsylvanians with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism

dhs logo

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Human Services (DHS) Deputy Secretary for Developmental Programs Nancy Thaler today discussed the expansion of services available for Pennsylvanians with autism spectrum disorder and their families at an event in the Capitol Media Center. Because of Governor Tom Wolf’s current and 2017-2018 budgets, combined investments of nearly $100 million resulted in the second-largest expansion of services for Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities and/or autism in the program’s history.

“Expanding access to support services can be critical to helping people with an intellectual disability or autism live an enriching life in their community with their family and friends,” said Thaler. “This continued investment demonstrates a commitment to supporting Pennsylvanians with an intellectual disability or autism and making it possible for more people to live everyday lives.”

Governor Wolf’s 2018-2019 budget included $74 million in support of programs and services for Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. This funding allows for a significant expansion of services in waiver programs, and all Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities or autism will be able to use support coordination to help find and use resources in their communities.

People with autism spectrum disorder now have access to all support programs offered through DHS’ Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and will be considered for all waiver programs. Previously, only people with autism who expressed interest in waiver services were considered.

This investment in ODP services also ensures that 800 public school graduates with autism and intellectual disabilities will be able to access support services at the time of graduation. Graduates previously waited up to six months for services – a gap that can result in loss of skills learned during school.

“Our goal is to ensure that individuals with an intellectual disability or autism and their families have support at every stage and transition in their lives. Graduation is an exciting but uncertain time for all students, but for graduates who require additional supports, that life change can bring additional challenges” said Thaler. “Connecting graduates to services eases this change and helps graduates find a job and navigate the next step of their lives with confidence.”

Funding in the 2018-2019 budget supports:

  • 100 individuals transitioning from the emergency waiting list to the Consolidated Waiver;
  • 800 students graduating in 2018 in the Person/Family Directed Support Waiver and the Community Living Waiver;
  • 40 individuals transitioning from the interest list to the Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP).

For more information on DHS, the Office of Developmental Programs, and services available for Pennsylvanians with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder, visit

SOURCE: news release

“What Would You Pay For Mobility?” – Tech50Plus


by Gary Kaye

“According to the website Pants Up Easy, which tracks disabilities, some 3.6 million Americans over the age of 15 use a wheelchair for mobility. Perhaps that seems kind of low, but it doesn’t include all the folks using a cane, crutches or a walker (11.6 million). Overall 20 percent of women in the U.S have disabilities and 17 percent of all men. Those are staggering numbers that will only go higher as baby boomers age. Earlier this year, I became disabled as a result of cascading medical problems.

“The disabled population pays a huge price, one which American society largely ignores. Let’s start off with medical devices from stairlifts to wheelchairs, from ramps to commodes.


“Some of these are covered by either private insurance or Medicare Part B, but many are not. You will need a doctor’s prescription and a prior authorization which will only be granted if the device is deemed a medical necessity. Many of the electric powered personal mobility devices such as scooters are not approved medical devices.”

Continue reading this Tech50Plus article, click here.