Category Archives: Disabilitiies


SDHP Conference – Housing as a Human Right


To register for the conference, please follow this link. (link will open in a new window)

Please join Self-Determination Housing of Pennsylvania (SDHP) on May 5, 2022 in Grantville, PA for a one day conference focusing on expanding choice and control in housing for people with disabilities.

The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn Hershey/Harrisburg.

The conference will include both in-person and some virtual programming.  Please follow this link to review the Conference COVID Guidelines.

SDHP, a program of Inglis Community Services, believes that all people should have access to safe, affordable, and accessible housing.  

We will bring together leaders from across the commonwealth to discuss best practices and trends in accessible housing, and address the systemic issues that people with disabilities face every day.

Please follow this link to register for the conference. (link will open in a new window)

All of this will be done through innovative workshops, a special keynote plenary, and an immersive assistive technology exhibit. 

Please follow this link to become a sponsor for the Housing as a Human Right Conference.

Additional information:

Office of Developmental Program (ODP) is seeking your valuable feedback!

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is pleased to announce the opportunity for public comment on proposed changes to the Adult Autism Waiver. As part of this process, ODP is seeking your valuable feedback and comments on the proposed waiver amendment. There is a 30-day public comment period that starts on March 12, 2022, and ends on April 11, 2022.

Two webinars are planned that will allow stakeholders to provide public comment. Registration information for the webinars and details on how to access the proposed changes as well as submitting comments are also supplied in the announcement. 

ODP Announcement (

Care for the Caregiver: Using Self Care to Combat Compassion Fatigue

Wednesday, March 30, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Live Webinar

Cost: $10

1.5 Social Work CEUs available

This webinar is made possible through a generous grant from the Memorial Health Fund.

Description: Are you taking care of a child, parent or other family member with developmental or medical needs? Are you struggling with the stress of caring for them?  Is the day-to-day stress impacting your daily life?  Participants will learn how to identify stressors and learn strategies to decrease depression and anxiety of being a caregiver.


  • Define and explain the following terms: compassion fatigue, burnout and stress
  • Understand the difference between compassion fatigue and burnout and how the two terms are related
  • Understand how stress impacts the body, mind and soul
  • Practice tips for self-regulation techniques

Target Audience:

  • Family caregivers who provide care to family members with developmental and medical needs
  • Professional Caregivers who support families

Register by visiting:

“Two Team Photos, One Difference: The Cheerleader With Down Syndrome” – The New York Times

“A junior high cheerleading team took nearly identical photos with and without Morgyn Arnold. The school called the publication of the photo without her a mistake that is under investigation.”

cheerleader 3

by Amanda Morris

“Morgyn Arnold is a natural cheerleader. She grew up supporting her six older siblings at sporting events in Utah and followed in her father’s and sister’s footsteps by becoming a cheerleader herself.

“For Morgyn, who has Down syndrome, being on the Shoreline Junior High School cheer squad gave her a chance to make friends and feel included after transferring to the school last summer.

“But when the school yearbook came out a few weeks ago, Morgyn, 14, was not in the team’s photo or listed as part of the squad. The school has since apologized for what it called an ‘error,’ but Morgyn’s sister Jordyn Poll said she believed that the exclusion was intentional.’

Read this article in its entirety at The New York Times, click here.


“NI students dubbed ‘the diabetic duo’ out to smash stigma around disease” – Belfast Telegraph

“Pals become poster girls for condition after clips showing the strangest places they’ve taken insulin go viral”

Diabetic duo

“REACHING OUT: Beth and Ellen use their platform to spread awareness about diabetes.”

by John Toner

“Two university students who use social media to tackle stigma around diabetes have told how they find it empowering as they prepare to step up their campaign.

“Best friends and Type 1 diabetics Ellen Watson and Beth McDaniel, dubbed ‘the diabetic duo’, went viral on the video sharing platform TikTok in 2020 with their candid clips about the condition.

“They have since gained over 25,000 followers on social media and have become poster girls for raising awareness about diabetes.”

Want to learn more? Click here to read this article at the Belfast Telegraph.


“New Device Taps Brain Signals To Help Stroke Patients Regain Hand Function” – NPR

post stroke

“A woman demonstrates the IpsiHand rehabilitation device for stroke patients.” – NeuroLutions

by Jon Hamilton

“People recovering from a stroke will soon have access to a device that can help restore a disabled hand.

“The Food And Drug Administration has authorized a device called IpsiHand, which uses signals from the uninjured side of a patient’s brain to help rewire circuits controlling the hand, wrist and arm.

“The device can be used at home and offers stroke patients “an additional treatment option to help them move their hands and arms again,” said Dr. Christopher Loftus of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health in a statement.

“IpsiHand’s authorization comes after the FDA reviewed results on patients like Mark Forrest, who had a stroke in 2015.

“‘We called 911 and off to the hospital I went,’ Forrest, who lives near St. Louis with his wife, Patti. ‘By the time I got there most of my right side was paralyzed.’

“After six months of rehabilitation, Forrest was walking again, but still had little control over his right hand. He struggled to pull on socks and button shirts.”

Keep reading this article at National Public Radio, click here.

“Why getting more people with disabilities developing technology is good for everyone” – The Conversation

blind“Accessible technology is better for everyone, and accessible technology benefits when the people who rely on it most help build it.” Chris So/Toronto Star via Getty Images

by Kristen Shinohara and Garreth Tigwell

“Unless you’re blind or know someone who is, you might not know that blind people use the same smartphones as sighted people. In fact, many blind people use touch-screen smartphones every day. The secret is that smartphones have a screen reader, a tool that allows blind people to use a mix of gestures and taps, along with vibrations or audio feedback, to use their apps.

“Screen readers work on desktop computers as well as mobile devices. You can usually find the screen reader in settings under accessibility. On iPhones the screen reader is VoiceOver. It provides a verbal description of what’s on the screen, including buttons to click and other actions available to the user. A well-designed website or app user interface makes the information on the website or app accessible to the screen reader, which makes it accessible to blind users. However, a badly designed website or application will be rendered invisible to a screen reader.

“We are researchers who focus on technology design that is usable for people with all kinds of disabilities. We’ve found that more needs to be done to make technology accessible and inclusive, such as improving design tools so they are accessible to screen reader users.”

Read this article at The Conversation in its entirety, click here.

“She’s considered the mother of disability rights — and she’s a ‘badass’” – The Washington Post Magazine

judy heumanm

by David A. Taylor

“Judy Heumann’s pandemic year started off extremely well. In late January 2020, she attended a Sundance screening of “Crip Camp,” a documentary about disabled young people — including her — who, after meeting at a Catskills summer camp run by hippies in the 1970s, went on to shape the disability rights movement and change federal law. It was a surprise hit and became an Oscar nominee for best documentary.

“The following month, she published a memoir called ‘Being Heumann.’ (She hadn’t known when the film would be released, so the timing was a coincidence.) Publishers Weekly hailed the book as ‘thoughtful and illuminating.’

“Then, just days before the world shut down, Heumann — who has made her home in D.C. since 1993 — joined Trevor Noah on ‘The Daily Show.’ At one point in the interview, Noah called her a ‘badass’ and asked her about the time, in 1972, when she ‘decided to shut New York down” with a disability rights protest.”

Watch the 10 minute Trevor Noah interview here.

Continue reading this Washington Post Magazine article, click here.

Disability Rights Pennsylvania Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline for People with Disabilities | news release

DRP vax program

Harrisburg, PA – Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP), a leader in disability rights advocacy for more than forty years, will operate a Vaccine Hotline to assist Pennsylvanians with disabilities who are interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

People with disabilities who have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, or who are experiencing problems getting it, can call DRP at (833) DRP-2-VAX, (833- 377- 2829) or email DRP at between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Please contact the DRP Vaccine Hotline if you:

  • are denied a reasonable accommodation at your vaccination site
  • encounter physical accessibility or effective communication barriers at your vaccination site
  • can’t leave your home to get the vaccine due to a disability
  • need transportation to get to your vaccination appointment
  • need help finding a vaccination appointment due to a disability
  • would like more information about the importance of receiving a vaccine 

“Pennsylvanians with disabilities need and want to be vaccinated to protect themselves, those they love, and the community at large,” said Peri Jude Radecic, Chief Executive Officer of Disability Rights Pennsylvania. “They cannot be denied their right to choose a life-saving COVID-19 vaccine due to illegal barriers on scheduling websites or at vaccination sites, or the failure of providers to administer or deliver the vaccine in a manner that is reasonable in light of their disabilities.”

Through the Vaccine Hotline, DRP staff can provide legal advice to Pennsylvanians with disabilities on how civil rights laws ensure their ability to access the COVID-19 vaccine.  Staff may also provide information, resources, and/or direct assistance related to scheduling a vaccine, connecting with transportation services, and resolving problems that are preventing a person with a disability from getting the vaccine.

Information and resources are also available on the Vaccine page of DRP’s website at

Individuals who speak languages other than English should state their language and an interpreter will be connected to the call. Callers using the Pennsylvania Relay Service can dial 711.

Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) is the statewide protection and advocacy agency for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. DRP protects and advocates for the rights of people with disabilities so that they may live the lives they choose, free from abuse, neglect, discrimination, and segregation. DRP’s vision is a Commonwealth where people of all abilities are equal and free.