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Update from the PA Waiting List Campaign

Update from the PA Waiting List Campaign

posted February 14, 2018
The PA Waiting List Campaign is excited to announce the governor is proposing a new High School waiting list initiative to provide services for the both the June 2018 and June 2019 graduates with intellectual disabilities and autism. This is an exciting change in policy that will have a huge impact on students and families. The decision to fund students this year, and plan ahead for next year's graduating class will be a tremendous help to families across Pennsylvania.

High school graduates with intellectual disabilities and autism and their families are at the mercy of the PA budget process every year. When the budget passes on June 30th, even with a high school initiative included, the graduate experiences a gap before services can begin, typically four to six months. This gap causes hardships on the family wage earners, can lead to regression of skills for the ID or ASD individual, and those with jobs supported by school services will lose them during the service gap. Some budget years the services don't begin until spring of the following year. That wasn't working for people and families, so the PA Waiting List Campaign has been fighting for years to change this process -- we have been heard!

This new approach will allow for students to enroll, plan and choose their services before they leave school so that they will begin receiving services immediately upon graduation. There will be no loss of continuity for the graduate. The services provided by OVR and the school system continue until graduation day, and then the adult waiver services seamlessly begin. There's no regression of developed skills, the caregivers can plan their family member's future in advance, just like what any typical high school graduates enjoy.

We applaud and thank Governor Wolf and his administration for listening to the families from the Waiting List Campaign and bringing this new initiative to life. Pennsylvania will now be planning ahead for graduates, rather than chasing behind the problem year after year.
Please call the governor and say thank you. Also, make sure you call your state representative and senator to ask them to support funding for the waiting list and high school graduates! We need to make sure our voices are heard and this new and better way is enacted.