2015-16 Public Policy Priorities
The Arc Alliance

For more information, contact The Arc Alliance at 610-265-4700.

  1. Waiting List For Community Services

Challenge: There are 13,971 people on the waiting list in Pennsylvania.

Action: Increase the budget so it is large enough to end the waiting list and increase funding in the budget to serve 4,647individuals on the emergency waiting list. Also if the emergency list is not being met then the critical waiting list is not even being addressed.

  1. Funding

Challenge: The community based programs are in crisis. State institutions have received cost of living increases while community based programs have been cut.  No increase in 7 years.

Action:   Minimally provide adequate funding so that community based programs are not faced with rate reductions.

  1. Burden of Proof In Special Education Due Process Cases Allocated To School Districts

Challenge:   Parents don’t have the resources or money to have access to information needed for a fair due process hearing.

Action:   Adopt a statutory provision which allocates the burden of proof in due process proceedings to the school district, not the parents

  1. State Institutions

Challenge:   22% of funds spent supporting people with developmental disabilities are spent in state centers which house 4% of the individuals receiving services.  You can provide support for 2.5 individuals to every 1 individual in a state institution.

Action:   Close the state institutions and allocate the funding to community based programs.     

  1. Employment

Challenge:  People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have historically had difficulty getting and maintaining jobs in the community. As a result, they tend to live below the poverty level and are dependent on government programs to survive.

Action:   encourage support of SB 200 in order to develop and implement an Employment First Policy .

  1. ABLE Act

Challenge: The new ABLE accounts will allow more individual choice and control over spending on qualified disability expenses and limited investment decisions, while protecting eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other important federal benefits for people with disabilities. Without these accounts, many people with disabilities have very limited avenues to save and allow for further independence.

Action: Authorize the offer of a qualified ABLE program to its residents

  1. Bullying

Challenge: An estimated 77% of students have been the victim of one type of bullying; 60% of students with special needs report being bullied compared to 25% of the general school population and 85% of kids who witness bullying walk away and do not report it.

Action: urges school administrators, teachers, caretakers, and community members to recognize bullying and disability harassment where they exist, to intervene immediately and effectively, and to implement the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

  1. Organ Transplant

Challenge: People with disabilities in Pennsylvania still face widespread discrimination when seeking potentially lifesaving organ transplants

Action: Support HB 585Doctors, hospitals, transplant centers, and other health care providers are prohibited from denying access to necessary organ transplants solely on the basis of a qualified individual’s disability .

There are  over 300,000  individuals with disabilities in Pennsylvania.  These issues are very important to them and their families.  We will communicate to the families just how hard you fight for them.

Contact us for more information.