MyODP News Online

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Date: Monday, October 3, 2022, 10:01 AM

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Welcome to MyODP News Online

Story suggestions and/or comments about MyODP News Online may be sent to:
ra-pwmyodp@pa.gov

Click here to visit the Communications CornerVisit the Communication Corner for some effective communication tips!

2022 Everyday Lives Conference Virtual Platform Training

Wednesday, May 11 at 1 PM

Thursday, May 12 at 6:30 PM

The Everyday Lives logo with that text in cursive scriptThe 2022 Everyday Lives Conference begins on May 17th and will be held through a virtual platform called Whova. ODP is hosting two training sessions to provide individuals, families, and all other stakeholders instructions on how to join the conference and make the most of your experience.

Read Full Article

Updated May 6, 2022 15:55

 

 

Quarantine & Isolation Calculator

Two people video chat on a laptop while wearing masksWith guidance from the CDC constantly evolving, it can be hard to stay up to date with the latest information. If you or the people you support are having trouble navigating what to do, The Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) has created a helpful Quarantine and Isolation Calculator

Read Full Article

Updated May 5, 2022 17:05

 

Employment Forum Meeting 

Closeup of a person sitting at a laptop at a table.The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) invites you to join an employment forum on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Read Full Article

Updated May 4, 2022 16:43

 

Don't forget to register! 2022 Virtual Everyday Lives Conference

The Everyday Lives logo with that text in cursive scriptAn Everyday Life in a Changing World: A Focus on Wellness and Resilience 

Have you registered yet? Registration is now open for the 2022 Virtual Everyday Lives Conference starting on May 17th and ending on June 16th. Weekly one-to-two day conference tracks will occur throughout the month.

Read Full Article

Updated April 29, 2022 16:26

 

ASD Online Safety Training Needs Survey

A woman sits at a table filling out a formThe Office of Developmental Program (ODP) and the Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training Collaborative (ASERT) want to learn more about the training and resource needs of professionals who support individuals on the autism spectrum in safely navigating virtual platforms (the internet, meeting platforms, and other online spaces).  

Read Full Article

Updated April 29, 2022 16:15

 

New Episode of A Supporter's Toolbox

Quality of Life: Do Something About It

The MyODP Podcast logo containing that text in lowercase font Next to a microphone in a square blue border

We throw the words "quality of life" around a lot in our field. We will talk about putting those words, or this concept, into action through small everyday changes and through understanding happiness behaviors.  

 

Read Full Article

Updated April 28, 2022 14:17

 

Pennsylvania Career Guide

Two people shaking hands across a meeting tableThe Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry recently release the 26th edition of the Pennsylvania Career Guide. Whether you are a student, an educator, a first-time jobseeker, a parent, or a person considering a career change, you will find that the Pennsylvania Career Guide is a valuable resource as you make those all-important career decisions.

Read Full Article

Updated April 15, 2022 10:28

 

The Arc of Pennsylvania Customized Employment Job Development

The Arc of PA logo

The Arc of Pennsylvania invites you to join its Customized Employment Job Development Program Attendees will learn how to develop an employer-focused approach to negotiating customized job descriptions on behalf of individuals with disabilities.

Read Full Article

Updated April 13, 2022 14:42

 

 

Butler County Disability Summit

Banner - Special Needs ConsortiumThe Special Needs Consortium in partnership with The Institute for Nonprofit Resources at Slippery Rock University recently introduced their inaugural Butler County Disability Summit. 

Read Full Article

Updated April 12, 2022 11:16

 

AASPIRE Healthcare Toolkit

game tiles reading HealthcareWe wanted to highlight a fantastic resource, the AASPIRE Healthcare Toolkit.  This website has information and worksheets for adults on the autism spectrum, supporters, and healthcare providers. It focuses on primary healthcare or healthcare with a regular doctor.

Read Full Article

Updated April 11, 2022 16:04

 

April is Autism Acceptance Month

The seal of the Office of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania reading those words around a picture of two horses all in goldApril marks National Autism Acceptance Month. To recognize the annual awareness campaign, Governor Tom Wolf recently signed a proclamation that highlights the challenges people with autism face as well as Pennsylvania's commitment to meeting the needs of people with autism and their families. 

Read Full Article

Updated April 11, 2022 13:31

 

April Communication Corner - Echolalia

Communication Corner Logo with those words and two head profiles with a maze connecting themThe latest edition of Communication Corner is now available! Communication Corner is a monthly publication from the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations that focuses on communication skills for support professionals.

Read Full Article

Updated April 7, 2022 16:50

 

 

ARPA Supplemental Payment Q&A Webinar Now Available

American Rescue Plan Act logoThe ODP Webinar held on April 4, 2022 titled "ARPA - Supplemental Payment to Address Staff Training, Credentialing, and Business Associates Programs for Employment Q&A" is now available to view on MyODP. 

Read Full Article

Updated April 7, 2022 16:48

 

 

CDC Booster Recommendation Update

Illustration of two vaccine vials The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that all eligible adults, adolescents, and children 5 and older be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting an initial booster when eligible.

Read Full Article

Updated March 30, 2022 15:13

 

US Department of Justice Issues Web Accessibility Guidance Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA - Americans with Disabilities ActThe Department of Justice recently published guidance on web accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It explains how state and local governments (entities covered by ADA Title II) and businesses open to the public (entities covered by ADA Title III) can make sure their websites are accessible to people with disabilities in line with the ADA’s requirements.

Read Full Article

Updated March 25, 2022 16:37

 

New Episode of A Supporter's Toolbox

Stay on Track By Setting Goals

The MyODP Podcast logo containing that text in lowercase font Next to a microphone in a square blue borderA new episode of A Supporter's Toolbox is now available! The ODP Podcast is an audio series on a dedicated topic with a targeted audience in mind. Each podcast in our first series, A Supporter's Toolbox, has a duration of 7-10 minutes and focuses on getting tools to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and other supporters.

Read Full Article

Updated March 25, 2022 13:42

 

2022 ASD Virtual Seminar

Positive Behavioral Supports: Meaningful, Everyday Application

An illustration of five hands of different color clasping each others forearm in a circle

The 2022 ASD Virtual Seminar series, Positive Behavioral Supports: Meaningful, Everyday Application, begins on April 6th. There is still time to register!

Read Full Article

Updated March 25, 2022 10:04

 

ASD Acceptance Month: Hear a Spectrum of Voices & Views

A woman sits at a laptop computer taking notes on a notepadASERT invites to you join a series of panel discussions throughout April in celebration of Autism Acceptance Month to hear a spectrum of voices and views on what neurodiversity means in 2022. 

Read Full Article

Updated March 24, 2022 16:58

Summer Academy for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing 

A birdseye view of a desk with a computer on itThe Summer Academy is a two-week program for high school students who are deaf or hard of hearing and preparing for entry into post-secondary education leading to competitive integrated employment. 

Read Full Article

Updated March 10, 2022 16:34

New Episode of A Supporter's Toolbox

The MyODP Podcast logo containing that text in lowercase font Next to a microphone in a square blue border

Go With the Flow

Finding something that puts us in a state of flow or a state where one is fully immersed and enjoying an activity helps us minimize unpleasant things in our lives, makes us more productive, and generally makes us happier. We will talk about how we can support someone to intentionally find more flow in their lives.

Read Full Article

Updated March 9, 2022 11:09

Charting The Lifecourse Showcase

The Charting the Lifecourse Showcase banner The national Charting the Lifecourse (CtCL) Nexus will be hosting its sixth annual showcase on April 13 and 14, 2022.

Read Full Article

Updated March 8, 2022 12:22

 

Disability Awareness Month in Pennsylvania

A close up on a hand signing the bottom of a document. Photo used courtesy of pexels.com.Governor Wolf's office recently signed an official proclamation establishing March 2022 as Developmental Disability Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

Read Full Article

Updated March 7, 2022 09:28

 

How to Get a Better Night's Sleep

A pug sleeps on the foot of a bed with a woman sleeping in the background under the coversSleep is so important to our overall wellbeing, but we often don’t realize when sleep troubles may be affecting the waking parts of life. If you or the person you support wake up feeling tired, chances are you are not getting enough sleep. 

Read Full Article

Updated March 7, 2022 09:18

 

Save the Date - 2022 ASD Virtual Seminar

illustration of different colored hands holding onto each others wrists in a circlePositive Behavioral Supports: Meaningful, Everyday Application

We are always looking for better ways to support someone to achieve the quality of life they desire. This requires a social, behavioral, and biological understanding of that person. Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) is an empirically documented, person-centered approach that can be used in day-to-day supports for all people across all systems.

Read Full Article

Updated February 18, 2022 15:21

 

DHS Adult Protective Services Media Toolkit

A woman holds a phone with the text stop abuse aboveThe Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Adult Protective Services (APS) has developed a media toolkit designed for facilities, mandatory reporters, and community members to assist in the awareness of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and abandonment of adults ages 18 to 59 living with a disability within the commonwealth. 

Read Full Article

Updated February 16, 2022 15:21

 

2022 Virtual Everyday Lives Conference - Save the Date!

The Everyday Lives logo with that text in cursive scriptThe Office of Developmental Programs invites you to save the date for the 2022 Virtual Everyday Lives Conference. The Everyday Lives Conference is a statewide event that presents pertinent information to individuals with a disability and/or autism, their families, and the professionals that support them in an effort to empower individuals to live their ideal everyday life. 

Read Full Article

Updated February 14, 2022 16:03

 

DOJ Guidance on Visitation in Medical Facilities and Accessibility of Outdoor Retail/Dining

Empty tables for two topped with plants on the sidewalkOn January 5, the Department of Justice updated its “Common Questions About COVID and the ADA” to address visitation in medical facilities and accessibility of outdoor dining and retail spaces. 

Read Full Article

Updated February 3, 2022 10:40

 

Call for Proposals for the 2022 PA Community of Practice Transition Conference

Logo - PA Secondary TransitionThe 2022 PA Community of Practice Conference planning team is requesting proposals to present at the 2022 PA Community of Practice Transition Conference on August 10-11, 2022.

Read Full Article

Updated January 29, 2022 14:33

 

December Communication Corner - What Did You Say?

Communication Corner Logo with those words and two head profiles with a maze connecting themThe latest edition of Communication Corner is now available! Communication Corner is a monthly publication from the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations that focuses on communication skills for support professionals.

Read Full Article

Updated January 28, 2022 11:17

 

TRAIN Recruitment

AIDinPA TRAIN - Trauma Recovery for Autistic, Intellectually Disabled, and Neurodiverse IndividualsIndividuals with intellectual disabilities and/or autism are at an increased risk of experiencing trauma, which requires a response from a well-trained workforce. To help clinicians better identify and address symptoms of trauma, the ASERT team created TRAIN.

Read Full Article

Updated January 26, 2022 12:08

 

Help with ordering free at-home COVID-19 tests

A person sitting at a table with a rapid test in front of them.On January 14, the White House announced a new initiative to help ensure Americans have COVID-19 tests on hand in case they are needed. 

Read Full Article

Updated January 24, 2022 09:38

 

ODP Training Needs Survey

A close up of a woman completing a survey on a clipboardTo better support professionals assisting individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), and the Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training Collaborative (ASERT) want to learn more about the training needs of professionals related to the implementation of Positive Behavioral Supports.

Read Full Article

Updated January 21, 2022 14:12

CDC's "Your Guide to Masks" 

A woman affixing a mask on her faceWith the continued surge of the Omnicron variant of COVID-19, we wanted to share the most recent CDC Guide to Masks. This guide includes some helpful visuals that may benefit you and the people you support. 

Read Full Article

Updated January 21, 2022 13:24

Use of Remote Supports in Residential Settings Webinar

A man sitting at a computer on a kitchen tableThe ODP webinar held on Tuesday, January 18 titled Use of Remote Supports in Residential Settings and accompanying resources can now be found on my ODP. 

Read Full Article

Updated January 20, 2022 16:32

New Episode of A Supporter's Toolbox

The MyODP Podcast logo containing that text in lowercase font Next to a microphone in a square blue borderThe Right to be Wrong (and Eat Too Many Doughnuts)

How do we balance keeping someone safe and protecting their autonomy while experiencing the consequences of their choices? We will talk about helping someone learn to make good choices while acknowledging they may fail or be wrong.

Read Full Article

Updated January 19, 2022 09:56

 

The Arc of Pennsylvania Discovery Training

The Arc of PA logoThe Arc of Pennsylvania invites families and professionals to register for its Discovery Training. The Arc Discovery Training offers a comprehensive overview of Discovery (an alternative to traditional vocational assessments) and instruction on facilitating the Discovery process.

Read Full Article

Updated January 18, 2022 13:14

 

A Pennsylvania Gathering: Critical Topics in Autism

ASERT LogoInterested in hearing the stories from others about communication, advocacy, and maintaining connections? ASERT will continue their Critical Topics in Autism series led by self-advocates on January 20, 2022 from 3:30 to 4:30 PM.

Read Full Article

Updated January 14, 2022 15:26

 

Wolf Administration Announces New Support for Long-Term Care Facilities

Governor's office sealThe Wolf Administration today announced a new initiative to help long-term care facilities respond to COVID-19 and improve resiliency.

Read Full Article

Updated January 12, 2022 10:02

 

Operation Expanded Testing (OpET) 

A person holds a negative COVID-19 rapid test in the foreground. COVID-19 testing is an essential activity that increases safety for congregate care settings as part of a comprehensive mitigation strategy. Operation Expanded Testing (OET) is a federal testing resource that may be useful to your organization.

Read Full Article

Updated January 11, 2022 09:39

 

New Episode of A Supporter's Toolbox

The MyODP Podcast logo containing that text in lowercase font Next to a microphone in a square blue border

Being Connected: An Alternative to Worry

Uncertainty, worry, stress, and anxiety make our brains do crazy things. We will talk about how being connected and having a purpose outside ourselves can change that.

Read Full Article

Updated January 7, 2022 14:21

 

PA Unites Against COVID - Stopping the Spread of Omicron

PA Unites against COVIDHere's a reminder from the Office of Administration and PA Unites Against COVID:

With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly, it is important that we all continue to take steps to protect ourselves and others.

Read Full Article

 Updated January 5, 2022 09:53

Capacity Building Institute - Application Period Now Open

A close up of one person handing an application to another personODP invites professionals across the service partnership to apply for the Capacity Building Institute. The Capacity Building Institute aims to help professionals gain the skills necessary to support individuals with a dual diagnosis – intellectual disability with co-occurring mental health issues, and challenging behaviors.

Read Full Article

 Updated January 4, 2022 13:30

Supports Broker Certification Training Offered

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University Logo

The Office of Developmental    Programs (ODP) has contracted with the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University to provide a Supports Broker Certification training class.  The training will be offered virtually on January 27 and 28, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Read Full Article

 Updated January 3, 2022 18:42

 

December Communication Corner - Executive Functioning

Communication Corner Logo with those words and two head profiles with a maze connecting themThe latest edition of Communication Corner is now available! Communication Corner is a monthly publication from the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations that focuses on communication skills for support professionals.

Read Full Article

Updated December 29, 2021 16:18

 

Archived Articles

2022 Everyday Lives Conference Virtual Platform Training

Wednesday, May 11 at 1 PM

Thursday, May 12 at 6:30 PM

The Everyday Lives logo with that text in cursive scriptThe 2022 Everyday Lives Conference begins on May 17th and will be held through a virtual platform called Whova. ODP is hosting two training sessions to provide individuals, families, and all other stakeholders instructions on how to join the conference and make the most of your experience. 

 

Learn How to Use the Whova Platform

Attendees can expect to become familiar with Whova features including how to join the conference, engaging in sessions, and learning how to network with others who will be attending the conference. You may even find out how to earn points and top the Leaderboard! You can attend any of the training sessions by using the Zoom links below. The same material will be covered in both sessions.

 

Wednesday, May 11, 1 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting by computer, smartphone or tablet:

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85410418896?pwd=dGQ4eUhsZVh5Ti9hbkhQdE01dk9pQT09

Meeting ID: 854 1041 8896

Passcode: 730013

Join Zoom Meeting by Phone:  929.436.2866

 

Thursday, May 12, 6:30 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting by computer, smartphone or tablet:

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83156897875?pwd=eGlVK21aelQ2bmNSUUc1Zm52c09VQT09

Meeting ID: 831 5689 7875

Passcode: 401750

Join Zoom Meeting by Phone:  929.436.2866

 

If you can't attend a training session, there is information about Whova at www.everydaylives.org by clicking the "Virtual Platform" tab. A video about using Whova will be added to the website soon.

To register for the 2022 Everyday Lives Conference visit www.everydaylives.org 

Quarantine & Isolation Calculator

Two people video chat on a laptop while wearing masksWith guidance from the CDC constantly evolving, it can be hard to stay up to date with the latest information. If you or the people you support are having trouble navigating what to do, The Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) has created a helpful Quarantine and Isolation Calculator

The calculator and accompanying resources aim to help determine how long you need to isolate, quarantine, or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19 if you are exposed or infected. The page provides specific definitions and breaks down different scenarios while providing instructions on what to do in each case. It also provides additional resources to answer some frequently asked questions. 

People with COVID-19 and close contacts should follow the recommendations outlined by the calculator. These recommendations do not change based on COVID-19 community levels.

Please send any suggestions or questions related to this article or requests for additional resources to RA-basprovidersupprt@pa.gov.

 

 

Employment Forum Meeting 

Closeup of a person sitting at a laptop at a table.The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) invites you to join an employment forum on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, from 3 to 4 p.m. for a discussion with Dr. Houtenville, Research Director, Institute on Disability University of New Hampshire, and Marguerite Peashock, Program Specialist,  Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs Southeast Region Office.  They will present employment data over the past year from a National, State, and local level.

To register, click the link here: https://networksfortraining.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUlcOGvrjsqHNbGzJ4MIM6pbpVlAjfvhLmb

For more information, email Christopher.Florence@phila.gov.

Don't forget to register! 2022 Virtual Everyday Lives Conference

The Everyday Lives logo with that text in cursive scriptAn Everyday Life in a Changing World: A Focus on Wellness and Resilience 

Have you registered yet? Registration is now open for the 2022 Virtual Everyday Lives Conference starting on May 17th and ending on June 16th. Weekly one-to-two day conference tracks will occur throughout the month.

The Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs invites you to register for the conference! The Everyday Lives Conference seeks to provide valuable information to Individuals with an intellectual disability and/or autism, their families, and support professionals to help empower individuals to live their ideal everyday lives. 

 

Registration

The conference is free for individuals and families, and $50 for professionals. Registration allows access to all virtual conference sessions. To register online visit https://everydaylives.org/ and click on the Registration tab. Or, you can mail in your registration using the form attached.


Conference Lineup

The conference lineup, including presenters and presentation topics, is now available to view at https://everydaylives.org/ under the Schedule tab.

Conference Dates and Tracks

  • May 17, 2022
    Communication and Connection

     
  • May 24 - May 25, 2022
    Community of Practice for Supporting Families

    Regional Collaborative Summit
     
  • June 1, 2022
    Supportive Technology

     
  • June 8 - June 9, 2022
    Dual Diagnosis

     
  • June 16, 2022
    Employment

ASD Online Safety Training Needs Survey

A woman sits at a table filling out a formThe Office of Developmental Program (ODP) and the Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training Collaborative (ASERT) want to learn more about the training and resource needs of professionals who support individuals on the autism spectrum in safely navigating virtual platforms (the internet, meeting platforms, and other online spaces).   

Please take a few minutes and complete the ASD Online Safety Training Needs Survey.

The data collected from this survey will be used by ODP to inform training and resource development.       

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact ASERT at info@paautism.org.    

NoteThis survey is anonymous and any contact information that you provide will be kept separately from your survey responses.   

Please send any suggestions or questions related to this article or requests for additional resources to RA-basprovidersupprt@pa.gov

New Episode of A Supporter's Toolbox

Quality of Life: Do Something About It

The MyODP Podcast logo containing that text in lowercase font Next to a microphone in a square blue borderA new episode of A Supporter's Toolbox is now available! The ODP Podcast is an audio series on a dedicated topic with a targeted audience in mind. Each podcast in our first series, A Supporter's Toolbox, has a duration of 7-10 minutes and focuses on getting tools to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and other supporters. Each episode is informative and personally and professionally engaging. Capitalizing on the micro-learning concept in adult learning best practices, this first series will offer information in a short and readily digital format.

Quality of Life: Do Something About It

We throw the words "quality of life" around a lot in our field. We will talk about putting those words, or this concept, into action through small everyday changes and through understanding happiness behaviors.  

Please note that some early episodes will now be temporarily unavailable on streaming platforms. All episodes will still be available to listen to on MyODP.org.

In A Supporter's Toolbox, Dr. Stacy Nonnemacher translates what we know about natural human experiences and the world of behavioral science into strategies, tips, and interventions for supporters. Families, direct support professionals, and other supporters are encouraged to follow this podcast to gain additional tools to use tomorrow and beyond as you strive to provide the best supports to people with disabilities. Join us each week for a fun and engaging discussion on how to best care for yourself and those you support.

The ODP Podcast is available on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Spotify.

Pennsylvania Career Guide

Two people shaking hands across a meeting tableThe Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry recently release the 26th edition of the Pennsylvania Career Guide. Whether you are a student, an educator, a first-time jobseeker, a parent, or a person considering a career change, you will find that the Pennsylvania Career Guide is a valuable resource as you make those all-important career decisions.

Information in this publication can be used by all individuals who are preparing for continuing education and/or entrance into the workforce. Examples of the useful information that are found in this guide include career outlook highlights, an interest assessment tool, tips for marketing yourself, sources of financial aid, and contact information for many Commonwealth services, including PA CareerLink® locations and select state agencies.

An online version of the publication can be viewed by selecting the link below. To find out how to obtain printed copies or if you have any questions, contact CWIA via email at workforceinfo@pa.gov or by phone at 1-877-493-3282.

 

 

 

The Arc of Pennsylvania Customized Employment Job Development

The Arc of PA logoDaily online Zoom meeting May 18-20, 2022 
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

The Arc of Pennsylvania invites you to join its Customized Employment Job Development Program Attendees will learn how to develop an employer-focused approach to negotiating customized job descriptions on behalf of individuals with disabilities. Participants seeking certification are expected to commit approximately 40 hours of fieldwork with/on behalf of a learning partner under the guidance of Marc Gold & Associates (MGA) over the course of 4 months. This is the pre-requisite training to complete certification through MGA. *Certification in Discovery is a pre-requisite for seeking certification in Job Development.

Where: This training will be done completely online. Registrants must have a computer or laptop with a webcam.  The training will use Zoom to host the conference. Registrants will not be able to join by phone.

Who is this for: Parents and Families, Job coaches and Job Developers, Supports Coordinators, School Personnel involved in Student Planning, OVR Counselors, and Transition Coordinators

Please review the attachment for registration information and course system requirements

For questions, please email Anthony Chan at achan@includemepa.org.

Butler County Disability Summit

Banner - Special Needs ConsortiumThe Special Needs Consortium in partnership with The Institute for Nonprofit Resources at Slippery Rock University recently introduced their inaugural Butler County Disability Summit. Informative session topics include financial and estate planning, transition, IEPs, autism and law enforcement, and advocacy. Other activities include a resource Vendor Fair with transition service providers, post-secondary education organizations, advocacy & support groups, and employment opportunities. The summit will provide information for parents and adult individuals with special needs as well as social workers, therapists, educators and human service professionals, among others, who have or work with individuals with special needs. 

Follow the link below to register or learn more.  

https://sncdisabilitysummit.eventbrite.com

AASPIRE Healthcare Toolkit

game tiles reading HealthcareWe wanted to highlight a fantastic resource, the AASPIRE Healthcare Toolkit.  This website has information and worksheets for adults on the autism spectrum, supporters, and healthcare providers. It focuses on primary healthcare or healthcare with a regular doctor.

The resources on this site are meant to improve the healthcare of autistic adults. They were developed by the Academic-Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE) through a series of research studies funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. AASPIRE hopes that you will find these resources helpful.

The resources are broken down by role. The section for Patients and Supporters includes resources on:

The section for Healthcare Providers includes information on:

 Please send any suggestions or questions related to this article or requests for additional resources to RA-basprovidersupprt@pa.gov

April is Autism Acceptance Month

The seal of the Office of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania reading those words around a picture of two horses all in goldApril marks National Autism Acceptance Month. To recognize the annual awareness campaign, Governor Tom Wolf recently signed a proclamation that highlights the challenges people with autism face as well as Pennsylvania's commitment to meeting the needs of people with autism and their families. In the proclamation, which can be read at this link, the Wolf administration recognizes the prevalence of autism regardless of race, religion, and socio-economic status. Across the CDC surveillance sites, an average of 1 in every 54 (1.9%) 8-year-old children were identified as having ASD in 2016. 

Wolf goes on to highlight Pennsylvania initiatives that help meet the needs of people with autism and their families:

"WHEREAS, individuals with autism benefit from specialized services and community support to ensure their health and safety and full participation in community life; and

WHEREAS, individuals with autism, families, professionals, and community members are supported through connections with others and the sharing of resources, including through access to ASERT initiatives such as the Statewide Resource Center, and #ASDNext; and

WHEREAS, the resilience of families and individuals with autism is strengthened through support; and

WHEREAS, we value what is important to people with autism and their families, who are striving to live everyday lives; and

WHEREAS, positive outcomes increase for individuals with autism when training is provided to professionals across all systems, including those in justice, healthcare, and emergency response settings"

The proclamation ends by stating the importance of Autism Acceptance Month in recognizing the diverse nature and abilities of people with autism, and that Pennsylvania is committed to supporting individuals with autism so that they may realize their everyday lives. Read the rest of the proclamation at this link.

 

April Communication Corner - Echolalia

Communication Corner Logo with those words and two head profiles with a maze connecting themThe latest edition of Communication Corner is now available! Communication Corner is a monthly publication from the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations that focuses on communication skills for support professionals.

The April edition focuses on Echolalia You may have heard of echolalia before and wondered what it was or what it meant.  Echolalia is the repetition of words or the echoing of words and sounds.  It is a neurotypical developmental process up until about the age of 3.  Think of that word you said that your toddler repeated over and over…that’s echolalia.  However, once this occurs after the age of 3, it may be a sign of something more.

Read the latest issue of Communication Corner at the following link: https://www.myodp.org/mod/page/view.php?id=29397

ARPA Supplemental Payment Q&A Webinar Now Available

American Rescue Plan Act logoThe ODP Webinar held on April 4, 2022 titled "ARPA - Supplemental Payment to Address Staff Training, Credentialing, and Business Associates Programs for Employment Q&A" is now available to view on MyODP. The webinar and accompanying slides can be found at the following link: https://www.myodp.org/course/view.php?id=1913

CDC Booster Recommendation Update

Illustration of two vaccine vials The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that all eligible adults, adolescents, and children 5 and older be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting an initial booster when eligible.

On 3/29/2021, the CDC had updated its recommendations to allow individuals with moderate to severe immunocompromise as well as people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19.

It was also announced that adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

These updated recommendations acknowledge the increased risk of severe disease in certain populations including those who are elderly or over the age of 50 with multiple underlying conditions, along with the currently available data on vaccine and booster effectiveness.

The CDC link How Do I Find a COVID-19 Vaccine? | CDC  offers additional guidance to locate a COVID-19 vaccine provider.

US Department of Justice Issues Web Accessibility Guidance Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA - Americans with Disabilities ActThe Department of Justice recently published guidance on web accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It explains how state and local governments (entities covered by ADA Title II) and businesses open to the public (entities covered by ADA Title III) can make sure their websites are accessible to people with disabilities in line with the ADA’s requirements.

The guidance discusses a range of topics, including the importance of web accessibility, barriers that inaccessible websites create for some people with disabilities, when the ADA requires web content to be accessible, tips on making web content accessible and other information and resources. The guidance offers plain language and user-friendly explanations to ensure that it can be followed by people without a legal or technical background.

“We have heard the calls from the public on the need for more guidance on web accessibility, particularly as our economy and society become increasingly digitized,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This guidance will assist the public in understanding how to ensure that websites are accessible to people with disabilities. People with disabilities deserve to have an equal opportunity to access the services, goods and programs provided by government and businesses, including when offered or communicated through websites.”

Finally, the guidance reviews the department’s ongoing work to advance website accessibility for people with disabilities through statements of interest and enforcement matters. For example, the department recently entered into numerous settlements with businesses — including Hy-Vee, Inc.The Kroger Co.Meijer, Inc., and  Rite Aid Corporation to ensure that websites for scheduling vaccine appointments are accessible. 

To learn more about the department’s disability rights work, please visit www.ADA.gov.

View full guidance.

New Episode of A Supporter's Toolbox

Stay on Track By Setting Goals

The MyODP Podcast logo containing that text in lowercase font Next to a microphone in a square blue borderA new episode of A Supporter's Toolbox is now available! The ODP Podcast is an audio series on a dedicated topic with a targeted audience in mind. Each podcast in our first series, A Supporter's Toolbox, has a duration of 7-10 minutes and focuses on getting tools to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and other supporters. Each episode is informative and personally and professionally engaging. Capitalizing on the micro-learning concept in adult learning best practices, this first series will offer information in a short and readily digital format.

Stay on Track By Setting Goals

We all set goals for ourselves – it’s a natural human experience. We will talk about the benefits of goals and how to support someone to set goals that motivate them and keep them on track.

Please note that some early episodes will now be temporarily unavailable on streaming platforms. All episodes will still be available to listen to on MyODP.org.

In A Supporter's Toolbox, Dr. Stacy Nonnemacher translates what we know about natural human experiences and the world of behavioral science into strategies, tips, and interventions for supporters. Families, direct support professionals, and other supporters are encouraged to follow this podcast to gain additional tools to use tomorrow and beyond as you strive to provide the best supports to people with disabilities. Join us each week for a fun and engaging discussion on how to best care for yourself and those you support.

The ODP Podcast is available on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Spotify.

2022 ASD Virtual Seminar

Positive Behavioral Supports: Meaningful, Everyday Application

An illustration of five hands of different color clasping each others forearm in a circle

The 2022 ASD Virtual Seminar series, Positive Behavioral Supports: Meaningful, Everyday Application, begins on April 6th. There is still time to register!

We are always looking for better ways to support someone to achieve the quality of life they desire. This requires a social, behavioral, and biological understanding of that person. Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) is an empirically documented, person-centered approach that can be used in day-to-day supports for all people across all systems. For those of you who are not familiar with PBS, we will provide an overview of this framework sharing examples and ways that this has been implemented. For those of you who have a general understanding of the essential elements of PBS, we will provide you with tools and ways to infuse PBS into your programs and supports to strengthen your focus on supporting a positive quality of life.

Please join us on one of the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday, April 6, 2022, from 12:30 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Thursday, April 7, 2022, from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022, from 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday, April 21, 2022, from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Tuesday, April 26, 2022, from 11:00 – 3:00 PM

To register for a session, you must follow these steps:

  1. Click on the link below and log-in to MyODP or create a new account.
  2. Complete and submit the Spring 2022 ASD Seminar Demographics Form.
  3. Return to the main course page to register directly through Zoom.

To register: https://www.myodp.org/course/view.php?id=1942.

Notes:

  • You will receive an email confirmation of your registration directly from ASERT Collaborative no-reply@zoom.us when you complete all steps mentioned above.
  • Content is repeated for all five dates so you only need to register for one session.

ASD Acceptance Month: Hear a Spectrum of Voices & Views

A woman sits at a laptop computer taking notes on a notepadASERT invites to you join a series of panel discussions throughout April in celebration of Autism Acceptance Month to hear a spectrum of voices and views on what neurodiversity means in 2022. 

  • Self-Advocate Panel: April 4, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Families Panel: April 11, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
  • Educators Panel: April 18, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Please see the attached flyer for more information on each session. 

Register for the panels using the link below:
https://drexel.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_frXnTVlrT5-apQGE4ntN3w

 

Summer Academy for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing 

A birdseye view of a desk with a computer on itThe Summer Academy is a two-week program for high school students who are deaf or hard of hearing and preparing for entry into post-secondary education leading to competitive integrated employment. 

Held in-person at the Commonwealth Technical Institute (CTI) at the Hiram G. Andrews Center (HGAC) in Johnstown, PA, the program is available to students who are Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) service recipients, and who are deaf or hard of hearing and enrolled in grades 10 through 12 in Pennsylvania. 

The program is offered by the PA Department of Labor & Industry, OVR’s Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (BVRS), in partnership with the PA Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education’s Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) and the PA Department of Labor and Industry’s Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) and CTI at HGAC. 

During the program, staff from BVRS, CTI at HGAC, PaTTAN and ODHH provide professional instruction and classes in the following areas: 

  • Assistive Technology to develop and strengthen independent living skills. 
  • Communication and Audiology to enhance necessary independent communication skills. 
  • Vocational Counseling and Career Exploration services to help define students’ vocational direction and provide opportunities for students to interact with successfully employed people who are deaf or hard of hearing. 
  • Social Work services to enhance students’ social skills and provide emotional support. 
  • Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination skills to develop and enhance each student’s ability to advocate for appropriate reasonable accommodations in the classroom. 

Apply today 

Bt visiting the following: Summer Academy application https://bit.ly/3r5vmYP.

New Episode of A Supporter's Toolbox

The MyODP Podcast logo containing that text in lowercase font Next to a microphone in a square blue borderA new episode of A Supporter's Toolbox is now available! The ODP Podcast is an audio series on a dedicated topic with a targeted audience in mind. Each podcast in our first series, A Supporter's Toolbox, has a duration of 7-10 minutes and focuses on getting tools to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and other supporters. Each episode is informative and personally and professionally engaging. Capitalizing on the micro-learning concept in adult learning best practices, this first series will offer information in a short and readily digital format.

Go With the Flow

Finding something that puts us in a state of flow or a state where one is fully immersed and enjoying an activity helps us minimize unpleasant things in our lives, makes us more productive, and generally makes us happier. We will talk about how we can support someone to intentionally find more flow in their lives.

Please note that some early episodes will now be temporarily unavailable on streaming platforms. All episodes will still be available to listen to on MyODP.org.

In A Supporter's Toolbox, Dr. Stacy Nonnemacher translates what we know about natural human experiences and the world of behavioral science into strategies, tips, and interventions for supporters. Families, direct support professionals, and other supporters are encouraged to follow this podcast to gain additional tools to use tomorrow and beyond as you strive to provide the best supports to people with disabilities. Join us each week for a fun and engaging discussion on how to best care for yourself and those you support.

The ODP Podcast is available on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Spotify.

Charting The Lifecourse Showcase

The Charting the Lifecourse Showcase banner The national Charting the Lifecourse (CtCL) Nexus will be hosting its sixth annual showcase on April 13 and 14, 2022. The event will take place in Kansas City, Missouri and a virtual attendance option is available. The CtLC Showcase is for people who use the framework to enhance person-centered practices in multiple roles and specialties.

Several tracks are available for different audiences including:

  • Self-Advocacy and Family Leadership
  • Education
  • Employment and Meaningful Day
  • Person Centered Planning
  • Front Door Supports
  • Direct Service Providers

The Charting the Lifecourse Nexus encourages you to be a part of the ever-expanding network of advocates, family leaders, professionals, and influencers in celebrating all our achievements in supporting person-centered practices for all people. Register for the Charting the Lifecourse Showcase.

Disability Awareness Month in Pennsylvania

A close up on a hand signing the bottom of a document. Photo used courtesy of pexels.com.Governor Wolf's office recently signed an official proclamation establishing March 2022 as Developmental Disability Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth's commitment to serving individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism is relayed through the proclamation in which Governor Wolf outlines specific ODP initiatives. Some of the initiatives included in the proclamation are racial equity, supporting families, and competitive integrated employment, many of which are initiatives that will be discussed during the Everyday Lives 2022 Virtual Conference this coming May into June. Read the proclamation here.

How to Get a Better Night's Sleep

A pug sleeps on the foot of a bed with a woman sleeping in the background under the coversSleep is so important to our overall wellbeing, but we often don’t realize when sleep troubles may be affecting the waking parts of life. If you or the person you support wake up feeling tired, chances are you are not getting enough sleep.  Looking for resources on sleep? This guide from the New York Times is a great source for learning how to get a better night’s sleep and why it is so important. The guide includes explanations and resources aimed at individualizing your sleep needs.   Please share this with anyone you support who may benefit.

Please send any suggestions or questions related to this article or requests for additional resources to RA-basprovidersupprt@pa.gov.

 

Save the Date - 2022 ASD Virtual Seminar

illustration of different colored hands holding onto each others wrists in a circlePositive Behavioral Supports: Meaningful, Everyday Application

We are always looking for better ways to support someone to achieve the quality of life they desire. This requires a social, behavioral, and biological understanding of that person. Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) is an empirically documented, person-centered approach that can be used in day-to-day supports for all people across all systems. For those of you who are not familiar with PBS, we will provide an overview of this framework sharing examples and ways that this has been implemented. For those of you who have a general understanding of the essential elements of PBS, we will provide you with tools and ways to infuse PBS into your programs and supports to strengthen your focus on supporting a positive quality of life.   

Please join us on one of the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday, April 6, 2022, from 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Thursday, April 7, 2022, from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM 
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022, from 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM 
  • Thursday, April 21, 2022, from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM 
  • Tuesday, April 26, 2022, from 11:00 – 3:00 PM

Registration information will be released in the near future.

DHS Adult Protective Services Media Toolkit

A woman holds a phone with the text stop abuse aboveThe Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Adult Protective Services (APS) has developed a media toolkit designed for facilities, mandatory reporters, and community members to assist in the awareness of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and abandonment of adults ages 18 to 59 living with a disability within the commonwealth. 

Stakeholders can access the APS media toolkit and associated resources at the following link:

The toolkit includes posters, brochures, information cards, and social media posts that can be downloaded and used by all interested stakeholders. As part of this awareness campaign, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is scheduled to share social media posts in February and March. Stakeholders are encouraged to post, print, and share these resources in their locations, networks, and with individuals and families.

For more information about the APS, please use the following link:

2022 Virtual Everyday Lives Conference - Save the Date!

The Everyday Lives logo with that text in cursive scriptThe Office of Developmental Programs invites you to save the date for the 2022 Virtual Everyday Lives Conference. The Everyday Lives Conference is a statewide event that presents pertinent information to individuals with a disability and/or autism, their families, and the professionals that support them in an effort to empower individuals to live their ideal everyday life. This year's theme is An Everyday Life in a Changing World: A Focus on Wellness and Resilience. Conference tracks and dates are as follows:

 

May 17, 2022

Communication and Connection

 

May 24 - May 25, 2022

Community of Practice for Supporting Families

Regional Collaborative Summit

 

June 1, 2022

Assistive Technology

 

June 8 - June 9, 2022

Dual Diagnosis

 

June 16, 2022

Employment

Please share the attached flyer with your networks. Technology support for attending the conference will be made available to those who need it. 

DOJ Guidance on Visitation in Medical Facilities and Accessibility of Outdoor Retail/Dining

Empty tables for two topped with plants on the sidewalkOn January 5, the Department of Justice updated its “Common Questions About COVID and the ADA” to address visitation in medical facilities and accessibility of outdoor dining and retail spaces. 

The guidance clarifies that the ADA requires medical facilities to allow visitors if they are needed to ensure equal access to care for people with disabilities and provides examples of situations to which this requirement may apply. It also clarifies that outdoor retail and dining spaces (sometimes called “streateries”) must be accessible to people with disabilities and provides examples of how those establishments and local governments can ensure accessibility.  

Call for Proposals for the 2022 PA Community of Practice Transition Conference

Logo - PA Secondary TransitionThe 2022 PA Community of Practice Conference planning team is requesting proposals to present at the 2022 PA Community of Practice Transition Conference on August 10-11, 2022.

This year's theme, Mission Possible: Transitioning into the Future, provides us the opportunity to come together as a community to discuss effective practices as we prepare our youth and those supporting them to be change agents for the future. The conference committee is requesting proposals from interested persons who are able to connect their topic to one or more of the 9 Quality Indicators of Transition Discoveries. All presenters are expected to present in-person at the Penn Stater and offer sessions that will engage virtual and in-person audience members.

 

General Guidelines for Submission

Proposals must be submitted via online application at https://fs25.formsite.com/3fHiZQ/3hr0lmi8au/index.html

All proposals must support post-school outcomes and align with a conference strand. Submission Deadline – February 28, 2022.


Required Information for Session Proposals

  • Title of Presentation (100 characters or less)
  • Narrative Description of Session (300-500 words)
  • Session Abstract (50 words or less)
  • Alignment with Conference Strand
  • Name, Email, Employer, Title/Role of Presenters

Completed proposals must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Monday, February 28, 2022For questions regarding the conference and/or proposal submission, please contact Kim Cole, kcole@pattan.net.

December Communication Corner - What Did You Say?

Communication Corner Logo with those words and two head profiles with a maze connecting themThe latest edition of Communication Corner is now available! Communication Corner is a monthly publication from the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations that focuses on communication skills for support professionals.

The January 2022 issue focuses on techniques for a supporter to recognize different communication styles. Clarification can be the easiest tool to wield in a situation where we're unsure of an individual's intent. 

Read the latest issue of Communication Corner at the following link: https://www.myodp.org/mod/page/view.php?id=29397

TRAIN Recruitment

AIDinPA TRAIN - Trauma Recovery for Autistic, Intellectually Disabled, and Neurodiverse IndividualsIndividuals with intellectual disabilities and/or autism are at an increased risk of experiencing trauma, which requires a response from a well-trained workforce. To help clinicians better identify and address symptoms of trauma, the ASERT team created TRAIN, Trauma Recovery for Autistic, Intellectually Disabled, and Neurodiverse Individuals. TRAIN is a 12-week program of self-guided learning and live webinars to equip clinicians across Pennsylvania currently working with ID/A populations with the skills to support clients through traumatic experiences. 

Clinicians interested in participating in the spring cohort, beginning in March, are to email AIDinPennsylvania@gmail.com with their intent. Selected participants will have direct supervision from psychologists with backgrounds in both trauma and ID/A and interactive discussions with fellow participants, as well as receive Continuing Education (CE) credits provided through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) upon completion of the program. 

Help with ordering free at-home COVID-19 tests

A person sitting at a table with a rapid test in front of them.On January 14, the White House announced a new initiative to help ensure Americans have COVID-19 tests on hand in case they are needed. The website to order at-home testing kits - at no cost - is now live and accepting orders. People who do not have Internet access or who need additional assistance with ordering can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to place their orders. 

The Eldercare Locator and the Disability Information and Assistance Line (DIAL) also can assist older adults and people with disabilities with placing orders if they need additional help, connect people to accessible instructions, and help with administering the tests. Both phone lines are staffed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern). 

  • Older adults can call the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116 Monday-Friday or visit the website to chat live or browse resources.  
  • People with disabilities can contact DIAL by calling 888-677-1199 or by emailing DIAL@usaginganddisability.org. The DIAL information specialists are trained to work with people of various communications abilities, including spending as much time as needed to understand callers. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people can reach DIAL using the 711/Video Relay Service (VRS). To use this free service, simply dial 711 to be connected via text with a communications assistant. (For people who do not communicate through speech, sign language or VRS, email is the best option to communicate with DIAL.)

Two important notes:

  • There are enough kits to fill orders for every residential address in the country. 
  • Orders will begin shipping at the end of January, for both people who placed their orders via the online form in the days when only the online form was available and those who began ordering when the phone lines became available.

ODP Training Needs Survey

A close up of a woman completing a survey on a clipboardTo better support professionals assisting individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), and the Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training Collaborative (ASERT) want to learn more about the training needs of professionals related to the implementation of Positive Behavioral Supports. ODP is asking stakeholders to voluntarily fill out the survey at the following link: TRAINING NEEDS SURVEY

This survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Please complete this survey by February 11th, 2022. The data collected from this survey will be used by ODP to inform trainings that reflect the needs of provider and professional organizations throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact ASERT at info@paautism.org. If you are having trouble with the link, please try right-clicking the link, select “Copy Hyperlink” and paste the link into your browser.

Note: This survey is anonymous and any contact information that you provide will be kept separate from your survey responses.

CDC's "Your Guide to Masks" 

A woman affixing a mask on her faceWith the continued surge of the Omnicron variant of COVID-19, we wanted to share the most recent CDC Guide to Masks. This guide includes some helpful visuals that may benefit you and the people you support. 

 

Use of Remote Supports in Residential Settings Webinar

A man sitting at a computer on a kitchen tableThe ODP webinar held on Tuesday, January 18 titled Use of Remote Supports in Residential Settings and accompanying resources can now be found on my ODP. 

Follow this link to view the webinar and resources: https://www.myodp.org/course/view.php?id=1927

New Episode of A Supporter's Toolbox

The MyODP Podcast logo containing that text in lowercase font Next to a microphone in a square blue borderIf you haven't already heard the MyODP Podcast, ODP encourages you to enjoy this capacity-building effort. The ODP Podcast is an audio series on a dedicated topic with a targeted audience in mind. Each podcast in our first series, A Supporter's Toolbox, has a duration of 7-10 minutes and focuses on getting tools to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and other supporters. Each episode is informative and personally and professionally engaging. Capitalizing on the micro-learning concept in adult learning best practices, this first series will offer information in a short and readily digital format.

The Right to be Wrong (and Eat Too Many Doughnuts)

How do we balance keeping someone safe and protecting their autonomy while experiencing the consequences of their choices? We will talk about helping someone learn to make good choices while acknowledging they may fail or be wrong.

Please note that some early episodes will now be temporarily unavailable on streaming platforms. All episodes will still be available to listen to on MyODP.org.

In A Supporter's Toolbox, Dr. Stacy Nonnemacher translates what we know about natural human experiences and the world of behavioral science into strategies, tips, and interventions for supporters. Families, direct support professionals, and other supporters are encouraged to follow this podcast to gain additional tools to use tomorrow and beyond as you strive to provide the best supports to people with disabilities. Join us each week for a fun and engaging discussion on how to best care for yourself and those you support.

The ODP Podcast is available on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Spotify.

The Arc of Pennsylvania Discovery Training

The Arc of PA logoThe Arc of Pennsylvania invites families and professionals to register for its Discovery Training. The Arc Discovery Training offers a comprehensive overview of Discovery (an alternative to traditional vocational assessments) and instruction on facilitating the Discovery process.

For those seeking to become certified providers of Discovery through Marc Gold and Associates, it is the pre-requisite face-to-face training to complete certification. Individuals not seeking certification will gain valuable information and insight, and may attend as auditors of the course. 

This Course is For:

  • Job Coaches and Job Developers
  • Supports Coordinators
  • Parents and Families
  • OVR Counselors
  • Transition Coordinators
  • School Transition Teams

See the attached flyer for more information. To register, visit thearcpa.org/ce-training and complete the online registration form for Discovery. For questions, contact Jen Hipps at jhipps@includemepa.org.

A Pennsylvania Gathering: Critical Topics in Autism

ASERT LogoInterested in hearing the stories from others about communication, advocacy, and maintaining connections? ASERT will continue their Critical Topics in Autism series led by self-advocates on January 20, 2022 from 3:30 to 4:30 PM. The topic for this gathering will be Advice to My Younger Self: How to Say Yay, Nay, and “All That Stuff”. Be a part of the discussion with parents, siblings, and autistic individuals sharing their experience with relationships, social lives, communication, and more.

The PA Gathering: Critical Topics in Autism are virtual events featuring people with lived experience and other experts with an opportunity for audience Q&A. The outcomes of the PA Gatherings are to increase knowledge and awareness of resources about issues that are important to the autism community.

Audience
■ People living with autism
■ Families living with autism
■ Providers
■ Professionals
■ Autism organizations

Visit the ASERT website to register.

Wolf Administration Announces New Support for Long-Term Care Facilities

Governor's office sealThe Wolf Administration today announced a new initiative to help long-term care facilities respond to COVID-19 and improve resiliency.

The Long-Term Care Resiliency, Infrastructure Supports, and Empowerment program (LTC RISE) gives long-term care facilities the support they need to battle COVID-19, recover, and rebuild.

“The challenges of caring for our most vulnerable populations in a congregate setting while managing the threat of COVID-19 creates extremely challenging and stressful circumstances,” Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter said. “While we are grateful for the efforts of those on the front lines in long-term care facilities, they need more than our gratitude.”

A federal grant provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is funding the LTC RISE initiative which began operation on Jan. 1, 2022, replacing the Regional Congregate Care Assistance Teams (RCATs), whose contract expired Dec. 31, 2021.

“Our long-term care facilities provide a caring home for some of our most vulnerable loved ones. As they continue to work through the ongoing public health threat, we must sustain resources that have helped facility leadership, staff, and residents maintain safe operations,” said Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “We are committed to supporting our long-term care facilities through what lies ahead, and LTC RISE will continue the infrastructure that makes prevention and effective response to health risks in long-term care facilities like COVID-19 possible.”

With LTC RISE, long-term care facilities, which include skilled nursing facilities licensed by the Department of Health (DOH) along with personal care homes, assisted living residences and other facilities licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS), may take advantage of improvement project opportunities in the following areas:

  • Implementing infection prevention and control and emergency preparedness best practices to enhance delivery of resident-centered care,

  • Building a sustainable outbreak response operation construct that meets the facility’s needs, and

  • Promoting professional development and a resilient long-term care facility workforce.

    “Long-term care facilities face unique challenges during a disease outbreak,” said Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield. “Providing a wide range of support options that meet their needs allows them the flexibility to support their staff and clients in a way that makes sense for each facility.”

LTC RISE will continue to offer the following RCAT prevention and response support to LTC RISE-eligible facilities:

  • A dedicated phone line with 24/7 access, including designated office hours, for inquiries, consultations, and follow-up calls from long-term care facilities, and

  • Consultation and technical assistance, assessment and feedback, training, and incident management coaching.

In addition, facilities are encouraged to procure resources independently through the commercial market as part of their sustainable outbreak operations, however, when barriers or limitations exist, testing support, PPE, and staff augmentation remain available from the commonwealth.

“The public health crises of both dementia and COVID-19 make actions like the LTC RISE initiative all the more necessary in ensuring residents in long-term care facilities remain safe, healthy and protected, especially since nearly half are living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia,” said Jen Ebersole, Director of State Government Affairs for the Alzheimer’s Association. “Continued collaboration among state government entities, advocacy organizations, health care providers, and many others in the commonwealth, has the potential to significantly and positively impact the lives of those living with dementia and we look forward to being part of these discussions moving forward.”

The LTC RISE program is a partnership among DOH, DHS, PEMA and the following healthcare organizations that have established partnerships covering six regions across Pennsylvania to support preventive and emergent assistance for LTCFs:

    • Penn Medicine in partnership with Temple Health

    • The Pennsylvania State University

    • LECOM Health

    • AMI Expeditionary Healthcare

More information about the LTC RISE imitative is available online

Operation Expanded Testing (OpET) 

A person holds a negative COVID-19 rapid test in the foreground. COVID-19 testing is an essential activity that increases safety for congregate care settings as part of a comprehensive mitigation strategy. Operation Expanded Testing (OET) is a federal testing resource that may be useful to your organization. Please see the attached presentation slides for more detailed information. Providers wishing to use OET as a resource should coordinate directly with Eurofins. 

 

OpET at a Glance

  • No contract is needed for participation in OET.
  • No charge.  OET is 100% funded through the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
  • No exclusivity. The organization can end testing at any time for any reason.
  • All supplies are sent to testing location two (2) weeks in advance at no charge.
  • All training is supplied at no charge.
  • No charge for courier services; Eurofins will coordinate specimen pickup and supply delivery.
  • No waiting to get another sample; Auto retesting (reflex) if PCR pooled group is found to be positive.
  • No cost rapid testing. When used in conjunction with PCR pooled testing program antigen testing is available for program options.
  • 24-Hour results turnaround (TAT) for PCR testing.
  • Reporting is fully automated and HIPAA compliant using Concentric by Ginkgo.
  • Testing flexibility - facility can determine their own testing frequency; specific PCR pooled groups of 5-24 samples at a time.  
  • Staff can participate in the OET program.

 

If you wish to enroll or have questions related to Operation Expanded Testing please contact Eurofins:

 

Questions related to this communication should be directed to RA-PWODPEMRGNCYRSPRQ@pa.gov

 

 

NOTICE: This confidential message/attachment contains information intended for a specific individual(s) and purpose. Any inappropriate use, distribution or copying is strictly prohibited. If received in error, notify the sender and immediately delete the message.

New Episode of A Supporter's Toolbox

The MyODP Podcast logo containing that text in lowercase font Next to a microphone in a square blue borderIf you haven't already heard the MyODP Podcast, ODP encourages you to enjoy this capacity-building effort. The ODP Podcast is an audio series on a dedicated topic with a targeted audience in mind. Each podcast in our first series, A Supporter's Toolbox, has a duration of 7-10 minutes and focuses on getting tools to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and other supporters. Each episode is informative and personally and professionally engaging. Capitalizing on the micro-learning concept in adult learning best practices, this first series will offer information in a short and readily digital format.

Being Connected: An Alternative to Worry

Uncertainty, worry, stress, and anxiety make our brains do crazy things. We will talk about how being connected and having a purpose outside ourselves can change that.

Please note that some early episodes will now be temporarily unavailable on streaming platforms. All episodes will still be available to listen to on MyODP.org.

In A Supporter's Toolbox, Dr. Stacy Nonnemacher translates what we know about natural human experiences and the world of behavioral science into strategies, tips, and interventions for supporters. Families, direct support professionals, and other supporters are encouraged to follow this podcast to gain additional tools to use tomorrow and beyond as you strive to provide the best supports to people with disabilities. Join us each week for a fun and engaging discussion on how to best care for yourself and those you support.

The ODP Podcast is available on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Spotify.

PA Unites Against COVID - Stopping the Spread of Omicron

PA Unites against COVIDHere's a reminder from the Office of Administration and PA Unites Against COVID:

With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly, it is important that we all continue to take steps to protect ourselves and others. They include:

  • Getting vaccinated - COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death.
  • Getting boosted - A booster dose of vaccine can substantially increase your level of protection against the virus.
  • Wearing a mask - It's a good idea to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Getting tested - If you test positive, you should isolate and inform your close contacts about potential exposure.

Washing your hands frequently, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and maintaining physical distance can also reduce spread. For more tips, visit the PA Department of Health website.

Please send any suggestions or questions related to this article or requests for additional resources to RA-basprovidersupprt@pa.gov

Capacity Building Institute - Application Period Now Open

A close up of one person handing an application to another personODP invites professionals across the service partnership to apply for the Capacity Building Institute. The Capacity Building Institute aims to help professionals gain the skills necessary to support individuals with a dual diagnosis – intellectual disability with co-occurring mental health issues, and challenging behaviors.

Who?

Directed by Gregory Cherpes MD, ODP Medical Director, and Dr. Beth Barol, CBI brings together a select group of professionals to learn with a faculty of national experts and speakers. CBI training is presented by the Co-Directors of the Institute in conjunction with an array of highly experienced practitioners and innovators in the field.

What?

Training topics include overviews of the following selected topics:

  • One-page descriptions
    • Healing lifestyle and social therapy
    • Biographical timelines
    • The impact of trauma
    • Psychotherapeutic interventions, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and biofeedback
    • Psychopharmacology and diagnosis
    • Creative and expressive therapies
    • Functional Behavioral Analysis

Where?

CBI will be held on the Zoom platform. Participants must have access to a computer, camera, and microphone.

When?

The deadline to submit the CBI Year 6 Interest Survey is February 18, 2022. 2022-2023 CBI two-day session dates are as follows:

    • 5/5 and 5/6/22
    • 6/2 and 6/3/22
    • 7/21 and 7/22/22
    • 9/8 and 9/9/22
    • 10/13 and 10/14/22
    • 11/17 and 11/18/22
    • 12/8 and 12/9/22
    • 1/12 and 1/13/23
    • 2/9 and 2/10/23

Why?

Current best practices and supportive models that have shown to be most helpful are sometimes beyond the reach of people who work directly with individuals with a dual diagnosis. CBI addresses these issues from an individual and systemic level through training, integration of knowledge into practice, and opportunities to build a statewide cohort to work together to effect change and build capacity. The participants will share individual best practice experiences leading to recommendations to the Office of Developmental Programs and Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to facilitate a more effective delivery of services across systems.

How?

Whether you are applying as an individual or as part of a County Team, each person must separately complete the CBI Year 6 Interest Survey by 2/18/22 to express interest and confirm their ability to attend all sessions. There are a limited number of spaces available for participants. Separate email notification will be sent out to those people invited to attend the 2022-2023 sessions.

 

For more information please see the attached document, or contact Marlinda Smith at marlsmith@pa.gov

Supports Broker Certification Training Offered

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University LogoThe Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has contracted with the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University to provide a Supports Broker Certification training class.  The training will be offered virtually on January 27 and 28, 2022 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The training provides prospective Supports Brokers with information they need to understand Participant-Directed Services (PDS) and the role the Support Broker plays in helping people be successful in directing their own services.

Guided by principles of self-determination, training participants will gain knowledge and skills necessary to:

  • Enhance natural supports
  • Facilitate person-centered planning
  • Support participants with employer related responsibilities
  • Assist with ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations and rules

To participate in the training, the following requirements must be adhered to:

  • Participants must live in Pennsylvania or a contiguous state
  • Must intend to provide the supports broker service in Pennsylvania
  • Must complete the prerequisite online training modules available on www.myodp.org prior to taking the class

After completion of the virtual classroom training, participants will be granted access to the final test found on your session page. A score of 80% or better must be achieved in order to receive an ODP Supports Broker Certification.

Other considerations

Participants must:

  • Have a computer or tablet and internet connection to participate.  Users connecting via cell phone or landline only will not be admitted.
  • Attend and participate in all virtual sessions in their entirety in order to gain access to the final exam. Material will be provided over 2 full days; attendance on BOTH days is required. Set times for breaks and lunch are built into the schedule.

Registrants should:

  • Familiarize themselves with Zoom prior to the first day of class
  • Block out time to attend class just as you would if class were being held in person
  • Plan to be in a quiet location

You will receive a password protected Zoom Link after you register and a few days prior to class When you register, you are agreeing that you will NOT share this link or password with anyone else.

More on Supports Broker Certification Training on the Institute's website:

disabilities.temple.edu/pds/supports-broker-certification.html.

If you have any questions regarding the online modules or classroom certification registration, please contact Denise Becket, dbecket@temple.edu.