Pennsylvania State Rep. Frank Ryan sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) addressing his concerns about the state's unnecessarily restrictive policies regarding the types of settings it funds for individuals with disabilities and how these policies are inflicting harm on many people with significant disabilities.
Pennsylvania automatically presumes that all farmsteads, intentional communities and campus settings are isolating and prohibits HCBS waiver funding for services in such settings. Pennsylvania also limits how many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be together at any given time. ODP erroneously claims that such restrictions are necessary in order to comply with the federal Home and Community Based Settings Rule (Settings Rule). However, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which adopted and administers the Settings Rule, has made it clear that farmsteads, campus settings and other intentional communities can comply with the Settings Rule and are not presumed to be isolating. The result of Pennsylvania’s erroneous reading of the Settings Rule is that many Pennsylvania men and women with significant disabilities are being denied access to the services and support they need.
You can read Rep. Ryan's letter by clicking on the file below.
Thank you, Rep. Ryan, for recognizing the widely varying needs and preferences of the disabilities community and for supporting the individual’s right to choose from a wide array of residential and vocational options.
If you live in Pennsylvania and would like to add your voice to this important issue, please contact us.
If your state is imposing unnecessary restrictions that exceed the requirements of the federal Settings Rule and many individuals with significant disabilities are being denied access to the services and support they need, please contact us.
We are stronger together.
Ashley Kim Weiss