PaTTAN Training Announcement - The Special Education Process for Families

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education is pleased to announce the following webinar opportunity:

The Special Education Process for Families

Date: 3/29/21
Location: Zoom Webinar

Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

There is a lot to know about the process by which children are identified as having a disability and in need of special education and related services. This session will cover the legal basis for special education, questions around parental referrals, and the significance of parental communication among other things to give a big picture of the Special Education Process for families.

Presenter(s): Amira Hill-Yancy and Kim Jenkins

Credit(s): This event is not eligible for credit.

Registration Information:
You may register online by clicking on the name of the event on the Training Events Calendar at:

For content related information and questions, please contact Amira Hill-Yancy, PaTTAN East at 800-441-3215 or

For general registration information and questions, please contact Debra Jordan, PaTTAN East at 800-441-3215, ext 7224 or

PaTTAN Training Announcement - Person Driven Planning for Life after High School - Meeting the Needs of All

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education is pleased to announce the following training opportunity

Person Driven Planning for Life after High School – Meeting the Needs of All
Youth engagement in transition planning is critical to ensuring that students have a voice in the development of their IEP and take an active role in their career development and post-secondary goal planning process. Person Driven Planning (PDP) grew out of a commitment to inclusion as a social goal. Intentionally designed as an inclusive process, PDP is an attempt to ensure that individuals take charge of their plans. This webinar series will explore Person Driven Planning, tools for engaging in the practice, the importance of benefits counseling in the plan development, and promising practices in Pennsylvania.

Why Person Driven Planning? Not About Us Without Us
October 27, 2020 (2:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
Person Driven Planning is based on ensuring that individuals with disabilities not only have a voice in, but also take charge of their own transition planning. During this webinar, components of Person Driven Planning will be discussed. Conversations about why it is so critical to implement for students with disabilities of transition age will also be shared.

Tools for Person Driven Planning
December 15, 2020 (2:00 PM - 3:00 PM)
There are many different tools that can be used in Person Driven Planning. This webinar will review several different tools for IEP teams to consider, including: Life Course Tools; Making Action Plans (MAPS); Planning for Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH); and Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education, and Work (ReNEW). Each tool will be described by a person trained in its use. Presenters will share their experiences and field questions from participants.

Benefits Counseling – Key to the Plan
February 16, 2021 (2:00 PM - 3:00 PM)
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers disability benefits for more than 8.5 million people. Depending on the type of benefits, payments may go to qualifying family members of the disabled person. Webinar participants will learn about the social security eligibility factors, basic information on how to apply for social security, and the information and documents needed to complete the application. Although the SSA offices are currently closed to the public, questions can be answered by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting our site

Empowering Youth in PA - Resources for Self-Determination and Self-Advocacy
April 20, 2021 (2:00 PM - 3:00 PM)
Self-determination and self-advocacy are more than just buzz words; they are critical to post-school success. During this webinar evidenced-based practices and resources for youth, families, and stakeholders to increase youth-centered practices through the introduction of the Transition Discoveries Youth Development Toolkit.

Please register online by visiting the PaTTAN website at

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar, including the Zoom link.

No continuing education credit (Act 48) will be offered. Certificates of Attendance will be available 30 days after each event.

For questions regarding registration, contact:
PaTTAN Pittsburgh – Paula Quinn,, 412-826-6880

For questions regarding content, contact:
PaTTAN Pittsburgh – Hillary Mangis,, 412-826-6878

Capitol Insider: Your Action Needed!

From The Arc:

The Arc's Public Policy  |  Action Center  |  Donate

It's Time for the Senate to Act!


Tell Congress to Include the Disability Community in COVID-19 Relief Bills


Major Events Ahead

Senate Action Needed on Developing A Fourth Coronavirus Package

The Senate must act to pass legislation that includes the critical needs of people with disabilities, their families, and the direct support professional (DSP) workforce in a new coronavirus package. In May, the House passed its fourth coronavirus package, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R.6800), with a vote of 208-199. The Senate will begin negotiations on their fourth coronavirus package when it returns from recess on July 20.

The Arc's priorities for the fourth package include:

  • Increased federal funding for home and community based services (HCBS) under Medicaid
  • Increased access to personal protective equipment (PPE) for DSPs
  • Expanded eligibility for economic impact payments to adult dependents and another round of payments
  • Paid leave eligibility for family caregivers of adults with disabilities, including siblings and grandparents

See The Arc’s July 7 update here. We urge you to contact your Senators here.

Major Recent Events

House Subcommittee Approves FY 2021 L-HHS-Ed Funding Bill

On July 7, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS-ED) approved its funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2021. Most of The Arc’s priority programs received level funding or small increases. Programs receiving significant increases include Lifespan Respite Care Act (63.7%), State Grants to Remove Barriers to Voting (13.4%), and Special Olympics Education Programs (24.5%). Funding levels for The Arc’s priority programs can be found here. The full committee will mark up the bill on July 13.

House Subcommittee Approves FY 2021 T-HUD Funding Bill

On July 8, the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, Urban Development, and Related Agencies approved its funding bill for FY 2021. The bill includes $227 million for Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities, $310 million for Section 811 mainstream vouchers, and an increase in funding for several other affordable housing priorities. Additionally, the bill would prevent some discriminatory actions that would hurt access to affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities and other protected categories. A summary of the bill can be found here. The full committee will mark up the bill on July 14.


Report Shows Most States Are Not Meeting IDEA Obligations

The U.S. Department of Education found that only 21 states deserved the “meets requirements” designation with regard to Part B for the 2018-2019 school year. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia were placed into the “needs assistance” category. Two states were placed in the “needs intervention” category. The findings come from an annual mandatory assessment of state compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The ratings are based on how well states meet their obligations to serve students with disabilities ages 3 to 21.

GAO Releases Report of School Shootings

On July 9, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “Characteristics of School Shootings." As mentioned in the report, the Commission on School Safety recommended rescission of the Education Department’s “Rethink School Discipline” guidance. The report found no empirical research examining the relationship between school discipline and school shootings.

Week of July 13 Is National Disability Voter Registration Week

This week is National Disability Voter Registration Week. The Arc has developed resources in plain language and Spanish including a disability voter guide and other resources. Learn more about exercising your right to vote at and

The Arc

For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.

The Arc of the United States

1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20006

Disability Options Network-Independent Living Coordinator Position

UPDATE: As of September 9th, 2020 the opening at the Penn Hills Office is still available! The Greensburg and New Castle positions have been filled.


OVR: Order of Selection Update

Dear Stakeholders,

As you know all too well, the COVID-19 mitigation efforts have resulted in disruption to our daily lives. However, OVR’s core mission remains the same, and OVR staff are dedicated to partnering with our vendor community and working through the challenges to serve as many individuals as possible. Despite all the uncertainty in the world, the staff at OVR are working tirelessly to provide services virtually to the people that depend on us the most and create employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

OVR is pleased to inform you of positive news regarding customers who are on OVR’s Order of Selection (OOS) wait list. On May 1, 2020, we will begin processing an estimated 4,500 customers off the wait list with priority given to eligible customers who have been on the wait list the longest. We will continuously reevaluate opportunities to move additional cases off the wait list into the future. For additional information, please refer to OVR’s Order of Selection web page.


Shannon Austin
Executive Director, OVR