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1/29/2014

Governor Corbett Tours Community Center, Announces $22.4 Million Proposal to Reduce Waiting List for Intellectual Disabilities Services

News for Immediate Release

Jan. 29, 2014

Governor Corbett Tours Community Center, Announces $22.4 Million Proposal to Reduce Waiting List for Intellectual Disabilities Services

Philadelphia – Governor Tom Corbett today previewed a 2014-15 budget proposal that will increase funding by $22.4 million, allowing approximately 1,100 additional Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities to receive home and community-based services.

Corbett made the announcement following a tour of Salvation Army’s Kroc Center of Philadelphia, a 130,000-square foot community center that serves North Philadelphia.

“Support services help individuals with intellectual disabilities to remain in their homes and be active members in their communities, like we’ve seen here in the Kroc Center of Philadelphia,” Corbett said. “However, years of a waning funding commitment left many of these individuals on a long waiting list.”

“People with disabilities and the families that care for them have waited long enough,” Corbett continued. “I made a commitment to reduce the waiting list two years ago, and to date have done so by more than 2,000. Today I am proposing an additional $22.4 million that builds upon last year’s increase and will help 1,100 more individuals to receive home and community-based services this coming year.”

Intellectual disabilities originate before the age of 18 and provide significant limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior, affecting many everyday social and practical skills.

The 2014-15 proposal will assist special education graduates who “age out” of the school support system when graduating high school.

It will also remove adults with intellectual disabilities from the emergency waiting list. Individuals in the emergency category have been identified as needing services within the next six months, often because they live at home with an elderly caregiver or single parent who must split time between full-time employment and caregiving duties.

“Caregivers should not have to choose between caring for a loved one and full-time employment,” Corbett added. “Improving the lives of people who overcome these challenges every day is, quite simply, the right thing to do.” 

Corbett was joined for the announcement by Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Deputy Secretary Fred Lokuta; disability advocates from Vision for Equality, SPIN, the PA Waiting List Campaign and the ARC of Philadelphia; self-advocates; and several families who are currently on the emergency waiting list or have received services as a result of the Corbett administration’s funding commitment in the past.

“Working together, I know we can provide individuals with intellectual disabilities with the care and opportunity they deserve,” Corbett said.

Governor Corbett will provide more details about his full 2014-15 budget proposal in early February.

For more information, visit www.pa.gov.

Media contact:  Christine Cronkright, Governor’s Office, 717-783-1116

       Kait Gillis, Public Welfare, 717-425-7606      

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