ICYMI: Department Of Human Services Secretary Highlights Governor Shapiro’s Historic Budget Investments In Intellectual Disability And Autism Services, Workforce

Harrisburg, PA - Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh recently published two opinion pieces highlighting the historic investments for intellectual disability and autism (ID/A) services and the ID/A workforce in Governor Josh Shapiro’s 2024-25 proposed budget. At events across the Commonwealth, Secretary Arkoosh has met with advocates, families, caregivers, and direct support professionals to talk about what these investments would mean to them and why they are vital to Pennsylvanians with ID/A so they can live with the dignity and independence they deserve. 

The Governor’s proposed $483 million in federal and state funding would provide more resources for home and community-based service providers, so they in turn can pay competitive rates to attract and retain the staff who provide these essential services. The proposal includes a $78 million investment of federal and state funds to serve an additional 1,500 Pennsylvanians with ID/A currently on the waitlist in the next fiscal year. 

Governor Shapiro and Secretary Arkoosh recently met with Pennsylvanians with ID/A, caregivers, and advocates to hear how the proposed investments in his 2024-25 budget would address the needs of Pennsylvanians with ID/A by expanding access to support home and community-based services and addressing the shortage of direct support professionals. 

Watch Secretary Arkoosh’s visit to Vision for Equality in Philadelphia.

Watch Secretary Arkoosh’s visit to Penn-Mar Human Services in York County.


Read Sec. Arkoosh’s op-eds below: 

The Reporter: Governor Shapiro’s budget would make a real difference for families caring for individuals with disabilities

PennLive: Gov. Shapiro’s budget would help families caring for people with disabilities


In addition, advocates, families, and editorial boards have continuously praised Governor Shapiro’s proposed budget investments for ID/A services and the dedicated professionals who work with Pennsylvanians with ID/A.

Read what Pennsylvanians are saying:   

The Valley Ledger: Governor Shapiro’s Budget Is a Lifeline For Families And Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities And Autism

The Times Observer: Families of disabled finally hopeful

PennLive: A call for bi-partisan action to support Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities and autism


MEDIA CONTACT: Brandon Cwalina - ra-pwdhspressoffice@pa.gov

DHS Media Contact Details

Press Office

Department of Human Services 717-425-7606
Department of Human Services Media

Ali Fogarty

Communications Director Department of Human Director 717-425-7606
Department of Human Services Media

Brandon Cwalina

Press Secretary Department of Human Services 717-425-7606
Department of Human Services Media