Achieva | Advocacy Library
Love Like The Boys Items Benefit Rosenthal Fund
Want to simultaneously share a message of kindness while supporting the growth of the Cecil and David Rosenthal Memorial Fund? Purchase Love Like the Boys items online.
Important Information You Need to Know to Keep your Medicaid and CHIP Benefits.

Advocacy Library

Advocacy Library by Topic

Many of the resources within the Advocacy Library are shared on behalf of external organizations. If you discover a broken link, please email us at

An accessibility symbol atop balanced scales
The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government’ programs and services.
Americans with Disability Act
Disability Rights of PA
Assistive Technology (AT) is any item, product, equipment or software program that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation
Assistive Technology Industry Association
Receiving an Autism diagnosis can be an upsetting experience. Click on these resources for a directory of support, information and advocacy.
Autism Connection of PA
Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative
PA Health Hotline: This hotline can provide individuals with the appropriate COVID-19 vaccine and healthcare provider information 1-877-724-3258
Persevere PA: This hotline is designed to link callers with counselors to assist with the mental health impacts of COVID-19. They can also assist a caller in finding a healthcare provider to administer the vaccine when their corresponding phase arrives. Resources in both English and Spanish are available. 1-855-284-2494
PA Relay Services: These services are designed to assist individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to receive information via telephone. 711
Individuals with disabilities are valuable, and they have the right to access justice. They should not experience discrimination or mistreatment in any justice system. They should also have meaningful access to criminal justice services and programs. People with disabilities should be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of criminal justice involvement or any other status or identity.

Why It Matters
Developmental Disabilities and What Law enforcement Officers Need to Know
Improving Outcomes for People in Contact with the Criminal Justice System
Mental Health Conditions and Developmental Disabilities - Know the Difference
Pathways to Justice
Policing and People with Developmental Disabilities
Supporting Education and Equal Access for Students Experiencing Homelessness, Foster Care and the Juvenile Justice System
Academic Training to Inform Police Responses

The PA Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing is your first stop on the path to learn about services, technology, and information related to hearing loss, sign language interpreters, or laws that require equal access for people who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing

Office of Deaf & Hard of Hearing
A developmental disability is a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas that begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.
Pennsylvania Developmental Disability Council
Extended School Year (ESY) Extended School Year (ESY) services are special education and related services provided to students with disabilities beyond the regular 180-day school year. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal special education law, requires school districts, intermediate units, andncharter schools to provide ESY services if a student needs these services to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Least restrictive environment (LRE) means students who receive special education should be in the same classrooms as other students as much as possible. LRE isn't a place — it's a principle that guides a child's education program. The LRE for each child may look different because each child is unique.
Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR)  
Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) - Resolution Manual Understanding Special Education Due Process Hearings - A Guide for Parents
Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) - Family Resource Library  
Parent Education Resources Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) works with the Bureau of Special Education (BSE), Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), to provide a full array of professional development and technical assistance targeted to improving student results.
Special Education Timelines and Notices
The IEP must be completed within 30 calendar days after the evaluation team issues its Evaluation Report. The IEP must be put into action as soon as possible, but no later than 10 school days after the IEP is completed. Your child’s program is reviewed every year at an IEP meeting or more often if requested by you or any other IEP team member. Whenever there are concerns about or changes to the IEP, a meeting may be requested by you or any other member of the IEP team.
The Right to Special Education in Pennsylvania Special education is an educational program designed to meet the particular needs of a child with a disability at no cost to the parents. State and federal laws provide special protections for children with disabilities in public school and require that certain services and supports be available to help your child succeed in school.
Applying for Personal Care Services for Children with Disabilities

Access the PDF
Information on Pensylvania's Food Pantry, Farmer's Market, Senior Food Box, SNAP, and Summer Meals programs.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic disorder that affects both males and females. However, females often have milder symptoms than males. The exact number of people who have FXS is unknown, but a review of research studies estimated that about 1 in 7,000 males about 1 in 11,000 females have been diagnosed with FXS.
Center For Disease Control FXS Facts
Fragile X 101
FXS Factsheets for Schools and Parents
The freedom to make decisions is fundamental to living a life of personal significance and self-determination. Decision-making abilities are not the same for all people with developmental disabilities.
Alternatives to Guardianship
Alternatives to Guardianship for Transition Age Adults
Challenging Guardianships
Making My Own Healthcare Decisions
National Resource Center for Supported Decision Making
Supported Decision Making
Types of Substitute Decision Makers
Making healthy choices and living a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing serious diseases and help you have a better quality of life. PA Dept. of Health Programs
Achieva Disability Healthcare Initiative (DHI) is providing statewide leadership on improving access to health care for disabilities through education, public policy and advocacy Disability Healthcare Initiative
Per the CDC, health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to "attain his or her full health potential" and no one is "disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances." PA Dept. of Health  Health Equity

Health Equity for Inclusive Communication
Resources to help you guide your family in making choices that will lead to healthier lives. Healthy Family Resources
Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) provide opportunities for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community rather than institutions or other isolated settings.
Eligibility for Home and Community-Based Services in Pennsylvania
ID/A Waivers Consolidated Waiver
Community Living Waiver
Person Family Directed Support Waiver
Adult Autism Waiver
Medicaid Waivers in Pennsylvania
Steps to Enroll in MA Waiver
Achieva provides customized living options based on the needs and wishes of the person with a disability and their family.

Learn More
Housing Resources In PA
Homelessness-Supports and Services Pennsylvania administers a variety of homelessness support programs and services. These programs support people and families who are experiencing homelessness:
Housing Resources in Pennsylvania A Quick Reference Guide of Housing Programs and Services in PA
Public Housing Contact by City and County
Housing Voucher Fact Sheet
Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA)
Supporting Education and Equal Access for Students Experiencing Homelessness, Foster Care and the Juvenile Justice System
Guiding a Discussion about the Office of Developmental's (ODP’s) Incident Management Process.

Access The PDF
Laundry Love washes the clothes and bedding of low/no income families and person(s) across the US. They brighten the lives of thousands of people through love, dignity, and detergent by partnering with diverse groups and laundromats nationwide.

Laundry Love

Crisis Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please reach out for help.

Call 911: If there is an immediate risk of endangering oneself or others, contact 911. Inform the operator that you are calling about a mental health crisis.

Crisis Text Line: Text PA to 741741 to start the conversation 24/7.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

If you or someone you care about is experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call the Lifeline. (Español: 888-628-9454)

PA Crisis Hotlines: Find a crisis line in your county.
Allegheny County Resources
Beaver County Resources
Erie County Resources
Westmoreland County Resources
Mental Health America of Southwestern PA
Mental Health Resources in PA
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Discover tools for planning, problem-solving, and leading a life of personal significance! Learn more about person-centered planning using the LifeCourse Framework with Achieva or begin by reviewing the resources below.

Charting The Lifecourse
Person-Centered Planning - PA Department of Human Services
Everyday Lives
Person-Centered Service Planning
Eligibility, contact information, and resources for support and service for people with disabilities that need help in day to day activities.

Applying for Services and Assistance
Heating Assistance
Rental Assistance
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Water Bill Assistance
A representative payee is a person or an organization that receives the Social Security or SSI benefits for anyone who can’t manage or direct the management of their benefits. A payee’s main duties are to use the benefits to pay for the current and future needs of the beneficiary, and properly save any benefits not needed to meet current needs. A payee must also keep records of expenses.

A Guide For Representative Payees
The Employment Innovation Area Workgroup within the Community of Practice (CoP) for Supporting Families in PA has developed statewide resource guides containing integrated transportation support options. 

View the The Integrated Transportation Resource Guide in English and Spanish on ODP's website.

For Professionals: 

Share them with people and their families when someone says that they would like to work and are having trouble finding reliable transportation to and from work (and other places they frequent in their communities).  

Review this guide with people and their families and walk them through the columns. These guides are intended to help users exercise their creativity and feel more encouraged about the transportation resources available in Pennsylvania. 

Employment coalitions and regional collaboratives may use this guide as a starting-point to create a more local-level resource guide for their particular counties.

For Self-Advocates and Families: 

Use this guide to explore what transportation options work best for you and to advocate for what you feel will best meet your needs. This guide is a great way to exercise self-determination and ownership over your life insofar as how you get to work and other places that you want and need to go to in your local communities.

View the The Integrated Transportation Resource Guide
To learn more about services available for individuals with brain injury and their families, please contact the toll free Brain Injury Help Line at 1-866-412-4755 and speak with a Brain Injury Specialist.

PA Department of Health

504 Plans

A student who does not qualify for special education services via an Individual Education Program (IEP) may still qualify for services under a 504 plan.


Acronym List

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.