On today's episode of The Confluence:The Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has an initiative to utilize up to $40 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to help address gaps in services for residents with autism and intellectual disabilities.
Before bedtime last school year, Melissa Skiffen sat with her son and showed him a picture of the new teacher assistant in his classroom to make him more comfortable with the person who would help him throughout the next day.
Two of the Tree of Life shooting's 11 victims were Cecil and David Rosenthal, brothers whose special needs were served, in part, by regional support organization Achieva. In their memory, Achieva established the Cecil and David Rosenthal Memorial Fund in 2018.
The first weekend of fall was a good time to walk for a good cause. The Buddy Walk took over Erie Sports Center on Saturday morning. The Buddy Walk helps raise money for those with disabilities. The day began with registration and breakfast.
The Arc of Erie County's "Buddy Walk" is set for this Saturday as a way to celebrate children and adults with disabilities as well as their families. Fontaine Glenn was live at the Erie Sports Center with more on Saturday's event.
Achieva's Nancy Murray weighs in on how the pandemic has impacted healthcare for people with disabilities, and what the future holds for our region.
Five years ago this month, Pennsylvania disability organization Achieva started VaultArt Studio to provide community-based training and work for artistically inclined individuals.
Disability Leaders Look to General Assembly with Optimism As leaders of intellectual disability and autism (ID/A) services, we have been raising our voices about the unsustainable staffing/direct support professional (DSP) crisis in our community.
Advocates for people with disabilities are pushing for additional millions in the Commonwealth's budget in the next fiscal year to raise wages and shore up staffing for home and community-based services.
As their peers without disabilities graduate high school and embark on college journeys, students in these programs are able to follow a similar path.
KDKA-TV Wholey's in the Strip District is raising money and rewarding one winner with a gift card if they can guess the number of fish in the live tank.
Sixth-grader Holden Frye returned to his elementary school, Hoover Elementary, to read his new book "The Spot" to students during an assembly. It's the highlight of the school's celebration of inclusion.
The award, given annually by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and Jewish Residential Services, celebrates volunteers who promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the fabric of Jewish life through advocacy or direct service to those individuals and their families.
Southwestern Pennsylvania-based Achieva, a disability advocacy and service organization, has announced its affiliation of The Arc Erie County with The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh, a member of the Achieva Family of Organizations.
Everyone's dealing with something during this pandemic, but thousands of parents caring for children with physical or intellectual disabilities are facing a catastrophic crisis. Families of people with disabilities are pleading with Gov. Tom Wolf and the legislature to help.
Families of people with disabilities are pleading with Gov. Tom Wolf and the legislature to help. They are asking them to work together to raise the wages of the DSPs.
Nancy Murray, Senior Vice President of Achieva, says Pennsylvania is facing a dire shortage of direct support professionals to help those families in need. "You know, it's just awful. That's really the best word I can use to describe it. These families are becoming more, and more desperate.
Repeated underfunding has resulted in community disability programs being unable to recruit a workforce of direct support professionals (DSPs) to support people with disabilities in their homes, at their jobs, and in their communities.
Now we have families who finally got the funding for the services they need, and we can't provide them with those services because we can't recruit and retain staff," said Nancy Murray, senior vice president of Achieva, a disability services provider in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is facing a dire shortage of direct support professionals who help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities bathe, get dressed, eat, exercise, socialize, and perform many other fundamental tasks.
A staffing shortage has left people with intellectual disabilities without essential services and their families without desperately needed help.
The state's plan for the money focuses on increasing access to home and community-based services and staffing for those services. Addressing staff recruitment and retention is key, said Nancy Murray, president of the Arc of Greater Pittsburgh and senior vice president at Achieva.
Ms. Kambic, who has Down syndrome, also developed an original pictographic written language. She uses it to title and explain her art, which spans the mediums of fiber, mixed media painting and sculpture — a "pretty rare" mixture of abilities for any artist.
Latrobe Bulletin (Editorial by Nancy Murray, President, The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh)
WESA FM (Nancy Murray, president of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh and senior vice president at Achieva is quoted)