Advocacy & Policy Conference 2016
Register now for our Advocacy & Policy Conference 2016! Join us June 6 - 7 for a disability rights rally, visits with legislators, leadership development sessions hosted by the Pennsylvania Council of Executives, a Legislative reception, and a policy discussion with House Majority Leader Dave Reed.
Wings For All
The Arc of Pennsylvania and The Arc of Cumberland and Perry Counties (CPARC) are thrilled to host Wings for All™ with Harrisburg International Airport (MDT), Delta Air Lines, and TSA on June 18th at 1:30 PM. Click here to register and for more details.
Wings for All™ is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and aviation professionals. Wings for All™ is designed to alleviate some of the stress that families who have a child with disabilities experience when traveling by air. The program provides families with the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtain boarding passes, go through security and board a plane.
One of the main functions of The Arc of PA is to be a leader in advocacy for people with disabilities. If you are interested in learning more about advocacy, please read our Advocacy 101 article.
Knights of Columbus
Include Me is an initiative started by The Arc of PA to facilitate the inclusion of children with significant disabilities in mainstream education classrooms. Click here to go to the Include Me website.
ADEPT is an exciting positive assessment and customized employment initiative of The Arc of Pennsylvania and Include Me. Click here for more information about ADEPT!
PA ABLE Accounts
The Arc of Pennsylvania applauds Governor Wolf for signing SB 879, PA ABLE, into law as Act 17 of 2016. Act 17 allows the Pennsylvania Treasury Department to create and offer ABLE savings accounts in Pennsylvania. The Arc of Pennsylvania particularly recognizes Senator Lisa Baker who introduced and championed SB 879 and the hundreds of advocates who supported passage of PA ABLE. For more information on PA ABLE, visit our ABLE Resource Page.
Before the federal ABLE Act passed in December 2014, asset rules prevented people with disabilities from saving more than $2,000 – if they did, vital benefits like Medicaid would be cancelled. These rules created a system that disincentivized working and economic self-sufficiency. People with disabilities could not save for important items that would increase their financial independence and employability, such as transportation, assistive technology, and housing, without losing the supports needed to maintain their employment and community living. Each state had to decide whether to offer ABLE accounts; Pennsylvania joins thirty-four other states and the District of Columbia in creating an ABLE account program.
PA ABLE savings accounts allow people with disabilities to save up to $14,000 annually and use these funds for a wide range of community living expenses, including housing, assistive technology, education, and transportation. Qualified withdrawals from ABLE accounts will be exempt from federal and state income tax. People with ABLE accounts will be able to save money and still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and other means-tested federal programs.
Federal law allows states to take any funds left in an ABLE account to pay back Medicaid after an individual with a disability passes away. Pennsylvania’s ABLE program is unique in the country – the state has chosen not to enforce the payback, giving a great benefit for Pennsylvanians with disabilities and their families.