Governor Corbett Announces Nearly $20 Million Proposal to Reduce Waiting List for Intellectual Disabilities Services

Press Release

By:  Tom Corbett
Date: Jan. 23, 2013
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Governor Tom Corbett today announced that his 2013-14 budget
will set aside nearly $20 million to provide home and community-based services for
approximately 1,200 Pennsylvania adults with intellectual disabilities.

The proposal reduces a waiting list for services for adults with intellectual
disabilities. Intellectual disabilities - such as Down syndrome, autism or Fragile X
syndrome -- originate before the age of 18 and provide significant limitations in
intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior, affecting many everyday social and
practical skills.

"When I visited Philadelphia last November, I was deeply moved by the stories of
three families who had been on a long waiting list for home and community-based
services," Corbett said. "We need to do a better job of looking after these citizens,
who, through no failing of their own, cannot look after themselves."

Corbett was joined for the announcement by representatives from the Department
of Public Welfare (DPW), disability advocates, and three families currently on the
emergency waiting list. DPW has more than 3,500 individuals in the emergency
category who have been identified as needing services within the next six months.
The 2013-14 proposal aims to provide for people waiting for services, including
adults from the emergency waiting list, those waiting to receive autism services,
and special education graduates.

Many of the individuals with intellectual disabilities "age out" of receiving special
education services when graduating high school or live at home with an elderly
caregiver or single parent that must split time between full-time employment and
caregiving duties.

Corbett's 2012-13 budget invested $17.8 million to provide services for and remove
approximately 1,100 individuals from the waiting list.

"I am confident that a continued commitment in this year's budget to reduce
waiting lists for services will help those who need it most," Corbett said.
"Caregivers should not have to choose between caring for a loved one and full-time
employment, nor should individuals with special needs have to suffer set-backs in
their everyday lives," he added.

Governor Corbett will provide more details about his full 2013-14 budget proposal
in early February.