The Arc’s Legislative Affairs Committee held forum for local legislators and updated them on issues, including:
1. BUDGET: The care and protection of people with intellectual and
developmental disabilities is a core responsibility of government.
2. REFORM SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING: One of every seven students is educated under special education rules, and $1 billion in state funds is spent annually on special education.
3. STATE INSTITUTIONS: The General Assembly embraced the shift from state institutions to community-based services when it passed the MH/MR act of 1966.
4. MARRIAGE LICENSE: PA Domestic Relations Code (23Pa.C.S. 1302[b]) establishes requirements for the issuance of marriage licenses. Current law gives local county official discretion to deny marriage licenses to people they believe to be “incompetent.”
5. PLACE “BURDEN OF PROOF” ONTO SCHOOL DISTRICTS, NOT PARENTS: The US Supreme Court decision in Schaffer vs. Weast determined that, unless state rules indicate otherwise, the party “seeking relief” has the burden of proof in IDEA due process proceedings.
6. IMPROVE SCHOOL CLIMATE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: For many students with disabilities across PA, the school day is filled with challenges above and beyond those of their disability.
7. EMPLOYMENT: People with disabilities have historically had difficulty getting and maintaining jobs in the community. As a result, they tend to live below the poverty level and be dependent on government programs to survive.
8. ODP COMMUNITY SYSTEM MANAGEMENT: Significant changes in the way the community system assesses individuals’ need, authorizes services, and pays community service providers has created significant angst and concern among individuals who rely pm community services, their families and advocates, and those who provide the services.
Master of Ceremonies – Michael Pupio, Esq.
Feature Speakers included:
Welcome – Robert Prince, President
Patrick Meehan – US Congressman
David White – Delaware County Councilman
Maureen Cronin – Executive Director, The Arc of PA
Marlene Harper – Parent Story
About 120 people total attended the event. This included elected officials and Arc of Delaware County members.
It was held Friday, October 19, 2012 from 8:00 AM- 10:30 AM
Radnor Valley Country Club
555 Sproul Road
Villanova, PA 19085