Essential Training: Upcoming Changes in Waiver Funding-A Different Path

Michele O’Toole, Regional Director of the Office of Developmental Disabilities at Rodef Shalom Congregation on Wednesday, May 3rd from 6 – 8 PM

Change is coming!   Family members of an individual with Intellectual Disabilities or individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, need to learn about the upcoming changes that will affect eligibility for Waiver funding regarding living situations and the workplace.  These changes include changes in eligibility, housing opportunities in the community based on personal choice, more inclusive job settings, and more avenues of support for families.

It is imperative that family members with pre-school or grade school children with Intellectual Disabilities and/or Autism, understand waiver changes that will affect their children when they turn age 18. These are exciting changes to promote inclusion in the community for those with disabilities.

In the recent budget put forth by Governor Wolfe, there is $26.2 million dollars allocated for the care of those with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism. Hopefully, these funds will reduce the waiting list for Consolidated Waiver and Person/Family Directed Waiver  by 1,000.  The plan also states that these funds will be used to provide employment and community services to 820 special education graduates who have Intellectual Disabilities and Autism. Learning about the changes will empower individuals and family members to be knowledgeable about these changes and advocate for these funds to be realized.

Unfortunately, often with change, comes confusion and misunderstanding.  To clarify what these changes mean to families and individuals, Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) and Jewish Residential Services (JRS) has invited Michele O’Toole, Regional Director of the Office of Developmental Disabilities to present on these upcoming changes. This event will take place on Wednesday, May 3rd, at Rodef Shalom Congregation, located at 4905 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, 15213.  The meeting will take place from 6-8 PM with a light dinner provided from 6:00-6:30 PM.

Please RSVP at or contact JRS at 412-325-0039.

This post written by Linda Marino, Special Needs Coordinator for Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh; and Alison Karabin, Project Manager, Young Adults in Transition for Jewish Residential Services

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