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Resources for Families Interested in Intellectual Disabilities Services

This is a remarkable time for people with intellectual disabilities and their families. It is a time when you, as a family member, need to know as much as possible about what services are available, who can provide those services, and how those services are funded.  More and more community services are becoming entitlements, services to which people have a right. Self Determination, choice and individualized funding give individuals using services and their families more control over their services than ever before.

General Information about Pennsylvania's Services for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities:

  • The foundation for these services is The Pennsylvania Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966. This Act provides the statutory basis for the development of community-based services for Pennsylvania Citizens with intellectual disabilities.
  • Pennsylvania has an intellectual disabilities service system that is responsible for providing services and supports. Each county contracts with private agencies to providers a wide and comprehensive array of community services.
  • The majority of community based intellectual disabilities services are funded with Federal Medicaid Waiver dollars. Most children and adults are eligible for funding of services under the Medicaid Waiver program regardless of their family's financial status.
  • As a result of the American's With Disabilities Act and the Olmstead Court Decision the Medicaid Waiver Services are becoming entitlements or services to which a person with a disability has a right to. In Pennsylvania, community residential options include group homes, single apartments with a roommate, or a family living setting. In addition, people can be provided extensive supports in their home, whether that be their family home or their own home. These services and supports are also available to families caring for a child or adult sibling with intellectual disabilities. There are wonderful options available to tailor services to a family's preference.
  • In addition to residential supports, services that are available include case management, mobility training, respite care, in home services, assistance in obtaining and maintaining employment, and day activities. Most of these services are available for funding under the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver Program, which requires that anyone enrolled into the Waiver have all of their needs met. Day services, such as supported employment and recreation, are also available to people who live in residential settings or at home.
  • Individuals and their families have an unprecedented array of service options, individualization, flexibility, control of funding and selection of agencies that will provide services to their loved one.

Information about Keystone's Services

Keystone provides comprehensive services to people with intellectual disabilities throughout Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Links to additional areas of interest:

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