Community HealthChoices _CHC_ is Pennsylvania_s New Medicaid Managed Care Program. CHC can provide_ Healthcare_ Vehicle Modifications_ Hearing Aids_ Smart Home Technology_ and so much more_
Newly Released! Community HealthChoices (CHC) Toolkit
Through an Innovation Lab grant from the HealthSpark Foundation, PATF has collaborated with Pennsylvania Health Law Project (PHLP) to create and disseminate a toolkit of materials that will help Pennsylvanians better understand Community HealthChoices (CHC). This toolkit includes:
  • CHC Infographic (English and Spanish)
  • Person-Centered Service Planning
  • How to Appeal a Denial in Community HealthChoices
  • Where to Call for Help with Problems Consumers Experience in CHC - Southeast PA and Southwest PA
  • Funding Your Assistive Technology: A Guide to Funding Resources in Pennsylvania (English and Spanish)
What is Community HealthChoices (CHC)?

CHC is a new waiver program for individuals over 21 years old with a disability who previously received services through the Independence, CommCare, or Aging Waivers. These individuals select or are automatically enrolled in one of three managed care organizations that have contracts with the state.  Services are obtained through service providers who have contracts with these managed care organizations. 

Services provided through CHC include all the Home and Community-Based Services formerly provided by waivers, plus a few new ones, for older adults and adults with physical disabilities or traumatic brain injury. 

This program is in effect in 14 counties in Southwest Pennsylvania and 5 counties in Southeast Pennsylvania as of January 2019. The rest of the state will be covered in January 2020.

Vision for the Future_ Conference on Financial Empowerment for Individuals with Disabilities
Treasurer Joe Torsella; Governor Tom Ridge; and Steve Suroviec, President and CEO of ACHIEVA, will be Keynote Speakers
The keynotes will address the importance of integrating financial education in school and community settings for successful employment and independent living.
Three handcycles are parked in the grass along a gravel trail.
Adaptive Cycles Available through Free Bikeshare Program, Lackawanna Heritage Valley
Written by Carmella Rynearson, PATF Funding Assistance Coordinator

"It's just like riding a bike... you never forget." This phrase is often used in reference to activities that come easily, perhaps in fond memory of something you learned to do when you were young. But what if you never had those memories; or if you believe that riding a bike is impossible now due to an injury or illness?

In June, I had the privilege of accompanying Joseph Salva, President of  Individual Abilities in Motion (I AM), on a group bicycle ride he scheduled at  Lackawanna Heritage Valley. 10 people attended this cycling event. For some, riding a hand cycle or recumbent bike is routine; for others, this was their first time riding a bike since acquiring their disability; and for still others, it was their first bike ride ever. No matter their experience level, everyone was all smiles. I had the opportunity to try a hand cycle for the first time. What an amazing experience-nature, sunshine, a warm breeze, and a sense of exhilaration!

The truly special thing about this day, though, is that it wasn't exceptional at all: these adaptive cycles are available for free Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm every week through  BikeLackawanna, Lackawanna Heritage Valley's Bikeshare program, at their Scranton office.

Man_s hands holding a newspaper
In the News

Harrisburg, PA, August 12, 2019  - Treasurer Joe Torsella today announced the PA ABLE Savings Program (PA ABLE) has more than doubled its assets in just one year. PA ABLE currently has more than $18.4 million in assets, up from $8.6 million in July 2018. The program continues to be one of the fastest growing members of the National ABLE Alliance, with more than 2,500 PA ABLE accounts opened since the program's beginning in 2017. Read about ABLE growth.


Pittsburgh, PA, August 1, 2019 - Nancy Murray, President of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh (an affiliate of ACHIEVA) has been appointed by Governor Tom Wolf to serve on the Council of Reform, a new council created by  Executive Order 2019-05 , which the Governor signed in an effort to overhaul Pennsylvania's systems to advocate, protect and empower our most vulnerable citizens. Read Nancy Murray article.


WASHINGTON, June 26, 2019 - Today, the House of Representatives passed Rep. Dean's amendment to H.R. 3351, increasing funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) from $3 million to $6 million in the coming fiscal year. This funding will allow CDFIs to offer increased financial and technical assistance for people with disabilities. The amendment passed by a vote of 373-51. Read Rep. Dean's press release.


On June 3, 2019, AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians Project (AgrAbility PA) joined the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) at their annual press conference at the State Capitol Building in Harrisburg.  For more than 25 years, AgrAbility PA has provided a critical service to the Commonwealth's agricultural community. AgrAbility PA assists farmers and agricultural workers with a disability or long-term health condition by providing direct services and support they need to live independently and to continue working in production agriculture. Read about AgrAbility PA and PATF.
Screen shot of YouTube video titled Michael and his Smart Home Technology. A man sits in a power wheelchair in a home office looking at a the ceiling fan. Caption reads_ Amazon_ turn on fan light.
Smart Homes Made Simple logo features the blue outline of a house with a grey wifi symbol inside
The Latest on Smart Home Technology from Smart Homes Made Simple
Meet Michael and his Smart Home Technology

Michael is a Legislative Advocate for the Arc of Philadelphia and also a member of the Smart Homes Made Simple Advisory Committee. He lives independently in his home in a suburb outside Philadelphia. In this video, Michael shows us the Smart Home Technology that he uses to help him do all the things he wants to do.

Cents and Sensibility book with updated light green cover is positioned on a small glass table next to a plant.
Penny Pincher cartoon of woman with lightbulb above her head
Financial Tips with Penny Pincher
Stay Tuned! 6th Edition Cents and Sensibility is Coming Next Month

Cents and Sensibility: A Guide to Money Management is a comprehensive financial education book for people with disabilities. In the  sixth  edition, you'll find additional chapters on Housing and Adult Decision-Making, as well as updates to chapters covering Money Mapping (Budgeting), Saving, Banking, Credit, and Assistive Technology.

Contact us to request copy, or download the PDF when it's released in September on our website: http://patf.us/centsandsensibility.

Are you attending Vision for the Future: A Conference on Financial Empowerment for Individuals with Disabilities on October 3? All attendees will receive a copy!
Upcoming Events

Erie County: Farmer's Market Nutrition Program
Erie County, PA - June-September
Through the Department of Agriculture, Erie County residents 60 years of age and older may be eligible to receive vouchers totaling $20 to purchase fruits and vegetables from Farmer's Market Stands. FMNP offers four $5 vouchers to be utilized at any of the 52 local participant vendors. The program runs from June through September. 

Rep. Marty Flynn's 7th Annual Senior Fair
Scranton, PA - August 23 from 10am to 1pm
There will be a variety of county, state and federal vendors, health screenings, light fare and refreshments, door prizes and more.

2019 Carbon County Senior Expo
Lehighton, PA - September 5 from 10am to 1pm
Exhibitors from local, county and state agencies let you know what services are available to assist you.

Assistive Technology and the Internet of Things (IoT): How to Create and Fund a Smart Home
Webinar - September 10 at 11am
An explosion of new IoT devices promise to make it possible for individuals with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians to have greater control and safety over their own lives. While some of these devices are customized, many others are generic, which means that they can be purchased off-the-shelf. This often makes them more affordable and easier-to-use. Generic smart home devices can do such things as turn on /off lights and fans, identify who's at the door and allow entry, control thermostats, make phone calls, read books, play music and much more! This webinar will focus on defining and learning about generic "smart home" devices as well as exploring funding possibilities.

Senator Vogel's 55+ Senior Expo
New Castle, PA - September 20 from 10am to 1pm
Save the date!

Lackawanna County Senior Health Fair
Moosic, PA - September 20 from 10am to 1pm
Save the date!

Assistive Technology Maker's Fair
Monroeville, PA - September 24-25
The AT Makers' Fair will inspire participants to become creative problem solvers, bringing together makers of all abilities to share ideas, develop new skills and enhance innovations for persons with disabilities. The Fair will empower individuals with the methods, materials and know-how needed to efficiently create everyday just-in-time devices and technologies. Novice to veteran makers of all ages and abilities are welcome.

Rep. Curt Sonney's 14th Annual Senior Expo
Harborcreek, PA - September 27 from 10am to 12pm
Save the date!

Vision for the Future will bring together individuals with disabilities, family members, service providers, nonprofit organizations, and policy makers to discuss, collaborate, and learn about financial education. The conference is a one-day, free, accessible event open to the public. Registration is required and space is limited. A limited number of scholarships are available to people with disabilities and their families to help defray the cost of travel and lodging. Certificates of completion will be available.

AgrAbility Regional Training Workshop
State College, PA - October 8-9
This workshop is a great opportunity to learn more about occupational therapy and assistive technology on the farm - working together to keep farmers farming!
The first day will include sessions and a farmer panel; the second day will include farm tours by bus to AgrAbility PA-connected farms and farmers.

Warren/Forest Eldercare Council's  2019 Senior Expo
Warren, PA - October 25 from 9am to 12:30pm
There will be over 60 vendors representing a wide variety of health-related organizations and businesses.  There will also be several free services and health screenings.  Seniors and caregivers are encouraged to attend the event to see what new services, screenings and tests are being offered.

Lackawanna and Wayne County Senior Expo
Waymart, PA - October 31 from 9:30am to 12:30pm
Calling all of Lackawanna & Wayne County's 50+ Crowd, to this one-day Senior EXPO designed with you in mind. Learn about products and services available in the area.

Parkinson's Disease Patient and Caregiver Symposium
Monroeville, PA - November 23 from 9:30am to 3pm
At this free, educational event, you will review the latest updates in management of PD symptoms and motor fluctuations, discuss the management of non-motor symptoms of PD such as bladder issues, constipation, mood changes, sleep difficulties with specialists outside of neurology, and learn about groundbreaking research studies and how you can get involved. RSVP by October 18th by calling 412-692-4657.
There are Lots of Ways to Make a Difference
A woman drives her power wheelchair down the ramp of her adapted van.
You Shop, AmazonSmile Gives
Support us when you shop using smile.amazon.com_ch_23-2953796 and Amazon donates to Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation. 

United Way
Give to the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and designate PATF by writing in donor choice #13064 in the comment section on the form.

Donate
Learn more about how you can help Pennsylvanians access the assistive technology they need.
STAY CONNECTED:
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