One of the problems the disabled community faces is that sometimes people make decisions for them without their input. For instance, government may place certain requirements to participate in a program that, in practice, do not work. That’s why the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is facing a lawsuit by several disability groups, including a cerebral palsy group. Erie News Now reports.
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The president and CEO of the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association says that the intent of Philadelphia’s Community Participation Support Program is good, but it’s policies are bad. In order for disabled people to receive services in this program, they have to be “in the community” 25% of their time. Also, they have to go out in groups no larger than a 3-to-1 staff ratio.
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The lawsuit says that these policies are unattainable for some people with special needs and that it puts an undue burden on staff. Under the current policy, time spent at a job does not count toward the 25% community time requirement. Yet many people in the program would rather be working for a living than staying in a mall or coffee shop.
The president and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of Central PA says that this policy establishes state-mandated choice and is thus illegal.
The lawsuit is pending.