SCRANTON, Pa., March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett was recognized today with an award from advocates across the state for his continued commitment to reduce the waiting list for Pennsylvanians living with intellectual disabilities.
Corbett's 2014-15 proposed budget will increase investments by $22.4 million, allowing approximately 1,100 additional Pennsylvanians with intellectual disabilities, including adults from the emergency waiting list and special education graduates, to receive home and community-based services.
Sheila Stasko, associate director of the PA Wait List Campaign, presented the award to Governor Corbett on behalf of intellectual disability advocates.
"Governor Corbett has stretched out his hand to help people with intellectual disabilities waiting for community services and support," Stasko said. "With this year's funding, even more individuals will come off the waiting list. This support will allow individuals to live, work and play in their communities and strengthen families. We are appreciative of the help we have been shown."
"I want to thank all the advocates who have been so committed to this cause. I'm honored to receive this award, which should really go to the courageous and brave individuals and their families who work day in and day out to overcome intellectual and physical disabilities," Governor Corbett said. "They are the real heroes."
The governor received the award after touring and meeting staff and individuals with disabilities at The Arc of Northeastern PA.
"We are very proud of the programs, services and advocacy we have provided for the past 60 years and recognize the importance of the governor's support for critical home and community-based services," Don Broderick, executive director at The Arc of Northeastern PA said. "Governor Corbett has heard us and is listening."
"I believe the smartest investments we make are the ones we make in people," Governor Corbett said. "We need to create a Pennsylvania where people with disabilities and their families will never be forced to wait for services again."
Governor Corbett also presented a proclamation during the event noting March as Intellectual Disability Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
Intellectual disabilities – such as Down syndrome or Fragile X syndrome – originate at birth or are diagnosed before the age of 22 and provide significant limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior, affecting many everyday social and practical skills.
For more information, visit www.pa.gov.
Media contact: Christine Cronkright, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116
Kait Gillis, DPW, 717-425-7606
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor