HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Human Services (DHS) is revitalizing a 25-year-old plan for what the future will look like for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. DHS will unveil Everyday Lives: Values in Action, its new plan, at a three-day conference focused on ensuring individuals with disabilities lead independent, fulfilling, everyday lives.
Nearly 1,500 stakeholders, advocates, families, government officials, and consumers, will convene from September 14-16, 2016, at the Hershey Lodge with a specialized pre-conference day today.
DHS values what is important to people with disabilities and their families, who are striving for an everyday life. An everyday life is about opportunities, relationships, rights, and responsibilities. It is about being a member of the community, having a valued role, contributing to society, and having one's rights as a citizen fully respected.
"We believe that people with disabilities have a right to an everyday life; a life that is no different than that of all Pennsylvanians," said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. "The Wolf Administration is focused on a person-centered approach – meaning each individual has a choice and is at the heart of all decisions made regarding their life."
The conference will feature speakers from Pennsylvania and experts from around the country who will present information on a wide variety of topics including: employment, wellness, self-direction, relationships, community engagement, technology and supporting families throughout the lifespan. Information is available online. Conference information is also available in Spanish.
Everyday Lives will serve as a guide to DHS' Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) as it develops policy and designs programs, and to service providers who support individuals and their families. The new plan refreshes the 1991 outlook and adds a list of recommendations and values statements from the Information Sharing and Advisory Committee of individuals with disabilities and their families. A few of those recommendations include:
- Assure effective communication;
- Promote self-direction, choice, and control;
- Increase employment;
- Support families throughout the lifespan;
- Develop and support qualified staff; and
- Simplify the system.
Deeply rooted in the concept of self-determination, Everyday Lives promotes the belief that, with the support of family and friends, people with disabilities can and should decide how to live their lives.
"Everyday Lives affirms our dedication to making it possible for everyone to live a life of meaning and joy," said ODP Deputy Secretary Nancy Thaler.
For more information, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kait Gillis, 717-425-7606
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Human Services