Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Invites Public Input on State's Vocational Rehabilitation Services; Meetings Planned Statewide

Mar 09, 2011, 12:14 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Labor & Industry acting Secretary Patrick Beaty today invited public comment on Pennsylvania's vocational rehabilitation services during a series of meetings scheduled statewide from March 10 to April 12, hosted by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation's (OVR) Bureau of Blindness & Visual Services (BBVS) and Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (BVRS).

"Our goal is to provide the best possible service to people with disabilities," said Beaty. "To continue to provide quality service, we need to know what the public wants and needs. The more input we receive, the more effective we can make these programs."

The public meetings give Pennsylvanians an opportunity to present their ideas and recommendations on how the state can better serve the needs of people with disabilities. The input helps OVR develop and implement its Combined Agency State Plan, which is required by federal law to be reviewed and revised annually.

All public-forum sites are accessible, and interpreters for people who are deaf and hard of hearing will be present. Individuals unable to attend one of the public meetings may submit written comments to their local vocational rehabilitation or blindness and visual services district office. Written comments must be received by April 19.

The Combined Agency State Plan and other information regarding services for people with disabilities may be found online at

Media contact: Christopher S. Manlove, 717-787-7530

Editor's Note: Schedule of public meetings, by county, follows.

Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry and York counties

Harrisburg BBVS District Office

1-866-375-8264 (Voice) or 1-888-575-9420 (TTY)

Franklin County CareerLink

600 Norland Ave.,

Chambersburg, PA 17201

Date/Time: March 15; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Contact Person: Karen Knaub 717-705-8618 or Mardell Eberly 717-264-4584

Forum Place, 8th Floor Conference Room,

555 Walnut St.

Harrisburg, PA  17101

Date/Time: March 24; 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Karen Knaub, 717-705-8618; or Cindy Mundis, 717-346-2754

York BVRS District Office

1-8007626306 (Voice) or 1-866-466-1404 (TTY)

2550 Kingston Rd., Suite 101,

York, PA  17402

Date/Time: March 29; 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Bonnie Bluett, 717-771-4407, Ext. 204

Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Washington and Westmoreland counties

Pittsburgh BBVS and BVRS District Offices

1-8004426371 (Voice) or 1-888-870-4474 (TTY)

The Allegheny County Human Services Building, the Liberty Room

1 Smithfield St.

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Date/Time: April 12; 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Contact: Maryann Sutor, 412-392-4958; Richard Fischer, 412-565-5521

Armstrong, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties

New Castle BVRS District Office

1-800-442-6379 (Voice) or 1-888-870-4476 (TTY)

Conference Room

100 Margaret St.

New Castle, PA  16101

Date/Time: March 30; 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Gary Gay

Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Somerset and Union counties

Altoona BBVS and BVRS District Offices

1-866-695-7673 (Voice) or 1-866-320-7956 (TTY)

1130 12th Ave., Fourth Floor Conference Room

Altoona, PA  16601

Date/Time: March 28; 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Anne Strollo or Pamela Montgomery

Berks and Schuylkill counties

Reading BVRS District Office        

1-8004420949 (Voice) or 1-877-475-7326 or 610-621-5820 (TTY)

3602 Kutztown Rd., Suite 200

Reading, PA  19605

Date/Time: March 21; 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact:  Betty Brown, 610-621-5800, ext. 102

Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming counties

Wilkes-Barre BBVS District Office

1-866-227-4163 (Voice) or 570-826-2361 or 1-888-651-6117 (TTY)

Conference Room

300G Laird St.

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702

Date/Time: March 10; 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Karen Walsh-Emma, 570-826-2361 x211  

Center for Vision Loss

610-821-6441 (Voice) or 1-888-377-9207 (TTY)

845 Wyoming St.

Allentown, PA  18103

Date/Time: March 16; 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Karen Walsh-Emma, 570-826-2361 x211  

Bradford, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties

Wilkes-Barre BVRS District Office

1-8006342060 (Voice) or 1-888-651-6117 (TTY)

300G Laird St.

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702

Date/Time: March 30; 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Nancy Murray

Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties

Norristown BVRS District Office

1-8002211042 (Voice) or 1-888-616-0470 (TTY)

1875 New Hope St.

Norristown, PA  19401

Date/Time: March 29; 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact Person:  Michael Wakefield or Beverly Benn

Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties

Philadelphia BBVS District Office

1-866-631-3892 (Voice) or 1-888-870-4473 (TTY)

5th Floor Conference Room

444 North Third St.

Philadelphia, PA  19123

Date/Time: March 17; 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Associated Services for the Blind

1-866-631-3892 (Voice) or 1-888-870-4473 (TTY)

919 Walnut St., 10th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19107

Date/Time: March 31; 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Contact: Roland Gensel, 215-560-1074    

Cambria, Indiana, Somerset and Westmoreland counties

Johnstown BVRS District Office

1-8007624223 (Voice) or 1-866-862-6891 (TTY)

Hiram G. Andrews Center Seminar Theater

727 Goucher St., Section 10

Johnstown, PA  15905

Date/Time: March 30; 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Tammy Burke, 814-255-6771

Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson and McKean counties

Dubois BVRS District Office

1-8009224017 (Voice/TTY)

199 Beaver Dr.

DuBois, PA  15801

Date/Times: March 29; 11 a.m. – noon and 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Catherine Farr or Ralph Serafini

Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango and Warren counties

Erie BBVS District Office

1-866-521-5073 (Voice) or 1-888-884-5513 (TTY)

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Conference Room

3100 Lovell Place

Erie, PA  16503

Date/Times: March 23; 10 a.m. - noon and 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact: Dawn Sokol, 814-871-4401

Perkins Family Restaurant

18276 Conneaut Lake Rd.

Meadville, PA  16335

Date/Time: March 30; 10:30 a.m. – noon

Contact: Dawn Sokol, 814-871-4401

On-site at restaurant - mobile number 814-573-1432

Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe and Northampton counties

Allentown BVRS District Office

1-8009229536 (Voice) or 1-888-377-9207 (TTY)

45 North Fourth St.

Allentown, PA  18102

Date/Time: March 24; 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Rick Walters

Clinton, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Tioga and Union counties

Williamsport BVRS District Office

1-8004426359 or 570-327-3600 (Voice) or 1-800-706-0884 (TTY)

The Grit Building, Suite 102

208 West Third St.

Williamsport, PA  17701

Date/Time: March 29; 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Susan Swartz

Fayette, Greene and Washington counties

Washington BVRS District Office

1-8004426367 (Voice) or 1-866-752-6163 (TTY)

Washington District Office Conference Room

201 West Wheeling St.

Washington, PA  15301

Date/Time: March 29; 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Lori Kaczmarek, 724-223-4430, ext. 251  

Fayette Community Action Building

1-8004426367 (Voice) or 1-866-752-6163 (TTY)

Conference Room

137 N. Beeson Blvd.

Uniontown, PA  15401

Date/Time: March 30; 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Contact: Hila Saxer, 724-223-4430, ext. 236  

Philadelphia County

Philadelphia BVRS District Office

1-8004426381 (Voice) or 1-800-772-9031 (TTY)

5th Floor Conference Room

444 North Third St.

Philadelphia, PA  19123

Date/Times: March 23; 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Contact: Rose Higby, 215-560-1940; Shannon Ruane, 215-560-1960 or TTY 965-7428

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry