Senator Frank Farry: Choice Should be Paramount in Services Provided to Individuals...

Senator Frank Farry: Choice Should be Paramount in Services Provided to Individuals With Disabilities

From Senator Frank Farry’s Newsletter on April 12, 2024:

Last week, I held a press conference to announce the findings from the Joint State Government Commission report mandated from House Resolution 212 – which I authored while serving in the House of Representatives. The report reviewed the services provided by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) to individuals with disabilities, including work opportunities and living arrangements.

The press conference was held at Associated Production Services (APS), a packaging company in Feasterville that is employed predominately by individuals with disabilities. Currently, ODP in their rate setting penalizes operations like APS because there is not a community element. However, we heard from many of the working individuals along with their families that they are happy working at APS with their peers. It is a clean, safe, and structured environment, and they consider it their community.

Watch what the workers of APS and their families had to say:  

In 2017, we held a rally at the Capitol with workers from APS and similar workplaces, their families, and service providers advocating for “My Work. My Choice.” I cannot believe we are still talking about this today. One astounding issue is that to participate in a work program like APS, you need to be found ineligible for other programs and it is considered a workplace of last resort. That doesn’t sound like choice.

The report reaffirms that choice should be paramount in the services provided by ODP. The number one recommendation in the report is “promote freedom of choice.” I am going to use this report as the blueprint to continue to advocate for programs like APS to stay open and ensure individuals with disabilities are treated fairly by the government, including having the freedom to choose where they live and work. View full press conference and learn more.