Issue 3 | Spring 2024

Supports Broker Network – Monthly Meeting

The Institute on Disability at Temple University hosts a monthly Pennsylvania Supports Broker Network meeting. Each virtual meeting, on the third Wednesday of each month from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., is held via Zoom and will address a different topic of discussion every month.

The mission of the Pennsylvania Supports Broker Network is to provide up-to-date information from Pennsylvania’s Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) which impacts a Supports Broker and the services they provide. Additionally, the Network aims to offer continuous learning opportunities, by inviting guest speakers during Network meetings. After some meetings, participants will be able to ask questions, find resources, and meet other Supports Brokers.

Upcoming Supports Broker Network Meetings

  • June 19, 2024, at 4 p.m.
  • July 17, 2024, at 4 p.m.
  • August 24, 2024, at 4 p.m.

In the Tech Corner – PA Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF)

During a recent PA Supports Broker Network Meeting, speakers from the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) joined to introduce their organization.  PATF is a statewide, non-profit organization that helps individuals with disabilities acquire assistive technology devices and services. A state and federally Certified Community Development Financial Institution (COFI,) PATF is the Commonwealth’s designated Alternative Financing Program (AFP) under the federal Assistive Technology Act.  PAFT provides a variety of services not only to get affordable financing for assistive technology, but also financial education for one’s journey through life.

Financial Services

  • 0% interest for loan amounts of $100 to $7,000
  • 3.75% for loans over $7,000

Financial Education

  • Free webinars on financial management
  • Free downloads of money management books

Examples of Assistive Technology

  • Computers
  • Tablets (i.e. iPad, Android)
  • Hearing aids
  • Portable ramps
  • Stair glides
  • Home modifications (e.g. ramps, lower counter tips, wider doorways)Adaptive vehicles (e.g. lowered floors, ramps, tie-downs)
  • Smart Home Technology (e.g. smart speakers, lights thermostat, alarm system, door openers) More information on Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation, is available on the PATF website.


In the News

Last month, a major milestone was reached for Pennsylvanians receiving Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) released the ruling: Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services. This ruling includes health and safety protection, state accountability, transportation, more stringent quality measures and improvements to the direct care workforce.

The historic ruling was made possible with the support of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on the increase of quality care and supports caregivers, highlighted in the last State of Union Address.

What are the improvements under this ruling?

  • Minimum staffing standards for nursing homes;
  • Annual facility assessments to monitor standards and improvements;
  • A registered nurse is now required to be on site 24-hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week;
  • Ensuring access to medicaid services which strengthens HCBS.

More information about the Ensuring Access to Medicaid and Medicare Services is available on the website of the Administration of Community Living.


CC0 licensed photo by Lee Drozak from the WordPress Photo Directory.