Advocate

Call for Action

At Prospectus Berco we have been very concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the people we support, including your loved one, and our Direct Support Professionals. Many providers in Pennsylvania have been struggling with reduced revenue and increased costs.

You may know that we are funded by the government, a combination of state and federal funding, and are dependent on appropriations. We are currently asking Governor Wolf and our legislators for funding ($270M) to keep Pennsylvania Intellectual Disability/Autism (ID/A) services afloat through the end of the year. This funding is critical to ensure that we are able to keep our services open.

In order to advocate for this funding, it is extremely important that our elected officials hear from you. Here’s how you can help:

1. Send an email to your legislators and Governor Wolf

Click here to send an email! Simply enter your mailing address and email address and your message will automatically be sent to your Senator and Representative and Governor Wolf.

  1. Call your legislators!

Click here to look up your legislators and here to view our advocacy talking points. The message is simple: We need this critical CARES Act Funding in order to keep Intellectual Disability/Autism services afloat through the end of the year!

  1. Post on social media

If you have stories about how important Intellectual Disability/Autism services and Direct Support Professionals are, please share them on social media using the hashtag #SupportMeSupportDSPs and tag your legislators! We are just out of Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, what stories can you share on social media to help advocate for DSPs and the individuals they support?

Thank you for your attention to this important issue! You can find more information on our association’s website (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability) here: www.par.net/advocacy-toolkit.

Employment First & Community Participation Supports

Prospectus Berco seeks to improve the quality of life for Berks County residents with disabilities by providing support services to help individuals achieve greater community engagement and more independence. As Community stake holders and volunteers you can make a big difference in the lives of our program participants by providing opportunities for them to be involved in their community, gain meaningful experiences that give purpose to their lives and possibly lead to gainful employment. Please consider how your business can help individuals gain on-the-job training for employment.

Vocational Program
  • The Vocational Program is looking to connect businesses with talent based on the unique needs of the company and the worker(s) with a disability. Our program provides reliable, effective, and timely services whereby Vocational staff train and support workers on-site at the job.
  • Requirements include:
  • Minimum wage paid of $7.25
  • Only 3 to 5 production workers at the site
  • We are also interested in training production workers to become an employee of an off-site business. We can provide the training but ultimately the individual would become an employee.
  • We will also consider volunteer opportunities for the production workers to get out in the community and for obtaining additional job skills.
Adult Training Program
  • We are looking for more outside connections to fulfill life skill opportunities which would need to be during the week from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and within ½ hour distance of our facility.
  • Opportunities are geared toward relationship building with community members and in giving back to the community. Program participants have been active with Meals on Wheels, shopping for senior citizens with Berks Encore, working on activities at local churches, visiting senior centers, stocking shelves at ReStore etc.

If you have any ideas to share, please contact Jessica Penchard, Development & Public Relations Director, at 610-372-4637, ext. 103, or jpenchard@prospectusberco.org

PAR (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources
for Autism and Intellectual Disability)

PAR LOGO horizontal

PAR (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability) proudly represents provider organizations whose mission is to serve and support Pennsylvania’s children and adults with autism or intellectual disability. 2020 will mark our 50th year as the only statewide provider association in the Commonwealth with this exclusive focus.

PAR Members provide the full range of supports and services for individuals with Autism and Intellectual Disability in Pennsylvania. With a workforce of over 50,000 Pennsylvanians supporting tens of thousands of individuals and their families, the association promotes the highest standards of service through advocacy, information, training and education, and the resources provided by our members.

You can help to increase awareness about the importance of this industry by contacting your legislature and government officials. Visit www.par.net  to stay current on issues and to provide you with the necessary talking points, tool kits and materials to be an advocate.

Currently, PAR has undergone a campaign to support legislation to increase wages for Direct Support Professionals (DSP) in order to attract better quality workers and to provide greater stability to the industry.

Pennsylvania is facing a DSP crisis and is in need of qualified caring individuals to provide 1:1 care for individuals with special needs. Because reimbursement rates to service providers are so low, many organizations are unable to offer competitive wages and full time status with benefits for DSP professionals.

Learn more at www.fixthedspcrisis.com