Students with disabilities often graduate from high school without the employment skills needed for entering the job market. By mobilizing the power of young self-advocates with disabilities, the #IWantToWork campaign helped to pass House Bill 400 so that students can receive the job experience and training necessary to prepare them enter the private sector job market upon graduation.
Homeless Infants initiative.
Many babies are born into a situation that places them at a dangerous disadvantage from the start. Advocacy worked to remove barriers that help the families of these children get the assistance and resources they need to ensure a brighter future. HB 2204 was approved unanimously in the House and the Senate in 2014.
Renaming of the Department of Welfare.
What’s in a name? Few people in Pennsylvania want to be on Welfare. To more accurately reflect the services provided to help people live more meaningful, independent lives, advocates worked to change the name to the Department of Human Services. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both chambers of the General Assembly, with Governor Corbett signing it into law in September 2014.
Helping Family Caregivers Across the Commonwealth.
- United Way’s United for Caregivers initiative provided behind-the-scenes advocacy and advice to the legislature and AARP to help pass the CARE Act in spring 2016.
- With Community HealthChoices managed long-term care beginning in July 2017, United Way has been vocal about the state’s need to include support for family caregivers as part of the Medicaid-provided services to seniors (when a caregiver is available) and we have been informing the state on how to make that happen.
- We are also exploring the importance of paid family and medical leave policies in Pennsylvania that will enable employees to care for seriously-ill loved ones, without losing their paycheck.