Shusterman: Bipartisan group of elected representatives calling for $540 million to be distributed to intellectual disability and autism community

HARRISBURG, May 25 -- State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, accompanied by Democratic and Republican state representatives and intellectual disability/autism advocates, tomorrow will call on the legislature to distribute $540 million in federal relief funds to Pennsylvania’s disabilities service.

The news conference will take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 26, in Soldier’s Grove behind the state Capitol.

“Services for these individuals have been underfunded for decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us to the breaking point and this support is desperately needed,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery. “We know that Individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as members of the general population. This funding will help save lives.  

“Distributing $540 million would also benefit the direct support professionals who consistently work long hours for low wages. Their work is invaluable and they deserve fair compensation for their selfless, hard work.”

In addition to Shusterman, the following are scheduled to speak:

  • Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks.
  • Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila.
  • Rep. Stephen Kinsey, D-Phila.
  • Rep. Eric Nelson, R-Westmoreland.
  • Mark Davis, Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability.
  • Beth Ryan, director of employment services, People Employing People.
  • A family member of someone with ID/A.
  • Anne Couldridge, Cumberland Perry Arc.

For more information, contact Shusterman’s office at (484) 200-8260.