ODPANN 21-055 Changes to Deaf Services and the Harry M. Class

The Harry M. settlement agreement was approved by a federal court judge on August 20, 2013. This settlement agreement was created to ensure Pennsylvanians who are D/deaf1 and receive services/supports from the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), are provided with necessary communication assistance services. The settlement also includes a requirement to provide communication assessments and reassessments to evaluate expressive and receptive language skills and make recommendations. The settlement will end July 29, 2021. 

ODP will continue to meet all requirements that were imposed by the settlement; however, new D/deaf individuals that enroll in the Consolidated, Community Living or Person/Family Directed Support (P/FDS) Waivers will not automatically be scheduled for an assessment. Class Members who previously received a Communication Assessment Report that recommended a reassessment will still receive their reassessment automatically. 

Beginning July 30, 2021, when a D/deaf individual is enrolled in the Consolidated, Community Living, or P/FDS waiver, the Supports Coordinator (SC) is to check the “Harry M. Litigation” checkbox in the demographics screen in HCSIS. This indicator alerts the Deaf Services Coordinator of the individual. Within 30 days of the individual being enrolled in an applicable waiver, the SC should contact the Deaf Services Coordinator at [email protected] for a consultation. This consultation will allow the Deaf Services Coordinator to recommend specific training and resources, and an assessment, if applicable. 

ODPANN 21-055

Revised Supports Coordinators’ Guide to the Communication Assessment and Reassessment 

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