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Almost 3000 Pennsylvanians with an intellectual disability still live in institutions. The Department of Human Services (DHS) operates five state centers in: Ebensburg, Cambria County; Hamburg, Berks County; Polk, Venango County; Selinsgrove, Snyder County and White Haven, Luzerne County. These State Centers serve about 1000 people. DHS also contracts with private Intermediate Care Facilities for people with Intellectual Disability (ICFs/ID) to provide services for approximately 2,000 individuals. The private ICFs/ID vary in size, from large facilities located on campus-like settings to small facilities located in the community. In 2014, there were 20 large facilities serving nine or more individuals and 150 small facilities serving four to eight people; the largest facility served 190 people.


By their nature, institutions are segregated settings. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a landmark decision in Olmstead v L.C. which found that unjustified institutionalization of people with disabilities is a form of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Pennsylvania has been slow to come into compliance with Olmstead.


The Arc of Philadelphia’s Position

The Arc of Philadelphia supports the closure of all five of Pennsylvania’s State Centers and the closure of all large private ICF/IDs. Not only do institutional settings segregate people by their very nature but also they are an expensive and unsustainable model of care. The Arc believes that an immediate moratorium on admissions should be put in place. The Office of Developmental Programs should also ensure that all people leaving ICF/IDs should be provided appropriate home and community-based services in communities of their choosing.


What are we doing?

Reference Congregate Care – Imagine Different

Collaborate with PA Waiting List Campaign and Arc of PA