Compared to the other five largest PA counties, ACJ was far less transparent in providing its mental health policies. PublicSource appealed ACJ’s decision to the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, but the appeal was denied.
Someone you love is having a breakdown. They could hurt themselves. Who do you call? If 911 leaps to mind, you’ll likely get a visit in a few minutes — from police, whose training includes behavioral health but is focused more on addressing criminality. If you can remember 1-888-796-8226 (or 1-888-7-YOU-CAN), you’ll get a mental health professional from resolve Crisis Services, a 13-year-old unit of UPMC hired by Allegheny County to handle behavioral incidents.
Women hold nearly half of the seats on major boards and commissions that make many decisions in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, and Black residents hold more than one in every four, PublicSource has found as part of the year-long Board Explorer project. Both figures represent steps toward greater diversity in the region’s power structure. In 2005, women occupied fewer than ⅓ of seats on county and city boards, according to a study done then by Carnegie Mellon University students in partnership with the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania. Black residents held 23% of the seats for which the race of the member was known in 2005, but now hold 28%. Presented with PublicSource’s findings, diversity advocates were united in one sentiment: Progress is no cause for complacency.
The Social Security Administration can currently review a person’s social media presence as part of fraud investigations that include information from social media to corroborate findings. But under the Trump administration, the agency has studied whether to expand its use of social media as part of the disability claims process.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE Nearly a third of the nation’s 1.56 million inmates have at least one disability, and a new report by a protection and advocacy group states that many prisoners with disabilities are serving more time, under harsher conditions, because of their disabilities.
Scientists and researchers are aiming to collect DNA and other vital information from 50,000 individuals with autism and their family members.
Known as SPARK (Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge), the project developers intend to create an online research database through responses from those with autism and their relatives.
Following in the footsteps of more than 40 states, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience [ABLE] Act into law to improve financial savings options for people with disabilities.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry is awarding $1.2 million in transition services contracts Tuesday to eight organizations to aid high school students with disabilities transition to jobs and secondary education.
The Kane Regional Centers — located in Pittsburgh, McKeesport and Ross and Scott townships — spent more on overtime than any other county department in 2014 and 2015. However, the nursing homes also have more employees than any other department.