PAR

aka Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability   |   Lemoyne, PA   |  www.par.net

Mission

PAR's mission is to strengthen the capacity of its membership to provide person-centered services to Pennsylvanians with intellectual disability and/or autism.

Ruling year info

1974

President and CEO

Mr. Mark Davis

Main address

4 Lemoyne Drive Suite 203

Lemoyne, PA 17043 USA

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Formerly known as

Pennsylvania Association of Resources for People with Mental Retardation

EIN

23-7315182

NTEE code info

Professional Societies, Associations (P03)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Education and Program

PAR disseminates information, analyses, research, and training opportunities related to autism and intellectual disability services in Pennsylvania. PAR develops and convenes conferences, workshops, and regularly-scheduled meetings and education opportunities, some of which are offered at no cost or are heavily subsidized to enable people with an interest in Pennsylvania’s community disability service system to receive the most up-to-date and essential information they need. For providers, education, information, collaboration and advocacy are absolutely necessary to help ensure quality services for individuals with intellectual disability or autism and their families. PAR’s website, www.par.net, offers free resources designed to further educate people about autism and intellectual disability. For example, PAR provides PAR mail free of charge to families and consumers and the greater community. During FY 2018-2019, PAR issued 252 publications via PAR mail to a direct mailing list of Pennsylvania service provider members who provide the majority of the services and supports in Pennsylvania for people living with autism or with an intellectual disability in Pennsylvania. PAR Mail is also sent to business associates that include a wide variety of organizations that have business relationships with PAR members, such as consultants, banks, insurance providers, legal and accounting firms. Providers and associates then disseminate PAR Mail throughout their organizations to tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians. PAR sends PAR Mail publications as well as comments and recommendations for improvements in the system to government officials of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and to the major advocacy associations such as the Arc of PA and the Pennsylvania Waiting List Campaign.

Population(s) Served

PAR assumes a key leadership role in the development and implementation of comprehensive support systems that have the capacity to fully serve people with autism and intellectual disabilities in Pennsylvania, according to their needs. PAR advocates for effective evidence-based policies, practices and quality frameworks within the service system. PAR’s advocacy extends well beyond the traditional federal and state definitions of “lobbying.” In addition to those defined activities, PAR empowers and educates individuals and families who receive services and also those who are waiting to receive services through information exchange, partnership coalitions, as well as through its online action center which is available to the public at no charge.

Population(s) Served

PAR assists families, including family members who have disabilities, through scholarships and access to various educational events to help them learn more about how to meet the challenges they face through good information and networking opportunities.

PAR underwent an expansive website redesign project. The PAR website, www.par.net, provides free online access to information about how to receive services as well as links to relevant PA Department of Human Services and Office of Developmental Programs websites. This information is also available to state and county government who have the responsibility for administering and coordinating services for people who live with autism or an intellectual disability, and to the greater community upon request. Through PAR’s new Association Management Software (AMS) implemented this year, PAR can grow and maintain a more accurate database with which to disseminate information through PAR Mail which just this year was made open to the public.

Links to all PAR member service providers can be found with the services they provide as well as contact information. The website includes links to member’s employee recruitment pages for the public to find jobs in the field.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

PAR's mission is to strengthen the capacity of its membership to provide person-centered services to Pennsylvanians with intellectual disability and/or autism (ID/A). PAR envisions a service provider community that is an effective political, economic, and social force that ensures a person-centered, viable, quality service system that betters the lives of people with intellectual disability and/or autism.

Comprised of Provider Members that deliver comprehensive community ID and autism services that are provided to individuals across their lifespan, as well as business partners who support PAR’s mission, PAR is committed to improving the quality, accessibility and viability of community services for people with autism and intellectual disability. All of PAR’s activities and resources are focused on making life better for people with autism and intellectual disability and their families. This includes the thousands of people who receive services now but need more, and the thousands of people who are still waiting for services, some of which are at the emergency level of need.

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide the supports to individuals with ID/A and their families. There are currently 55,000 DSPs employed in Pennsylvania. The skills and knowledge required to be effective in the role have increased yet compensation lags far behind because state rates do not support paying living wages. Turnover and job opening rates are very high as dedicated employees leave in alarming numbers to work in fields offering more competitive compensation and better work-life balance. PAR’s top advocacy priority is to Fix the DSP Crisis.

Developing creative solutions and partnering with stakeholders is a large part of what PAR is focused on to carry out our mission. The impact of our work is critical to the thousands of people with autism and intellectual disability and their families who rely on the strength of the community provider service system. Without the services our members provide, people with ID/A and their families would have no place to turn but to state-run institutions or have no support. State-run institutional models are this country's past, not the present nor the future.

PAR strives to strengthen and build the capacity of the private provider sector. This will be accomplished through continued advocacy with policymakers, legislators and the state and federal administrations; strategic partnerships with businesses as well as the community; education; and collaboration; piloting new models of service; increased education around and funding of assistive technology; and connecting people to meaningful resources.

PAR's strategies for accomplishing our goals focus on education, information, communication and advocacy.

Continuously improving our effectiveness in accomplishing our mission is the exciting challenge we have taken on since 1970 which started with a few providers gathering together to pool their resources to benefit people with disabilities and has grown to become the largest provider-based association in Pennsylvania focused on the same thing – getting things done that will benefit people with intellectual disability and/or autism.

Our strategies include collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders, beginning with families and people with disabilities who call themselves self-advocates; we believe that everyone, given the support they need, can communicate their needs. Collaboration efforts are inclusive of state and federal government, advocates, other groups with an interest in disabilities, and our communities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

PAR educates our members through webinars, our website, task forces, committees and workgroups, meetings with government officials and our members, conferences, publications via email to our membership, and statewide roundtables. PAR has recently developed an online community through the PAR website for workgroups to connect, share information and collaborate with each other. Multiple methods of communicating are the key to connecting people with the resources and information they need and want.

PAR provides members with tools, training and guidance in grassroots advocacy campaigns focused on increasing funding for autism and ID services. PAR communications, online tools and social media campaigns empower the individuals and families our members support to be part of the democratic process as well. PAR continues to increase our visibility and influence with Pennsylvania's administrative and legislative bodies exponentially through the coordinated use of PAR's and our members' contracted lobbyists, known as the PAR Advocacy Council.

All of these strategies combined with a focus on communication, collaboration, and developing solutions - are critical to the success of carrying out our mission.

PAR is guided by our volunteer Board of Directors who are executives and experts in the community disability field, PAR staff, Provider Members, business associate members, and an extended network of dedicated contractors with a long history of working for PAR. This team has a wide range of skills and expertise that are used to carry out PAR's mission.

PAR is also involved in several state and national organizations that strengthen our organization including but not limited to the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) to which all PAR members are also members as part of an initiative between PAR and the national association, the National Council of Nonprofits, the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO), and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

PAR’s advocacy, which supported Governor Wolf’s 17-18 budget proposal for ID/A services, achieved notable results with significant funding proposals enacted in law. It included funding for the Waiting List; the closure of a state institution and funding to support the necessary transitions; funding for all special education graduates; funding for increased needs and utilization and additional case management services; as well as the first rate increases for ID/A services in more than 10 years. However, the beat goes on because the last year brought no rate increases and this coming year has no proposal for a rate increase.

PAR members have been following ANCOR’s lead in enhancing our relationships on the federal level. PAR members have joined national rallies against cuts to Medicaid funding and met with the offices of our two senators Casey and Toomey multiple times to talk about the importance of preserving Medicaid funding for ID/A services.

PAR’s advocacy around the Department of Labor Overtime Exemption Rule helped achieve a three-year non-enforcement respite period for ID/A providers before the rule was struck down by the court. We were the only employer group in the country to achieve any type of special treatment.

PAR member’s advocacy succeeded in delaying the implementation of Electronic Visit Verification by one year to enable providers to get ready and to help address serious privacy issues that people with disabilities and their families are concerned about.

PAR is working together advocating for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to create a Standard Occupational Definition for DSPs so that we can have clearer picture of what is happening with our workforce. We are currently advocating together on the Disability Employment Incentive Act introduced by Senator Bob Casey; the HEADs UP Act introduced by Representative Seth Moulton; and the Empower Care Act which would reauthorize the Money Follows the Person Program.

PAR’s President and CEO Mark Davis co-chaired the development of ANCOR’s whitepaper on Managed Long Term Supports and Services (MLTSS) which will provide a strong background for our conversations on the state level with ODP about the future of the ID/A system.

PAR’s online community connects hundreds of volunteers among our membership who share information and resources with each other as part of over 20 workgroups and task forces.

Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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PAR

Board of directors
as of 07/24/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kathleen McHale

SPIN, Inc.

Term: 2016 - 2019

John Barber

Barber National Institute

Stephen Bruce

Devereux

Denise Clofine

St. Edmond's Home

Paul Coleman

LifePath

William Harriger

Verland

Charles Hooker

Keystone Human Services

Kathleen McHale

SPIN, Inc.

Terrence McNelis

Merakey

Jeanne Meikrantz

The Arc of Chester County

Gregory Miller

Penn-Mar Human Services

William Miller

Martha Lloyd

Kathryn Morris

Fayette Resources, Inc.

Rob Reid

Access Services

Gwen Schuit

Friendship Community

Ruth Siegfried

InVision Human Services

Dean Stoesz

Indian Creek Foundation

David Wyher

Delta Community Services

John Barber

Barber National Institute

John Barber

Barber National Institute

John Barber

Barber National Institute

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes