Who We Are
AID in PA is home to resources designed to support individuals with autism and or an intellectual or developmental disability, their parents and caregivers, professionals and the communities across Pennsylvania. AID in PA is a collaborative effort between ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) and its subsidiary teams #ASDNext and the Philly Autism Project, the HCQUs (Health Care Quality Units) across the state and Temple University’s department of Disability Resources and Services, all operating under Pennsylvania’s ODP (Office of Developmental Programs).
The mission of AID in PA is to leverage the unique specialties of its collaborators to offer a comprehensive resource collection supporting the ID/DD/A communities of Pennsylvania. By addressing topics most relevant to these communities and uniquely designing content for each stakeholder group, AID in PA is the go-to for living a full life with autism and or an intellectual or development disability in Pennsylvania.
AID in PA began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. ODP knew it was a time of particular need for the ID/DD/A communities of Pennsylvania and called on ASERT and the HCQUs to be the initial content creators. With the goal of arming self-advocates and those who support them with the necessary information to navigate and cope with a global health crisis, AID in PA officially launched in the spring of 2020 with a series of webinars, print documentation and external resource link collections.
As Pennsylvania alongside the world worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, AID in PA began to broaden its approach. Due to its prior work in ID/DD/A support, Temple University joined the team. While continuing to focus on emergency response and timely needs, AID in PA now offers guidance and support through a multitude of challenges facing the ID/DD/A communities such as healthy sexuality and trauma support and recovery.
After beginning to address a wider range of subject matter, AID in PA launched its social media presence. By growing its network online, AID in PA is now able to speak directly with stakeholders and more efficiently disseminate critical information.
ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training)
ASERT is a partnership of medical centers, centers of autism research and services, universities, and other providers involved in the treatment and care of individuals of all ages with autism and their families. ASERT was developed to bring together resources locally, regionally, and statewide.
Currently the ASERT partners include the AJ Drexel Autism Institute at Drexel University, Penn State College of Medicine at the Hershey Medical Center, and UPMC Western Behavioral Health, Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders.
HCQUs (Health Care Quality Units)
The Health Care Quality Units (HCQUs) work to support and improve the health information and knowledge for the intellectual disabilities community service system by building capacity and competency within the physical and behavioral health care systems as well as the stakeholders of the ID system.
There are currently 8 HCQUs across the state:
- Central PA Health Care Quality Unit — (Geisinger)
- Eastern PA Health Care Quality Unit — (Advocacy Alliance)
- Northeastern PA Health Care Quality Unit — (Advocacy Alliance)
- Northwest PA Health Care Quality Unit — (Milestone HCQU Northwest)
- Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care — (PMHCC, Inc.)
- South Central PA Health Care Quality Unit — (Advocacy Alliance)
- Southwestern PA Health Care Quality Unit — (KEPRO)
- Western PA Health Care Quality Unit — (Milestone HCQU West)
Temple Institute on Disabilities
The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University is one of the sixty-seven University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University learns from and works with people with disabilities and their families in diverse communities across Pennsylvania to create and share knowledge, change systems and society, and promote self-determined lives so that disability is recognized as a natural part of the human experience.
Office of Developmental Programs (ODP)
The mission of the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is to support Pennsylvanians with developmental disabilities to achieve greater independence, choice and opportunity in their lives. The office seeks to continuously improve an effective system of accessible services and supports that are flexible, innovative and person-centered.