November 2020

Finding Hope & a BIG Thank You to Our Compassionate Work Force

We are living in unprecedented times for many of us. We are living in the midst of an invisible threat, financial pressures, intense political conflict, and penetrating racial polarization. What are we to do? How should we respond?  How can we make a difference in our sphere of influence? I believe these are real and important questions that we must address to make a difference and impact those around us. 


How Faith Helped My Recovery Journey

My journey of healing began by being hospitalized and months of an intensive outpatient program. As bad as I felt, I continued to feel it was a healing point in my life. I learned coping techniques, wellness tools, and began journaling. I heard over and over that my wellness had to come first, or I would not be able to give energy to the people I love. I pushed through the pain and did the work. The guilt continued, and I felt so fragile. My family was still dealing with the stressors that almost broke me. I needed to somehow be present for them, but knew if I didn’t do things differently, nothing would change.


Adapting to Online Learning

Providing support in the school setting has looked different this year. As families supported by Access Services’ IBHS have transitioned to online learning, they have shared their appreciation for support in helping their children to navigate and adapt to a virtual classroom.


Abington Police "Bridge" Program 

The Abington Police Department has partnered with Access Services’ Montgomery County Mobile Crisis to form the Bridge Program.  The Bridge Program is designed to increase connection to mental health services for Abington area residents through a quick referral mechanism.  A Mobile Crisis liaison is partnering with Abington Police to support outreach, referral, and co-response in the community.


Offering Hope to Chester County Families

During the pandemic, we’ve spoken to many concerned parents and caregivers regarding their child’s education and how to advocate for supports for their child.  We’ve also coordinated and facilitated calls with families to providers and social service agencies, in order to get a better picture of the needs for children and their families, including, working with families who are Spanish speaking through the support of our bilingual staff.


A Sensory Friendly Screening at Water Tower Cinema

The Access family knows a lot about The Ben & J Show’s Ben Hartranft – but did you know he once worked at his own neighborhood movie theater, Water Tower Cinema in Montgomeryville, PA? 

With Halloween approaching, and COVID-19 threatening to shut down Halloween for kids and families everywhere, Ben decided that Halloween isn’t cancelled. Ben reached out to his friends at The Goldenberg Group, owners of Water Tower Cinema, to see if they’d help realize his vision to host a “Drive-thru Trick or Treat” event in the theater parking lot to support Ben & J Show fans everywhere and the surrounding community.  They loved Ben’s idea and the event was born!


An Amplified Response

If I could use one word to describe 2020 it might be amplification.  The events of this year have amplified rates of depression, anxiety and even suicide.  In turn, faith communities and service providers are coming together to amplify their response.  For example, in October, Access staff taught workshops in a virtual church and mental health summit with viewers spanning the globe.  Then in November, Access staff will be speaking at a virtual summit on the church and suicide intervention.  If you’d like to participate in this event sign up via the link below. While the challenges we face have been amplified, so to must be our collective response.

Contact our Chaplain and Director of Intersect, Dave Eckert at 215-540-2150, x1286 or email


Sponsor a Star

Has the pandemic made you feel isolated and alone? Are you wondering what the holidays will be like this year?  Just like you and me, many of the people that Access Services supports are feeling the impact of the pandemic.

Although many of our activities and how we conduct them has changed in 2020, our Sponsor-A-Star campaign is more important now than ever before!  Each year in December, Sponsor-A-Star makes it possible for us to distribute presents to the people in our community who would not otherwise be remembered at the holidays.

You can sponsor one of our stars with a gift of $25. Your generosity will allow our staff to purchase a holiday present for some of most vulnerable people we serve, including children and adults with disabilities who have no family support.  Thanks in advance for your consideration.

For in-kind donations, please contact Linda at 215-540-2150, 1357 or email


Direct Support Professional Rate Increase

A temporary rate increase of up to $3/hr. is offered to ODP program staff due to an increase in staffing demands during the COVID-19 pandemic. This adjustment is effective for all hours worked through December 2, 2020.

In-Home Supports (IHS) DSP - The base rate for this position is $12.00 to $12.50/hour plus a $3.00/hour temporary rate adjustment reflecting current demands due to the pandemic.

Life/Lifesharing DSP - The base rate for this position is $12.50 to $13.00/hour plus a $3.00/hour temporary rate adjustment reflecting current demands due to the pandemic.

Community Living Arrangement (CLA) DSP - The base rate for this position is $13.00 to $14.00/hour plus a $3.00/hour temporary rate adjustment reflecting current demands due to the pandemic.


Open Your Heart and Home by Becoming a Lifesharing Provider! 

By becoming a Lifesharing Provider, you will have the opportunity to open your home and share your life with an adult with an intellectual disability. Your support and assistance will enrich an individual’s life by affording them the opportunity to become a fully participating member of their community and empowering them to reach for and achieve their goals and aspirations. Individuals in the Lifesharing program often attend school, work and day programs.
• Individuals typically have mild to moderate support needs
• Our host families choose who they will take into their homes
• We have a reputation of being a supportive organization
• Competitive rates and training provided
• Short and Long-term options available

Access Services Provider Recruitment team is taking all necessary precautions to protect the health and safety of our valued providers. Precautions include temperature checks, gloves, masks, and limited face to face meetings with multiple options to meet virtually or over the phone.


Access Services
500 Office Center Drive, Suite 100
Fort Washington, PA 19034  |  215-540-2150, 1282

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