Gov. Corbett tours Norcom Community Center

A special visit: Gov. Tom Corbett visits the Norcom Community Center, where he was given a tour of classes offered to mentally challenged people. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTOS

Gov. Tom Corbett last week toured the Norcom Community Center, which is operated by Special People In Northeast, the nonprofit human services organization that provides services for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

“Organizations like SPIN provide much-needed services for individuals with disabilities and their families, helping them live inclusive lives in their communities,” Corbett said. “However, many Pennsylvanians are sadly unable to access those services as they sit on a waiting list for our assistance.”

Corbett’s 2013–14 budget provides access to home and community-based services for almost 3,000 Pennsylvanians with physical and intellectual disabilities through an increase in funding of $40 million.

“It’s encouraging that we’ve been able to work with the legislature to provide access to services not just to individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities, but to those with physical disabilities as well,” Corbett said. “But there are still so many more Pennsylvania families who desperately need our help; our work is far from done.”

Corbett was joined for the Dec. 3 announcement by state Reps. Mark Cohen, Madeleine Dean and Gene DiGirolamo; Department of Public Welfare Deputy Secretary Fred Lokuta; disability advocates; and two Philadelphia-area families, one that has received services as a result of the increased funding commitment and one that remains on a waiting list.

The Norcom Community Center is located at 10980 Norcom Road.

Many individuals with intellectual disabilities “age out” of receiving special education services when graduating high school, or live at home with an elderly caregiver or single parent who must split time between full-time employment and caregiving duties.

“Caregivers should not have to choose between caring for a loved one and full-time employment,” Corbett said.

In September, Corbett announced his Healthy Pennsylvania plan, which, among other things, provides access to home and community-based services for individuals with disabilities. ••

A special visit: Gov. Tom Corbett visits the Norcom Community Center, where he was given a tour of classes offered to mentally challenged people. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTOS

A special visit: Gov. Tom Corbett visits the Norcom Community Center, where he was given a tour of classes offered to mentally challenged people. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTOS