The Adult Community Autism Program, also known as ACAP, is one of two programs in Pennsylvania specifically designed to help adults with autism spectrum disorder participate in their communities in the way that they want to, based upon their identified needs.
To apply for ACAP, call the Bureau of Autism Services at 1-866-539-7689 and choose Option 2. Please not that you cannot apply for ACAP through Keystone Autism Services.
Below are responses to some frequently asked questions regarding general information about the Adult Community Autism Program. If you can't find the information you are looking for here, please call the Bureau of Autism Services, toll free, at 1-866-539-7689 or email us.
You also can contact the ACAP service provider by calling 717-220-1465 or 1-877-501-4715, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to speak to someone directly about ACAP services, or visit the Keystone Autism Services - Adult Community Autism Program website.
ACAP is offered in Dauphin, Lancaster, Cumberland and Chester counties.
Expansion of ACAP across the state is dependent on available resources.
ACAP can serve 200 adults (including reserved capacity).
Yes. You can request an application while receiving services from another waiver program, but, before you enroll in ACAP, you will need to disenroll from the other waiver program. Timelines are coordinated, however, so that you will continue to receive services from the old program until ACAP services start.
The participant is at the center of all service planning and service delivery. During the service planning process ACAP participants share their goals, likes and dislikes to help determine what services they will receive. Once enrolled in ACAP, the participant is actively involved in the services they receive and their ongoing services plan.
At the participant’s request, families have the opportunity to provide information during the service planning process and to provide feedback about the program. Decreased family stress is one goal of the program and is assessed each year. The participant, however, is at the center of his or her planning and can determine who is part of his or her team.
In order to be eligible for ACAP, a person must be age 21 or older, a U.S. citizen or qualified alien, reside in the service area, and meet certain diagnostic, functional and financial eligibility criteria (listed below).
Have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) applicable at the time of the diagnosis.
Must have substantial functional limitations in three or more of the major life activities listed below:
Yes, as long as they meet all the eligibility criteria listed above.
There is no time limit or maximum age limit. Participants are assessed each year to ensure they continue to meet all eligibility requirements.
You may apply for more than one waiver or the Adult Community Autism Program at a time, including the Adult Autism Waiver. Individuals may not, however, enroll in more than one.
An individual can be on a waiting list for another program while receiving services from ACAP. Applicants should discuss their individual situation with program staff from the Bureau of Autism Services and their county office.
There are two ways to request an application for Pennsylvania’s adult autism programs: by phone, or online. Applications may not be requested via email or through this website.
Call 1-866-539-7689 (toll free number) and follow the prompts to select the Adult Autism Waiver or the Adult Community Autism Program. Leave a message with the following information:
Visit the Information Referral Tool (IRT): http://www.dhs.pa.gov/irt
After the request for an application is made: Someone from the Bureau of Autism Services (BAS) will call to ask general information questions. If an individual meets the basic eligibility requirements (autism diagnosis, age, resident county), their name will be placed on the ACAP waiting list based on the date/time of their referral. When openings are available, individuals are notified by BAS on a first-come-first-serve basis to begin the application process.
BAS will begin the application process by calling to schedule a time to conduct the Functional Eligibility Assessment. The location of the assessment is determined jointly with you; generally, your home is preferred. If basic functional eligibility requirements have been met, the application packet, including assessments, will be given to you, some of which your physician will need to complete. Staff from BAS are available to answer your questions and help you with the forms if you need it. Details about this process are below.
After you receive the application packet: You have 45 days to return the application packet to BAS. You can call and request an extension if you are having difficulty completing the packet on time. If it isn’t returned on time, we will assume you are no longer interested in applying for ACAP. If you do become interested again at a later date, you will have to call BAS and place your name back on the waiting list. If you have questions about completing the application packet, please call 1-717-425-5692 and someone from BAS will return your call and assist you in completing the application packet.
Financial eligibility for Medical Assistance is a requirement for ACAP. If you do not have Medical Assistance at the time of application to ACAP, you will need to apply for Medical Assistance through your local County Assistance Office. If you are not eligible for Medical Assistance, you will receive a Medical Assistance denial letter from your County Assistance Office. If you receive a denial letter from your County Assistance Office, the ACAP application process will not continue. You must meet the financial eligibility criteria for Medical Assistance to enroll in ACAP. If you are employed, you may still be eligible for Medical Assistance under the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program. Your County Assistance Office will be able to assist you in this area.
After BAS receives your completed information: BAS will decide if the application process can continue based on your eligibility. Once BAS determines your eligibility, your application will be sent to Keystone Autism Services (KAS).
After Keystone Autism Services receives your application: Keystone Autism Services will call you to set up a meeting to gather additional information and complete other assessments to be used in the development of your initial Individual Support Plan (ISP).
Keystone Autism Services will meet with you to develop and review your initial ISP. If you agree to enroll, you will start ACAP the first day of the next month. You must dis-enroll from any Medical Assistance HealthChoices program (ACAP will provide medical services) and any home and community- based waiver program that you are enrolled in, if any, at the time of enrollment in ACAP.
You can voluntarily disenroll from ACAP at any time for any reason. Additionally, you can choose to transfer from ACAP to the Adult Autism Waiver if you choose to do so. You cannot, however, transfer back into ACAP without placing your name back on the waiting list.
You must maintain financial eligibility and your annual recertification (MA51 – Medical Evaluation Form) to stay enrolled in ACAP. Your Supports Coordinator will help you with this process.
All physician services (including emergency services provided by a physician, psychiatric services, and direct access to a woman’s health specialist to provide women’s routine and preventive health care services)
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Other services are covered under Medical Assistance (fee-for-service): Inpatient facility, ambulatory surgical center, home health care, clinic-including family planning, transportation, renal dialysis center, laboratory, x-ray clinic, pharmacy.
You are at the center of service planning and ISP development. Services are based on assessed needs as well as your interests. The ISP team includes you, your Supports Coordinator, your Behavioral Specialist (if applicable), your legal guardian (if applicable), and anyone else you or your legal guardian chooses to have involved.
No, services are based on your ISP.
Services in the ISP will change as your needs change. This is determined at the annual review or whenever changes are needed.
Non-medical and non-emergency medical transportation services are available in ACAP. Non-Medical Transportation means you can get to and from your authorized services. Non-Medical Transportation is also available to you for transportation to and from other services, work, and community activities when other transportation resources, including natural supports, are not available. Natural supports may include friends, family, community members, neighbors, or coworkers. Non-Medical Transportation can also be used when it is determined that you are unable to utilize alternate transportation resources, such as public transportation, due to unavoidable health and safety risks.
While the Residential Habilitation service in ACAP does include a housing component, it is not designed as a housing alternative for ACAP participants. Residential Habilitation is a service to help improve skills to live in the community. Residential Habilitation Services are provided in a licensed community home (not a participant’s or participant’s family home). Like all services in ACAP, a participant must have an assessed need for Residential Habilitation Services. Residential Habilitation is designed for participants who are unable to live independently at home, either alone or with family.)
ACAP does not pay for housing outside of the Residential Habilitation service.
A participant receiving Residential Habilitation services in ACAP is responsible for contributing part of their income toward the room and board. The share of the room and board would not be more than 72 percent of the monthly Social Security Income (SSI) maximum rate. If a participant’s income is less than the SSI maximum rate, the participant would only be charged a maximum of 72 percent of their available monthly income for room and board.
ACAP Community homes must be licensed by the Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Programs in accordance with Title 55 PA Code Chapter 6400.
Monitoring of the program is an ongoing process throughout the year and includes the following: reports, on-site reviews, interviews with participants, an annual quality review by an outside agency, quality performance outcome measures, and oversight of provider qualifications (including training). Participants are interviewed to find out if they are getting the services in their plan, if they are happy with their services, and if they are treated well by their providers. BAS also checks to make sure participants are healthy and safe.
View the current ACAP Agreement.
View the current Appendices to the ACAP Agreement.
View the November 28, 2018 BAS mailing to participants: