2018: The Year in Review

The Maryland Department of Disabilities was changing Maryland for the better for those with disabilities across our state. Here are some of our  most popular pics of 2018. These photos represent the work of our department over the past year promoting equality of opportunity, access, and choice for people with disabilities in Maryland. 
 #12 MDOD Team & Friends at the Heritage Overlook Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Deputy Assistant Secretary John Brennan, Christina Bolyard, Pat Sylvester, Penny Scrivens, Rebecca Raggio, and Secretary Beatty at the Heritage Overlook ribbon cutting.

Pat Sylvester is retiring December 31, after 32 years of state service. She has advocated passionately for affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities. Happy Retirement Pat!

 #11 Secretary Beatty celebrated 

Secretary Beatty and Ava's T21 Foundation at the Frederick Keys Game in May. Achievement Awards were presented on the field prior to the game.

 #10 MDOD Deploys Assistive Technology Kits

Last year, MDOD's Director of Emergency Preparedness Policy collaborated with the MD Technology Assistance Program to secure a grant for creating assistive technology kits to be used during disasters. A disaster or evacuation shelter provides life- saving mass care to survivors in their community so they can begin the recovery process. To ensure that Maryland meets the needs of the whole community, survivors need equal access to mass care, disaster assistance, and other recovery services. This means equal access to buildings, programs, communication, and information. Response and recovery services must be compliant with the ADA.


During the 2018 flash floods, the kits were deployed to shelters and disaster assistance centers in Howard and Baltimore Counties, and Baltimore City. MDOD works closely with Maryland Department of Human Services to ensure that the assistive technologies are available when mass care, repatriation, or recovery centers are open. The assistive technology kits are strategically located throughout the state to ensure they are operationally ready to support a disaster 24/7.
#9  Laurie Reyes receives Governor's Citation 

Officer Laurie Reyes was presented a Governor's Citation for her work on The Autism/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Outreach Unit.  

During the Montgomery County Cabinet Meeting, Governor Hogan recognized Officer Laurie Reyes for her outreach and engagement to with people disabilities. The unit uses a layered approach to Autism and Intellectual Disabilities awareness that includes education, outreach, follow up, empowerment, and response.

#8 BRAVE in the Attempt  

The second annual BRAVE in the Attempt was an inspiring evening featuring 11 speakers with intellectual and developmental disabilities sharing five-minute TED-style talks about bravely facing obstacles and transforming their lives. 

More than 200 guests gathered at Towson University. G uest speakers included First Lady Yumi Hogan, Secretary of State Police William Palozzi, and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Josh Woodrum.  

#7  Terri Seitz recognized for her continued advocacy on behalf of those with disabilities

At the Baltimore County Cabinet meeting, Governor Hogan presented Ms. Seitz with a citation for her advocacy for people with disabilities.

She has dedicated over 25 years serving as a leader and advocate for those with disabilities in the Baltimore community. She is current Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities Chair. 

#6 Ethan Saylor Alliance 

Using the LEAD Program model, individuals with I/DD will serve as Self-Advocate Educators/Trainers for Law Enforcement.

The Program creates strategic partnerships across three areas: law enforcement departments, academic institutions, and community based advocacy organizations. The three components will work together at the local level to recruit, equip, support, and evaluate self-advocates as trainers.

#5 Midshore Cabinet meeting

National Champs Shooting Stars Cheer Team kicked the cabinet meeting off 
with a rousing start. 

Governor Larry Hogan held a Mid-Shore Cabinet Meeting at American Legion Dorchester Post 91 in Cambridge, Md. The day-long visit included stops by the Governor, Lt. Governor, Cabinet Secretaries, and administration officials throughout the area.

#4 The First Lady and Secretary Beatty visit Linwood Center

First Lady Yumi Hogan and Secretary Carol Beatty enjoyed the warm weather while planting flowers with students and teachers at the   Linwood Center, Inc.

Linwood provides comprehensive education and residential programs for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. The First Lady assisted Linwood in establishing a sister school connection with the Daniel School in South Korea. The Linwood Center and the Daniel School share best practices and strategies with one another.

#3 Celebrating Through Art

First Lady Yumi Hogan hosted Celebrating Through Art: The First Lady's Mental Health Awareness Youth Art Display in the Lowe House Office Building

The event marks Children's Mental Health Awareness Week and highlights the expressive power of art for all young people. Children and youth from across Maryland submitted works of art for display depicting something which makes them feel happy, healthy, and hopeful

#2 Employers are the Missing Piece

Executive Director André Coates, members of Maryland Community Connection (MCC) Board of Directors, Secretary Beatty (center) at the annual Employer Breakfast honoring employers for
inclusive hiring practices.

Last October, Governor Larry Hogan signed Executive Order 01.01.2017.23 declaring October Disability Employment Awareness Month in Maryland. The Order addresses the immense contributions made by workers with disabilities and the increased economic strength gained through an inclusive workforce.

#1 28th Anniversary of the ADA

Richard Luecking Co-director CTCI, Jennifer King Rice, Dean of UMD College of Education,  Governor Hogan, Secretary Carol Beatty Maryland Department of Disabilities, and Marcella Franczkowski Asst. State Superintendent for Special Education and Early Intervention Services MSDE

We celebrated the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with a reception in Annapolis. Governor Hogan announced the new center, The Center for Transition and Career Innovation for Youth with Disabilities (CTCI), located in the University of Maryland College of Education.