MDOD Newsletter                                                                             January, 2018

2018 Legislative Session  State House with blue sky background
The Maryland Department of Disabilities hosts a listing of disability related bills being considered during the 2018 legislative session on the department's website. This listing is updated at least weekly as new bills are introduced. The links on the page take you to the Maryland legislative listing for each proposed bill so you can follow the status directly. The bill listing does not indicate department or administration support or non support of the legislation.
Find out more:

numerouse AT devices on display table
MD Technology Assistance Program
Providing Options for Marylanders to Access Needed Technology
The Maryland Technology Assistance Program (MD TAP) is an initiative operated under the Maryland Department of Disabilities.  MD TAP provides statewide technical assistance for individuals with disabilities and ensures disability-related technology is more readily available to the community. MD TAP services include the Assistive Technology Loan Program which provides   low-interest loans for equipment and devices. The Telework Loan Program also offers loans for needed equipment, but focuses on items required for those with disabilities to telecommute or operate home-based businesses.
Additionally, the Technology Assistance Program offers workshops and seminars on the use of assistive technology either at their location in Baltimore or their staff can be scheduled to visit your location as part of an outreach inititiave.  MD TAP also provides an equipment loan and demonstration program so those served can ensure chosen technology is matched to their needs and lifestyle.  In addition, the program hosts an on-line classified ad for people to buy, sell, or donate used equipment along with comprehensive directories regarding vendors and service providers for home modification, durable medical equipment, and assistive technology.

Find out more at the Maryland Technology Assistance Program:  MD TAP Link

young boy at computer with mother behind him
Resource Highlight
Transitioning Youth Information Online

Transition planning is a process mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) for all students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in K-12 education.  In Maryland, transition planning must begin by age 14 which is two years earlier than required by federal regulation. IDEA defines transition as "a results-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to postsecondary activities". There are many online resources for transitioning youth, their families, and education professionals as they are navigating the post secondary planning process.  Of course, the student's planning team provides the most ideal and individualized approach; however, being aware of the information and options available for Marylanders is key for all involved. 
The Maryland Department of Disabilities is a member and the Secretary of the department co-chairs the Inter Agency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities (IATC) which is a partnership of state and local government agencies, educators, family members, and advocates. The IATC's purpose is to help improve the policies and practices which affect Maryland students with disabilities preparing to transition from high school to adult services, college, employment, and independent living.  
As part of the IATC, the Maryland Department of Disabilities website provides links to numerous resources available for state residents with questions about transition.  One of the newest resources is the Maryland PROMISE website.  While PROMISE is an ongoing federal research grant, the new online guide was designed to provide information for all Maryland youth and their families as they plan for their future post high school. 
If you have specific questions about transition, please call the Maryland Department of Disabilities Constituent Services line at 410.767.3660 or email to be directed to the appropriate agency or resource.
                         Maryland PROMISE Link
Happenings. . . First Lady poses with young girl and certificate
  • Save the date for the 2018 Brave in the Attempt Event, Transform, occurring on June 6th at Towson University. Find out more at this LINK
  • The Children's Mental Health Matters! campaign is seeking children's artwork reflecting ways children or youth feel mentally happy, healthy, and/or hopeful to be considered for display during Mrs. Hogan's Celebrating Through Art: The First Lady's Mental Health Awareness Youth Art Display being held in Annapolis in May.  Find out more at this link:  Children's Mental Health Matters!