flag banner
Maryland Department of Disabilities
Newsletter                                                                                      July, 2017
Young man smiling at camera in ball hat and green jacket filling air tanks at fire department
MD PROMISE: A New Website and New Opportunities for Maryland Youth

The state of Maryland is one of six grantees receiving funding for five  years from the U.S. Department of Education to develop, implement, and evaluate a service model that promotes positive outcomes for children and their families who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The project is a partnership between the Maryland Department of Disabilities and several state agencies along with community stakeholders. The study, called MD PROMISE, completed recruitment of 2,000 eligible youth and families to participate in February, 2016.  Youth assigned to the enhanced services group receive support to help them achieve better outcomes, such as graduating from high school ready for college and a career, completing postsecondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive employment in an integrated setting. As a result, these child SSI recipients may achieve long-term reductions in reliance on financial benefit programs.

Young girl hangs up clothes at store
A core component of MD PROMISE is the idea that one of the best predictors of future financial independence is paid work experience as a youth.  With this in mind, paid work experiences are a primary focus of the initiative.  These opportunities come with the support of assertive case management and an individualized job development plan along with other interventions.  As of mid July, 550 Maryland youth have benefited from paid work experiences through MD PROMISE and 706 have accessed unpaid job opportunities. 

Jade Gingerich, Director of MD PROMISE, commented on the accomplishments of the initiative by noting,  "One of the keys to the success of MD PROMISE has been our focus on community.  We have achieved a 91% engagement rate of those enrolled which is extremely high for a project of this type.  From the beginning, we designed PROMISE to meet youth and families where they are.  Our case managers are from the communities they support.  In addition, our front line staff do their work in the neighborhoods instead of out of an office.  This allows us to provide real time response to the needs of each participant and each community."

MD PROMISE is continuously searching for ways to better engage with PROMISE youth, families, and potential employers.  They have found technology to play a key role in meeting this goal. MD PROMISE unveiled a new website in mid July. The website features PROMISE success stories and updates on the project. Transitioning youth and their families may also find useful information to guide them during this important life change.  We invite you to visit the new site, learn about the strides made through MD PROMISE, and read further about resources for youth in Maryland. 

Check out the new MD PROMISE website here:
Gray half circle and black half circle above ADA 27 in red and Disability Hisotyr Tour in black

In celebration of the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Maryland Department of Disabilities will host a traveling disAbility History Tour throughout Maryland during July and August of 2017.
Advocacy: A History of People Speaking Up for Themselves is on loan from the Museum of disAbility History for six weeks. This four panel display traces the advocacy movement from early educational facilities to the development of organizations established for and by individuals with disabilities. In addition to the loaned panels, the department will add a fifth display designed by the Maryland Association of Centers for Independent Living outlining disability history in Maryland.
The Museum of disAbility History is located in Buffalo, New York and was
Image of museum exterior.  Red brick building against blue sky
established in 1998 by Dr. James M. Boles, president and CEO of People Inc. The museum is dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. The museum's exhibits, collections, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery. In addition to offering an expansive collection on location in New York, the museum offers numerous traveling displays which highlight various aspects of disability history and culture. Most recently, these mobile displays traveled throughout the United States in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act celebration in 2015 on the Road to Freedom bus tour.  Museum Link
Maryland's disAbility History tour will stop at locations in Baltimore, Annapolis, Hagerstown, Waldorf, and Chestertown. Governor Hogan will kick off the tour with a reception on August 4th in Annapolis at the Lowe House Office Building beginning at noon. More information on dates and display locations throughout July and August can be found below and on the department's website event page. The public can also view images of the panels, ASL translation, audio files, text only, text image descriptions, and large print versions of the displays on the Maryland Department of Disabilities website ADA 27 event page at ADA 27 Link.
Register at these links:
Miller Senate Office Building -Second Floor 
Anne Arundel County                 
11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
July 24th- July 27th
Baltimore City                                                      
3601 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224
July 31st-August 2nd
Lowe House Office Building
Anne Arundel County
6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
August 4th
Washington County
100 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown MD
August 8th-August 12th
Charles County
50 Village Street, Waldorf, MD 20602
August 15th-August 19th
Kent County
408 High Street,Chestertown, MD 21620
August 22nd-August 26th