Maryland flag
Maryland Department of Disabilities
Newsletter                                                                                        May  2017
President Bush signing ADA into law as advocates and lawmakers look on
27th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act History Tour

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 will be on loan from the Museum of disAbility History. This five panel display traces the advocacy movement from early educational facilities to the development of organizations established for and by individuals with disabilities. This includes the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Join us at the Lowe House Office Building in Annapolis on August 4th for a reception to kick off the tour.  In addition to viewing the display during the reception, the Maryland Department of Disabilities is proud to announce an opportunity to view the exhibit in a variety of locations throughout the summer.  Specific dates and reception registrations will be available on our department website by July 1st.  See the list of viewing locations below.
person with disability climbing capital steps
Miller Senate Office Building -Second Floor 
Anne Arundel County                 
11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Baltimore City                                                      
3601 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224
Lowe House Office Building
Anne Arundel County
6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Washington County
100 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown MD
Charles County
50 Village Street, Waldorf, MD 20602
Kent County
408 High Street,Chestertown, MD 21620
maryland outline with flag image inside
The Maryland Association of Centers for Independent Living designed the Maryland themed banner selected for display with the disAbility History tour this summer.  The winning exhibit submission will be the sixth display panel included with the tour.  The exhibit depicts and describes the history of the disability advocacy movement in Maryland. Congratulations to the winning designers! 
Image of group against brick wall with words Brave in the attempt June 7 at Towson University and When was the last time you took a risk
When have you taken a risk to be your best self?

Join the Maryland Department of Disabilities, the Developmental Disabilities Administration, Special Olympics Maryland, and StoryCorps on June 7th at Towson University for Brave in the Attempt.
Brave in the Attempt will use a personal story telling platform to encourage those with disabilities to serve as mentors and role models for others with disabilities and the wider community. The event will feature a resource fair and lots to do!  Don't miss it!  Register below!
Elizabeth Hall head shot
2017 Legislative Session Recap
By Elizabeth Hall, MDOD Director of Interagency Affairs

The Maryland Department of Disabilities assists in aligning state policies affecting those with disabilities through the State Disabilities Plan. The 2016-2019 state plan, available on the department's website at this link, highlights increased self-direction, improved options for financial well-being, and responsible use of resources as desired outcomes for State agencies. This year, Governor Hogan's budget and legislative agenda reflected this administration's firm commitment to listening to the needs of the Maryland disability community.  The 2017 legislative session moved State government further toward these goals. Below, find some examples of bills passed this session and how they carried forth the goals of the State Disabilities Plan:

Self-Direction in Housing and Education
  • Senate Bill 180, the Independent Living Tax Credit Act, provides a tax credit for a portion of the cost of improving accessibility and visitability to an existing home. This legislation contributes to the overall goal of self-direction by expanding financial options for home modification to give more Marylanders enhanced choice in how their living space is customized to fit their needs
  • Senate Bill 872 establishes the James W. Hubbard Inclusive Higher Education Grant Program to award funding to higher education institutions in Maryland for programs providing students with intellectual disabilities an inclusive higher education option.
Financial Well-Being
  • Senate Bill 344, clarifies several parts of the ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act, passed in 2016. Maryland's ABLE Act provides persons with disabilities and their families with tax advantaged ways to save for disability-related expenses without losing access to federal benefits such as SSI and Medicaid. This follow-up law to the ABLE act enriches financial well-being by clarifying IRS regulations for eligible Marylanders with disabilities and their families.  Find out more about ABLE in Maryland at this link.
Maximizing Resources
  • House Bill 128 will add three State agencies to the Interagency Disability Board (IADB). The IADB develops the State Disabilities Plan and its membership includes State agencies representing the intersection between agency policies and services with the disability community. MDOD will add the Department of Juvenile Services, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, and the Governor's Office on Crime Control and Prevention to the board. This change will maximize resources to ensure the disability-related policies and services in regard to crime control, public safety, and correctional services are embedded in the overall State Disabilities Plan development moving forward.