MDOD Newsletter                                                                           March 2019

2019 Polar Bear Plunge

Secretary Carol Beatty and Deputy Secretary Christian Miele joined Governor Hogan at the Special Olympics Maryland Police Plunge January 25. Joe Wu received the Jimmy Myrick Jr. Courage Award from the Governor. The award is named after the late Jimmy Myrick Jr., a Special Olympian, who developed a friendship with the governor during his battle with cancer while the two were being treated in the same hospital. It is presented annually to a Special Olympian with exceptional courage, compassion and generosity. Congratulations Joe!

Secretary Beatty attended the 10th annual MD Braille Challenge

Secretary Beatty presented Maryland School for the Blind Superintendent Rob Hair with a Governor's Proclamation recognizing the 10th Annual Maryland Regional Braille Challenge. The Challenge is an academic competition designed to motivate blind students and emphasize their study of braille. It is part of a national contest sponsored by the National Braille Institute in Los Angeles, CA. Literacy fosters independence and confidence for both visually impaired and sighted students.

Secretary Beatty represented Governor Hogan

Secretary Carol Beatty spoke on behalf of Governor Hogan at Developmental Disabilities Day in Annapolis. Her presentation included budget highlights, the Ken Capone Equal Employment Act, the Learning to Lead Program, Coppin State's program serving students with ID/DD and Maryland ABLE.

Secretary Beatty presented a Governor's Citation recognizing the 10th anniversary of the closure of Rosewood Center. 

MDOD experiences arts based curriculum at Baltimore Lab School

Education Director, Jennifer Kelleher and Head of Arts and Academic Clubs, Laura Parkhurst led Secretary Beatty and Deputy Secretary Miele on a tour of the innovative, arts-based school established by cutting edge educator, Sally Smith. Students were learning about Helen Keller, the Renaissance, mariner's quadrants and more. One class was the Discovery Club. The Discovery Club is made up of 1st and 2nd graders. This academic club immerses students in learning about environmentalism, communities, National Parks, conservation, preservation, and naturalism. Using dramatic play and an arts-based curriculum, students take on the roles of famous naturalists throughout history, including John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt, John James Audubon, Jane Goodall, Alice Waters, and Pete Seeger.

Unicorn Lake accessible fishing pier already in use

Secretary Beatty joined Acting DNR Secretary Haddaway-Riccio, staff, and members of the DNR Disability Advisory Council to see the pier constructed last November. The project was financed through Access Maryland and is already being used. Accessible parking and portable toilet are available at the top of the ramp leading to the pier. Following the tour, all attended the quarterly Disability Advisory Council meeting.

Secretary Carol Beatty appointed Lori Markland as Acting Executive Director of MD Technology Assistance Program 

Lori has worked for the State for approximately 17 years and is the Director of Access Maryland and Accessibility Programs for MDTAP.   She also served as the Communications Manager for Maryland ABLE. Lori has a wealth of experience related to assistive technology, disability services, and accessible information technology.
Executive Director Jim McCarthy recently resigned to work with the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration, joining the team that provides federal guidance to the Randolph-Sheppard Program of blind vendors. Best wishes Jim.


SIBS 2019 Conference: Connecting. Listening. Learning. 

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council has partnered with the District of Columbia Developmental Disabilities Council to host Sibs 2019 to help siblings of all ages and supporters of sibling issues to connect, listen, and learn from each other. More information is available on their website.

Follow 2019 Disability Related Legislation

A brief synopsis of relevant information is available on our website.

WJZ featured Learning to Lead program piloted by Loyola University 
Watch the segment about police being trained on how to deal with people disabilities, by people with disabilities
Mark your calendars. . .


The Children's Mental Health Matters! Celebrating Through Art: The First Lady's Mental Health Awareness Youth Art Display is being held in Annapolis in May 6.  


The 3rd Annual 2019 Brave in the Attempt, FORWARD, a TED-talk style event, will be June 4 at Towson University.  The event is sponsored by MDOD, SOMD, DDA, and SEEC.