MDOD Newsletter                                                                         April 7, 2020
MDOD Website has COVID-19 resources
Red background with virus cells saying Coronavirus Resources

The Maryland Department of Disabilities has compiled a page of state, federal and World Health Organization resources on a variety of topics.  The page contains information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other Maryland state agencies.  Visit the Coronavirus Resource Page for more info.  

For the latest information on Maryland's response, please visit the Maryland Department of Health's COVID-19 webpage. There are many resources and a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section.  

Legislative Highlights 2020
MD Flag with words to the right _Maryland General Assembly_
The 2020 Maryland legislative session ended almost three weeks early due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  We will be highlighting a few notable pieces of legislation in the coming weeks.  Today, we highlight a program transferring to MDOD, the Telecommunications Access Maryland Program. For more information about TAM/Maryland Relay, check out the TAM website.


This bill transfers the Telecommunications Access Maryland (TAM) program from the Department of Information Technology to MDOD. The TAM program serves Marylanders who have difficulty using a standard telephone such as Deaf, Hard of Hearing Deaf-Blind, and/or have a speech disability. 
    • The bill establishes qualifications for the TAM Director, specifically requiring the Director shall be Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind, or have a speech disability and the TAM Director must have expertise in telecommunications services. 
    • The bill adds statutory language which will enable the establishment of a Deaf-Blind Communication Facilitator program.
    • The bill stipulates the TAM Director will be charged with providing advice to the MDOD Secretary. 
    • The bill also increases representation on advisory groups to open channels of communication and improve the delivery of services. 
SB851/HB1003 - Human Services - Department of Disabilities - Accessibility Programs will go into effect July 1st, 2020.  

Accessible Smart Home Webinar 

MDTAP logo with truncated MD flag        National Federation of the Blind logo _outline of 6 people using canes in blue_ orange and green_. Tagline Live the life you want

As technology rapidly advances, its integration into our lives is becoming more common. The idea of a "smart home" is becoming less science fiction and more of a reality. This boutique will cover accessible smart home devices such as:
  • Security Systems
  • Appliances
  • In-Home Applications
  • Entertainment Systems
Kennedy Zimnik, NFB, Access Technology Specialist
Andrew Drummond, MDTAP, IT Accessibility Coordinator 
Denise Schuler, MDTAP, AT Specialist

To request an accommodation, please contact 

Maryland Health Exchange deadline extended until June 15th!
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Need health insurance?  The Maryland Health Connection is having a special enrollment period from now until June 15th.  For more information, visit their website