Mental Health Awareness Month                                                              May, 2018
Celebrating Through Art: The First Lady's Mental Health Awareness Youth Art Exhibit

 Featured, top, L to R: Secretary Carol Beatty;  First Lady, Mrs. Yumi Hogan;  Linda Raines; and 
  Jane  Plapinger
 Bottom left: First Lady, Mrs. Yumi Hogan;  Marcella Franczkowski;  student artist
 Bottom right: The First Lady and Secretary Beatty.        Read the full article HERE.


Governor Larry Hogan presents citation to Lt. Cheuvront, surrounded by Lt. Governor Rutherford, Secretary Beatty, and Howard County Law Enforcement Officers
HoCo Day Recap

On Thursday, May 10, Governor Larry Hogan gathered his full administration for a regional Cabinet meeting at the Miller Library in Howard County. The meeting was open to the public and included a presentation by Secretary Beatty about the administration's focus on expanding access to work opportunities, training, and education for individuals with disabilities. The governor has stated that every working aged Marylander with a disability must have access to options which lead to employment in competitive, integrated settings.   Here is a re-cap of the day. If you missed the meeting, you can view the live video feed here.

2018 Legislative Session
Recap of issues impacting the disability community      
Elizabeth Hall, Director of Inter-agency  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  highlights increased emergency preparedness infrastructure and improved options for financial well-being. Governor Hogan's budget and legislative agenda reflected this administration's firm commitment to listening to the needs of the Maryland disability community.  The 2018 legislative session moved State government further toward these goals.

Emergency Preparedness 
This law comprehensively strengthened school safety policies and practices statewide. It has several disability-specific components.  A  School Safety sub-cabinet is established and includes the Secretary of Disabilities in its membership. Disability-specific training for school assessment teams and school resource officers is required. And, p ublic schools must include plans for accommodations for students with disabilities in emergency events. 

The law establishes a commission to study and make recommendations for improving Maryland's 911 telecommunication systems.  Included is i mplementation, management, operation, and ongoing development of a next generation system. MDOD's Director of Emergency Preparedness will be on the commission for her expertise in accessible communications. Best practices, policies, and procedures for public safety telecommunications will be developed.

Financial Well-Being

Maryland's ABLE Act (2016) 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.

Maryland Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program- Modification is an improvement to the original legislationThis law improves the ABLE Act by protecting ABLE accounts from medical assistance programs seeking payment unless required by federal law. Upon the death of a designated beneficiary ABLE accounts assets can now be transferred to the designated beneficiary's estate or to another ABLE account specified by the designated beneficiary or the designated beneficiary's estate. 529 College Savings funds can be rolled over to an ABLE account and qualified beneficiaries can contribute up to $15,000 annually until 2025.


First Lady and Secretary Beatty visit Linwood Center

On May 3,  First Lady Yumi Hogan and Secretary Carol Beatty enjoyed the warm weather while planting flowers with students and teachers at the   Linwood Center, Inc. Linwood provides comprehensive education and residential programs for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. The  First  Lady assisted Linwood in establishing a sister school connection with the Daniel School in South Korea. The Linwood Center and the Daniel School share best practices and strategies with one another.
Changing Maryland for the better logo with portion of MD flag and seal

Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, Maryland Higher Education Commission, and Maryland Department of Disabilities, announce a new partnership with the National Governors Association (NGA). Maryland is one of five states participating in the NGA Learning Lab on Building Inclusive Talent Pipelines for People with Disabilities.
"Maryland is proud to be one of only five states participating in the NGA Learning Lab's Building Talent Pipeline for People with Disabilities," said Governor Hogan. "This is one more step our administration is taking to improve the quality of life for Marylanders with disabilities and to create the right combination of services and opportunities for this community."
Maryland will join Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana,  to learn about how Wisconsin is improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities through strengthening secondary to postsecondary transition services, supporting and retaining employees with disabilities and partnering with private sector employers on education and hiring initiatives.
More information about the NGA Center for Best Practices for Economic Opportunity can be found here.


Secretary Beatty Inducted into Legacy Circle
Congratulations to Secretary Carol Beatty for being inducted onto the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) Legacy Leaders Circle. ANCOR recognizes the contributions and accomplishments of those who have paved the way for the future of quality services for people with disabilities.


"Raising the Bar in Innovation" 

Director of Employment Policy, Jade Gingerich (second from left), received the "Raising the Bar in Innovation Award" from the Maryland Workforce Association. Jade is a tireless advocate for workforce development programs that help youth and adults with disabilities.

Ethan Saylor Alliance Prepares and Supports Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to Serve as Educators for Law Enforcement

Our department, in collaboration with Loyola University Maryland, the Municipal Police Academy-Prince George's Community College, and Best Buddies Maryland , will recruit, hire, train, and supervise individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to serve as educators alongside law enforcement and other public entities throughout the state.    

Using the LEAD Program model, individuals with I/DD will serve as Self-Advocate Educators/Trainers for Law Enforcement. The Program creates strategic partnerships across three areas: law enforcement departments, academic institutions, and community based advocacy organizations. The three components will work together at the local level to recruit, equip, support, and  evaluate self-advocates as trainers.

Loyola University, in partnership with Best Buddies Maryland, will be responsible for: developing a model curriculum used to prepare and train self-advocates as educators; recruiting and training a group of self-advocates using the curriculum; supporting them in their training roles; and evaluating the efficacy of the training program. Project progress will be shared during regularly scheduled Ethan Saylor Alliance Steering Committee meetings which are open to the public. For more information, visit the Alliance website.