Image of Maryland State Flag close up with words Maryland Department of Disabilities Newsletter printed in white
Maryland Department of Disabilities Newsletter
April 2016
Featured Article
Close up of Secretary Beatty with Maryland flag in background
Secretary Beatty Named as One of Daily Record's Top 100 Women

Secretary Carol A. Beatty was recently chosen as one of the Daily Record's 2016 Top 100 Women in Maryland.  The Daily Record created Maryland's Top 100 Women in 1996 to recognize 100 outstanding women annually for their professional
accomplishments, community leadership, and mentoring.

March Archived Blogs

You Can Do It! We Can Do It!
Image of Maryland State flag against blue sky
Upcoming April Blogs


During the month of April we will feature self advocates with Autism from across the state of Maryland speaking out about issues which concern them.We will highlight teens working with first responders to educate these important community workers about neurodiversity.  We will provide updates on the Ethan Saylor Alliance.  We will hear from self advocates about the advantages and challenges of being Autistic in the workplace.  AND MUCH MORE!  Sign up for our weekly blog direct emails so you do not miss a thing!

Changing Maryland for the better logo

ADA:  The Next 25 Years
Be on the lookout for information on the 26th Anniversary ADA Celebration this July!  ADA:  The Next 25 Years will focus on developments in physical, social, economic, and communication accessibility in Maryland. 
President Bush at signing of ADA

Affordable Housing Awareneimage of accessible home exterior with front porch and rampingss
Month in April

April is Affordable Housing Awareness month across the nation.  This month is intended to increase public knowledge of local housing issues including the need for increased affordable and accessible housing for low to moderate income individuals and families.  Those with disabilities often encounter even fewer housing resources due to the scarcity of housing options for those with specialized access needs. 

As part of the Maryland Partnership for Affordable Housing (MPAH), the Department of Disabilities works with other state agencies to align polices and increase opportunities for expansion of affordable housing in Maryland.  We will be featuring stories from this partnership during Affordable Housing Awareness month on our website and social media.  To find out more information on housing in Maryland and the partnership, please see our website at the below link.

Photo collage featuring Maryland State House, Maryland flag, hand on wheelchair, ABLE Act log, United States Flag, Changing Maryland for the better logo, and Maryland Department of Disabilities logo
New ABLE Website from the ABLE National Resource Center  

The ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) is excited to announce the launch of its website on March 1, 2016.  With several state-sponsored ABLE programs preparing to open in the next few months, the ANRC website offers important information targeted toward potential beneficiaries and their families, ABLE program administrators, and financial institutions.
Information provided on the ANRC website will include:
  • State-by-state ABLE development statuses;
  • Side-by-side comparisons of ABLE program characteristics;
  • Informational ABLE videos;
  • Archived ABLE webinars;
  • Summaries of ABLE-related policies, rules, and regulations;
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs);
  • and ABLE announcements.
We invite you to visit the ANRC website HERE  
Sign up for ABLE Act alerts HERE                    
Assistive Technology Loan Program

Man utilizing assistive technology at work sitting at computer A program of the Maryland Department of Disabilities, the Assistive Technology Financial Loan Program offers low interest financial loans for a range of assistive technologies; from hearing aids to adapted vehicles, computers to home modifications. The program enables applicants to purchase technology at a lower-than-prime interest rate, often between 3 and 4 percent.  It also provides longer repayment terms in order to make monthly payments manageable for all applicants.  
The Assistive Technology Financial Loan Program Board of Directors recently expanded the program's lending parameters.  These expansions include increasing the loan amount for adapted vehicles up to $60,000; increasing adapted vehicle financing terms for up to ten years; providing same day decisions on some adapted vehicle loan requests; and increasing the unsecured lending limits for home modifications to $10,000. These expansions reflect trends of the current market and make it possible for more individuals with disabilities to affordably access assistive technology that they may otherwise not be able to purchase.
Read more HERE
Request a loan application HERE
Transition Corner:  The Interagency Transition Council Holds Successful Professional Transition Institute
Secretary Beatty standing at podium in front of screen reading Transition Institute engaging all youth in the pursuit of happiness  
On March 11th, the Interagency Transition Council (IATC) hosted its annual Transition Conference entitled, Planning for Success:  Engaging All Youth in the Pursuit of Happiness.  The audience consisted of professionals specializing in youth and adult transition services.  Attendees heard from Maryland Department of Disabilities Secretary Beatty addressing the department's role in coordination of the transition council and advocacy across state agencies.  S uzanne Page, Assistant State Superintendent of the Division of Rehabilitation Services and Marcella Franczkowski, Assistant State Superintendent, Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services also spoke on their divisions' roles in the transition process while providing an eye toward advances in the field.  Several other speakers joined the agenda to round out a successful day focused on preparing our youth for the future.
Stay up to date on transition news via the department's transition calendar and on social media.