News to Use features important information and resources for self-advocates, parents, and professionals to use now!
Around The Arc Maryland
The 2021 Legislative Wrap Up Report for The Arc Maryland
The Maryland General Assembly completed its work for the 2021 Legislative Session and adjourned (Sine Die) on April 12th at midnight. 

The unique session, which was almost entirely virtual for the public, was punctuated by pandemic-related bills, a historic windfall of federal relief funding, and the loss of Maryland State Senator and former President of the Senate, Thomas “Mike” Miller. 

Our Public Policy Team, Governmental Affairs Committee, and partnering Coalitions covered several bills in the session that presented challenges, but also opportunities as we have never experienced before. 

Through it all, we are incredibly proud of our results and the impact our collective work will have on children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), their families, and providers of community supports, now and in the years to come. 
Lock-In Your Spot at The Arc Maryland Annual Convention
Monday, May 17th from 9 am to 2 pm
During our Online Convention on May 17th, hear from International Disability Rights Activist Judy Heumann before navigating through innovative ideas in advocacy, technology, communications, diversity, and more.

After the fabulous Opening Plenary Session, attendees will have three Breakouts throughout the day with the opportunity to choose from 8 different session topics: Each led by subject matter experts from across the state. Check out the full schedule through the button link here!
Convention Spotlight: Plenary Speaker Judy Heumann on Being Resilient
Judith (Judy) Heumann is a lifelong advocate and internationally recognized leader in the fight for the rights of people with disabilities. Her memoir, Being Heumann; An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist, is not only her story, as she puts it, but the story of all who came together to gain protections for the rights of people with disabilities, sparking a national movement, and leading to the creation and passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  
For everyone who cares about human rights and equity, Judy’s story is an important one to hear and to know that we are not done in our work to make a world where we all belong.
Join Us for a Virtual Watch Party of Crip Camp on Convention Eve!
Sunday, May 16th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Grab your popcorn! On Sunday, May 16th, the evening before our State Convention, join us for a viewing of Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution. The film follows Camp Jened, a summer camp for teens with disabilities, and the activism its residents (including Judy Heumann) went on to lead, igniting change and resulting in disability rights advances we count on today. Following the viewing, we will have a discussion and share impressions and ideas! Register for the free event below.
Save the Date: The Arc Maryland Awards and Annual Meeting
June 9th at 5:30 pm
The Arc Maryland 2020 Legislative Calendar. Featuring advocacy photos in Annapolis and photos of families and individuals served by The Arc. Also states Achieve. Respect. Celebrate! Celebrating Decades of Service in the Community
Join us on June 9th as we honor the hardworking individuals and companies who have made a statewide impact in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities! 

From 5:30 to 7:30 pm, we will recognize this year's honorees and their achievements. At 7:30, we will travel down memory lane for "The Year in Review" with The Arc Maryland and have our annual business meeting! Registration for the free online event will open soon, so mark down your calendars for the big day!
Taking Action
Developmental Disabilities Providers Invited to Apply for Emergency Relief Act of 2021 Non-Competitive Grant Funding
Applications Due May 10th at Noon
A pink piggybank facing the camera.
Earlier this month, the Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) opened up grant applications for the Emergency Relief Act of 2021, a non-competitive grant for DD Providers to provide emergency relief for individuals with IDD during the COVID-19 pandemic. The process to apply is simple for providers and can even be used on items already purchased during the pandemic to assist the needs of people with IDD that they support. Check out the FAQs for the opportunity, available here.

We encourage DD Service Providers to apply for this important funding. Our state government worked to ensure these funds were available to organizations. We want to ensure that the full funding is utilized to support all Marylanders with IDD who faced hardships during the pandemic. Read more about the grant below, and apply by May 10th at noon. 
In the News
CDC Releases New COVID-19 Guidelines for People Who Have Been Fully Vaccinated
On April 27th, the CDC issued Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. Please review the following links for updated information and guidance:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention Resources - COVID-19
FEMA to Help Pay Funeral Costs for COVID-19 Related Deaths
This month, FEMA began providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. FEMA is now moving rapidly to implement this funeral assistance program nationwide.

"At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during, and after disasters," said Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people. Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate."