News to Use features important information and resources for self-advocates, parents, and professionals to use now!
Around The Arc Maryland
The Arc Maryland Announces Opportunity to Enhance Self Advocacy: Empowering Partners
Empowering Partners is a pilot initiative of The Arc Maryland and People on the Go of Maryland, in partnership with chapters of The Arc in Maryland. The goal of the project is to raise awareness about the value of self-advocacy and to support self-advocacy groups to reconvene and/or strengthen throughout the state.

Upcoming calls about the initiative are being held next week to share information, gather feedback from stakeholders, and assess interest!

Initially, the calls will be held for those residing in 4 Maryland Counties: Washington, Prince George's, Montgomery, and Frederick. As we proceed, additional information calls will be added for people who reside in other Maryland counties/jurisdictions.

Each call will be hosted by a self-advocate facilitator along with Mat Rice, Director of Public Policy for The Arc Maryland. Please see the flyer and our website for specific times and dates of the information calls, and more information about the initiative.
The Arc Maryland 2021 Statewide Convention is a Success!
On May 17th, people with disabilities, family members, and support staff from around the state joined together for a day of learning and discovery at our 2021 Statewide Convention!

Highlights from the big day included:
  • A motivating Q&A with International Civil Rights Advocate, Judy Heumann.
  • Presentations from subject matter experts exploring innovative ideas in advocacy, technology, communications, and more.
  • Over 200 advocates ready to further their advocacy skills!

You can read about our 2021 Convention topics and speakers through the virtual program here. We hope to see you back in person during late spring of 2022 for our next Convention!
Community Leaders Honored at The Arc Maryland 2021 Awards on June 9, 2021
Last week, we honored 38 outstanding individuals, groups, and organizations during our Annual Awards Celebration and Chapter Volunteers of the Year Award Breakfast! During the events, awardees were recognized for their efforts to advance inclusion in the community for Marylanders with IDD. Read about 2021 awardees and watch the events below!
Download Our Together We're Better Coloring Book!
Unleash your inner artist with our Together We're Better Coloring Book! We are excited to share this addition to our Together We're Better (TWB) Inclusive Education Campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the value and importance of inclusion of students with disabilities. The Coloring Book features artwork from Maryland high schoolers!

Click the button below to download the coloring book to print, color, and enjoy! You can receive a complimentary copy in the mail by providing your mailing address and contact number to Sharon Dols at
Taking Action
The Arc US Webinar: How Some Families Face Barriers to Accessing Education Supports- Addressing the Issue!
June 24th at 2 pm
Historically marginalized families face many barriers to accessing education supports; these disparities have significant implications long past graduation. On June 24th at 2 PM, join The Arc US for a free webinar to learn how to address this issue in your community.
Education Department Wants Feedback On Discipline Of Students With Disabilities
Data shows that black and brown students and students with disabilities face more disciplinary action at school than stidents without disabilities. The U.S. Department of Education is seeking input to end the disparities. You can submit comments to educate and advocate on what policy guidance, technical assistance, and other resources may help schools improve their climates and safety through the button below.
A group of children look at the front of a school building in front of them.
Families and Provider Agencies: Please Complete the National Core Indicator Surveys for DDA Services
Recently, the National Core Indicator (NCI) Survey went out to families of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities via email to assess the quality of services and supports in Maryland. We encourage you to complete the survey online using the access code you received. Your answers are vital to ensure the state knows what is important to you and your family! Learn more about NCI here.

DDA provider organizations were also sent the NCI's Staff Service Survey earlier this month and are asked to complete it. The deadline for this survey is June 30th.

Providers who need assistance to complete their survey can contact Patricia Sastoque at The provider data is critical to ensuring our state and national leadership are aware of the staffing challenges most providers are facing in the aftermath of the COVID crisis.
In the News
Maryland's Autism Waiver Transitioning Youth Guidance
On May 24th, Maryland's Autism Waiver Transitioning Youth (TY) Guidance was updated to continue services for last year’s and this year’s individuals 22 and older during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Autism Waiver participants, who would otherwise be disenrolled on June 30th last year or this year, can remain in the Waiver and continue to receive funded services, even though they have completed or concluded their entitled educational services.  You can review the revised guidance through the buttons below!