News to Use features important information and resources for self-advocates, parents, and professionals to use now!
Around The Arc Maryland
Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature
February 22nd from 8:15 to 10:30 PM
Brush up on your advocacy skills, learn about the new House and Senate protocols for the 2022 session, discuss priority legislation, and get tips on speaking with legislators during our Legislative Calendar Day Advocacy Training from 4 to 5 PM on January 12th! This training event is free to attend for members and partners of The Arc. Register for the event through the link here.
Save the Date: The Arc Maryland's Convention & Awards Banquet
May 17th, 2022
The Arc Maryland Statewide Convention & Awards Banquet is back for 2022! Join us on May 17th at Turf Valley Resort and Spa in Ellicott City for a day of learning, discovery, and celebration! This year's theme is The Power of Family! Opportunities for presentations, sponsors, and vendors will be available soon.
Get Empowered Through Self-Advocacy! Meetings this February
Join Self-Advocate facilitators to strengthen advocacy in your community through Empowering Partners! Advocacy groups across Maryland are meeting virtually throughout February. Check out the full schedule on our website and contact Mat Rice at to join a group near you!
Taking Action
Free Home COVID-19 Tests Available Nationwide
The Biden Administration announced that 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests per household are now available to those who order them. The tests will usually ship within 7-12 days of ordering. You can order online at or call 1-800-243-0233 if you need assistance in ordering.
"Guiding the Journey" Virtual Training Series
Applications Are Open from Parent's Place of Maryland
It is never too early or too late to start planning for life after high school. Parent's Place of Maryland's Guiding the Journey virtual training is open this Spring to parents of youth with disabilities ages 14 to 21 to help gain an understanding of their changing role and develop custom Vision and Action plans. You can read more about the opportunity here before you apply here by February 4th!
In the News
Federal Bill Introduced to Eliminate Marriage Penalties for People With Disabilities in Accessing Social Security Benefits
On January 13th, Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) introduced the Marriage Equality for Disabled Adults Act, which would eliminate requirements that disabled adult children remain unmarried in order to receive Social Security benefits and Medicare and Medicaid. Bethany Lilly, Senior Director of Income Policy at Arc US, shared, “The Marriage Equality for Disabled Adults Act is an important step towards marriage equality for people with disabilities and we strongly support this bill." Read more about the proposed legislation here.
Amazon Debuts Show Starring Actors With Autism
Disability representation in the media is important, including roles for people with disabilities held by people with disabilities. Amazon's new show As We See It features the stories of three roommates with autism whose actors are all on the autism spectrum. Show creator Jason Katims shared, “This is, at long last, not a show where the autistic characters are the best friends, or the girlfriends, or the sons, or daughters — they ARE the stars." Read more about the new show here.
Resources Around Maryland
COVID-19 Plain Language Fact Sheets from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council and Maryland Department of Health
Information on the COVID-19 vaccine can be overwhelming, but the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council and Maryland Department of Health teamed up to help! Check out these informational fact sheets on the vaccine, booster shots, COVID testing, and more on the DD Council website. Fact sheets are available in English, Spanish, Russian, Korean, French, Chinese, and Amharic. Click here to download!
Join The Arc's Advocacy Efforts
Interested in joining one of the most dynamic and effective grassroots networks in Maryland? Contact your local chapter of The Arc and ask about joining their Governmental Affairs or Public Policy Committee. Visit our website here to locate your nearest chapter and learn more. Achieve with us!
Local Chapter Events
The Sprout Film and Art Festival is a great event from The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region that helps bring awareness to the work and mission of the organization, while bringing together the local community to highlight and celebrate artists of all abilities and their work. Enjoy work from artists throughout the region and view artistic and memorable films from the renowned NYC company, Sprout on February 10th at 6:00 PM. Click here for more information.
The Arc Baltimore offers free monthly peer support workshops, called Sibshops. Each workshop allows brothers and sisters (ages 4 to 13) of children with special needs to participate in a fun, energetic, and activity-driven experience. Sibshops intermingles discussion, activities, games, food, and most of all peer support. Join the next free event is on February 19th from 12 to 1:30 PM by contacting Dana Scott at or by calling 410-296-2272 x 5308.
The Arc of Frederick County's Parents' Day Out provides much-needed respite care to parents and guardians of children with developmental disabilities. The program, offered each month free of charge, is held one Saturday a month from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in their Research Court office building and is staffed by Arc employees and young adults from local civic and church groups, as well as other volunteers from the Frederick community. The program is open to children from ages 3 to 14. Join their next Parents' Day Out on Saturday, February 19th by contacting Kourtney Merriam at 301-663-0909. Space is limited and Pre-registration is required!
The Arc Montgomery County's Coffee & Conversation: Business to Business networking returns Wednesday, March 30th, with registration opening February 1st. For more information, contact Dawn Draayer, Director of Engagement, at or by calling 301-984-5777 x 1274.