News to Use features important information and resources for self-advocates, parents, and professionals to use now!
Around The Arc Maryland
The Arc Maryland Holds Statewide Convention and Awards Banquet in Ellicott City
On May 17th, over 250 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their family members, professional supports, and others joined together in Ellicott City for The Arc Maryland Statewide Convention & Awards Banquet! The day of learning, discovery, and celebration highlighted the theme The Power of Family!
The day kicked off with a plenary panel focusing on the power of families in advocacy and the strength of having diverse perspectives in our movement as we work together to move the dial forward. The 2022 Convention also featured outstanding speakers and presentations from state and nationally recognized experts in areas including Health and Lifestyle, Life in the Community, Finding Your Voice, and Milestones. The cherry on top of the day was the celebration of 41 community leaders in advocacy, education, direct support, volunteerism, and more during our Awards Banquets. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the big day! You can check out photos of the event by visiting our Facebook.
Strategic Planning is Underway for The Arc Maryland!
Last month, we invited stakeholders to participate in a survey to help us design our next three-year Strategic Plan. Thank you to the many parents, people with IDD, partners, providers, and friends who responded. The data from the survey was combined with feedback from 1:1 interviews with a cross-section of our stakeholder base and presented at our recent Strategic Planning Retreat, held from May 23rd to 24th in Annapolis.

For one and a half days, retreat participants dove into The Arc Maryland's core values, principal areas of focus, and shared visions for The Arc Maryland's work going into the future. Next steps in this process will include deep dives into each focus area, additional meetings and focus groups, and a new Strategic Plan completed by September 2022. If you missed the opportunity to provide feedback, please keep an eye out for opportunities to join one of our focus discussions over the coming months. Thank you for all of your input and support!
Empowering Partners Self-Advocacy Meetings This Month
Reach new heights with Empowering Partners Self-Advocacy Groups! People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are invited to join local groups across the state to improve their advocacy skills and connect with other self-advocates in their communities. Find the next meeting in your area by visiting our website through the link below. You can also find out more by contacting Natalie Dohner at

Empowering Partners is made possible through a partnership with People On the Go of Maryland and generous funding support from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council.
Resources for Summer and Class Lesson Plans: Together We're Better Diversity Celebration Toolkit
Looking for a way to keep your kids' minds on inclusion this summer? Check out or Diversity Celebration Toolkit for resources like books, videos, and websites for students of all ages to better understand disabilities and being inclusive. Be on the lookout this fall for an updated version for next school year!
Breaking News: The Board of Public Works Approves Contracts for FMCS Vendors to Support People Who Self-Direct Services
Today the Maryland Board of Public Works voted to approve contracts for The Arc Central Chesapeake Region (continuing) and new vendors PPL and GT Independence to provide Financial Management and Counseling Services (formerly known as FMS services) through May 31, 2025, with two, one-year option renewals.
The Arc Central Chesapeake Region and other approved vendors will now begin working together with DDA on next steps, which include the finalization of a detailed transition plan to ensure people who self-direct their services and their families continue to experience prompt, customer-driven, high-quality services as the additional vendors are phased into the state and a smaller FMS provider (Medsource), who will not continue with the new contract, is transitioned out. Thank you to the Board of Public Works members for honoring stakeholder feedback to ensure quality and true choice of FMCS services. 
Taking Action
Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council Debuts 2022 Photo Contest On Recreation and Relationships
Inclusive Recreation is fun for everyone! Now that the warm weather is near and we can spend more time outside, Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council wants to know how you will make the most of it.

If you are a person with a developmental disability, a family member, or you know someone with a developmental disability, your story could give other people ideas about how to live and play in the community and spend time with the people you love. The theme for this year’s photo contest is Recreation and Relationships. Submit your photo by July 31st for the chance to win a prize of up to $200!
Help Push Senate for Home and Community-Based Services Funding in the Budget Reconciliation Package
ANCOR is asking for help in making a final push to the Senate to include $150B in Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) funding in the budget reconciliation package, which the House has already done. DD Service Providers can show their support by signing onto their letter of support using this very quick and easy sign-on form. DD Service Providers are asked to participate by noon on Friday in order to demonstrate to Senate leadership that there is widespread support for this funding across the country.
Although the sign-on letter is limited to providers and provider associations, anyone else interested in participating in advocacy around this bill can use ANCOR’s action alert tool which is also very quick and easy to use.
In National News
Julie Beckett, National Advocate of Children with Disabilities, Dies at 72
Last Last month, esteemed advocate Julie Beckett, a leading force in the push for home-based medical services, passed away. Julie was the mother of Katie Beckett, who came into the spotlight in 1981 following the story of her fight for community-based services. 

Katie's care required enormous medical costs to keep her in the hospital after recovering from viral encephalitis. Supporting Katie at home, instead of the hospital, would have required reduced costs and provided a better quality of life for Katie and her family. This led the Reagan administration to issue a Waiver to the Medicaid rules governing coverage of home care, which came at a drastically lower price to the Beckett family and countless others facing similar issues. Katie and Julie used this notoriety to shine a spotlight on long-term care away from institutions, now a common practice in the country. Katie passed away in 2012, and both her and her mother Julie's legacies will live on for generations thanks to their advocacy. Read more about their journey below.
Senators Want Answers on Disability-Related Barriers to Health Care
A group of Senators is calling for an investigation into why individuals with disabilities are having trouble accessing healthcare across the United States. In their request, the Senators urge the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on the barriers people with disabilities face in accessing healthcare. They note the inaccessibility of medical equipment, access to interpreters, and the lack of supported decision-making, among other barriers, despite the protections intended for people through the ADA, the ACA, and Section 504. Read more about the request through the button below.