Our mission is to create a world where children and adults with intellectual and  developmental disabilities have  and enjoy equal rights and opportunities.

Breaking 2017 Convention News - Keynote Speaker Announced!
This just in! Walter Suskind will be our keynote speaker at The Arc Maryland's 2017 State Convention on Friday, June 2, 2017 at the BWI Hilton in Linthicum, MD. Walter's brother, Owen, and Owen's story are featured in the critically acclaimed documentary, Life, Animated. To watch a trailer for this great document, click here.  
Walter (left) and Owen Suskind

Discover for yourself why everyone is raving about this film by finding a theater location near you! (Remember our 2017 theme is Discover!)

The Convention Committee is also looking for ideas about breakout sessions and welcomes any recommendations for exhibitors. Please contact Susan O'Brien with any suggestions as 
Court finds use of excessive force against Saylor - Breaking News!
The law firm of Brown Gold is pleased to share the ruling of UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND  in  THE ESTATE OF ROBERT ETHAN SAYLOR et al. v. REGAL CINEMAS, INC, et al (Civil Action No. WMN-13-3089). This case arises out of the tragic and unacceptable death of 26-year-old Robert Ethan Saylor, an individual with Down syndrome, on January 12, 2013. Mr. Saylor died after an encounter with three Deputies as they attempted to remove him from a movie theater because he was attempting to view a movie for a second time without paying for a second ticket. The Court finds the evidence generally supports the allegations and claims of use of excessive force against three deputies. The case will move forward against all three deputies, the State of Maryland and Hill Management on almost all counts. For more information contact Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum, managing partner, or Joe Espo at the law firm at . Click here to read the opinion.
Welcome Susan Somerville-Hayes to The Arc Maryland! 
The Arc Maryland is pleased to announce Susan Somerville-Hawes as the director of Public Policy and Advocacy - Children and Families. Susan is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Maryland with 30 years of experience, including 11 years as an assistant attorney general in the Educational Affairs Division advising her clients on a variety of policy and legal issues including civil rights, student affairs, ADA and employment discrimination.  To read the rest of Susan's story, click here .
Reminder to register for the webinar series - space is limited
The Arc Maryland and Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council have teamed up to present a series of three webinars on "Everything you wanted to know about DDA but were afraid to ask." This topic was selected by an overwhelming majority of families, advocates and professionals from a survey of current issues. 
Part 1: "Everything you wanted to know about DDA but were afraid to ask." 
Wed, Sept. 21, 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Part 2: "You're Approved for Services -What's Next?" 
Thurs., Oct. 20, 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Part 3: "Employment First: New Opportunities, Dispelling Myths and Misconceptions." 
Thurs., Nov 10, 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Registration is now open for Part 1 and space is limited. Click here to register for Part 1.
Board member profile Lori Scott
Lori Scott and her family: Lori and her husband, Charlie, in the back, front left to right: Zach, Cassidy & Shelby

The Arc Maryland is governed by a statewide volunteer board of directors. Fifty-one percent of the board is required to be a person with an intellectual and/or developmental disability and family members. Monthly we introduce you to a board member who contributes time, passion and talents to our mission!

This month, we introduce you to Board Member Lori Scott. To read the profile, please click here.

Congratulations to our 2017 Public Policy Fellow! 
Jamie Stoner, 2017 Public Policy Fellow
The Arc Maryland has selected Jamie Stoner, director of Community Outreach for The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region, as the 2017 Public Policy Fellow. To read more about Jamie, her achievements and the fellowship, click here.

 Congratulations, Jamie! 
Election 2016 Important News: Voting forums for people with disabilities - Hear about the issues, learn about the voting process 
Disability Rights Maryland (formerly the Maryland Disability Law Center) and co-sponsors, including The Arc Maryland, will host 2016 Presidential Election Voter Forums to help people with disabilities register to vote, test ballot marking machines, and more. Attendees will also hear from the major campaigns about what the candidates have to say about important disability issues. 

Make your voices heard! Get informed, energized, and motivated to go to the polls!  To learn more about the forums on September 28 in Salisbury and October 6 in Baltimore City, click here.
The Arc Maryland commends DOJ Report on Baltimore City Police
T he United States Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division recently released a report following an investigation into the past conduct of the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD). DOJ concluded that there is "reasonable cause to believe that BPD engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution or federal law" by engaging in unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests; using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches, and arrests of African-Americans; using excessive force; and retaliating against people engaging in constitutionally-protected expression. 

Among these troubling findings, The Arc noted that the treatment of individuals with disabilities by law enforcement was included in the report, which featured a full section on the use of unreasonable force against individuals with disabilities highlighting that "BPD officers repeatedly fail to make reasonable modifications necessary to avoid discrimination in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)."

The Arc US, The Arc Maryland and The Arc Baltimore issued a press release calling upon systemic changes to protect the rights of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Click here to read the statement. 
Maryland is now an Employment First state
By Karen Lee - DDA Public Policy Fellow
Maryland has become an Employment First state. Employment First is based on the belief that all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) can make unique contributions to the workforce through competitive, integrated employment. It begins with identifying the person's unique talents that contribute to an employer. To read Karen's entire article, click here. Read the next article about the Employment First Conference on October 19.  To read the State of Maryland's plan, click here

If you are interested in becoming involved in creating the implementation steps and would like to become involved in the dialogue about increasing competitive integrated employment in Maryland, please contact Karen Lee @
Editor's Note: The Arc Maryland representatives serve on the Statewide State Leadership Team for Employment First.
Register today for the Employment First Conference on October 19 
Come hear the experts on Employment First give practical tips on increasing competitive integrated employment outcomes for job seekers on October 19 in Columbia, Md. The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration is hosting the event and encourages people to register soon! To register for the event, click here
Need help financing higher education? Scholarships available
The Arc Maryland would like to share two resources for scholarships that can be used for higher education, trade schools or continuing education. Scholarships, sponsored by the Kelly Law Firm, are available for people with Down syndrome - click here. Scholarships, sponsored by Feldman Royle Attorneys at Law, are available for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD or Autism) - click here. If you know of other education scholarships, please email and we will share with our subscribers. 
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