September 2018
  Celebrating Direct Support 
Recognition Week

First Lady Yumi Hogan presents proclamation recognizing DSP week to
 DDA Deputy Secretary Bernie Simons and MDOD Secretary Carol Beatty
This week-long celebration recognizes the dedication and accomplishments of outstanding Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and their vital contributions.  DSPs work directly with individuals who have physical disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities with the aim of assisting the individual to become integrated into his/her community or the least restrictive environment. Many times DSPs are the key difference between community participation and isolation for those with disabilities. They build close, respected relationships with those they serve. They help individuals with disabilities participate fully in community and remain connected to family and friends. The broad range of individualized supports DSPs provide enable people with disabilities to live meaningful, productive lives, turning person centered plans into person centered lives. This strengthens our communities by fostering greater inclusion for those with disabilities.
Nominations were solicited from organizations and individuals receiving services for outstanding Direct Support Professionals, advocates, and businesses who employ those with disabilities. Over 130 individuals and businesses were nominated. The week long celebration culminated with a reception at the State House on Friday where Governor's Citations were presented by Secretary Beatty and Deputy Secretary Simons to 19 individual DSPs for outstanding work supporting integrated employment or full community participation. Thirteen businesses received citations for  successfully utilizing the talents of those with disabilities in the workforce .
Secretary Beatty featured guest on
"Living in Baltimore" 

Secretary Beatty  was recently interviewed on "Living in Baltimore" by
 WCAO host Bill Kladky. Listen to the dynamic interview covering
 equality of opportunity, access, and choice for Maryland residents with disabilities.

Mid-Atlantic ADA Conference: 
MDOD presents on Public Safety & Social Media

Jennifer Eastman, Director of Community Living, led a break out session on public safety.  The panel discussion outlined a grassroots advocacy effort that stemmed from a family tragedy, incited statewide systemic change, and facilitated unconventional partnerships among a multitude of stakeholders.  

Lori Markland, Director Access Maryland & Accessibility Programs Technology Assistance Program, presented on accessible social media.  Agencies from around the region learned ways to ensure that the content and the context of their organization's message is accessible, whether they are using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other platforms. Accessibility topics included alt texting of photos, screen-reader friendly formatting, and captioning of videos.
It's  Back to School Time at Katherine Thomas School

Secretary Carol Beatty toured the Katherine Thomas School, part of  TLC-The Treatment and Learning Centers. She stopped in the sunny lower school with  Board member John Bogasky, Executive Director Pat Ritter, and Lower/Middle School Director Nicole Abera.
Deputy Secretary Frank presents Amanda and 
Jill Dean Award
Deputy Secretary Frank presented the
Amanda and Jill Dean Award
 for Outstanding Direct Support Professional
 to Bob Kress at The Arc Howard staff appreciation event.