Baltimore County Cabinet Meeting
February 12, 2018

Governor's Full Cabinet Meets in Baltimore County  image of full cabinet on stage
This past Monday, Governor Hogan gathered his full administration for a regional Cabinet meeting at the Community College of Baltimore County, Essex Campus. The meeting was open to the public and featured presentations from various state agencies.  Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford also gave an update on the administration's continuing commitment to battling the heroin and opioid epidemic.

Additionally, Governor Hogan utilized the opportunity to present Governor's Citations to many Baltimore County community members who are making a difference in our state.  Terri Seitz (pictured below) who is the current Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities Chair received recognition for her continued advocacy on behalf of those with disabilities. In addition to chairing the county commission, Ms. Seitz is also on the Board of Directors at The League for People with Disabilities and is a peer mentor with the University of Maryland System for Shock Trauma and Kernan Rehabilitation. As someone with a spinal cord injury, she has dedicated over 25 years serving as a leader and advocate for those with disabilities in the Baltimore community. In addition to her service on The League's board, Ms. Seitz sits on the board of the IMAGE Center for Independent Living, the Ellene Brit Christiansen Memorial Fund, and Women Embracing Abilities Now (W.E.A.N.), a peer mentoring program for women with newly acquired disabilities. She also sits on the Advisory Committee for the Aging and Disability Resource Center, a division of the Baltimore County Department of Aging, and is a member of the Baltimore County League of Women Voters. Terri Seitz is a retired Baltimore County Public School Teacher and holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Towson University and a Master of Education in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. Secretary Beatty, LG, Terri Seitz, and the Governor pose for photo with the citation

Governor Hogan also recognized Pathfinders for Autism (pictured below) with a citation for their community advocacy work and particularly for their support of the Ethan Saylor first responder training program.  Working with the Ethan Saylor Alliance, Pathfinders for Autism has established a reputable presence among the law enforcement community and used this training to support adults with Autism in their advocacy work. They achieve this goal without any cost to Maryland law enforcement while adopting the best practice of including self-advocates as co-trainers. The Ethan Saylor Alliance was passed in April of 2015 and is aimed at providing increased training for members of law enforcement and other public service entities on the needs of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The premise of the Alliance is that self-advocates take the central role in educating and informing the community of best practices when responding to emergency situations involving those with disabilities.
Secretary Beatty, LG, Governor and reps from Pathfinders pose with citation
Following the meeting, Cabinet members spread out across Baltimore County meeting with over 100 community organizations and businesses.  This was the third regional Cabinet Meeting with plans for more outreach in the near future. Stay tuned!

square table with participants around
Baltimore County Employer Round Table
Secretary Beatty hosts Employer Roundtable following the Baltimore County Regional Cabinet Meeting
Secretary Beatty, Deputy Secretary Frank, and the Employment Policy Director for the Maryland Department of Disabilities held an employer roundtable at Penn-Mar Human Services, Inc. in Freeland following the regional cabinet meeting on Monday. 
Representatives from Bank of America, Pet Smart, Chouquette Chocolates, Acadia Windows and Doors, and Grauls met with state policy makers, advocates, and Penn-Mar Employment Specialists to discuss best practices and generate ideas to promote inclusive hiring in the state. 
Check out the department's employment resources here:

Secretary Beatty and Hussman representatives stand in front of Hussman signage
Visit to the Hussman Center
Supporting Innovation

Following the employer roundtable, Secretary Beatty traveled to Towson to visit the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism.  The center provides cutting-edge programming, training and resources for adults on the autism spectrum, Towson University students, professionals and others in the community.  They offer two primary types of programs: 

1) Group programs for individuals who identify as neuro-diverse that are offered in the spring, summer, and fall featuring inclusive Towson University student involvement.
2) College Orientation and Life Activities (COLA) for Towson University students who are on the autism spectrum. This program provides support in planning for success as a college student.

The Hussman Center also promotes evidence based outcomes through their innovative program model and sharing of this model with other universities, professional groups, and community organizations. 

MDOD and Image center staff pose The IMAGE Center for People with Disabilities
Promoting the Independent Living Network
Deputy Secretary Frank and the Maryland Department of Disabilities Community Living Policy Director visited the IMAGE Center for People with Disabilities in Towson following the Employer Roundtable. As part of the Centers for Independent Living network, The IMAGE Center for People with Disabilities is an organization dedicated to new thinking about disability. The center creates an environment in which people with disabilities can advocate, experiment, and create - finding new ways and new solutions to what may have seemed like insurmountable barriers. The IMAGE Center serves Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Harford County. They serve people with all disabilities as a nonresidential center promoting the power and possibility of independent living.  Staff at the IMAGE center are primarily people with disabilities living independent lives and teaching these skills to others.

Find out more about the Independent Living movement:  The IMAGE Center Link
Innovations in Aging
Town Hall Meeting
MDOD Staff Supporting Cross Agencies

Maryland Department of Disabilities' Constituent Services Staff attended the Department of Aging's Innovations in Aging Town Hall Meeting at Oregon Ridge in Baltimore County following the Cabinet Meeting. Secretary Kramer presented on innovative programs being developed by the state to promote healthy aging. The Secretary also recognized the work of local offices on aging and the important contributions they make to our state.