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March 2020 E-Newsletter
TLC Outcomes advocates for adults with disabilities to find and keep jobs and live independently in the community

A Day in the Life of a Social Worker at Outcomes
Answering the question, “what does a social worker do anyway?” is not an easy task because there are many forms of social work, encompassing many modalities, theories and methodologies. I will provide my perspective as a social work at TLC Outcomes, and perhaps convey some of what my position at Outcomes is like.

Social work is a practice-based profession. It is a vast, broad discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion and the empowerment and liberation of people. Accordingly, our values include; service, social justice, dignity and worth of an individual, importance and centrality of human relationships, integrity and competence.

The practice of social work requires us to be knowledgeable about a wide range of human development and behavior. We must have a deep understanding of internal/psychic structures, of social, cultural and economic forces AND how these forces interact.

That’s a lot to share, but, the profession of social work strives to better the lives of people whether at the individual, family, community, government, societal or global level.

The social work position with Outcomes was a new one when I was hired 3 years ago. I have enjoyed growing it and watching it become an integral and valued part of our services. I assist and support those we serve in a myriad of ways. My day begins with greeting those we serve. Several have regularly scheduled appointments with me to discuss on-going issues. Drawing on my broad knowledge of counseling theories and principals, and the wisdom that comes with age, I provide uniquely tailored clinical interventions. After many of our individuals leave for community activities, I collaborate with staff providing participant updates, behavior strategies or social-emotional insights. Sometimes, my job requires outreach to families and agencies to ensure that the mental health needs of those we serve are being met. Sprinkled throughout my work are problem solving, crisis assessments, referrals to outside resources, rallying individuals to vote or attend important legislative meetings and staff education regarding mental health issues.

By far, the BEST part of my work is creating curriculum for and presenting workshops on relevant topics for our individuals we serve. The purpose of these workshops is to empower, educate and inspire. Subjects we have discussed are; relationships, sexuality, self advocacy, boundaries, flexibility, responsibility, anxiety grief and self esteem to name a few. I love developing lessons that are fun and informative and address the different learning styles and cognitive abilities. It’s the perfect melding of my teaching skills and mental health knowledge.

As I wind down my career life, I can’t think of any other place that I would want to work. I have been grateful every day for this opportunity to serve and look forward to many more years of support of others.
TLC Outcomes Consumers Have Been Volunteering at the National Center for Children and Families Since 2017
At National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) our consumers do various tasks in Dr. C’s Boutique, the donation store, which allows clients served at NCCF to enjoy a shopping experience without spending any money. Among other tasks, our consumers sort donations, hang clothing by size, and straighten boutique displays.

Since this volunteer site is set up to replicate an authentic shopping experience, it gives our consumers retail job experience by not only executing job tasks normally found in a retail setting, but also allowing them a chance to work on customer service skills by interacting with NCCF boutique customers. 

One of our current volunteers says of NCCF:
“At NCCF I help customers get what they are looking for, help load things on trucks, put things on hangers, and sort and categorize baby clothes by size.  What I like best about volunteering there is helping the customers find what they need for their children.  I found a lot for a lady just today.  I helped find her an outfit for an interview that looked good on her, and helped her find clothing for her children”.  

The job coach at NCCF says:
“The staff at NCCF is very cooperative and is always trying to help expand our consumer’s skills. Our consumers learn a lot from this experience, and you can see each individual’s strengths come out in different ways. The staff at NCCF often express their appreciation of our volunteers and the work they do”.   
Did you know March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (DD Awareness Month)?
President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in 1987.  This was Proclamation 5613 signed on February 26, 1987. The proclamation created National Disability Awareness month as March. DDA Awareness month provides the opportunity to promote and encourage respect for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and to educate the community about abilities that individuals with I/DD possess.  

DD Awareness month was in part created by the deinstitutionalization of individuals with I/DD in the seventies and early eighties. This laid a foundation for significant change and the proclamation called upon Americans to encourage and provide opportunities to support individuals with I/DD to reach their full potential. 
ADA 30 Year Anniversary   
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) celebrates 30 years of passed legislation. The ADA began in 1990 when President George H.W. Bush was in office. President Bush signed the ADA into law on July 26, 1990. This was the United States government first step towards addressing the needs of citizens that have disabilities.  

The original purpose of the ADA was a move to combat discrimination against disabled individuals by potential or existing employers, governments, and unions. To be eligible for protection under the ADA you need to fit three criteria:

  • The disability must be a physical or mental health impairment that limits major life activities in one or more ways. 
  • Major life activities include breathing, walking, hearing, seeing, sleeping, caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, working and major body functions.
  • Have a record detailing your impairment.
  • Currently have a record of this this impairment.  

This law is broken down into five (5) parts.

Title I – The focus is on discrimination in the workplace. Under Title 1 employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for applicants or employees with disabilities. The employee needs to be qualified to perform the essential functions of the job. Since July 26, 1994 this title has been for employers with 15 or more employees.
Title II – The focus is on eliminating discrimination by local and state governments. Title II covers services, programs, and activities provided through these entities. 
Title III - Expands title II to privately-owned businesses and commercial businesses.
Title IV – Title IV amendment came in 2008. This amendment was signed into law by President George W. Bush on September 25, 2008. This amendment set new standards for the telecommunications industry. This amendment includes closed captioning for watching television, communication through teletypewriter for those with hearing and speech impairments and guidelines for web accessibility. 
Title V - Title V are the requirements and definitions that are not addressed in title I, II, III or IV. This title also prohibits language prohibiting retaliation, discriminator, intimidation or coercion for persons attempting to comply with the letter and spirit of the ADA. 

For additional information on the ADA and 30 year anniversary contact https://adata.org/ - National information and for the Maryland area https://www.adainfo.org/ - Local Mid-Atlantic area
Transitional Youth (TY) Corner – Some Helpful Tips
Are you a student, a parent or a guardian of someone with a disability? If yes, read below to learn more

Did you know if you are a parent or guardian of a child that has been diagnosed with a developmental disability you can apply on behalf of the child to the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)? For information on how to apply to DDA click here https://dda.health.maryland.gov/Pages/howtoapply.aspx

Is your child between the age of 14-21 and live in Maryland? If yes, do you know what to do to transition from entitlement in the school system to eligibility in the adult world after you graduate? If no, below are some things to consider before your child graduates.

If you child has a developmental disability did your apply to DDA? If no, see above.

Have you applied to The Maryland Department of Education Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)? If no, are you familiar with programs for youth age 14-21 and eligibility? In 2014, The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 22, 2014. This law mandated that vocational rehabilitation agencies (DORS in Maryland) set aside 15% of their budget to provide services to youth with disabilities age 14-21. This opened the door for many more programs for TY’s if they fit the definition of an individual with a disability. For more information on DORS PreETS services and eligibility click here https://dors.maryland.gov/Brochures/Pre-ETS_Fact_Sheet.pdf TLC Outcomes offers Pre-ETS for students eligible though Maryland DORS. 

Important reminders. No later than the fall prior, to graduation students with disabilities will need the following:

  • Birth Certificate
  • State ID card (This should be a REAL ID card in the state of Maryland by October 1, 2020. If a student currently has a Maryland issued ID card that does not expire prior to October 1, 2020 the ID card should be renewed if you will be in a government building or boarding on a domestic airline)
  • Social Security Card
  • Medicaid//Health Insurance Card 

It is important for students with support from their family to educate themselves on financial eligibility of programs and determine goals they want to set for themselves. Many programs do have financial eligibility criteria such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medical Assistance (MA).  
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a
time to visit us, call or email our Admissions and Community Supports Coordinator, Sherri Stocklin
(301) 294 9205
TLC Outcomes Adult Services
2092 Gaither Road, Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20850