In This Issue:
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MoveThe Arc Maryland Has Changed Our Main Location!
We have packed our bags and boxes and moved out of our former administrative offices in Annapolis! In alignment with our goals to better connect our members and improve chapter accessibility to our services, we are now centrally located in the state in Columbia, MD.  During the Maryland legislative session, we will continue to maintain a satellite office in Annapolis located at 15 School Street!

We are ecstatic to get things started at our new Columbia office location. The Arc Maryland can now be reached at the following address:

8601 Robert Fulton Drive, Suite 140
Columbia, MD 21046

SharonWelcome to the Newest Addition to The Arc Maryland Team:  Sharon Dols
This past month, The Arc Maryland welcomed Sharon Dols as our Office Manager.  Originally from Connecticut, Sharon has worked for 15 years with Middle and High School students, developing dynamic outreach and social justice programs with a primary focus in service ministry. Her most recent position was at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn. Prior to making a lifestyle change to the non-profit sector, Sharon served in professional marketing and event planning roles in various Business-to-Business markets. She received her bachelor's degree in communication sciences from The University of Connecticut at Storrs.

Sharon is excited for her new opportunity with The Arc Maryland team. She loves to help people and volunteers with several organizations in her local community.  Sharon and her husband live in Howard County. They enjoy spending time with family as well as going to the beach and traveling to different parts of the world together.

If you would like to reach Sharon for any reason, please contact her at  Welcome, Sharon!
TWBNational Inclusive Schools Week &
Together We're Better 2018-19 Artwork Contest

From December 3-7, The Arc Maryland celebrates National Inclusive Schools Week (ISW)! The week sponsored by the Inclusive Schools Network  celebrates the progress schools have made to provide a supportive and quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference and other factors.

This year, ISW's theme is "Kaleidoscope of Friends." If you look into a kaleidoscope, you see an infinite array of patterns of brilliant light created by repeated reflection. Education takes on a beautiful shape when all children belong and are valued as contributing members of the school community.  Read more on Inclusive Schools Week on the official website.

The Arc Maryland, in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education,  celebrates ISW through its "Together We're Better" Artwork Contest, during which students are asked to create and share artwork with themes including ISW's "Kaleidoscope of Friends." The contest, which is open to most elementary and middle school students across Maryland, is accepting artwork until December 14, 2018.

For eligibility, rules, prizes and full information, you can  check out the "Together We're Better" Artwork Contest website page . You can also access our Diversity Celebration Toolkit for resources relating to Inclusive Education across multiple grade levels.
IDoPwDCelebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities
December 3

Yesterday was annual "International Day of Persons with Disabilities" and kicked off our week of celebration and awareness activities. Started in 1992 by the United Nations, this 
global observance is to promote the welfare of persons with disabilities and to raise awareness about the barriers some face with the goal of raising awareness and eliminating the barriers the separate people. It is estimated that more than 1 billion people across the world- about 15% of everyone on the planet- have some form of disability according to the U.N. The theme for this year's observance is, "Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality."

DecisionMakingUpcoming Training:
Supported Decision-Making:  Stakeholders Meeting
December 7
Disability Rights Maryland (DRM) is holding a stakeholders meeting and inviting people with disabilities, their supporters, providers, and others to meet and discuss supported decision-making (SDM).

SDM allows a person to select someone they know and trust to assist with the decision-making process and is considered an alternative to traditional guardianship. Discover more on SDM, its benefits to people with disabilities, and to the community.

The Stakeholders Meeting will take place on Friday, December 7 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Hussman Institute for Autism, 5521 Research Park Drive, Catonsville, MD 21228. To attend, please RSVP with Megain Rusciano, DRM Attorney, at (preferred) or by phone at (443) 692-2487

ConventionSave the Date:
The Arc Maryland 2019 State Convention
May 17 at Turf Valley Resort

Mark your calendars for The Arc Maryland's Annual State Convention and Awards Banquet, coming next May on Friday the 17th! Join us at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City once again for a information-packed day, opportunities to honor champions in our field, a fabulous silent auction, resource fair, and more. Stay tuned on social media and on our website for updates and information on the upcoming convention.
NewsIn the News
 Thirteen-Year-Old Activist with Autism Wants to Close Seclusion Rooms at Schools

Alex Campbell, a Virginia teen who has autism spectrum disorder, began advocating to change laws governing restraint and seclusion after repeated incidents of being placed in his school's "seclusion room." Alex and other students have dealt with similar incidents in the past that have not always been known to the parents, as only 28 states across the U.S. provide meaningful protections against restraint and seclusion for children, including those with disabilities. Read more about Alex's fight here.>>
National Geographic's New Photo Campaign Highlights People with Disabilities

A photographer for National Geographic Poland began his second edition of photos called "Look at us a little differently" which highlights portraits of people with Down Syndrome. The campaign was started as an initiative of the Association of Families and Friends of Children with Down Syndrome in Szczecin, Poland, and works to erase social stigmas associated with Down Syndrome. Read more & see the photos here.>>
Kalin Bennett Becomes First Athlete with Autism to Sign Letter of Intent to Play D1 Basketball

This past week, basketball player Kalin Bennett, an eighteen year old from Little Rock, Arkansas made history. Kalin became the first athlete with autism to sign a letter of intent with a Division I university.  He will begin his time as a collegiate-athlete next fall at Kent State University in Ohio. Continue reading about Kalin's journey.>>
EventsLocal Chapter Events

The content for local chapter events comes from our member chapter organizations. For more information, please visit their websites!
The Arc Southern Maryland:
Free Sign Language Classes
December 5 & 19

The Arc Southern Maryland holds free sign language classes every other Wednesday from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM at its Waldorf Office at 3601 Leonardtown Road. RSVP is required, so please contact Connie Willouhby at if you wish to attend.
The Arc of Washington County
Fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings
December 11

Join The Arc of Washington County on Tuesday, December 11,2018 from 11:00 AM-midnight for a fundraising event at Buffalo Wild Wings!This will take place at the Buffalo Wild Wings location at 230 Railway Lane, Hagerstown, MD 21740. 15% of food sales will go towards The Arc Washington County's Childrens Program. At the restaurant, make sure to present them with the ticket attached here. Be sure to participate in the raffle for your chance to win a holiday HeartPet cat or dog gift basket!

The Arc Carroll County
Secret Santa
December 12

During the Holiday Season, The Arc Carroll County looks to spread joy through the gift of giving and is asking for the community's help in doing so. During its annual Secret Santa event, the chapter has a goal to give each person in their day program a personal gift, provided by those who wish to participate.

You can sign up and select who you would like to donate a gift to on their Secret Santa Wish List. If you participate, be sure to send in your gifts to The Arc Carroll County by Wednesday, December 12. You can also find out more information on the wish list page.
The Arc Baltimore
Education Series: ABLE Accounts & Financial Literacy
December 13

T he Arc Baltimore features educational seminars to help people's understanding of v arious topics regarding people with I/DD across the entire lifespan. On Thursday, December 13, from 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM, the seminar is on ABLE Accounts & Financial Literacy, which will take place at its Community Resource Center at 7215 York Road. 

RSVP is required, so please  email  if interested! You can also check out a full list of Education Series Topics here.
The Arc of Frederick County
Parents' Day Out
December 15

The Arc of Frederick County is providing a day of free respite care to parents  or guardians of children with disabilities. Visit the chapter on Saturday, December 15 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM to spend your day out and about. The Arc of Frederick County asks that you contact Karen Patterson or Emily Heiges at (301) 663-0909 extension 142 or 163 to access the form to participate. You can also access the flyer here. Stay tuned in for Parents' Day Out for 2019!
The Arc Howard County
Holidaze at Hysteria
December 18

Break out your ugliest holiday sweater on Tuesday, December 18 at Hysteria Brewing Company in Columbia for a night of live music, food, beer, and an ugly sweater contest!  From 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, 20% of proceeds go to benefit The Arc Howard County. Check out the event flyer for more details.

The Arc Maryland
Calendar Day and Advocacy 101 Training
January 10, 2019

Annually, The Arc Maryland and 10 local chapters in Maryland hold "Calendar Day" at the Legislature.  It is your opportunity as an Arc member to meet with your elected representatives or their staff, introduce yourself and introduce The Arc!  Please hold the date and look for information soon via Constant Contact.  If you are not currently on our mailing list, please contact Luc Chausse at to be added and receiving special event notices!
The Arc Central Chesapeake Region:
Annual Snowflake Ball
January 12

Tickets to The Arc Central Chesapeake's Annual Snowflake Ball are on sale now! Join them on Saturday, January 12 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM for dinner, dancing and prizes at The Double Tree by Hilton Annapolis. Tickets to the event are $25 each and can be purchased on their website until January 7. Check out their flyer here. For more information, email or call at (410) 384-4072.
The Arc Frederick County:
Charlotte's Coffee House
Every Wednesday through Friday

The Arc Frederick County's in-house cafe is open every Wednesday through Friday in October from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. All products are made in facility by people with developmental disabilities at Marcia's Bakery Training Program. Follow The Arc Frederick County on Facebook for their weekly menus!