Checking In with The Arc Maryland
This past month was a busy one for The Arc Maryland! On May 17th, we held our 2019 State Convention at Turf Valley Resort, where over 300 attendees joined together for a day of learning, networking, and celebration! The big day was kicked off by Joe Macbeth, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals who provided a lively plenary session on the importance of the Direct Support Professional advocacy movement. The Arc Maryland annual awards luncheon featured 27 outstanding leaders from across the state who excel in their advocacy and commitment to supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Thank you to everyone who made the day a success! Check out pictures from the 2019 Convention, as well as our MCE Leadership Graduation and Volunteer of the Year Awards on our Facebook page.
Save the Date: The Arc Maryland's Annual Convention will be Tuesday, June 2, 2020
As we look ahead to the 2020 Annual convention, we look forward to celebrating a momentous birthday with you!

The Arc Maryland was incorporated on January 25, 1960. This year, we celebrate 60 years of service to the community in advancing the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities!

As we reflect on how far we have come since 1960, we asked some of this years' convention attendees about their interpretation of success, what they would like their legacy to be, and to provide ideas on how we as a community can better improve lives over the next 60 years of our movement!
Thank you to Jeremy Roop of The Arc Carroll County for his excellent work on the video!
MCE Leadership Graduation
On the evening before the Convention, the Maryland Conference of Executives of The Arc held a ceremony for graduates of the 2019 Leadership: The Arc class.

Twenty-five rising professionals from all 11 chapters of The Arc in Maryland have spent time over the past 9 months engaged in this executive development program that orients and prepare Arc professionals for executive leadership roles at local or state levels of the organization. See pictures of all graduates on our Facebook page. Congratulations to the 2019 graduates listed below!
The Arc Baltimore
  • Swanisha Hinton
  • Naveed Malik
  • Ramie Mays
  • Chike Ogbonna

The Arc Carroll County
  • Brittany Jacober
  • Carly Stahlman

The Arc Central Chesapeake Region
  • Maire Duncan
  • Christopher Jivers
  • Gena Young

The Arc of Frederick County
  • Leigh McHargue
  • Anjela McNally

The Arc Howard County
  • Erik Axelrod
  • Elizabeth Burrage
  • Zanetta Wetzel
The Arc Maryland
  • Luc Chausse

The Arc Montgomery County
  • Atabong Awungfuet
  • Haydee De Paula
  • Jacquelyn Martin

The Arc Northern Chespeake Region
  • Sherry Klapaska
  • Melissa Martinez

The Arc Prince George's County
  • Michael Robinson

The Arc Southern Maryland
  • Melinda Cornett-Shifflett
  • Renee Seigley

The Arc Washington County
  • Kathleen Barnhardt
  • Cate Morrison
Welcome New Board Members!
Secretary of the Department of Disabilities, Carol Beatty, graciously attended The Arc Maryland Annual meeting where she assisted with the installation of officers, and new and renewing board members. We are thrilled to welcome two new members to The Arc Maryland Board of Directors in 2019!
Michelle Tetschner (pictured 4th from right) is a mother, an entrepreneur and a passionate advocate for the educational inclusion of all children. She is a mom to 3 boys, (Raymond, the youngest, has Down syndrome), is happily married for over 30 years, and has recently moved to Maryland.

Michelle has served in leadership capacities with several groups and boards including the Down Syndrome Network of Arizona as a board member and their Communications Committee Chair. She has been a board member of the Arizona Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents as well as being the founder and executive director of the non-profit organization: Arizona Inclusion in Catholic Education. She believes that each and every person has special gifts and strengths, and that we should celebrate each-others talents and uniqueness.

Hon. Douglas Peters (pictured 3rd from right) is a current Senator of the Maryland General Assembly, representing Prince George's County District 23. He is the proud grandparent of a child with Down syndrome. He has been interested in advocacy and assisting people with disabilities for many years. Hon. Peters is also the former President of the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce, Commander of the American Legion, Post 66 and VFW Post 8065. He looks forward to using his passion and skills to help others to be all they can be.
Volunteer of the Year Awards
The 2019 Chapter Volunteer of the Year Awardees were honored on May 17th at a reception directly following the Annual Convention. Honorees, nominated by each chapter of The Arc, were recognized for service and dedication to The Arc's mission in their community and beyond. See the pictures of this year's winners from your chapter on our Facebook page.

Thank you to the awardees listed below for your outstanding service as we work together to ensure people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have an enjoy equal rights and opportunities.
  • Joseph Ward, The Arc Baltimore
  • Lee Primm, The Arc Carroll County
  • Michele Tharpe, The Arc Central Chesapeake Region
  • Kathy Laky, The Arc of Frederick Couny
  • Cathy Cope, The Arc Howard County
  • Molly Timko, The Arc Maryland
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Arc Montgomery County
  • M&T Bank, Bel Air, The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
  • Adeyinka Ogunlegan, The Arc Prince George's County
  • Dennis Rader, The Arc Southern Maryland
  • Jim Mobley, The Arc Washington County
The Arc Maryland Says Farewell to Grace Williams
Last week, we said goodbye to Grace Williams, our Assistant Director of Public Policy and Partnerships.

Grace, has been a part of The Arc Community for over 23 years. Thank you Grace for all that you have done for The Arc, and we cannot wait to see what is next for you. We wish Grace the best of luck as she pursues other interests and endeavors on behalf of individuals with disabilities and their families!
"Together We're Better" Inclusive Education Campaign: Traveling Artwork On Display In Local Libraries 
Our traveling art display, with artwork collected through the Together We're Better (TWB) Inclusive Education Art Contest, hit the road once again! TWB focuses the importance of having friends of all abilities, how students learn and benefit from each others' differences and how our schools and beyond are better when we have the opportunities to live, learn, and work... together!

Stay tuned for our next stops from June 24th to July 8th at Queen Anne's County Public Library and Brunswick Branch of Frederick County Public Library .
In the News
24-Hour Behavioral Crisis Center to Open in Harford County
The first 24-hour Behavioral Health Crisis Center in Harford County is opening its doors on June 10th! The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center is open to anyone in a behavioral crisis through a 24-hour hotline, a mobile crisis team, outpatient psychotherapy and medication management, urgent walk-in care, and residential crisis services.

We are excited to see this key service added to meet the needs of people in crisis in Harford County and hope this will serve as a model for the rest of the state!

MTA Mobility Paratransit Services in Need of Emergency Response Plan: Paratransit riders in the Baltimore metro area need your support!
Maryland Transit Administration Services' (MTA) MobilityLink, provides ride services for people with disabilities that MTA'S public transit does not accommodate. The service has had a significant drop in quality and response time compliance from December to March, with late arrivals of rides doubling from 11% to 22%. As riders wait for rides, some are at risk! The chances of missing medical appointments, and work are increased. They may miss meals or wait in inclement weather for their late ride, unable to return home to take medication, use the bathroom, or be in the presence of support staff when their ride does not arrive up to four hours later than scheduled.

Read more about the issues riders face in articles from the Baltimore Sun ( Article 1  &  Article 2 ). In the wake of this crisis, MTA has expressed their plans to add 200 drivers at the end of the month. While this is a step in the right direction, numbers of drivers alone will not solve the issue!

Last week, one of The Arc Maryland's coalition partners, Disability Rights Maryland (DRM),  penned a letter to Governor Hogan's Office  to present a series of failures that must be addressed by the MTA. Solutions encouraged include contracting with taxi companies to provide paratransit services, setting aside reserve drivers to address emergencies for riders waiting excessive time for their original ride, providing accurate ride tracking for riders, instituting improved training for drivers, and more.

MTA MobilityLink rides are vital to the well being of many Marylanders with disabilities and must have improved reliability to adequately serve residents. If you support DRM's proposed changes and want to call for action by state government, we ask that you  sign on to this letter from DRM to Governor Hogan to support an MTA Emergency Response Plan . To sign on, please provide your name ,title, organization and email address to Amity Lachowicz of DRM at , or call DRM at 410-727-6352 by this  Wednesday, June 5!
Low Pay Feeds Shortage of Workers Who Care for People with Developmental Disabilities
Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the backbone of our service system. Their expertise, compassion and creative thinking are employed each time they walk side by side with a person with intellectual and development disabilities.

DSPs must not only “have the heart” for the work that they do, but possess patience, knowledge and skills unmatched in most other professions. Unfortunately , a high staff turnover rate nationally plagues agencies that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and impacts access to critical services for people in need. 

Read a recent article about how the direct support workforce shortage is affecting another Arc organization, and share your stories on social media using the hashtag #morethantheheartforit

Opportunities in the Community
BSC Buddy Camp
Bethesda Soccer Club(BSC) is offering a free soccer camp this month to 8 to 21 year olds with developmental disabilities! BSC Buddy Camp takes place from 9:00 am to 11:00 am from June 17th to 21st. Participants improve their soccer skills throughout the week with the help of "buddies" who are players from the club.

Read more and register for the volunteer-run camp here ! BSC asks that parents or guardians remain present during camp hours.
Community Pathways Waiver, Family Supports Waiver, and Community Supports Waiver
Amendment #2 Stakeholder Informational Meetings
The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) will be amending the Community Pathways Waiver, Family Supports Waiver, and Community Supports Waiver to:

  1. Provide updates to the self-directed service delivery model,
  2. Propose a transition strategy for the new Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) fee-for-service billing starting with a small pilot group, and
  3. Include new procedure codes and associated rates for services associated with dedicated staffing (i.e. 1:1 and 2:1) in residential services; shared living levels; day habilitation (small and large groups); and enhanced personal supports for people with complex health and/or behavioral needs.

Prior to opening for public comment, the DDA will provide an overview of the transition strategy for the new LTSS fee-for-service billing and new procedure codes and associated rates associated with dedicated staffing (i.e. 1:1 and 2:1) in residential services; shared living levels; day habilitation (small and large groups); and enhanced personal supports.

Please register by clicking on the date for one of the upcoming stakeholder informational meeting :

  • Register for June 6 - at the Holiday Inn Express Cambridge 2715 Ocean Gateway, Cambridge, MD 21613 from 3 to 5 pm and 6 to 8 pm
  • Register for June 10 - at the Holiday Inn - College Park 10000 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD 20740 from 3 to 5 pm and 6 to 8 pm
  • Register for June 13 - at the Ramada Inn 1718 Underpass Way Hagerstown, MD 21740 from 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 pm

The same information will be shared during both afternoon and evening meetings. Participants can attend either session time. Providers are encouraged to attend the 3 to 5 p.m. session and people in services and family members are encouraged to attend the 6 to 8 p.m. session as DDA works to support each group and different perspectives.

Next Steps:
  • The DDA will provide an overview of the final proposed amendments on Friday, June 14, 2019 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm via a public webinar.
  • Information regarding the amendments will be posted on the DDA website dedicated page for Amendment #2 on or before June 14, 2019.
  • In addition, copies of the proposed changes will be available for public review at the DDA Headquarters and Regional Offices and the local health departments in each county and Baltimore City.

The official public comments period will begin June 15, 2019 through July 14, 2019. Public comments can be submitted to  or mailed to DDA Federal Programs at  201 West Preston Street, 4th Floor, Baltimore MD 21201  on June 15, 2019 through July 14, 2019. Comments for all three waivers should be submitted together under one response. 
Local Chapter Events
The Arc Montgomery County - Fire! Kickoff Happy Hour
June 5th
Join The Arc Montgomery County at 6:00 pm on June 5th at Denizens Brewing Co. for the Kickoff Happy Hour of FIRE!— F riends of  I nclusion,  R espect &  E ngagement, the chapter's new networking group for young professionals. We'll provide the bar food and the first round of beer or wine. You provide the energy, creativity and commitment to building a community where inclusion, respect and engagement is real for every person regardless of ability. Register for the event here (Free to attend).
The Arc Central Chesapeake Region - Meet and Greet with Talbot County First Responders
June 6th
Join The Arc Central Chesapeake Region for an informal Meet & Greet with Talbot County First Responders. Do you or someone you know have a disability or special need that requires assistance in an emergency setting?

This family friendly free event at Talbot County Emergency Services from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm will cover topics such as: safety in the home, evacuation tips, and how to identify your home in the Special Needs Registry.

If you have friends, family members or neighbors who are elderly and have disabilities, this will provide you the tools to know what to do when a disaster appears eminent or if one has just happened.

Learn more about the new app-DES, which will roll out this summer to help people with disabilities or a special need identify to First Responders so proper help can be administered.
The Arc Central Chesapeake Region - Celebration Impact
June 6th
The Arc Baltimore - Luminaries Spring Happy Hour
June 6th
Join fellow young professionals in their 20s and 30s (and anyone else who is young at heart) on June 6th at 6:00 pm for the Luminaries’ Spring Happy Hour at Myth & Moonshine in Canton. Save the date, mark your calendar. Learn more about the Luminaries and the mission of The Arc Baltimore. Please bring a friend; the more, the merrier! There is metered street parking available, and several parking garages in the area.

RSVP by emailing .
The Arc Washington County - Charity Golf Event
June 13th
Support The Arc of Washington County by participating on our Charity Golf Event at Glade Valley Golf Club on June 13th! Registration for the gold outing starts at noon with tee off at 12:30 pm. Tickets include green fees, cart fees, beverages during play, and dinner. For more information and to buy tickets to the event, visit the event page .
The Arc Baltimore - Summer Kickoff
June 25th
The Arc Montgomery County - Membership Meeting with Board of Elections & Community Awards Ceremony
June 26th
The Arc Montgomery County will be holding its Membership Meeting with Board of Elections and Community Awards from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on June 26th! For more details, contact Deborah Mark at or contact by phone at 301-984-5777 ext. 1245.
The Arc Howard County - Sprout Film Festival
June 29th