In This Issue:
Click the headlines below to be redirected to each article
VotingElection Day 2018: Make Your Mark on November 6

Tuesday, November 6 is Election Day. Make your opinion count! 

If you do not know where your polling place is, check out the Maryland State Board of Elections Website to find out! Click this link to find out about Accessibility at your polling location

Exercise your right to vote...  Hopefully you will have a great experience at the polls, but If you run into any problems, or you feel your right to vote is being violated in any way, you can always call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.
EdwardWelcome the Newest Addition to The Arc Maryland Team:  Edward Willard
This past month, The Arc Maryland welcomed Edward
Willard on as our new Policy Analyst!

Edward previously worked with The Arc Maryland as the coordinator for the "End the Wait Now" initiative; the campaign was aimed at advocacy for funding to eliminate the Waiting List for services in Maryland.  The campaign had great success as more funding was added to the DDA budget as part of the Waiting List Initiative (WLI), and people in need were finally connected with services.

In 2013, Edward worked for DDA as an independent advocate for self-directed services. In October 2014 Mr. Willard was promoted to Director of Advocacy Supports at DDA. Outside of his responsibilities at The Developmental Disabilities Administration he was appointed to The Maryland Commission of Disabilities. During Edward's 30-year career, he co-founded 3 organizations in Texas. The most notable of these is Everychild of Texas, which put children with disabilities into homes with families instead of institutions. He is committed to supporting people with disabilities to have a life of their choosing. Edward takes great pride in his seven nieces and nephews, whom he refers to as his "children." Semi-retired Edward plans on being on the high seas on cruise ships regularly, but will balance his retirement with his new calling to rejoin The Arc Team!
CaregiverNational Caregivers Month
November is National Caregivers Month!  Join us in celebrating the friends and families of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who help care for their loved ones.  During this month in particular, we are reminded how much caretakers share their time and resources, and how this should not, and does not go unnoticed! 

In the spirit of National Caregiver Month, The Arc of the United States spoke with Lisa Pugh, State Director of The Arc Wisconsin, on the importance of caretakers in the I/DD community and the battles they face to help loved ones. You can check out the article on The Arc's website here.

You can also keep up to date with how chapters of The Arc across Maryland are celebrating National Caregivers Month and receive tips on relaxing, respite for caregivers and other resources on our Facebook and Twitter throughout the month! 

TWBTogether We're Better 2018-19 Inclusive Education Campaign and Artwork Contest

The Arc Maryland, i n partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, and the Maryland Department of Disabilities, is pleased to announce its launch of the 2018-2019 "Together We're Better" Inclusive Education Campaign and Artwork Contest! The program, now  in its 15th year, kicks off with its Artwork Contest and release of the Diversity Celebration Toolkit.

T he purpose of the "Together We're Better" Artwork Contest is to raise awareness of the value and importance of diversity in our schools (including neurodiversity) and to acknowledge and celebrate all that our differences have to offer students of all abilities! Art Contest entries, which can span multiple artistic mediums, should explore themes of "Together We're Better," that can be found through our Diversity Celebration Toolkit and our in-school assemblies.The contest is open to elementary and middle school students across Maryland.

This year, the secondary theme for artwork is "
Kaleidoscope  of Friends," in alignment with National Inclusive Schools Week, which falls December 3 to 7 in 2018.

Another 2017-18 winning art piece
One of last year's winning art pieces

For eligibility, rules, prizes and full information, you can  check out the "Together We're Better" Artwork Contest website page . If you know any parent, teachers, or students that you think should participate in the "Together We're Better" Artwork Contest, please share our   Artwork Contest Flyer . We would love to increase participation in the contest to all corners of Maryland.  The deadline for artwork entries is December 14th, 2018

"Together We're Better's" Inclusive Education Campaign features the distribution of a Diversity Celebration Toolkit to schools across Maryland. The toolkit includes books, videos and other resources that enhance curriculum and celebrate diversity. Attached here is the   2018-19 Diversity Celebration Toolkit. You can also   read more on our website. Please share this resource with teachers in schools near you!

The campaign also features a series of School Assemblies that embrace diversity and promote inclusion and acceptance of students with differing abilities through presentations and activities. The assemblies are led by advocates with disabilities and a staff member from The Arc Maryland. Contact us at for more information and to schedule an assembly at your school!
StrategicStrategic Planning Update
One strategic planning group hard at work
The Arc Maryland has begun the process of creating a 3-year strategic plan, which will be in effect 2019 - 2021. Our consultant, Angie Dabbs, is facilitating this process, and we are engaging as many stakeholders as possible to help shape the path forward.

In August, we sent a strategic planning-related survey to our stakeholders, and we appreciate the  abundance of responses we received. Our consultant confidentially managed the survey and also interviewed several individuals as part of the data-gathering effort. Survey respondents and interviewees provided us with valuable perspectives, all of which will help inform the 3-year strategic plan. 
Getting things started with a team building exercise
Two of the themes that emerged most clearly from the survey and interview analysis include advocacy and engagement . Through your responses, you affirmed how important it is for The Arc Maryland to continue its advocacy efforts, not just on the state level during the legislative session, but through enhanced involvement at the local and national levels as well.
Additionally, you illuminated how important it is for us to continue exploring ways to strengthen engagement among self-advocates, families, local Arcs, other agencies, and The Arc Maryland, all in the spirit of our mission:  to create a world where children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have and enjoy equal rights and opportunities.

Strategic Planning Retreat
In early October, more than 20 self-advocates, family members, local Arc leadership members and Board members came together for a 2-day, highly collaborative, action-packed retreat. Facilitated by our consultant, we reviewed the survey and interviewee core themes, and we engaged in thoughtful conversation. The end result was energy and alignment around our 3-year strategic vision. 
Another strategic planning group in a brainstorming session
Work-Group Meetings
Participants from the retreat have been collaborating in small work teams to refine 4 Strategic Priorities developed during our retreat.  The work teams have been formulating associated outcomes and goals for each of the priorities, and have also discussed targeted strategies for achieving goals. This week, those work-groups will finalize the outcomes and goals and the process will move to the Strategic Planning Committee for final touches. 
Please stay tuned for more updates and information. We are excited about where we're headed, and we invite our members to continue to be part of the movement! 
Ande Kolp
Executive Director
Self-DirectionUpcoming Training:
Awareness, Engagement and Action in Self-Direction
November 17 and 20
Shared Support Maryland, Inc. and Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council are presenting 2 training sessions on the employer-employee relationship in relation to Self-Directed Services. The sessions are for those who manage and supervise people who provide a direct support to you.  Learn about best practices in employment for Self-Direction, and better  understand your role as an employer directly from trainers who manage their support staff. Read more about the training opportunity at Shared Support Maryland's event page. Training session details and registration are listed below. Please note that the sessions are held at different locations:

Saturday, November 17, 2018 from 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Presenter: Mat Rice, Self-Advocacy Specialist, People on the Go
HCLS East Columbia Branch
6600 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD 21045
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 from 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Presenter: Edward Willard (The Arc Maryland's Very Own)
Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library
269 Hillsmere Drive
Annapolis, MD 21403
Register by clicking here!

These sessions are only for people who are currently employers self-directing their services in Maryland. Support Brokers and Family Members are welcome to accompany and support people who would like to attend. 

Financial help for transportation is available to those in need of assistance. Please call 410-945-4356 or email
CalendarSave the Date:
Calendar Day 2019
January 10
Legislative Calendar Day for 2019 is quickly approaching! Be sure to mark your calendars for  January 10, 2019, as The Arc Maryland and local chapters of The Arc will be distributing our Annual Legislative Calendars to Maryland Legislators that Thursday!
BRAVEBrave in The Attempt: Seeking Guest Speakers

Are you a Marlyander with an intellectual or developmental disability? Do you have a story to tell?  Do you want to be a role model for future generations?
Special Olympics Maryland, the Maryland Department of Disabilities and the Developmental Disabilities Administration are seeking guest speakers for their event, Brave in The Attempt, on  June 4, 2019 at Towson University. Guest Speakers will share their experiences and perspectives on the theme "Forward." If you are interested in sharing your story at the event in 2019, applications are due by November 30, 2018.

GlassesNew Product Development: "Smart Caption Glasses"

A new product has been at work in a theater in England that has made shows more accessible for people who are hearing-impaired or deaf: The Smart Caption Glasses. These glasses display dialogue of the shows and sound description directly on the lenses. The Royal National Theatre in London and electronics company Epson have worked together for 4 years to bring these glasses to life, and provide every show at the theater with access to the Smart Caption Glasses in 2019.

You can learn more about this addition to accessible entertainment on the National Theatre's website or from this CNN Business article.
ChTandSLocal Chapter News

What is happening at local Maryland Arc chapter organizations? For more information, please visit their websites!

National Disability Employment Awareness Month:
A Look Back

During the month of October, chapters of The Arc across Maryland celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month(NDEAM). This year, the national theme for NDEAM was  "America's Workforce: Empowering All." Chapters shared success stories that highlight the benefits of employment for employees and employers alike. Below you can find pictures shared by some of The Arc chapters in Maryland.

We thank employees across Maryland who put their skills, talents and values on display in their workplace and contribute to a stronger, unified workforce. We also thank employers across the state who embrace diversity, empower future leaders, and employ ability!
Sarah working at St. John's Regional Catholic School in the Pre-K Program
(The Arc Frederick County)
Bob Claire,  General Manager of Mobern Lighting with employee Olmer
(The Arc Howard County)
Giovanni's Restaurant Crew
(The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region)
Chris working at Wegmans as a part of their Helping Hands Team
(The Arc Frederick County)
Michael, an auto mechanic at Next Generation Mechanic,with owner Anastasios Dernelakis
(The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region)
Sandy, an employee of 6 years at Walmart, hard at work as a cashier
(The Arc Frederick County)

Employees of John Archer School
(The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region)
Tyrone of Thompson Toyota
(The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region)
ChEventsLocal Chapter Events

The content for local chapter events comes from our member chapter organizations. For more information, please visit their websites!
The Arc Montgomery County
Tools for School: Active Engagement
November 7

This Wednesday, November 7, from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM, The Arc Montgomery County is hosting a Tools for School meeting on supporting individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities in developing authentic cooking skills! The program will introduce Active Engagement, a program designed to promote individualized and authentic cooking skills for individuals of  all ability levels. This session will feature Janice Goldschmidt, the Director of Nutrition Services at Community Support Services. It is important to register prior to attending the session, so make sure to  register for the event here . Check out the event flyer for more information.
The Arc Carroll County
The Capital Steps
November 10

Get your laugh on   as   The Arc Carroll County welcomes back  the Political Satire Performance Group  the Capital Steps  for a hysterical performance. The show starts at 7:30 PM on Saturday, November 10, at Winters Mill High School. Tickets to the event can be purchased at the Carroll Arts Center,  all branches of the Carroll County Public Library, or from The Arc Carroll County both in person and online .
The Arc Central Chesapeake Region
Vine Arts
November 10

J oin The Arc Central Chesapeake Region at one 
of Marylan d's great local wineries.

Wine, food, art... what more could you need? Join The Arc Central Chesapeake Region on November 10 at The Vineyards at Dodon for the second annual Vine Arts. Enjoy great food, Dodon wine, and a pop up gallery where you can purchase art from talented local artists. At the end of the day, bid on a live Plein air piece painted at the event! You can read more about the event here.

Are you an artist? Submit art for the gallery. Contact Catie Comer at 410-384-4072. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please email
The Arc Prince George's County
Adult Disabilities Wellness Expo
November 10

Come out to the free opportunity to speak with and learn from experts at the Annual Adult Health, Education and Financial Wellness Expo on Saturday, November 10, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in Bowie. 

To learn more and register for the event, check out the event web page. To share this opportunity with others, check out the event flyer.
The Arc Southern Maryland:
2nd Annual Fall Formal Dance
November 10

The Arc Southern Maryland invites employees and people they support to their 2nd Annual Fall Formal Dance! They'll have dancing, food, and fun on Saturday, November 10, from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM at The Southern Community Center. Contact John Garrett at or at 443-975-8655 to RSVP. If you are interested in being a volunteer, contact Melissa Hartmann at or at 410-474-7459.

The Arc Central Chesapeake Region
Restaurant Night Fundraiser at Chuy's 
November 14

Come out to Chuy's Tex-Mex Restaurant on Wednesday, November 14 to support The Arc Central Chesapeake Region! 10% of sales on the day will be donated back to the chapter. Chuy's in Annapolis will be open from 11 am to 10 pm that Wednesday and the fundraiser lasts the entire day, so stop by at anytime for tacos, burritos and more.
The Arc Montgomery County
Transition Times: Person Centered Planning
November 14

Learn about and practice with tools and techniques which help a person and his/her circle of support think about and plan for a self-defined "good life" with The Arc Montgomery County. This workshop on Person Centered Planning is led by Gail Godwin, Executive Director of Shared Support Maryland, Inc. The session will take place at The Arc Montgomery County on Wednesday, November 14, from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM.  It is important to register prior to attending the session, so make sure to  register for the event here . Check out the event flyer for more information.

The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
Sprout Film and Art Festival
November 14

The Sprout Film & Art Festival highlights the many talents of people with differing abilities, as well as other professional artists in our community. Enjoy the art gallery that includes work from professional and aspiring artists and view artistic and memorable films from the renowned NYC company, Sprout. Special musical performances by talented individuals from The Arc NCR. Find out more and buy tickets to the event here.

The Arc Carroll County
Tech Coaching Center Launch
November 15

The Arc Carroll County is excited to open a  Tech Coaching Center as the newest addition to their facility!
The center will focus on improving computer skills of individuals with I/DD. You can celebrate the launch of the Tech Coaching Center on November 15 at 10 am at The Arc Carroll County.

The Arc Central Chesapeake Region:
Friendsgiving with The Arc Central Chesapeake Region
November 21

Join The Arc Central Chesapeake Region for a pre-Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday, November 21 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM for at Hemingway's Restaurant. 5% of all sales during this time will be donated back to The Arc Central Chesapeake Region. For more information, contact The Arc Central Chesapeake Region by phone at 410-268-8085.
The Arc Baltimore
Education Series: Travel
November 27

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 Tuesday, November 27, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, the seminar is on Travel, which will take place at its Seton Business Park location, 6151 Metro Drive. 

RSVP is required, so please  email  if interested! You can also check out a full list of Education Series Topics here.
The Arc Howard County
Legislative Breakfast
December 5

The Arc Howard County will be hosting a Legislative breakfast at The Manor House in Savage on December 5 from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM. Come to learn about legislation in Maryland and stay for the food! Contact Barbara Moyer at The Arc Howard County for more details. 
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!