March 2018 Monthly News & Updates
Please join DDA in celebrating Developmental Disability Awareness month 2018!

The goal this month is to create awareness about developmental disabilities, teach the importance of inclusion within every aspect of life, and to share the stories of people with a developmental disabilities and their trajectory to a good life of their choice.  
This year's theme is " See Me for Me" implying that it's about looking beyond someone's disability and seeing the person and not just a person with a disability.

DDA would love to help you highlight stories of people with developmental disabilities living their good life!  We will share your stories on social media throughout the month with the hashtags #DDAwarenessday18 #Seemeforme  

DDA will celebrate and highlight all the different roles people with developmental disabilities hold. Below are four examples.

See me as your Classmate- Education
See me as your Coworker- Employment
Seem me as your Neighbor- Community
See me as your Friend- Miscellaneous

What can you do to celebrate?

*Use  the hashtag #DDawareness18 to link posts across all social media platforms

*Share  stories, photos and videos of people with and without disabilities living side by side on social media

*Share  resources about living inclusive lives

* Encourage your stakeholders to post on their social media using the hashtag #DDawareness18

* Post a link to the DD Awareness webpage on your website

To share stories with DDA to highlight on our social media, email  Tana Stevenson at Tana.Stevenson@Maryland.gov

To see resources, tool-kits and ideas on how YOU can celebrate DD Awareness month you can go to National Association on Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) website. 

To Follow DDA's social media campaign for DDAwareness month, "Like" us on Facebook

March Employment First Webinar-

Join us for our monthly Employment First webinar, where we talk about the importance of Transition services and supports.  Staci Jones will be joined by co-presenters Christy Stuart, Secondary Transition Specialist with the Division of Special Education and Early Intervention and Services under the Maryland State Department of Education,  Matt Elburn, the Transition Coordinator with Worcester County Public Schools as well as Alexandra Jones, Job Developer with the Worcester County Developmental Center.  

All partners will talk about their experiences with successful collaboration and partnerships that lead to employment and community outcomes for transitioning youth with disabilities including through the Way2Work and Project Search initiatives.  

Our webinar will be held Friday March 16, from 10am-12noon. To get registered, click here


February Employment First Webinar-

Thank you for tuning in to our February webinar where we heard from  Diane Lewis, Senior Director of Residential and Community Programs to  talk about The Arc of Washington County's journey to infuse  Employment First principles and values into their Community Living and Residential services.   It was wonderful to see Residential DSPs tuned in for this conversation. 

If you'd like the opportunity to go back and watch this or any of our past webinars, no worries! You can find them all here. 

CMS Final Rule Site Validation Visits - Spring/Summer 2018

On January 16, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule to ensure that Medicaid's home and community-based services (HCBS) programs provide full access to the benefits of community living and offer services in the most integrated settings.
The new rule, outlined in more detail here , applies to both residential and non-residential settings and changes the standards by which states are allowed to pay for HCBS. Highlights of the new rule include the following:
  1. Ensuring that individuals have been given choices regarding their setting options.
  2. Guaranteeing individuals' rights of privacy, dignity, respect, and freedom from coercion and restraint.
  3. Optimizing autonomy and independence in making life choices
  4. Facilitating choice in services and those who provide it.
  In July, 2017, the Maryland Department of Health submitted a transition plan to CMS outlining to CMS path to compliance.
DDA's next phase of ensuring compliance with the Final Rule will include on-site validation of a representative sample of provider sites. The representative sample will be generated by The Hilltop Institute, which has helped with developing the validation tool and will compiling results.  

In the coming months, a memo will go out to all provider organizations, of both residential and non-residential settings that will outline in more detail what to expect during site visits, as well as  accompanying guidance policies. 

Do you know what percentage of people in Day/Employment services in Maryland have competitive jobs?

Want to know how that compares to 3 years ago?  DDA's Employment Data Initiative  page can tell you that, and more!

This website summarizes data collected at the individual level for people who receive employment or related day supports funded by the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration. Data on variables such as total wages or total hours of participation are for the two-week data collection interval.

Seeking Transportation Sub-Committee Members!!

A re you interested in being part of a conversation about transportation and how it impacts employment and community life for people in DDA services?  If so, contact Staci Jones at Staci.Jones@Maryland.gov.  There is no commitment  other than willingness to participate in an initial planning conference call. 

PCPID has released its 2017 report, 
America's Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities and the U.S. Economy.

Direct support professionals (DSPs) provide services and supports that empower people with intellectual disabilities to live in the community.   In the report, PCPID notes that DSPs promote participation in the U.S. economy "by helping people with an (intellectual disability) get jobs and by enabling family members to work."  The report describes the current state of the DSP workforce as a "crisis," noting that the average DSP wage is $10.72, most work two or three jobs, and the average annual DSP turnover rate is 45%.

The report also explores:
  • How these issues affect individuals, families, and human services systems
  • The factors that contribute to these issues
  • Promising practices to strengthen the direct support workforce

PCPID serves in an advisory capacity to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) promoting policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in their respective communities. The committee includes representatives from several federal agencies and 13 citizen members.

Looking for Stories

Do you have success stories or promising practices to share related to competitive, integrated employment or community integration?  If so, please contact DDA's Communication Director at Tana.Stevenson@Maryland.gov.   

Things we would like to highlight:

1.   Self-employment

2.   Use of technical assistance

3.   Creative supports and services for people with medical or personal 

      care needs

4.   Stories about community membership

5.   Creative organizational structures, policies, training or service          



Want to read success stories?  Click here!

Want more information about Employment First?