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Announcements, Updates, Awards, and Conferences


In February 2007, a young boy in Prince George’s County, Md., died from a brain infection caused by bacteria from tooth decay. His name was Deamonte Driver. His Medicaid coverage had lapsed, and even with the help of social workers, his mother couldn’t find a dentist who would treat him. Devastated by the news of Deamonte’s death, a group of Prince George’s County dentists mobilized, sprang into action, and created the Deamonte Driver Dental Project (DDDP). The purpose of the DDDP is to increase Maryland children’s access to dental care and eliminate oral health disparities. The project has entered the Aetna Foundation Voices of Health program, a contest in which participants present a video clip of their grassroots project to aid the underserved. There are 35 programs entered, and the DDDP is the only dental-related project. The awards are $10,000, $15,000, and $25,000. Winners are selected by public voting. The DDDP video has been uploaded to the Aetna Voices of Health website at, under the name Robert T. Freeman Dental Society. The DDDP is asking for the public’s support by voting for their video. Each person can vote 10 times, so they are asking everyone to vote early and often. The voting ends on Oct. 8, 2011.


Don't Just Survive. Thrive! 
Oct. 1
Location: Whispering Spring Farm, Stewartstown, Pa.
Note: MCDD’s director of training and children’s services is partnering with several agencies and organizations to host a one-day fall retreat for the parents of children with special needs.


Bernadette Irwin, MA, assistant department director, in the Family Support Services Program at PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs, an affiliate of Kennedy Krieger Institute, and a member of the MCDD’s Community Advisory Committee, will receive this year's honor of “The Alexander J. Tymchuk Award of Excellence” in recognition of her constancy, creativity, thoughtfulness, kind-heartedness, hard work, intelligent, and innovation in keeping the matter of parents with cognitive limitations before professional, organizational, and public audiences over the past several decades.  

Gayle Hafner, senior attorney with Maryland Disability Law Center, is among the “100 Champions of Human Rights and Justice” to be honored at The Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland’s Centennial Gala for her outstanding achievements in the disability community.


Governor’s Interagency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities 
Maryland Transition Conference

Oct. 16 and 17
Location: Ocean City, Md.
Note: MCDD’s director of adult training and services will present at the conference. 
For more information, please email or

11th Annual Autism Conference: Autism Through the Lifespan
Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute

Oct. 20 and 21
Location: Timonium, Md.
Note: MCDD’s associate director will present at the conference. 
For more information, please email

AUCD Conference
Nov. 6 - 9
Location: Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Crystal City, Va. 
Note: MCDD’s associate director, director of training and children’s services, and director of dissemination will present at the conference. 

Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) 2011
Nov. 17 - Nov. 19
Location: Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, National Harbor, Md.
Note: Members of the MCDD Leadership Team will attend.

The Alliance for Full Participation's campaign for its 2011 conference is “Real Jobs: It's Everybody's Business.” The goal of the campaign is to double the employment rate for people with developmental disabilities by 2015. For more information, please visit  

2011 TASH Conference
Nov. 30 - Dec. 3
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Note: MCDD’s associate director will present at the conference. 
For more information, please email conference