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Director's Message

The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) has always focused on the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. In this newsletter, we reflect on and celebrate families advocating—often successfully—for loved ones with disabilities.

Included in this issue are stories from two mothers, Jackie and Diane, that illustrate what some families and individuals with disabilities experience when a healthcare system isn’t respectful or competent in providing care for individuals with disabilities. Written in Jackie’s and Diane’s own words, these stories, we believe, are powerful examples of personal struggle, strength and resilience.

We also celebrate how families are fighting back against services that are poor in quality, and against the lack of accessible and affordable services. A story about the Kinera Foundation describes how two parents joined forces with other local parents to start their own foundation to bring new services to individuals with disabilities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

And, we’ve also included Project HEAL impact survey results, to illustrate how our work affects the lives of students and families. The article illustrates the importance of social determinants of health, such as education and poverty, in planning how we work with health systems on behalf of individuals with disabilities and their families.

MCDD celebrates the actions and efforts made by parents and other family members working every day to support the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, and to encourage all of us to be better in our own work at MCDD.


Christopher Smith Signature
-Christopher Smith, Ph.D.

MCDD Newsletter 2018: Issue One