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Updates, Events, and Conferences


Welcome to the following new staff:

Mary Coster, LCSW-C, C-ASWCM

Mary is the new Program Director for Children’s Training and Services.  She has worked for the past 19 years with children who have special needs and their families.  Mary has worked at PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs since 2003. Mary has been the Program Director for PACT’s Inclusive Child Care Training Program since its inception in 2006.  She was formerly the Director of PACT’s World of Care Specialized Child Care Center.  Mary represents PACT on numerous task forces and advisory groups including the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Division of Early Childhood Development (DECD); Office of Child Care (OCC) Advisory Council; OCC Training Review Committee; OCC Credentialing Review Committee; MSDE-DECD Inclusive Child and School-Age Care Workgroup; Port Discovery Children’s Museum Education Advisory Council; and Abilities Network-Project ACT Advisory Council.  From 1996 to 2001, Mary worked throughout Europe and Turkey with the Army, Air Force, and Navy Educational and Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS) Programs. From 2001 to 2003, Mary worked at Incirlik Air Force Base in Incirlik, Turkey as the Director of the Child Development Center and with Family Support Services.  Mary received her Master’s Degree from the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work in Baltimore, Maryland.

Diane Dressler

Diane is the new Program Director for Adult Training and Services. Diane has over 30 years of experience in providing services and supports to people with developmental disabilities in Maryland. Her experience includes providing direct support services, supervision of direct support staff, consultation regarding behavioral health services for individuals with co-occurring developmental disabilities and mental illness, case management, program and quality management, training, and program development. Most recently, from 2001 through 2010, she was the Statewide Training Coordinator and Housing Specialist for the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and was responsible for overseeing the administration of training regulations and policy, the provision of specialized training initiatives through the DDA Headquarters and Regional Offices and the development of housing policy and initiatives. She also served as chairperson for the DDA Statewide Behavior Supports Committee, co-chair of the Trauma Informed Care Task Force, and served as professional staff to the Maryland Commission on Autism. Ms. Dressler resides in Columbia, Maryland with her son, and has a daughter and son-in-law who reside in North Carolina.


The Arc Northern Chesapeake’s 7th Annual After dArc Celebrity Chef & Auction

March 26 at Maryland Golf & Country Clubs, Belair, Md
For more information, visit the website:

Maryland Disability Law Center’s Annual Awards Gala

April 28 at the American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, Md.
For more event information,

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service 30th Anniversary Benefit

May 11 at Center Stage, Baltimore, Md.
For more event information, visit


2011 MLP Summit, Medical-Legal Partnership: A New Standard of Care

March 24-25 in Baltimore, Md.

We are excited to announce the 6th annual National Summit will be held on March 24-25, in Baltimore, Md., at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel. Medical-Legal Partnership: A New Standard of Care will explore themes including quality of care, transformation of legal and healthcare communities and new innovations in MLP practice with an eye toward sustainability.

For more information, visit

2011 Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), 
University Centers on Excellence and Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) Directors Retreat

April 6 in Bethesda, Md.

2011 Association on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) TA Institute

April 7-8 in Bethesda, Md.

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference & Expo

April 25-28 at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, National Harbor, Md.

For more information, visit

Health Frontier for Intellectual Disabilities

May 23-36, 2011, Bethesda, MD

  • May 23-24: Health Surveillance of People with Intellectual Disabilities: What is there? What is possible?
  • May 24-25: Health Professional Education in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • May 26: State of Science Conference on Lifespan Health and Function of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Translating Research into Practice

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)

June 6-9 in Twin Cities, Minn.

For more information, visit

Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) 2011

Nov. 17-19 at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, National Harbor, Md.

The AFP’s campaign for this 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, visit

Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., Named President and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute

We’re thrilled to welcome Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., to the Kennedy Krieger family as our next President and CEO.

Learn more.


Read inspiring stories, news and updates about the Institute's patient care, research, special education, professional training, and community programs.


Resource Finder


A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.