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Updates, Honors, Awards, Events, and Conferences Section


The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) is pleased to announce our new staff and students: 

Renee Nelson is a spring 2013 MCDD full-time intern. Renee is in her last semester at Towson University and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in health care management and a minor in business administration. As an intern, Renee will assist with the completion of the Maryland Resource Mapping Project and provide a presentation to the leadership team of the MCDD and possibly to the Maryland Consortium of Care. She will also participate in the Family Perspective Experience, a joint project between the MCDD and Maggie’s Light Foundation, Inc., where she will be spending time with a family in their home and the community to gain a better understanding of the daily experiences of a family raising a child with a disability. Upon graduation, Renee plans to enlist in the United States Navy and attend graduate school in the field of social work or nursing.  

In March 2013, the MCDD will also welcome two additional students: Kara Paseka and Samantha Bonvegna, from Towson University, College of Health Sciences, Community Health Education Program. Both interns will be working with the MCDD full-time through the end of the spring semester.

In January 2013, the MCDD welcomed their first legislative extern for the spring 2013 semester.  Lauren Peterson is a second-year law student who will earn four course credits for completing her 208-hour externship. Lauren earned a bachelor of science from Villanova University and she is currently pursuing a health law certificate in conjunction with her juris doctor degree. Lauren works closely with the MCDD’s associate director, as well as the MCDD’s sister organizations, Maryland's Developmental Disabilities Council and Maryland Disability Law Center. The MCDD hopes this is the first of many legislative interns to join our team.

In February 2013, People on the Go (P.O.G.) of Maryland partnered with the MCDD.  P.O.G. is a group of advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities who use their voices to be heard and recognized in our communities. P.O.G. believes that all individuals should be active within their communities and strive to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability. P.O.G. conducts regional quarterly meetings in an effort to increase membership, conducts trainings on topics of interest to the community, and engages in local and statewide legislative initiatives.  P.O.G. has two staff members—Ken Capone and Tami Goldsmith-Becker, and their offices are located at the MCDD’s main offices at the Kennedy Krieger Institute PACT location.

Ken Capone is a recognized leader in Maryland’s self-advocacy movement and coordinates the advocacy and public policy initiatives of P.O.G. He is a valued member of the Developmental Disabilities Coalition, and he was active on such advisory boards as the Maryland Commission on Disabilities and the Waiting List Advisory Committee. He studied computer programming at The Johns Hopkins University, completed the Partners in Policymaking program, served as a legislative intern with the Maryland Senate, and worked as an Ask Me interviewer for The Arc of Maryland and Developmental Disabilities Administration. 

Tami Goldsmith-Becker is the facilitator and support staff for P.O.G. Tami was the director of IT for a law firm for many years before turning her efforts toward individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has served as community companion for The Arc of Prince Georges County for the last five years. Her passion is for all self-advocates to have access to technology and training for everyday living. 

For more information about P.O.G., please contact Tami Goldsmith-Becker or Ken Capone at 443-923-9593. 

On February 28, 2013, the MCDD conducted a new Community Advisory Council (CAC) orientation for two new agency members, three family members of children and adults with developmental disabilities, and one individual with a disability. The MCDD is thrilled to announce our new membership, including Ilene Rosenthal, deputy secretary, Maryland’s Department of Aging; Eileen Connor, Baltimore City parent; Beth Benevides-Hill, Howard County parent; Mary Scott, Baltimore County parent; and David Thompson, a resident of Baltimore County. New members will participate in the next quarterly CAC meeting on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.  


On February 15, 2013, President Obama honored a number of Americans for their service to others, including Janice Jackson, from Baltimore, Maryland. Honorees were presented with the Citizens Medal of Honor, the highest in the land. Ms. Jackson is the creator and program director of Women Embracing Abilities Now (W.E.A.N.), a nonprofit mentoring organization servicing women with varying degrees of disabilities. She is also a professor at The University of Baltimore. Ms. Jackson has actively advocated on behalf of people with disabilities and currently serves on the board of directors for The League for People with Disabilities, the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at the University of Baltimore, and The Image Center of Maryland. She also served on the MCDD’s Community Advisory Council for three years. Ms. Jackson is a counselor at Kernan Rehabilitation Center and the founder of two support groups, We Are Able People (W.R.A.P.) and Women On Wheels & Walking (W.O.W.W.).

On March 1, 2013, The Daily Record announced the 2013 Top 100 Women, including the MCDD’s associate director, Maureen van Stone.


On February 13, 2013, Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law),  a program of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute, was named a 2012 Program of Excellence as part of the Hospital Charitable Service Awards, a national program sponsored by Jackson Healthcare which recognizes programs demonstrating sustainable community impact. Project HEAL was one of 10 selected from a national pool of 191 nominees from 41 states. Each winning program demonstrated excellence in the following five criteria areas: community impact, innovation, collaboration, transferability, and leading practice. Each program will be featured in an eBook, scheduled to be published by Jackson Healthcare in March, and each program received a $10,000 award to continue their good work in the community.


In February 2013, the MCDD, Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities Council, Maryland Disability Law Center, and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities provided a 2013 federal and state legislative presentation to faculty and staff at Kennedy Krieger Institute.  The presenters highlighted federal and state legislative issues affecting individuals with disabilities in Maryland. Based on the evaluations, this is a very effective collaboration and one that faculty and staff hope will be implemented each year.


Disability Policy Seminar Orientation for Students, Trainees, and Early Career Professionals
March 18, 2013
Location: Webinar
For more information, please visit:

Multi-Modal Communication and Learning Strategies for Children with Significant Challenges
April 4, 2013-April 5, 2013
Location: Pagoda Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii
For more information, please visit:

Promoting Self-Determined Futures: TASH Regional Conference
April 12, 2013
Location: Providence, RI (Rhode Island College)
For more information, please visit:

2013 Disability Policy Seminar Trainee Symposium 
April 14, 2013
Location: Washington Hilton, Washington, DC
For more information, please visit:

2013 Disability Policy Seminar
April 15, 2013
Location: Washington, DC
For more information, please visit:

AAIDD 137th Annual Meeting: Race to Catch the Future 
June 3, 2013
Location: Pittsburg, PA 
For more information, please visit:

2013 UCEDD Leadership Development Institute
June 9 -14, 2013
Location: Newark, DE 
For more information, please 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.