Maureen van Stone's headshot

Despite the unusual circumstances we are in, I truly hope that all of our readers were able to enjoy the summer by taking pleasure in life’s little things. Even though members of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) continue to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, the summer has been very busy for everyone, and autumn promises to be unlike any season that any of us have seen before, brimming with remote activities and kitchen tables turned into family learning centers.

Our programs and initiatives remain as active as ever: Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law) continues to stay abreast of changes in special education law during the pandemic. The MCDD’s Autism Research and Engagement Core is collaborating with SPARK to provide the latest updates on advocacy and special education law for families with students who have autism spectrum disorder, especially during this time of COVID-19. Under the MCDD News section of this newsletter, you’ll find links to articles on the SPARK website, including an interview with internationally-known attorney and speaker Peter Wright of Wrightslaw. And, Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Resource Finder has enhanced its website with a number of new resources about social and racial justice. Visit the Resource Finder’s Support & Advocacy page and scroll down to the Social and Racial Justice Resources tab.

Over the summer, the MCDD sponsored two trainees. Be sure to read the training update detailing their experiences participating in virtual internships with the MCDD.

Remember that November 3 is Election Day. This newsletter issue includes a recap of the MCDD-sponsored special lecture on voting rights for people with disabilities, which covered important topics including how to register, finding your polling place, and voting options during a pandemic. Additional pandemic-related resources are listed below for your benefit. Make a voting plan, and remember to vote on November 3. Until then, take care and stay safe.

In gratitude,

Maureen van Stone
Director, Maryland Center of Developmental Disabilities
Director, Project HEAL