Hello, readers! As we head into spring and summer, everyone at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) remains engaged as we work with community stakeholders, self-advocates, families, providers and trainees. I’m excited to share this newsletter with the community, as it is full of resources regarding research, Maryland General Assembly updates and more.

The MCDD collaborated with Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Human Resources department to host the first virtual Women’s Leadership Initiative event on February 2. Maria Trent, MD, PhD, provided a thoughtful keynote speech. Dr. Trent is a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health. Please be sure to read this issue’s article on the Women’s Leadership Initiative for details about her speech.

The Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) at Kennedy Krieger has a new External Research Recruitment Registry. The registry allows parents and caregivers of children (ages birth through 17 years) who are not patients at Kennedy Krieger to learn about research opportunities at Kennedy Krieger and The Johns Hopkins University. Students of Kennedy Krieger School Programs who are not patients at Kennedy Krieger are eligible. Read more in the IDDRC Corner.

As always, this newsletter includes an update on our trainees. Most recently, trainees participated in the first virtual Maryland Developmental Disabilities Day. Several share their experiences in this issue. Trainees also share their experiences from the 2020 Room to Grow: Journey to Cultural and Linguistic Competency Conference.

Be sure to check out the new website for the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities. Several of their publications can now be found on the MCDD website.

We’ve included several resources regarding COVID-19, vaccines and what to expect if you get a vaccine. I hope they will be helpful.

Be careful, and stay safe.

In gratitude,

Maureen van Stone signature

Maureen van Stone, Esq., MS
Director, Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities
Director, Project HEAL