Hello, readers! We enthusiastically welcome summer, and with it, a return to in-person events as well as a continuation of virtual programs and activities at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD). We are excited to finally be enjoying the warm weather safely with friends and family. In April, I submitted the five-year grant application to the Administration for Community Living on behalf of the MCDD. In it, we outline plans to continue our commitment to the disability community with even more programs, projects and resources. We received 17 letters of commitment and support from Kennedy Krieger Institute, internal and external stakeholders, and our community partners. I am proud of our submission, and I look forward to bringing the vision outlined in it to fruition over the next five years.
In partnership with the Parents’ Place of Maryland, the MCDD’s training program offered several lunch-and-learn webinars for families and caregivers this past spring. The MCDD is also hosting its annual Summer Learning Series, with workshops addressing disability bias in healthcare settings, as well as how race influences assessments for autism spectrum disorder, and the intersection of racism and suicide. The Neurodiversity at Work team hosted three lunch-and-learn programs in collaboration with the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration and the Maryland Association for People Supporting Employment First. Be sure to read the article on our Summer Learning Series webpage for more details.
The RADx® Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) project team wrapped up the testing portion of its grant in late May. The number of COVID-19 tests they were able to complete among the four Kennedy Krieger School Programs was truly astonishing. Read more about their project in the RADx-UP article.
In late April, I accepted the Maryland Bar Foundation’s award for Legal Excellence in the Advancement of the Rights of the Disadvantaged. But while the award was presented to me, it is truly a reflection of the work done by everyone at Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law) and the entirety of the MCDD. I am grateful for everyone’s support and contributions to this important work.
Like many of you, the MCDD has had a busy spring and early summer. Please see the MCDD staff news article for details on new members (including a very new addition) as well as some departures.
As always, we are sharing COVID-19 fact sheets in plain language, as well as in multiple languages, plus resources regarding COVID-19, vaccines, boosters and testing. We will continue to offer these resources as necessary, and as information becomes available.
Please stay safe.
Maureen van Stone, Esq., MS
Director of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities
Founding Director of Project HEAL