In June, People On the Go Maryland (POG) organized four presentations as part of a series of training sessions by Project STIR (Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility). Project STIR events are for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as for providers and program staff members. Direct service providers are especially encouraged to participate. The four presentations were titled “Problem Solving,” “Communication,” “Knowing Yourself” and “Rights and Responsibilities.”
On June 1, Mallory Legg, Esq., was promoted to be the director of Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), after serving as a staff attorney for eight years.
On June 7, Legg gave a virtual presentation, “Discipline of Students with Disabilities,” at a professional development seminar for interns of Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Behavioral Psychology Department.
The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) hosted its Summer Learning Series, organized by Mirian Ofonedu, PhD, MCDD’s director of training, from June 21 through August 1. The series focused on topics such as the intersection of racism and suicide, and mental health interventions for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. The series consisted of workshops designed to help a range of professionals expand their knowledge and skills to engage in effective advocacy.
On June 21, MCDD Director Maureen van Stone, Esq., MS, visited the Virginia Institute for Autism in Charlottesville, Virginia. She and Ethan Long, PhD, the organization’s president and CEO, discussed potential future collaborations between MCDD and the Virginia Institute for Autism.
On June 29, Legg gave two virtual presentations, “Understanding Your Child’s IEP” and “Discipline of Students with Disabilities,” as part of the MCDD’s Summer Learning Series.
On July 4, Kiely Law, MD, MPH, research director of MCDD’s Autism Research and Engagement Core, and other Simons Powering Autism Research (SPARK) colleagues published a scientific article, “The Autism Impact Measure (AIM): Meaningful Change Thresholds and Core Symptom Changes Over One Year from an Online Survey in the U.S.”
On July 7, van Stone participated in a panel, “Using and Improving ADDM Data in Maryland,” for the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network site visit in Maryland.
On July 14, van Stone and Carolyn Caldwell, PhD, a pediatric neuropsychologist at Kennedy Krieger, gave a virtual presentation, “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs): Clinical Features and Educational Implications.” This presentation was part of the MCDD’s Summer Learning Series.
On July 25, Christopher Mason-Hale, BSW, MCDD community advocate, helped record patient information with Special Olympics Maryland during a Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® health screening and education event at CentroNía in Takoma Park. As a volunteer, he assisted with developmental and biometric screenings of participants.
On July 27, POG presented “The Importance of Advocacy” at the 15th annual national conference for Project SEARCH, which took place this year in Baltimore. Devin Wylie, MCDD program coordinator; Mat Rice, MCDD advocacy coordinator; and Tracy Wright, MCDD training coordinator, co-presented.
Van Stone was interviewed by FOX Baltimore on August 3. She discussed how schools can meet a child’s needs with an individualized education program (IEP). Watch the video here.
On August 4, Dr. Ofonedu served as chair for a session, “Walk-a-Mile Accessing Health Care Services: Experience of Vulnerable and Underserved Populations,” at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention.
On August 9, van Stone and Stacey Herman, MSEd, CESP, Kennedy Krieger’s director of postsecondary services, published an article, “Successful Strategies for the Transition to Adulthood for Young Adults with Disabilities,” for the Case Management Society of America (CMSA).
On August 15, Tracy Hincke, MPH, MSW, MCDD administrative services coordinator, represented the MCDD at the Maryland Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Administration’s kickoff event, highlighting Governor Larry Hogan’s proclamation making Maryland a Technology First State. This initiative expands access to technology for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them live independently in their communities. Dr. Ofonedu also participated in the kickoff event and served as a member of the Maryland Technology First Task Force Committee. The MCDD co-sponsored the lunch for this event.
On August 24, van Stone gave a virtual presentation providing an overview of the MCDD to Kennedy Krieger’s External Relations Department, which includes the Institute’s Office of Philanthropy and marketing, communications and public relations teams.
On August 25, van Stone gave a virtual presentation, “Navigating the Special Education Process, Including Transition Planning,” at the 6th Annual Autism Awareness Conference, hosted by Atlantic General Hospital.
Also on August 25, FOX Baltimore interviewed van Stone about what an IEP is and why IEPs are needed. Watch the video here.
On September 6, Dr. Ofonedu and Miya Asato, MD, vice president of training for Kennedy Krieger, gave a synchronous presentation, “Orientation Overview of Kennedy Krieger Institute,” as part of the Core Course Curriculum for Kennedy Krieger trainees.
Marina Sarris, web content administrator for the MCDD’s Autism Research and Engagement Core, published two articles on September 7, “Autism and the Troubling Risk of Suicide” and “Working to Prevent Suicide in Youth with Autism,” on the SPARK website.
On September 12, van Stone gave a virtual presentation providing an overview of the MCDD during Kennedy Krieger’s quarterly faculty meeting.
Dr. Ofonedu gave a synchronous presentation, “Cultural Perspectives on Disabilities and Treatment Engagement of Culturally Diverse Populations,” as part of the Core Course Curriculum for Kennedy Krieger trainees on September 13.
Kristine Nellenbach, MS, program coordinator for Resource Finder, staffed a table at the William S. Baer School resource fair on September 15.
On September 17, POG sponsored an event, “Ready2Vote: Educate, Advocate, Vote! BLOCK PARTY! (Disability Voting Rights Week Celebration),” which was held in person at The Arc Prince George’s County.
On September 19, van Stone gave a guest lecture, “Restraint and Seclusion: An Overview of Law and Practice,” for the Senior Seminar in Disability Policy at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware.
The MCDD was a gold sponsor of “Room to Grow: Journey to Cultural and Linguistic Competency Virtual Conference,” an annual continuing education seminar, held this year on September 20. The theme was “Building a Diverse and Culturally and Linguistically Congruent Workforce.”
On September 23, Mason-Hale modeled in Kennedy Krieger’s Fall Fete fashion show. The event took place in the courtyard of the Green Spring Station. Local celebrities, Kennedy Krieger patients, and staff walked the runway wearing the latest trends in fashion to fundraise for Kennedy Krieger.
On September 26, Legg worked with a team of Kennedy Krieger Institute faculty, staff and trainees to publish an article in Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences, “Reduction in School Individualized Education Program (IEP) Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
On September 30, van Stone, Mason-Hale, Asato, and Beth Benevides, MCDD Community Advisory Council (CAC) Chair and LEND Family Faculty, gave a virtual presentation titled, “An Introduction to Advocacy” for more than 40 participants to learn more about advancing skills in advocacy and public policy.
On October 4, Rice and Mason-Hale co-moderated the 2022 Candidates for Governor Forum for Marylanders with Disabilities. The Maryland gubernatorial candidates, Wes Moore and Dan Cox, responded to questions about community inclusion, workforce integration, employment, housing, healthcare, education, transportation, access to government buildings, and the Maryland legislative process. The event had over 200 attendees and was livestreamed on YouTube.
On October 5, van Stone gave a virtual presentation providing an overview of the MCDD to the Specialized Transition Program (STP), Kennedy Krieger’s neurorehabilitation day hospital.
On October 7, Rice and Mason-Hale, along with colleagues from Disability Rights Maryland and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, presented a synchronous event, “Get Out the Vote!” in collaboration with Kennedy Krieger’s Training Administration department and Office of Government Relations. The presenters discussed the importance of voting and shared resources for a successful voting experience with more than 30 participants.