tags: Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities

In January, Maureen van Stone, Esq., MS, director of the MCDD, was re-elected to the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) board for three more years. In addition, she was selected to serve on the COPAA executive committee for the next two years.

Megan Meck

The MCDD collaborated with Treadwell Data, a data consulting company, to maintain services to its Apricot data system while the MCDD's data coordinator, Megan Meck, MS, was on maternity leave. On January 10, Treadwell published a case study featuring its consulting expertise with the MCDD. The case study can be read here.

On January 11, Annie Carver, Esq., staff attorney for Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), and Emily Arneson, director of government relations at Kennedy Krieger Institute, attended The Eye on Annapolis legislative session kick-off, hosted by The Daily Record.

On January 12, Kristine Nellenbach, MS, Resource Finder program coordinator, published an article, “An Overview of the Resource Finder at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities.” The article was written for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) website.  

On January 13, Carver and Tyler Cochran, JD, legal advocate for Project HEAL, gave a Project HEAL overview presentation at the Kennedy Krieger Neurobehavioral Unit staff development meeting.

On January 17, Mirian Ofonedu, PhD, director of training for the MCDD, facilitated the creation of a video for the Disability, Mental Health and Inclusive Faith Support Training Collaborative, to continue with the MCDD’s Faith Community project commitment to promoting inclusive practice and expanding faith community leaders' knowledge and skills in creating belonging and a positive social atmosphere of understanding of the needs and strengths of people with disabilities and their families. The video features people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and family members, speaking about their experiences with faith communities.

Chris Mason-Hale

Also on January 17, Christopher Mason-Hale, BSW, MCDD community advocate, and van Stone participated in a meeting to discuss community integration within Kennedy Krieger, as members of the Social Accessibility Domain workgroup. The group meets on a quarterly basis to address accessibility barriers within the Institute.

On January 17, the MCDD held its quarterly Community Advisory Council (CAC) meeting. MCDD faculty, staff members, and trainees attended the meeting, as well as participants from various community organizations and state agencies, all of whom serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Nellenbach gave a presentation about the Resource Finder program, highlighting data from the previous four years.

Members of the MCDD team outside of the United States Supreme Court building.

Also on January 17, Nellenbach gave a Resource Finder overview presentation to the Multidisciplinary Empowerment for Sustainable Health (MESH) program staff members at  Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

On January 18, Denise Marshall, President & CEO of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc., Carver, Cochran, van Stone, Luanne Mottley, Project HEAL trainee, and Tracy Waller, Esq., MPH, MCDD staff attorney, attended Supreme Court oral arguments for the case of Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools, a special education case based out of Michigan.

Also on January 18, Jennifer Falter, Esq., Project HEAL attorney, gave a presentation to a Kennedy Krieger parent and caregiver group about Maryland’s new Supported Decision Making law.

On January 20, Mason-Hale and van Stone co-presented an MCDD overview presentation to the leadership team of the Kennedy Krieger schools. 

On January 24, Dr. Ofonedu led a presentation, “Advocacy Skill Building Session,” as part of the Maternal and Child Health Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) Program curriculum. The presentation included topics about advocacy and why it matters, Developmental Disabilities Day and strategies for preparing written testimony.

Also on January 24, Mason-Hale and Nellenbach gave an MCDD overview presentation to the Bay Area Center for Independent Living staff.

On January 26, Nellenbach was selected to serve as the new appointee to the Maryland Technology Assistance Program (MDTAP) Advisory Council as the council’s University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) representative. 

On January 31, Dr. Ofonedu published a research article, “Promoting Positive Mental Health Outcomes for Black Youth of African Descent: Applying the Family as Host Model for Culturally Responsive Practice.” The article was published in the professional journal, Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and can be viewed here.

Also on January 31, Mason-Hale and Nellenbach co-presented an MCDD overview presentation to Kennedy Krieger’s Pediatric Developmental Disabilities Clinic.

Mason-Hale has been a member of the Maternal and Child Health Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) Self Advocacy Discipline Network with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) since September 2022. In February, he joined the Recruitment and Selection of Self-Advocate Trainees subcommittee to develop best practices for recruiting and selecting self-advocate trainees for LEND programs.

Tracy Waller headshot.

On February 6, Waller published the first blog post for the Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality, “Why Intersectionality Is An Essential Part of Public Health.” The Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities received a five-year grant from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to become The National Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality.

On February 7, van Stone and James Silver, Esq., attorney formerly with The Law Offices of Ellen A. Callegary, P.A., gave a presentation, “Medical Decision Making/Informed Consent and People with Intellectual Disabilities.” The presentation was part of Kennedy Krieger’s Core Course Curriculum and had 56 trainees in attendance.

On February 10, Mason-Hale and Nellenbach gave an MCDD overview presentation to People On the Go Maryland, a group of self-advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

On February 11, Mason-Hale represented the MCDD as an exhibitor at the “Techniques for Success: Resilience and Reinvention” resource fair at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Maryland. The event was sponsored by the Down Syndrome Association of Southern Maryland

On February 14, van Stone was elected to a second, two-year term to serve as the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) policy co-chair.

Also on February 14, Falter gave a presentation at the Phelps Center for Cerebral Palsy at Kennedy Krieger about guardianship and less restrictive alternatives.

On February 14, Nellenbach gave a Resource Finder overview presentation to the VIPhysicians & Kids department staff from The Coordinating Center.

On February 15, the Maryland Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) hosted an event, “The People and Family Forum,” which provided a platform for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to help shape the DDA’s person-centered planning process. Mason-Hale hosted an exhibitor table at the event’s resource fair, where he shared information with professionals, parents and individuals with disabilities about the various resources and services provided through the MCDD.

Also on February 15, Dr. Ofonedu was a guest speaker for an event, “Dismantling the Stigma of Mental Illness and Disability: Strategies for Practice and Systems-Level Change.” The virtual event was hosted by the Diverse Racial Ethnic and Multicultural Special Interest Group (DREAM SIG), Division 37 of the American Psychological Association.

On February 16, van Stone and Falter participated in Kennedy Krieger’s Center for Development and Learning Retreat. Van Stone gave a presentation, “Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities.” Falter gave a presentation, “Adult Guardianship and Alternatives.”

On February 21, Dr. Ofonedu hosted a meeting to discuss the needs assessment results from the Disability Inclusion in Maryland Faith Communities survey. Participants learned how they could support efforts that promote meaningful disability inclusion and practices in Maryland’s faith communities.

Rhonda Holliday, Maureen van Stone and Leah Smith at the Minority Health Conference

On February 24, van Stone presented a session, “Improving Healthcare by Addressing Ableism From an Intersectional Lens,” at the 44th Minority Health Conference, along with Rhonda Holliday, PhD, MA, associate professor at Morehouse School of Medicine, and Leah Smith, MPA, associate director for the Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality. The theme for this year’s conference was, “Practicing Health as a Human Right: Policy, Ethics, and the Law.”

On February 25, van Stone served as a representative of patient advocacy as part of the interactive event, “Making Neuroscience Socially Responsible: A Co-Design Workshop,” hosted at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. The event consisted of a small group of early career neuroscientists and public stakeholders, such as disease advocates, and explored effective ways of interacting, collaborating and sharing perspectives.

On February 28, van Stone was a panelist for the 9th cohort of the Professional Leadership Program for Women at The Dr. Nancy Grasmick Leadership Institute. Van Stone was selected because of her success, passion and authenticity that will inspire the next generation of female leaders.

Also on February 28, Cochran published the second blog post for the Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality, “To Better Understand Intersectionality and Health Justice, Look to the Experiences of People Living With HIV.”

A group photo at the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) annual conference.

On March 1, van Stone, Cochran, Carver and Mallory Legg, Esq., director of Project HEAL, attended the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) annual conference in San Francisco. At the conference, Legg and van Stone gave a presentation, “Updated Federal Guidance on Discipline of Students with Disabilities.” Legg also gave a presentation, “Supporting Mutual Understanding of Special Education Other Health Impairment Eligibility,” along with Lisa Carey, EdD, assistant director for the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education, and Alicia Cannon, PhD, ABPP, Kennedy Krieger neuropsychologist.

Also on March 1, Dr. Ofonedu gave a presentation, “Being the Best Advocate for Your Child at School and In the Community,” to parents and families in Baltimore County as part of the Special Education Resource Center webinar series.

On March 3, Mason-Hale and Nellenbach co-presented an MCDD overview presentation to Independence Now, a resource and advocacy center that promotes independent living and equal access for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities residing in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.

On March 10, Nellenbach gave a Resource Finder overview presentation to parents and caregivers from the Baltimore County Public Schools Autism Caregiver Support Group.

On March 13, van Stone and Melanie Pinkett-Davis, MSW, LCSW-C, assistant vice president of Clinical Services at Kennedy Krieger, gave a presentation to Kennedy Krieger faculty and trainees, “Kennedy Krieger Institute Ethics Committee Overview.” 

On March 20, Mason-Hale and Nellenbach co-presented an MCDD overview presentation to Kennedy Krieger’s Child and Family Therapy Clinic.

On March 21, van Stone represented the MCDD at the 26th Maryland International Business Leadership Awards ceremony, hosted by the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI). The event was held at Jim Rouse Visionary Center and Maryland Governor Wes Moore was a featured speaker.

On March 23-24, the MCDD sponsored Kennedy Krieger’s Neurodiversity in the Workplace: A Collaborative National Conference in Washington, D.C. On March 24, van Stone gave a presentation, “Recognizing Employee Diversity and Capitalizing on Performance.”

On March 28, van Stone and Legg gave a presentation, “Medical-Legal Partnerships,” during an event hosted by the Maryland Department of Health. The virtual event, “Accessing Resources that Address Social Determinants of Health,” aimed to enhance the effectiveness of care management plans for clinicians and support staff.

On March 29, van Stone, Mason-Hale, Emily Arneson, Drs. Miya Asato and Christina Love hosted a special lecture titled, "Building Advocacy in Your Clinical Practice," for Kennedy Krieger faculty members, staff members, and trainees. 

On March 30, van Stone gave a guest lecture, "Restraint and Seclusion: An Overview of Law and Practice," for eight doctoral students in a graduate course "Behavior Analysis in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities" at the University of Kansas. 

On March 30, Dr. Mirian Ofonedu received the "Social Justice Award" at the 2023 Social Work Awards Luncheon.