On March 29, Mirian Ofonedu, PhD, LCSW-C, director of training for the MCDD, gave a presentation, “Being the Best Advocate for Your Child at School and In the Community,” to parents, families and professionals in Baltimore County. The training was sponsored by the Department of Special Education of Baltimore County Public Schools in collaboration with the MCDD.
On April 4, Martina Penalosa, prior MCDD trainee, presented her research, under the supervision of Dr. Ofonedu, at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Poster Day. The poster, “Caregivers’ Perspectives on the Impact of Support Services on Health and Well-being of Children and Young Adults with Disabilities and their Families,” was presented to Kennedy Krieger faculty, staff and trainees.
On April 13, Dr. Ofonedu gave a virtual presentation, “Self-care, Work, and Well-being: Finding the Balance on Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others.” The presentation was sponsored by the California State Association of Public Administrators, Public Guardians and Public Conservators in collaboration with the MCDD.
Also on April 13, Dr. Ofonedu gave a presentation, “Applying the Family as Host (FAH) Model for Culturally Responsive Practice,” to the Behavioral Psychology Department at Kennedy Krieger Institute.
On April 17, Christopher Mason-Hale, BSW, MCDD community advocate, and Kristine Nellenbach, MS, Resource Finder program coordinator, gave an MCDD overview presentation to the Howard County Health Literacy Advisory Committee leaders.
On April 17, Dr. Ofonedu facilitated a virtual workshop, “Spring into Mental Wellness and Self-Care,” as part of the Virtual “Lunch & Learn” Series for parents and caregivers of children and young adults with disabilities.
On April 17, the MCDD hosted Sydney Beck, a senior at Temple University who graduated with her bachelor’s degree in social work in May 2023. Beck met with MCDD faculty and staff, as well as social workers across the Institute, to increase her knowledge and understanding of Kennedy Krieger’s opportunities in the field of social work. Sydney will enroll in the University of Maryland School of Social Work in the fall of 2023.
On April 18, Nellenbach was selected to become a fellow for the Business Volunteers Maryland (BVM) GIVE Fellowship. Throughout this fellowship, Nellenbach will serve as a consultant to a nonprofit organization, helping to develop solutions to the organization’s challenges.
Also on April 18, Dr. Ofonedu led a kickoff meeting for the Faith Community Learning Collaborative (FCLC) with Maryland faith leaders. This FCLC is working to develop strategies for improving inclusive faith support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in faith communities.
On April 19, Mason-Hale hosted an exhibitor table for the MCDD at the Transition Services Spring Expo, hosted by the Office of Special Education of Baltimore City Public Schools. Students and families attended the expo after a morning of school performances, guest speakers and entertainment.
On April 19, Maureen van Stone, Esq., MS, director of the MCDD, attended the Association of University Centers on Disabilities TA Institute and UCEDD Director’s Retreat at The Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C. Van Stone and Dr. Ofonedu also attended the annual Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Gala. This year’s theme was, “Creating Inclusive Communities,” and the event was held in Washington, D.C.
On April 19, Dr. Ofonedu facilitated a virtual workshop, “Inspiring Hope Together,” as part of the Virtual “Lunch & Learn” Series.
Also on April 19, Mallory Legg, Esq., director of Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), Annie Carver, Esq., staff attorney for Project HEAL, and Tyler Cochran, JD, legal advocate for Project HEAL, gave a presentation, “Interstate Military Compact,” to the Kennedy Krieger Behavioral Psychology Department.
On April 20, Nellenbach presented to three second-grade classes at Quarterfield Elementary School for their annual Career Week.
Also on April 20, Carver represented Project HEAL at the Criminal Justice Career Fair at the Community College of Baltimore County.
On April 21, Nellenbach gave a Resource Finder overview presentation to the program directors of Kennedy Krieger Institute.
On April 22, Mason-Hale represented the MCDD at the World of Possibilities Disabilities Expo. He shared information with professionals, caregivers and individuals with disabilities about the various resources and services available through the MCDD.
On April 24, Dr. Ofonedu facilitated a virtual workshop, “Crafting a Disability-Inclusive Community,” as part of the Virtual “Lunch & Learn” Series.
Also on April 24, the MCDD became a member of the Howard County Local Health Improvement Coalition (HCLHIC). The coalition’s mission is to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities in Howard County, Maryland. Nellenbach and Mason-Hale will serve as representatives, on behalf of the MCDD, to provide the perspectives of those served at Kennedy Krieger and help the coalition fulfill its community-wide efforts.
On April 24, Nellenbach became a member of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Community Education and Dissemination Council (CEDC). The purpose of the council is to identify and discuss issues regarding community education and information dissemination. It aims to influence the development and implementation of national community education and information dissemination policies and initiatives.
On April 25, van Stone gave a guest lecture to the Towson University special education class, Curriculum/Methods of Secondary Special Education: Prevocational and Vocational Instruction.
On April 26, Dr. Ofonedu facilitated a virtual workshop, “Being Your Child’s Best Advocate,” as part of the Virtual “Lunch & Learn” Series.
Also on April 26, Legg, Carver, and Cochran gave a parent training presentation, “Early Childhood Transition to Kindergarten,” to the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at Kennedy Krieger.
On April 27, van Stone was featured in the Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health video about the importance of the Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring Network (ADDM). Watch the video and find more resources here.
Also on April 27, findings from the Compass-T project were published. The project was a partnership between the Washington University in St. Louis Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute of Human Development, the Special School District of St. Louis County in Missouri, Kennedy Krieger’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, Kennedy Krieger School Programs, and the MCDD.
On April 29, several MCDD faculty and staff members participated in Kennedy Krieger Institute’s annual ROAR for Kids event. Nellenbach, van Stone, Legg and Jennifer Falter, Esq., Project HEAL attorney, ran and walked the event’s 5K race. Mason-Hale represented the MCDD by exhibiting at a table for the event’s resource fair.
On May 1, Dr. Ofonedu facilitated a virtual workshop, “Q&A for Parents and Caregivers Raising Children with Disabilities,” as part of the Virtual “Lunch & Learn” Series.
On May 2, van Stone gave presentations to a Towson University graduate class, Internship II with Seminar, and an undergraduate class, Internship Special Education.
On May 2 and May 4, the MCDD partnered with The Association for Successful Parenting (TASP) to bring free training to Maryland professionals. The live, interactive training helped professionals gain skills for working with families, headed by parents who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. Fourteen people attended both days of the training and received certificates of completion or continuing education units if requested by social workers. The same training will be offered again in September to the first 40 people who register. The registration link can be found here.
On May 2-4, Dr. Ofonedu attended the seventh annual Charting the LifeCourse (CtrLC) Showcase in Kansas City, Missouri, hosted by the Missouri University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD). Dr. Ofonedu serves as a CtrLC Ambassador.
On May 3, Mason-Hale hosted an exhibitor table for the MCDD at the Spring Transition Fair at William S. Baer School.
Also on May 3, an article, “Inclusive Resources Guide for Parents,” was published in Baltimore Magazine, featuring an interview with Nellenbach about the Resource Finder program. Anyone seeking resources is welcome to contact the Resource Finder at ResourceFinder@KennedyKrieger.org.
On May 4, van Stone, Legg and Effie Theodore, Esq., Project HEAL volunteer attorney, attended the seventh annual Hats & HorsesTM Benefiting Kennedy Krieger Institute. The funds raised from this event will help alleviate the youth mental health crisis in our country by supporting a new post-master’s fellowship program for psychiatric social workers at Kennedy Krieger.
On May 12, Nellenbach gave a Resource Finder overview presentation to the Integrated Early Learning Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute.
On May 17, Dr. Ofonedu led an online event, “Virtual Walk-a-Mile: Being Exposed to Community Violence—Experiences of Underserved Children, Youth and Families Seeking Trauma-Informed Care.” The event was hosted by the Diverse Racial Ethnic and Multicultural Special Interest Group (DREAM SIG), Division 37 of the American Psychological Association.
On May 18 and 30, Dr. Ofonedu gave a virtual presentation, “Promoting Positive Mental Health Outcomes for Black Youth: How School, Home and Community Members Can Help.” This presentation was sponsored by the Maryland Suicide Prevention Office, Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, and Black Mental Health Alliance in collaboration with the MCDD. Over 200 attendees participated and learned how they could utilize the Family as Host model, developed by Dr. Ofonedu, for culturally responsive practice in their work with underserved and marginalized individuals, families and communities.
On May 19, van Stone delivered a hybrid presentation at the 23rd annual School Law Institute, “School Law: The Intersection Between Mental Health Diagnoses and IDEA Disability Categories.” The event, hosted in New York City by the Practising™ Law Institute, had more than 500 attendees. Disability Rights Maryland and the Maryland Office of the Attorney General were among the registered organizations.
On May 23, Nellenbach staffed the MCDD table at The Arc Maryland State Convention. Van Stone and Nellenbach attended the Awards Banquet and supported the Legacy Award recipient, Marcella Franczkowski, MS, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director of PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs. This award is presented to individuals whose lifetime work leaves a legacy for the future and mission of The Arc.
Also on May 23, Carver published a blog post for the Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality, “Time Lost to Disability Management is a Health Inequity.”
On May 24, van Stone represented the MCDD in a one-day Access Retreat for Kennedy Krieger Institute’s strategic plan.
On May 25, van Stone and Legg attended the Kennedy Krieger Society reception, hosted by the Kennedy Krieger Office of Philanthropy at Whitehall Mill. This year, the Institute honored Project HEAL donors, Sam and Donna Wright, as well as Secretary Carol Beatty, who serves on the MCDD’s Community Advisory Council, among other 2023 award winners.
On May 30, Legg gave a presentation, “Discipline of Students with Disabilities,” to the Neuropsychology and Behavioral Psychology departments at Kennedy Krieger.
On May 31, Legg gave a “Lunch and Learn” presentation to parents from Baltimore County Public Schools, “Bullying, Harassment and Intimidations of Students with Disabilities.”
On June 1, Mason-Hale hosted a table at the first PACT Health and Safety Fair. During the event, he shared information with health professionals, educators, caregivers and individuals with disabilities about the various resources and services available through the MCDD.
Also on June 1, van Stone attended the Dr. Nancy Grasmick Leadership Institute “Trust Matters Breakfast Forum,” held at Towson University.
On June 2, Legg co-presented with the Kennedy Krieger Medication Management Clinic team at the weekly Kennedy Krieger program directors’ meeting, providing an overview of the Medication Management Clinic services.
Also on June 2, the Project HEAL team hosted Justine Stewart, a pre-doctoral fellow at Kennedy Krieger Institute, for a half-day shadowing visit.
On June 6, Michael Saunders, director of Money Follows the Person at Independence Now, published a blog post for the Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality, “The Intersection of Driving, Disability, and Being Black.”
On June 7, Dr. Ofonedu gave a presentation to the Therapeutic Foster Care Department at Kennedy Krieger, “Being the Best Advocate for Your Child: Supporting Their Social, Health, and Emotional Well-Being.”
On June 13, Dr. Ofonedu’s Summer Learning Series kicked off with the first event, “Join us for a Virtual Tour of Maryland’s Accessible Telecommunications and Assistive Technology Programs.” This virtual webinar was presented by James A. Whitney, OTR/L, OTD, ETIS, assistive technology clinician at the Maryland Assistive Technology Program (MDTAP), Kevin Steffy, manager of the Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) Program, and Jane Hager, Maryland Accessible Telecommunications Specialist of the MAT program.
On June 15, Dr. Ofonedu organized a Summer Learning Series presentation, “How Does the Body Learn to Move? Exploring Motor Learning in Typical Development and After Brain Injury.” The virtual webinar was presented by Dr. Nayo Hill, PT, DPT, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow at Kennedy Krieger’s Center for Movement Studies and Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University.
On June 16, Mason-Hale and Nellenbach gave an MCDD overview presentation to the Consortium of Care-Eastern Shore (COC-ES).
On June 20, 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.
From June 20-23, Sophie Ehrich shadowed MCDD faculty, staff and trainees. Ehrich is a rising junior at Marymount, an independent, all-girls, Catholic school, located in Los Angeles, California. Sophie spent a week at Law Academy at Georgetown University prior to her internship at the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She is passionate about improving blood cancer research and supporting patients battling the disease, through her work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. After college, Sophie hopes to attend law school and pursue a legal career to help others.
On June 22, Dr. Ofonedu organized a Summer Learning Series presentation, “Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Addressing Learner Variability through Inclusive Instructional Design.” The virtual webinar was presented by Dr. Lisa Carey, EdD, assistant director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education, Dr. Eric Moore, PhD, director of learning technology for the Learning Design & Technology Team at Kennedy Krieger, and Dr. Hillary Goldthwait-Fowles, PhD, ATP, instructional design specialist for the Learning Design and Technology Team.
On June 27, Dr. Ofonedu organized a Summer Learning Series presentation, “Working with Diverse Population: Cross-Cultural Assessment and Treatment Considerations.” The virtual webinar was presented by Dr. Rowena Ng, PhD, pediatric neuropsychologist in the Department of Neuropsychology at Kennedy Krieger, and Dr. Christina Love, PsyD, a pediatric neuropsychologist in the Department of Neuropsychology.
On June 29, Dr. Ofonedu and Nellenbach gave a Summer Learning Series presentation, “Thinking about Meaningful Inclusion and Belonging in Your Work and Life Spaces.”
On July 11, Dr. Ofonedu organized a Summer Learning Series presentation, “Discipline of Students with Disabilities and Updated Federal Guidance on School Discipline.” The virtual webinar was presented by van Stone and Legg.