Happy new year, readers! I hope this message finds you in good health, high spirits and filled with the excitement that comes with the promise of a fresh start. We invite you to read our quarterly newsletter to learn about all the latest news from the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD), Kennedy Krieger Institute and the community.
The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council and the Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) recently announced the release of a groundbreaking initiative—the Framework and Toolkit for Inclusive Playgrounds in Maryland. In a collaborative effort, the council and MDOD developed a comprehensive framework highlighting the benefits of inclusive playgrounds. Going beyond mere accessibility, the toolkit provides a roadmap for communities across Maryland to create spaces where individuals of all abilities can learn and play together seamlessly. The state envisions becoming a catalyst for inclusive recreation, where everyone can come together and have fun.
The MCDD remains actively engaged with both the Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and a collaborative coalition of organizations, to support the ongoing initiatives of The National Center for Disability, Equity, and Intersectionality. The center’s recent work features an article, “ADA Supreme Court Case Update: Acheson v. Laufer,” summarizing the Supreme Court’s decision on a lawsuit concerning a hotel’s lack of compliance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA). The team continues to accept blog submissions about disability justice, healthcare and community living inequities faced by people with disabilities. Visit the center’s website to read other blog posts or to submit a blog proposal for consideration.
The MCDD, in partnership with Kennedy Krieger’s Maternal and Child Health Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) program, has received a grant from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). This initiative, supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) through USAging, aims to enhance vaccination access for children and adults with disabilities. Kennedy Krieger patients ages 5 and older can now receive COVID-19 booster shots and influenza vaccinations during their routine medical appointments. It’s important to note that vaccine availability is subject to the patient's insurance coverage, and we cannot guarantee access for all patients. As an additional incentive, vaccine recipients are eligible to receive a $40 restaurant gift certificate after successful completion of a survey. For more information, please email COVID19Vaccine@KennedyKrieger.org or call 667-205-4930.
This quarter’s newsletter features articles about the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Conference and the MCDD’s most recent intern from Project SEARCH at Kennedy Krieger Institute. We hope you find the resources in this newsletter helpful as we all continue to work together to help individuals with disabilities learn, grow and thrive.
Take care and stay safe.