ADVOCATING FOR A MEANINGFUL LIFE – Residential Services Discussion – for Self Advocates

Information Session: Residential Services Discussion with Self Advocates 2016

When Tuesday, June 27, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EDT
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Where:  Arc of Montgomery County
11600 Nebel Street Rockville, MD 20852

    The Advocacy Supports Team is offering information sessions, for people in services, to promote advocacy toward a meaningful life, by choosing where to live and with whom to live with. 

     You are invited to this free event to discuss and get information about DDA Residential options. Come and have an open conversation with Advocacy Supports Specialist, Angelina Washington on June 27, 2017.  

     Participants will get a better understanding of the different housing supports that DDA offers.  As a result, you can make an informed choice about the settings in which your services are delivered and those who provide it. This session will provide tips for you…we call it, “Self Determination through Self Advocacy”. 

     If you have any questions about this session, please contact Angelina Washington at or call, 301-362-5136.  

     Should you want information regarding the statewide Information Sessions, please contact the Director of Advocacy Supports, Edward Willard at

     This Information Session is for people in services to get information, tools, and have a conversation among their peers. We look forward to seeing you! 


Small Grants and Event Sponsorships Funds Available

Did you know that the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council Funds Small Grants and Education and Training Events?

What is a Small Grant?

Small Grants support initiatives and activities that are consistent with the Council’s mission and will have an impact that lasts beyond the period of time the grant is funded.  Activities must benefit more than one individual or family.

Small Grant Information and Application 

What is an Education & Training Event Sponsorship?

Education and training sponsorships support events that:

1) empower Marylanders with developmental disabilities and their family members to impact issues that affect their lives and the lives of others by increasing their knowledge, skills and capabilities


2) increase the knowledge, skills and capabilities of professionals and others in Maryland to support and include individuals with developmental disabilities in community life.

Event Sponsorship Information and Application

Submit Small Grant and Event Sponsorship requests any time. Applications must be submitted well in advance of the start date of the proposed activities. Requests cannot exceed $2500. 

Read about Small Grants and Event Sponsorships the Council funded in 2016.

LifeCourse in Action: MD CoP Event

When: Wednesday, June 14
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: The Meeting House, Oakland Mills Interfaith Center
5885 Robert Oliver Place
Columbia, MD 21045

If you think supports for families of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities should be expanded and improved across the lifespan, then the LifeCourse in Action: MD Community of Practice (CoP) event is for you!

Hear from National CoP leaders, provide feedback on the MD CoP Strategic Plan, network with families, individuals with developmental disabilities, community support providers, healthcare professionals, educators, and more!

Click on the links below to learn more about this exciting initiative and to register. It’s free!

Get More Information

Register Now!

Thank you for your attention and response. We look forward to seeing you on June 14!

Maryland CoP for Supporting Families Leadership Team

Support for Families WILL EXPAND in 2018!

 Your Input is Needed! 

Message from:
The Developmental Disabilities Coalition   

The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) is developing a new Family Support program which will provide individual and family support for people with developmental disabilities ages 21 and under. The plan is to offer an array of services and supports to meet families’ individualized needs. The cap will likely be $12,000 per family/per year. Governor Hogan included $2.4 million (state & federal funds) in the FY2018 budget for this new waiting list initiative. DDA hopes to start offering support in January 2018.

Need Family Support? Are you on the DDA Waiting List?

The only way to access services and support funded by the DDA is to get on the DDA waiting list. To get on the waiting list, you must submit an application. Once you apply, DDA will determine whether the individual with a developmental disability meets all eligibility requirements. If the person is determined eligible, he or she is placed in a priority category on the waiting list. This process can take months.

If your loved one with a developmental disability is not on DDA’s waiting list and your family is in need of support–don’t wait to apply! Useful links:

Eligibility Information
DDA Application

What Types of Supports Should be Included?

DDA is still working on many of the details–including what services should be covered–and is interested in stakeholder input. These are the types of services that are likely to be included: respite, support in the home and out in the community, family empowerment supports, caregiver training, assistive technology, environmental modifications, emergency response, family-to-family supports, self-advocacy supports, individual education and training, and peer-to-peer supports. But there might be others that have not been considered yet.

This is an opportunity for you to help shape what the new Family Support program looks like! 

DDA and the Developmental Disabilities Coalition are seeking input from individuals with developmental disabilities, families, and others about what services should be covered under the new Family Support program. Please provide your input. Deadline: May 9, 2017. 

Click on survey here.

Thank you for your feedback!

The Developmental Disabilities Coalition:




The Maryland Respite Care Coalition is seeking Maryland caregivers!

For more information please see their e-vite below:

If you or someone you know is a caregiver, we hope you will consider joining the  Maryland Respite Care Coalition. We are an advocacy group made up of caregivers who are working to increase both the overall availability and quality of respite care services here in Maryland. To learn more about who we are and what we do, please visit these FAQs

We are currently recruiting new members and hope you will consider joining us on April 27th for a new member Welcome Breakfast. If you can’t make it on the 27th, please consider joining our mailing list for future meetings. Our goal is to have meetings at locations throughout the state so that we can ensure the meetings are accessible for everyone. We’d also love to hear your ideas, so feel free to send them our way! 

Please help us spread the word by forwarding this email to your network or handing out this flyer

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Linda Ramsey at 410-659-7701, ext. 122 or

Council Member Spotlight: Sharon Dockery
“What Matters to Me”

To celebrate Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we are featuring Council members and their thoughts and perspectives on the topic, 

Sharon and her daughter, Logan

Sharon Dockery is a mother of three-her daughter, Logan, is 16, and her sons Harrison and Chase are 12 and 4. Her husband is a retired military serviceman. Sharon, a member of the DD Council for nine years, says that her work on the Council has helped her learn about all the possibilities and positive things in the disability world.

When asked about what matters to her as a parent of a daughter who has autism, Sharon says, “We never stop thinking that our daughter’s life deserves the same amount of fight as our children who do not have disabilities. So what matters is looking at people for who they are and what they have to offer, not a diagnosis. Logan is funny, fashionable, gorgeous, and super kind. She also happens to have autism. What matters is that we all keep pushing to make life as good as it can be for everyone. It can’t just be the work of those who live this every day, it also has to be the fight of those working in our school systems, of those making the hiring decisions…then it will be a bigger, social issue, when we all embrace this fight.”

“Logan is funny, fashionable, gorgeous, and super kind.
She also happens to have autism.”


DDA Low Intensity Support Services

Applications accepted May 1 – June 30, 2017

The Developmental Disabilities Administration’s
Low Intensity Support Services program (LISS) offers low- level funding up to $2000 designed to improve an individual and/or family’s quality of life, increase or maintain independence, and enhance community integration. Some examples of what LISS funds may be used for include:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Childcare
  • Housing Adaptations
  • Training & Support for Self-Advocacy
  • Camp
  • Therapeutic Services
  • Tuition for Education & Training
  • Transportation Services

Find a more complete list along with application requirements here: Applicant and Family Reference Guide.

The DDA distributes LISS funding twice during the fiscal year with applications accepted during Round 1 and Round 2. Applications for Round 1 will be accepted from May 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017. Applications for Round 2 will be accepted from July 1, 2017 through October 30, 2017. These time periods have changed from those in previous years in order to provide individuals and families with more time to submit their applications and enable LISS providers to work more closely with applicants as they move through the application process.

The use of a Random Selection Process promotes equality and access for everyone. The system is indiscriminate; it does not consider the identity or any other personal aspect of the applicants.

Round 1 Application DEADLINE: June 30, 2017

Applicants may download an application here or contact the LISS provider in their region for further information. Click on provider for link.

MD Community Connection
(serves Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s counties)
Phone: 301.583.8880,1.877.622.6688

Penn-Mar Human Services
(serves Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, and Washington counties)
Phone: 410.357.0891, 1.877.282.8202

United Needs & Abilities
(serves Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties)
Phone: 410.543.0665 ext. 118, 1.800.776.5694

For additional information, please visit DDA’s LISS website.

Cultivating Youth Leadership and Self-Advocacy through the Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio

The Council is pleased to announce that it will fund training and technical assistance by Tilson & Diaz Solutions, Inc. to provide transition professionals from school systems in Caroline, Carroll, and Anne Arundel counties with tools to help students increase their self-advocacy skills and become actively engaged in the development and use of Digital Transition Portfolios. 

In collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Tilson & Diaz will present trainings through September 2017. Participants will mentor colleagues both in their local school systems and statewide through portfolio academies.

Digital Transition Portfolios are personalized online tools that prepare students with disabilities for life after school. These platforms assign real-world projects that align with student-specific needs, providing the opportunity to develop valuable skills and feedback on accomplishments. Students can make their portfolios public as personal websites displaying their achievements.

As a result of this training, transition professionals from each school system will be equipped to ensure students increase their self-advocacy skills and use portfolios to their fullest capabilities. For more information about this initiative, click here.