Announcing 10 New TIP (Transforming and Improving Practices Through Customized Technical Assistance) Grantees!

The DD Council and Maryland Works, Inc. are awarding TIP (Transforming and Improving Practices Through Customized Technical Assistance) grants that total $96,405 to ten provider agencies, three of which are in rural regions of Maryland. The grants will fund technical assistance from subject matter experts so that people with developmental disabilities have improved employment outcomes and opportunities for meaningful participation in the community. 


This investment, the second round of TIP grant funding in two years, is one of several ways the Council is addressing the following 5 Five Year State Plan goal: “Children and adults with developmental disabilities meaningfully participate in all facets of community life, and are valued and supported by their communities.” The first round of TIP awards were granted in 2016 and resulted in 13 grantees, five of which are in rural areas. 

Read the 2016 project summary here.


All of the agencies in this current round are receiving TIP grants for the first time. As part of this initiative, grantees will also participate in a learning community to share successes, challenges, strategies, and best practices. Read the current project summary here.


Selected recipients:   

  • Ardmore Enterprises – to support closure of the day center, use person-centered planning, and measure data-driven outcomes.
  • Bayside Community Network – for support to transform from a sheltered work/day program model to a community employment model.
  • Community Living, Inc. – for support to transform from a facility-based agency to a community-based agency with person-centered supports.
  • Gallagher Services – to assist with an agency-wide cultural change and the use of of person-centered thinking and planning.
  • Melwood –  to help develop a strategic plan and a staffing/scheduling model that supports people to engage in meaningful employment.
  • Opportunity Builders – to assist in the development of a business plan to phase out sub-minimum wage contract work.
  • Rehabilitation Opportunities – to assist in improving the agency’s strategic plan and work flow chart and develop a process to move people from sheltered workshops to community employment.
  • The Arc Baltimore – to assist with improving staff culture, organizational infrastructure, and implementation of customized job coaching.
  • The Arc Central Chesapeake Region – to help develop a cohesive plan specific to achieving outcomes in rural settings.
  • The Arc Montgomery County – to assist employment staff in the development of a process to streamline employment discovery and customization process with an identified pilot group. 

Council Vice Chairperson Damon Briggs comments, “The technical assistance will help change services and support. It will help more people to get the jobs they want and will allow them to choose the things they want to do to have meaningful days.”  


Jonathon Rondeau, CEO of The Arc Central Chesapeake Region, comments on receiving a TIP grant, “While the challenges of raising employment rates for people with a disability in rural areas are significant, we believe strongly in the ability of everyone to achieve their goals and dreams. Receiving this funding from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council and Maryland Works, Inc. helps us to focus our efforts on strategically expanding our job development in rural communities in Anne Arundel County and the Eastern Shore. These resources will be focused on professional development and family engagement to improve job outcomes for those we serve. At the Arc Central Chesapeake, we have a strong history of improving employment outcomes for people with a disability, and we’re excited that this funding will help us develop long-term solutions to stubborn barriers to employment for people we serve in rural areas.” 


National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” Learn more about the origins and evolution of NDEAM and other important events in disability employment history in our interactive timeline.

DDA Employment First Summit Meeting – Oct 13, 2017

The Developmental Disabilities Administration invites you to come join us as we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

Friday, October 13, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM EDT
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The Meeting House
5885 Robert Oliver Place
Columbia, MD 21045

Opening Remarks by Deputy Secretary Simons
“Maryland: State of the State in Employment First”

“Charting the Life Course Framework: Tools for Navigating the Path to Employment for Individuals and Teams”

“Next Steps for Maryland in Employment First”
Presentations and Interactive Discussions:

Taking it to the Next Level”

Corey Smith,  Griffin and Hammis

“Transportation Solutions    for Community       Engagement and  Employment”

David Hoff ICI, UMass Boston

Closing Remarks by Patricia Sastoque, Director of Programs, DDA

This event is open to all Employment First Stakeholders!

Light Breakfast and Lunch Provided

Get more information

Register Now!

For more information or further questions, contact Staci Jones, Statewide Career and Employment Coordinator at or 410-767-5431

Developmental Disabilities Training Unit
Developmental Disabilities Administration

Governor Larry Hogan, Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford Highlight Disability Employment

October 10th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

Governor Larry Hogan today signed Executive Order 01.01.2017.23 declaring October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in Maryland. The month will be used to highlight the immense contributions made by workers with disabilities and the increased economic strength gained through an inclusive workforce. To highlight this newly designated month, Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford today presented citations to several employers who have a history of hiring an inclusive workforce, including those with disabilities.

“Disability Employment Awareness Month is an opportunity to create greater recognition of the skills people with disabilities bring to employers and highlight efforts to expand employment opportunities for all Marylanders,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “Businesses and employers who value an inclusive workforce benefit from this practice and, in turn, create a more resilient and innovative economic climate in Maryland.”

Under the executive order, the Maryland Department of Disabilities will initiate a public awareness campaign and partner with local jurisdictions to further strengthen this vital workforce. Additionally, the campaign will provide information to potential employers on the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities.

SCI Recongnized…

SCI Board President, Teresa Berman, and several members of the leadership team attended the Maryland Nonprofits  Conference on October 4th at the Baltimore Convention Center where SCI  was recognized during their awards ceremony for one of our successes; earning our Standards for Excellence® Accreditation!

IMPACT! Timothy Scott

Timothy is a 25-year-old male with a big heart and passion for those with any type of disability to be treated fairly. He has overcome many obstacles in his life. He grew up in foster Care, then moved into DDA residential housing.

2015 was a year filled with ups and downs for Tim. From moving to N.C. to moving back to Maryland, where he found himself homeless for a few months. Tim was able to find work at a local car wash, to help pay for housing and food.

In 2016 Tim was approved for residential services, which enabled him to gain focus back over his life. Tim found love during this time and married Mrs. Damia Scott on October 3, 2016. She has been a great asset to him. Working with him to improve his reading and writing skills, and helping him to build up his self-confidence. This coming October they will celebrate their one year anniversary, by taking a trip to Las Vegas. This will be Tim’s first time on an airplane.

Tim is now gainfully employed as a Security Guard at CVS on Liberty Road in Randallstown. He has worked there for over 2 months. Tim wishes to continue his career as a Security Guard offering assistance and safety to others.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).  This is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for 2017 is “Inclusion Drives Innovation. Learn how you can support NDEAM by visiting the ODEP website:

Please share employment related stories, pictures, and authorization with your supervisor. All month, SCI will be highlighting Employment Related stories on our Facebook Page. Please like, share and link up using the hashtags: #NDEAM #InclusionDrivesInnovation

Jake Sclater Accessed Personal Supports through the WL-CP Initiative

Jake had surgery last year, forcing him to have to learn to walk again. Increasing Jake’s mobility has taken several therapies a week and several doctors’ appointments. Through all of this, Jake’s sister was diagnosed with diabetes and Mom has been battling Breast Cancer. This made it very difficult for his Mom to always lift Jake and provide the day to day care that he requires and for Mom and Dad to juggle work, scheduling, doctors’ appointments, therapies, and still have time to be able to
engage Jake in sports and other groups and activities he enjoys. The addition of personal supports into the home has allowed the parents the assistance they need to help support Jake in daily hygiene activities, to continue to keep him active to increase mobility, to have transportation to activities, and to be able to participate in more therapies and community groups and teams that he enjoys.