Heart for It #MoreThanTheHeartForIt #DSPRW19 #MoreThanTheHeartForIt

During the week of September 8th to 14th, 2019, The Arc of Howard County celebrated Direct Support Professional Recognition Week #DSPRW19. The Arc of Howard County joined in thanking Direct Support Professionals for the work they do to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

As part of the celebration of #DSPRW19, The Arc Maryland released of the heart for it; a video developed in collaboration with partner organizations of The Arc in Maryland. The video, the heart for it, helps viewers better understand the work of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and their importance to the community. Showcasing stories from DSPs, and people they support, the heart for it shows what it means to be a Direct Support Professional or to receive support from one. Watch the video on The Arc Maryland’s Youtube or click on the video below. You might see a few very familiar faces!

Want to know what a Director Support Professional means to the individuals they support and their families? Read what The Arc Maryland had to say:

We often hear that DSPs are “true angels on earth,” and “have amazing hearts” to do the work they do. The work is complex, the hours are long and sometimes unpredictable, and sometimes, their presence and actions are the difference between life and death for a person. What we know, is that DSPs must not only “have the heart” for the work that they do, but also possess incredible patience, a trove of knowledge and a variety of skills; requirements unmatched in most other professions.
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Sherri Collins-Witzke Named Honorary Chair for 2020 Chocolate Ball

Sherri Collins-Witzke, Honorary Chair for Chocolate Ball 2020

The Arc of Howard County is pleased to announce that Sherri Collins-Witzke will be this year’s Honorary Chair for the 23rd Annual Chocolate Ball benefiting The Arc of Howard County. The 23rd Annual Chocolate Ball – A Benefit for The Arc of Howard County will be held Saturday, March 7, 2020 at Turf Valley Resort, from 7 p.m. – Midnight.

Sherri has a long history of supporting The Arc of Howard County, through her generous sponsorships, as well as serving on The Arc’s Leadership Development Committee. Sherri also received the Excellence in Professional Services Award for providing outstanding professional services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Howard County. Sherri is active in the Maryland State Funeral Directors Association (MSFDA), serving four terms on their Board of Directors, currently serving as President, and is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and the MSFDA Disaster Response Team.

Sherri Collins-Witzke resides in Howard County with her husband, Gus. Sherri moved to the area in 1969. After graduating from Catonsville Community College, Cum Laude, in 1995, she has been managing the Harry H. Witzke’s Family Funeral Home as a third generation licensed mortician. She is a licensed Certified Funeral Service Practitioner, Certified Cremation Services Provider, and a Certified Preplanning Consultant, completing extensive training in the funeral industry. Sherri has served on the steering committee for Gilchrist Cares Taste of Howard County to benefit the Gilchrist Center Howard County for hospice care for over 15 years. As a volunteer Sherri not only supports The Arc of Howard County but is also a board member for Blossoms of Hope… the Howard County Cherry Tree Project and serves on committees for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, Leadership Howard County, The Howard County, Heart Ball and The Lutheran Village at MILLER’S GRANT. She is a graduate of Leadership Howard County class of 2007.

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Labor Day Closing Information

Friendly Reminder: The Arc of Howard County’s Administrative offices, Community Integration Services-Day Support & Supportive Retirement, and The Arc Transportation Services will be closed
Monday, September 2nd for Labor Day!
If you are scheduled to work on September 2nd, please contact your employment specialist.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

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Applications for Partners in Policymaking Now Open

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July 4th Closing Information

To all Arc Families – a friendly reminder that The Arc of Howard County will be closed on July 4th, 2019.
The Arc of Howard County’s Administrative offices, Community Integration Services-Day Support & Supportive Retirement, and The Arc Transportation Services will be closed Thursday, July 4th, 2019. If you are scheduled to work on July 4th, please contact your employment specialist.

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A Year of Celebration: Arc Highlights

 

Arc_HowardCo_Color_Pos_JPG

Interested in learning more about The Arc?

Check out our 2017 Highlights!

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20th Annual Chocolate Ball photos

Missed the Chocolate Ball? Check out all the photos here.

Carol and crew

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ABLE Bill Signed into Law

         Maryland Department of Disabilities Logo

Check out the most recent news from the Maryland Department of Disabilities!

 

Maryland ABLE Bill Signed Into Law

Group photo of ABLE bill signing with Goverenor Hogan
ANNAPOLIS, MD- Governor Hogan signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act into law on April 12, 2016.  After months of bipartisan support, Governor Hogan ensured those with disabilities in Maryland have the opportunity to save money for the future without negatively impacting needed federal means tested benefits.  Implementation of this federal law will give many people who acquired disabilities prior to the age of 26 the option to open tax-exempt bank accounts with the funds reserved for future disability-related expenses.
Following the passage of federal legislation in 2014, the Maryland Department of Disabilities under the leadership of Deputy Secretary William Frank led the task force to draft suggested implementation of ABLE in Maryland. Implementation recommendations were completed in December of 2015 and submitted for consideration by the Maryland General Assembly.  The legislation was introduced as House Bill 431 and Senate Bill 355.  Throughout the legislative session, Governor Hogan continued to lend his support and ensured the state supplemental budget included needed start up costs for establishing the program.
State implementation requires the College Savings Plans of Maryland Board to establish the Maryland ABLE program helping promote financial savings to support individuals with disabilities in “maintaining health, independence, and quality of life.”  The legislation renames the College Savings Plans of Maryland Board to the Maryland 529 Board and requires them to work in consultation with the Maryland Department of Disabilities.  Per the legislation, ABLE should be fully implemented in Maryland by October of 2017.
“Governor Hogan continues to support fiscal responsibility and financial wellness for all Marylanders” noted Secretary Beatty at the bill signing.  “By supporting the establishment of a robust and comprehensive ABLE program in Maryland, we ensure our state’s economic health extends to all our residents including those with disabilities and their families.”
Prepared by:
Carrie McGraw, PIO
The Maryland Department of DisabilitiesChanging Maryland for the better logo
2127 East Redwood Street, Suite 1300
Baltimore, MD 21202
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Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council Child Care Videos

— News You Can Use
Inclusive Child Care Videos
Now available! 
We are excited to announce that two new videos are now available as a part of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council’s ongoing efforts to increase access to child care for children with disabilities.
Produced by Eddyline Media with funding from the Maryland DD Council, the videos tell the stories of Jayla, Brendan, and Shaun, their families, and the three respective child care providers who use inclusive practices for children with and without disabilities to learn and play together.
The videos address the challenges and benefits of including children with disabilities in child care, and are a new resource available to child care providers, families, trainers, and others. They will be disseminated widely and will be a part of the newly developed and state-mandated training on the ADA & Inclusive Practices that all Maryland child care providers will receive. Ultimately, these videos, along with other efforts and initiatives, will help improve the quality of child care programs and build capacity to support children with disabilities.
Find the links to the two videos below. One features Jayla and the second features Brendan and Shaun. By creating learning environments that welcome all children, the three providers model inclusive practices that can be emulated by others while also sharing stories of success.
Enjoy and share these educational videos!
Side by Side: 
Providing child care for children with disabilities alongside typically-developing peers
From left to top and bottom right:
Jayla, Shaun (reaching for the ball) and Brendan
Special thanks to the children, their families and the providers that made these videos possible.
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Additional child care resources:
The online training module, Supporting Children with Developmental Disabilities in Child Care Programs*, is a comprehensive online training developed for child care providers, families & others interested in high, quality inclusive child care. Developed  with funding from the Maryland DD Council, it is offered in English and Spanish .  The training is available nationwide from the Maryland Family Network and Child Care Aware of America.
* Child care providers who successfully complete this training will earn 0.3 continuing education credits. Maryland child care providers will also earn 3 Core of Knowledge hours.
Check out Maryland EXCELS, Maryland’s quality rating and improvement system, for standards related to inclusive practices and resources for providers and families.

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council
217 E. Redwood St., Suite 1300, Baltimore, MD 21202
 info@md-council.org | md-council.org | 1.800.305.6441 | MD Relay: 711
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Cindy Parr Attended NLIDD Training

Cindy Parr, Executive Director of The Arc of Howard County recently completed The National Leadership Institute on Developmental Disabilities at The University of Delaware. Cindy was one of 30 participants from all over the country who attended the week long training.

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