Congratulations to the 2021 Celebration of Excellence Award Winners!

Image shows the winners of the 2021 Celebration of Excellence Award

2021 Celebration of Excellence and 60th Year Celebration

The Arc of Howard County’s 2021 Celebration of Excellence was held virtually on May 12, 2021. Congratulations to all of our award winners for making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities!

  • Self-Advocate of the Year: Jeffrey Jones, Carlotta Martin, and Janice Martin
  • Excellence in Employment: Robert Walker, Natalie Dohner, and Vytex Windows
  • Excellence in Professional Services: ALFA Specialty Pharmacy
  • Excellence in Community: FEED HOWARD COUNTY
  • Excellence in Public Service: Senator Clarence Lam and Delegate Eric Ebersole
  • Volunteer of the Year: Matt Hart and Sarah Wheedleton
  • The Amanda & Jill Dean Direct Support Professional Award: Annie Caldwell
  • President’s Award: Richard Dean
  • Employee of the Year: All of Arc of Howard County DSPs
  • COVID-19 Heroes of the Year: Deborah Wagner and Naomi Lyvers

Virtual Learning Campus: Partnership Between Humanim and The Arc of Howard County

Virtual Learning Campus-Partnership Between Humanim and The Arc of Howard County

Today we spotlight the Virtual Learning Campus – a program partnership between

Humanim and The Arc of Howard County focused on providing meaningful learning opportunities, engaging experiences, and social supports on a virtual platform for I/DD community members who are isolated at home.
Participants are given a safe outlet for self expression, as well as a variety of learning opportunities including classes, creative workshops, social events, and more. Past classes have included virtual cooking classes with City Seeds, Music Therapy, Movies, Games, Yoga, Dance Parties, DIY crafts with AR Workshop Annapolis, and virtual animal encounters with the Maryland Zoo.
Through this partnership, Humanim and The Arc have been able to increase the scope of services to meet the diverse interests and needs of individuals isolated at home, while creating greater access to virtual learning opportunities for the I/DD community.
The Virtual Learning Campus is available to all Humanim and Arc of Howard County clients.
Through this partnership, Humanim and The Arc have been able to increase the scope of services to meet the diverse interests and needs of individuals isolated at home, while creating greater access to virtual learning opportunities for the I/DD community. The Virtual Learning Campus is available to all Humanim and Arc of Howard County clients. View Virtual Learning Campus class calendar on the Humanim website.

I Can Do The Work Video Premiere #ICanDoTheWork #NDEAM

Project SEARCH of Howard County premiered the video, “I Can Do The Work” in October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month. On October 23, 2019, the video was shown to an audience of honored guests, business leaders, and Project Search graduates and their families. The video, created using a grant from Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council and produced by Pam Long Photography, featured several Project SEARCH graduates at their job sites, including Howard County Government Central Fleet and Brookfield Christian School. You can watch the video on YouTube.

Project SEARCH of Howard County is a one-year internship for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and is in its 6th year in Howard County. All Project SEARCH of Howard County interns complete three, ten-week internships within different Howard County Government departments and now also within the Howard County Public School System. 
Natalie Dohner, Project SEARCH of Howard County Manager, asks Caroline (featured in the video) about her experience as a Project SEARCH of Howard County Class of 2018 Graduate.
A total of 60 interns have completed the Project SEARCH of Howard program since 2015. The employment rate after completing Project SEARCH is 65%. Project SEARCH Interns have been hired by several local businesses, including within the Howard County Government, Howard County Public School System, Verbal Beginnings, Thrive Center, PetSmart, Play N’ Learn, Einstein Bagels, Wegmans, Columbia Association, and more.

Natalie Dohner, Project SEARCH of Howard County Manager, asks Jim (featured in the video) about his experience as a Project SEARCH of Howard County Class of 2018 Graduate.

Project SEARCH Howard, which runs from September through June, helps interns work towards competitive employment. The interns are totally immersed in workplace settings, to facilitate the teaching and learning process through acquisition of job-related and marketable skills. Project Search of Howard County is a partnership between The Arc of Howard CountyHoward County GovernmentHoward County Public School SystemHoward County Autism Society, and Maryland DORS.


Community of Practice for Supporting Families Webinar Series

Maryland Department of Health logo

Join the Maryland Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Maryland Community of Practice for Supporting Families for its Supporting Families Webinar Series on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at noon.

This webinar series is facilitated by Mary Anne Kane-Breschi, both the parent of a young woman with multiple disabilities and the Director of Family Supports for the DDA. Utilizing the principles and tools of Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) framework, Mary Anne, along with special guests and subject matter experts:

  • Mel Smith, Self-Advocate
  • Tracy Wright, People On The Go
  • Babette Smith, Parent and Owner of Intentional Support, LCC, and Support Broker
  • Gail Godwin, Executive Director of Shared Support Maryland, Inc.
  • Thelma Green, Project Action!
  • Samantha Davis
  • Joan Rumenap, Accessible Resources for Independence (ARI)
  • Amanda Frey

Families and individuals with disabilities will learn about person centered planning, what it is, its purpose, and their role in its development.

Click here to register.


National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) Celebration

Maryland Department of Health logo

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). 2020 marks the 75th observance of NDEAM, as well as the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This year’s NDEAM theme is: Increasing Access and Opportunity.

This year’s celebration will take place on: Friday, October 9, 2020, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Click here to register for this virtual event.


Coronavirus: Information & Updates October 1, 2020


Community of Practice for Supporting Families Webinar Series

Maryland Department of Health logo

Join the Maryland Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Maryland Community of Practice for Supporting Families for its Supporting Families Webinar Series on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, at noon.

This webinar series is facilitated by Mary Anne Kane-Breschi, both the parent of a young woman with multiple disabilities and the Director of Family Supports for the DDA. Utilizing the principles and tools of Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) framework, Mary Anne, along with special guests and subject matter experts will address different topics and areas of concern, such as Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) on September 30 and Person Centered Planning Training on October 14. The topic for the October 28 webinar will be announced shortly.

Click here to register.


Community of Practice for Supporting Families Webinar Series

Maryland Department of Health logo

Join the Maryland Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Maryland Community of Practice for Supporting Families for its Supporting Families Webinar Series on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, at noon.

Click here to register.


Community of Practice for Supporting Families Webinar Series

Maryland Department of Health logo

Please join the Maryland Department of Health Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Maryland Community of Practice for Supporting Families for its Supporting Families Webinar Series on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, at noon. The topic is “Reopening: Things to Consider.”

Click here to register.

This webinar is facilitated by Mary Anne Kane Breschi, Parent and DDA’s Director of Family Supports. Guests will include:

  • Bernard Simons, DDA, Deputy Secretary
  • Nicholas Burton, DDA, Central Regional Director
  • Shawn Kros, CEO, The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
  • Kimberly Marchman, Parent

The next webinar in this series is: Wednesday, September 2, 2020, at noon.


State Farm Agent Alexander Brown Donates 150 Water Bottles

Alexander and Brandi Brown of Alexander Brown-State Farm Agent in Columbia Donate 150 Water Bottles

Today’s Act of #COVID19Kindness shout out goes to Alexander and Brandi Brown of Alexander Brown – State Farm Agent in Columbia for donating 150 water bottles for our comfort bag program! Thank you Alexander and Brandi for supporting The Arc of Howard County!