2021 Combined Federal Campaign: Richard’s Story

Donate to the 2021 Combined Federal Campaign!
Directory Code: 65144

Sixty years ago, in 1961, The Arc of Howard County was founded, established as a grassroots effort by families of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who believed there must be a better way. Sixty years ago, people with IDD were either “hidden away”, marginalized or institutionalized. For people with disabilities, their rights were nonexistent with little thought given to what their personal choice would be.

This is what it was like for one young man born with disabilities, over 60 years ago…Richard Lowry was born June 3, 1951. Feeling that she couldn’t care for her young son with disabilities, shortly after his birth Richard’s mother placed him in the care of Catholic Charities.

At the age of 2, Richard was placed in his first foster care family, but returned to Catholic Charities due to his foster parent’s inability to cope with the responsibility of caring for Richard’s medical “problems.” At the age of 6, Richard was again placed into a foster family, with a loving mother and father and two more children, giving Richard brothers to live and play with. Richard had a rich and full life, until tragedy struck. Richard’s foster Mom became ill and soon passed away. As Richard tells it, his father worked shift work and now felt that he could not “adequately care” for his foster son. It was the year 1960 and Richard was sent away to live at Benedictine School in Ridgely, MD. Being very bright with a love of learning, Richard enjoyed his time at school. Even though living at Benedictine meant being away from his foster family and sleeping in an open area with over 30 other young men, Richard states that he, “was very happy there and wanted to stay”. Unfortunately, after living at school for several years, Richard began having seizures and some behavioral issues and the school felt they could no longer keep him there. It was in the spring of 1966 that Richard saw his birth mother for the first time, in court, the day she signed the papers to commit him to Rosewood Asylum; he was only 14 years old.

Rosewood was established in 1888 as the Asylum and Training School for the Feeble-Minded. The original idea for Rosewood is that it would be a training center to “care for and educate all idiotic, imbecile and feeble-minded persons,” who would attend to learn a skill and leave the program at age 17. By 1961, the facility was renamed the Rosewood State Hospital and the people who were sent to Rosewood were sent without their consent and were placed there for life. Also by this time any training was
little or non-existent and the facility served as little more than a “warehouse” for people with disabilities. There were many rumors of abuse and neglect. Richard did not want to talk much about his time at Rosewood. He did say that he witnessed abuse and did not
like it there. Richard was one of the first people released in the year 1984, and the facility was permanently closed in June of 2009.

Richard began receiving services from The Arc of Howard County at the age of 32. Richard loved the freedom of making his own choices. Richard went from “eating a hamburger everyday” at Rosewood, to learning to choose and cook his own meals. He found a full-time job, he attended events in the community with friends and was one of the first people with a disability in Howard County to co-purchase his own home with
his roommate. Richard has received many awards for his advocacy to advance the rights of people with disabilities and currently serves on the Board of The Arc of Howard County.

Today at age 69, Richard receives residential supports from The Arc of Howard County and lives in the community with roommates and Arc staff, enjoying all that life has to offer. He has achieved a full and meaningful life – this is our mission!
Thank you for your continued support of The Arc of Howard County!

To donate to help Richard and many people like him, visit the Combined Federal Campaign CFC https://cfcgiving.opm.gov/welcome and enter Directory Code: 65144

Donate to the 2021 Combined Federal Campaign!
Directory Code: 65144


Arc of Howard County Updated Covid-19 Information 2/26/2021

The Arc of Howard County Logo

Updated Covid-19 Information

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we are constantly evaluating when we can reopen our Homewood Road facility for Day services. Like all of you, we are encouraged by the lower Covid-19 numbers. We have also worked hard to make information about the importance of the vaccine and the vaccine available to the people we support as well as to all of our staff. However, we cannot re-open our doors until we are able to ensure that the health and safety of our individuals and staff can be maintained. This includes the safety and well being of people in transport, in the community and in the building. Please know we are doing our level best to reopen, and we will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. We will continue to keep you updated and as always, we appreciate your understanding and support.


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.


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!


Community of Practice for Supporting Families Webinar Series

Maryland Department of Health logo

On Wednesday, July 22nd, at noon, the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the MD Community of Practice for Supporting Families will present the webinar: Building Partnerships. The webinar is part of the Supporting Families Webinar Series.

The webinar is facilitated by Mary Anne Kane Breschi, Parent and DDA’s Director of Family Supports. Cindy Kaufman, Sibling and Director of Strategic Operations at SEEC will be her guest. Mary Anne and Cindy will discuss the importance of building strong partnerships between community providers and the families of people they support. When providers and families work together the person they care about and serve is better served and more likely to thrive! Learn about SEEC’s challenge, as well as their innovative solutions, for example, their Parent Think Team to strengthen their partnership with families in an effort to better support the people they serve.

Click here to register.


Community of Practice for Supporting Families Webinar Series

Maryland Department of Health logo

On Wednesday, August 5th, at noon, the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the MD Community of Practice for Supporting Families will present the webinar: Building Partnerships. The webinar is part of the Supporting Families Webinar Series.

Click here to register.


Webinar Series for Families from DDA: Week 5

Maryland Department of Health logo

In an effort to support ALL people with disabilities and their families during COVID-19, the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) is hosting a series of webinars, which started on April 29, 2020. DDA is hosting the Maryland Community of Practice (CoP) for Supporting Families interactive biweekly webinar series every other Wednesday starting at 12 p.m.

Facilitated by Mary Anne Kane-Breschi, both a parent of a young woman with multiple disabilities and the Director of Family Supports for DDA, the webinar series will take place biweekly on Wednesdays:

  • June 24 — 12 p.m.-1 p.m. EST

Click here to REGISTER.

The hourly webinars will utilize the principles and tools of Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) framework and address different topics and areas of concern including:

  • Connecting with Family Members during COVID-19
  • Lessening the Trauma of COVID-19
  • Activities To Do at Home
  • Practicing Social Distancing
  • Virtual Person Centered Planning Meetings
  • Transition
  • Self-Care-Caring for the Caregiver

Families will have the opportunity to share stories, ask questions, and provide feedback on topics for future webinars. Click here to REGISTER.