United for Community: Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature - Hearing and Speech Agency

United for Community: Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Coalition is made up of five organizations who all work for the rights of the developmentally disabled.  These organizations are:

  • People on the Go of Maryland is a statewide self-advocacy organization made up of people with intellectual and development challenges.
  • The ARC Maryland is a statewide non-profit organization that works to create a world where children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have and enjoy equal rights and opportunities.
  • The Maryland Association of Community Services is made up of more than 100 DDA-licensed agencies that provide community supports to people across the state.
  • Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council is a statewide public policy and advocacy organization that works to advance the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life.
  • Disability Rights Maryland is the federally-designated Protection and Advocacy agency for Maryland, mandated to advance the civil rights of people with disabilities.

This coalition hosts an annual Advocacy Day in Annapolis and this year, more than 700 Marylanders attended.  It seemed to me that this blog was the perfect place for me to share the information that I received and to share it with our own HASA community.  

Legislation in support of children with disabilities

  • HB456| SB953: Family Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers - Dispute Resolution Process - Regulations
  • This bill helps establish a uniform and timely dispute resolution process that addresses the needs of children with disabilities and their families.
  • HB425 | SB 651: Public Schools - Suspensions and Expulsions
  • This bill prohibits suspensions and expulsions from pre-kindergarten and severely limits suspension or expulsion of students in kindergarten, first, or second grade.
  • HB331 | SB786: Education - Behavior Intervention Plans - Physical Restraint and Seclusion
  • This bill limits the use of restraint and seclusion in all public and nonpublic schools.
  • HB174 | SB770: Education - Children with Disabilities - IEP Process - Parental Consent
  • This bill requires schools to get written parental consent for certain changes to a student's IEP.
  • HB971 | SB872: James W. Hubbard Inclusive Higher Education Grant Program
  • This bill requires the development of a competitive grant for schools to implement an inclusive higher education program for students with intellectual developmental disabilities in 2-year and/or 4-year colleges.
  • HB1061: Taskforce to Study School Emergency and Evacuation Plans
  • This bill requires MSDE to determine best practices for students, staff, and visitors with disabilities during school emergencies and evacuations.
  • HB984 | SB475: Developmental Disabilities Administration - Crisis Resolution Funding
  • This bill would ensure annual funding to 110 more children and adults in the Developmental Disabilities Administration's (DDA) waiting list. 

Department of Education FY 18 Budget and its Impact on Children with Disabilities

  • $2.2 million increase in funding for the Autism Waiver.  There are more than 10,000 students in Maryland identified as having autism, more than 5,000 of them are on the Autism Waiver registry waiting for services. The Autism Waiver currently services 1,000 children. This will increase that number to 1,100.
  • $10.4 million for the Maryland Infant & Toddlers Program - the same funding level as FY 2017. The Maryland Infants & Toddlers Program supports more than 17,000 children and their families each year. Early intervention services play a critical role in a child's development.
  • $7 million for the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program. 
  • $7.9 million for public prekindergarten education - a $3.7 million increase from FY2017
  • $1 million increase in state funding for the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) in order to decrease the waitlist for services by more than 600.
  • $2.7 million increase in state funding for the Child Care Subsidy program.

Thank you to the Developmental Disabilities Coalition for putting together so much information that is incredibly useful to so many. After the session, I felt armed and prepared to discuss issues of tremendous importance in the disabilities community.  I'm already looking forward to next year's event.

Hearing and Speech AgencyHarry and Jeanette Weinberg Building 5900 Metro Drive Baltimore, MD 21215 410.318.6780