We Need Your Feedback!
The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration's (DDA) application to renew its Community Pathways waiver has been approved by the federal government. This waiver governs the great majority of services funded by DDA. The newly-approved application makes a number of changes to the prior waiver. DDA wants to hear your thoughts, concerns and suggestions regarding these changes and how they affect you and your family.
Information on the waiver renewal can be found by clicking this link.
You can voice your comments at the Public Feedback sessions to be held on October 22, 2014 at The Comfort Inn Hotel & Conference Center, 4500 Crain Highway, Bowie, MD 20716. The session for families, guardians, and friends will begin at 5:30 PM. The session for self-advocates will begin at 6:45 PM. Please keep your presentation to three minutes or less. Feel free to contact Mac Ramsey at (301) 925-7050 x234 if you have questions or need clarification.
Enhanced Outreach at The Arc
Melonee Clark and Carmelita Ativiado
The most important service that a chapter of The Arc can provide is to offer information, resources, and direction for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Over the past two months, we at The Arc have been taking a long look at how we can improve our efforts in this area, and we've come up with an exciting new initiative.
Under the guidance of Division Director Jessica Neely, a new outreach team has been formed. The team consists of Carmelita Ataviado and Melonee Clark, two Arc veterans who have years of experience supporting individuals and families searching for services, information, and supports.
Carmelita will be guiding individuals and families as they apply for DDA-funded services at The Arc. Her goal will be to assure that applying and entering services at The Arc is a successful and supportive endeavor.
Melonee will concentrate on providing broader information and referral services to assure that individuals and families are linked to services throughout Prince George's County. She will also be coordinating family information sessions and support groups.
"We are super excited about this initiative and are confident that individuals and families will find a warm welcome here at The Arc," says Jessica Neely.
Carmelita can be reached by email at email@example.com, or by phone at (301) 925-7050 x306.
Melonee can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (301) 925-7050 x307.
Attention Families of Transitioning Youth!
Mark your calendars for two important events: On Thursday, November 6th, from 7-9 PM, representatives from The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), Prince George's County Public School System, The Arc Prince George's County, and The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) will host the county's annual Transitioning Youth Fair at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden. Representatives from Provider Agencies will be on hand for individual consultations. Click here to read more.
On November 15th The Governor's Interagency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities will present "Paving the Way: Maryland Transitioning Youth Conference." Topics include employment, postsecondary education, adult services linkages and more. For more information, click here. Or contact Anne Blackfield at email@example.com
Fair Wages Work Group Established
The Arc Maryland has established a work group to study the potential discontinuance of Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act and its implications. Section 14 (c) allows employers to pay individuals less than minimum wage if they have a physical or mental disability that impairs their productive capacity.
Some advocates for people with disabilities believe that the special minimum wage provisions are necessary because they provide employment opportunities for people who would otherwise not be hired due to their reduced production capacities. On the other side of the issue, a growing number of national advocacy organizations have concerns about the appropriateness of paying these workers less than minimum wage. They are calling for the phase-out of the 14 (c) program.
Bea Rodgers is co-chairing this work group and Mac Ramsey is a member. The end of the 14 (c) program is a very complicated issue that could have both good and bad ramifications. The work group will be polling current workers (and their families) who utilize the 14 (c) program to assess their views on this issue. The findings of the work group will be presented to The Arc Maryland Board in December. If you have an interest in this issue, contact Mac at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the full September Arc Notes.