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Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council Awards 3 Grants for Cultural Brokers in Maryland

Contacts: Chris Rogers crogers@md-council.org Denise Stokes dstokes@thearcofpgc.org

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council Awards 3 Grants for Cultural Brokers in Maryland

(Largo, MD) October 23, 2023 ~ The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council is awarding The Arc Prince George’s County 1 of 3 community organizations Cultural Brokers in Maryland grants.

The Cultural Brokers in Maryland grants will be used to train and empower cultural brokers within communities that have less access to information and resources compared to others. They will work to increase access and decrease barriers for people with developmental disabilities and their families around Maryland.

“Maryland is one of the most diverse states in the country,” said Rachel London, Executive Director of the Council. “We want all Marylanders with developmental disabilities and their families to have the same resources, opportunities, and support to advocate for themselves and live the lives they want. The Cultural Brokers in Maryland grants help make that happen.”

The 3 organizations that the Council funded are listed below. The Arc Prince George’s County will provide resources to 150 people with developmental disabilities and their families in Spanish-speaking communities across the county. The Arc Prince George’s County plans to recruit and train 5 cultural brokers, and provide resources for them to share within the community. They will also work with community organizations to assess and adjust their work to reflect the needs of the community. They will also implement a training for their staff on how to best support and be responsive to the Spanish-speaking community.

“In the spirit of community, this grant will empower us to change 150 lives and touch countless more,” said Melonee Clark, Division Director of Family, Education and Community Engagement at The Arc Prince George’s County. “We will support Spanish-speaking people with intellectual

and developmental disabilities and their families by providing equity, understand, and representation.” The Ethiopian and Eritrean Special Needs Community (EESNC) will recruit 8 cultural brokers who will lead activities in [LANGUAGE]. They will provide resources and information to people with developmental disabilities and their families within the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities. They will serve 20 people with developmental disabilities and 45 caregivers within these communities. They also plan to train 6 organizations in their community about inclusion of people with developmental disabilities. EESNC is led by Azeb Adere, a member of this community and a mother of a son with developmental disabilities. Doreen Shing, in partnership with the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center, will develop and lead a community-based support system for people with developmental disabilities in the Burmese immigrant communities in Maryland. This support system will be led by 5 cultural brokers who will support 80 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in [LANGUAGE]. This project is led by Doreen Shing, a member of this community and a person with developmental disabilities.

More information about the Council’s Cultural Brokers in Maryland project is available at www.md-council.org.

About The Arc: Since its creation in 1952, The Arc has led the county in establishing special education programs and developing opportunities for advancement and inclusion in the community. The Arc Prince George’s County provides a lifetime of support, understanding, and opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.