The Hispanic population in the state of Maryland has been consistently growing over the last two decades as seen in the numbers released by the US Census 2010. This segment of the community is now the second largest minority group in the state.
For example, in 2010, the Maryland Department of Planning reported that 8.8% of students with disabilities, ages 3-21 are from Hispanic origin. Based on their findings, there were around 8,988 Hispanic students with disabilities.
This massive growthcalls for an increased level of awareness, readiness and programs that can address and meet the needs of this population in an effective and competent manner. Furthermore, there is a large number of Latinos with developmental disabilities who are currently lacking the attention and intentional outreach they so desperately require so that they may participate fully in the community, receive supports and services, and have a voice as self-advocates.
The Arc Maryland, with funding from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, produced this outreach toolkit to improve access to services for members of the Hispanic community who have developmental disabilities and their family members by providing information, resources and training to agencies that support people with developmental disabilities.