2019 Public Policy Platform
“The Arc Maryland works to create a world where children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have and enjoy equal rights and opportunities.”
I. FUNDING FOR COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
Protect current funding and secure additional funds to ensure a stable, quality system of Community Programs funded by the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) that supports all individuals, regardless of age and severity of disability. Supports shall be provided to assist individuals live fulfilling and respectful lives in their community.
Ensure funds to provide an annual cost of living increase for DDA community programs and direct support professionals. This is important to reverse the declining wage factor in the provider rates which contributes to the declining availability of Direct Support Professionals in Maryland.
II. WAITING LIST
While waiting list numbers are available, DDA registry numbers are neither available nor transparent but should be for accountability. Obtain accurate numbers of people in each category of the waiting list and registry and advocate for additional waiver slots and services for people in need.
In 2017, the Maryland state approved budget included funding for two new capped waivers to support a total of 400 children and 400 adults from the DDA Waiting List. DDA did not begin to fill slots initially. DDA needed to create waiver definitions of services available under each waiver, and much of the money went unspent with a suspected reversion of funding for these new services back to the General Fund.
In 2018, the Maryland state approved budget again contained funding for the two new waivers (annualized) however there continue to be several slots unfilled, especially in the Family Supports Waiver .
Funding was included in the Maryland State Department of Education budget to add 100 more children through the Autism Waiver program in the 2017 and 2018 sessions. Even with these additional resources, the Autism Waiver Registry continues to grow and people on the registry who are gaining access to services are those who were on the Registry as of 2010-2011.
III. TRANSITIONING YOUTH
Ensure families are involved in the transition process and have access to reliable information on the transition process.
Fully fund all Transitioning Youth (TY) who exit the school system at age 21 so they have the supports they need to participate in their community, jobs, and life-long learning and/or higher education to ensure meaningful adult life and opportunities.
Ensure TYs are properly counted and accounted for to ensure that TYs who want day supports have timely and appropriate access to supports from a provider, and with a service or services, of choice.
Ensure TYs successfully and timely secure day supports of their choice and/or successfully enrollment in post-secondary education.
IV. EDUCATION & CHILDREN’S SERVICES
Ensure students with I/DD have access to inclusive, quality, free and appropriate public education (preschool, primary, secondary, and post-secondary education) and receive appropriate accommodations to participate in all aspects of education life.
Ensure students with I/DD are not disproportionately disciplined, suspended, or expelled and that teachers/school personnel have access to training and other supports to provide and promote fair and equitable treatment of students.
Ensure children with I/DD are included in neighborhood child care, before and after school programs, and camps regardless of the nature or level of their disability.
Increase opportunities for competitive, integrated employment at fair wages for people with Intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Ensure funding is sufficient to provide quality community supports with an “employment first” focus.
VI. AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Increase affordable and accessible housing so people with I/DD can live in the community.
Accessible housing includes physical access, as well as, access to transportation for jobs and social opportunities.
VII. LAW ENFORCEMENT AND JUSTICE
Support police, correctional officer, SRO, and first responder training efforts that reduce stigma, increase safety, and inspire relationships of acceptance and support for all Marylanders.
VIII. CIVIL RIGHTS
Close the remaining state institutions and oppose the expansion of State Residential Centers (SRCs) and new admissions including respite care.
 According to ANCOR, Turnover of DSP workers has increased nationwide to 45% and the need for DSP Workers is expected to double in the next 10 years. (2018)
Download the full Public Policy Goals 2019 Final