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HOW MARYLAND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY COUNCIL CELEBRATES COUNCIL-MEMBER MONDAY! (788 hits)


For Immediate Release From MDDC!


March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (#DDAwareness2022). The theme this year is “Worlds Imagined.”

The Council imagines a world where people with developmental disabilities live the lives they want with the support they need. We create change to make this possible, by focusing on three goals:

People with developmental disabilities are leaders and advocates.

People with developmental disabilities and their families are empowered to live the lives they want.

People with developmental disabilities and their families have access to their communities, and services and supports. They are treated with dignity and respect.

Each week during March, we will highlight a member of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council for #CouncilMemberMonday. They share what makes them feel included in the community, and what Marylanders can do better, so people with and without disabilities can live, learn, work and play together.


Meet Damon: https://www.md-council.org/council-member-...

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am funny, witty, caring, and sincere. I am passionate and real – never phony. Being on the Council and advocating is my way of helping my community, people that can’t help themselves in the same way. It helps me fight the good fight of perseverance.

How do you feel that your time on the Council has helped people in the community come together?

I was the chair of the employment work team. Our work on the Council has helped people get employed in the community and put money in their pockets, which helped them have meaningful days. We worked to end sheltered workshops, and allowed people with developmental disabilities to get meaningful employment for more than pennies on the dollar. It allowed us the chance to have real economic earning power. I also helped advocate for increasing the minimum wage in Maryland so our Direct Support Professionals and others could earn a living wage.


What barriers do we need to remove to make our communities more inclusive? How can we do that?

We need more social gatherings between “people with challenges and able-bodied people”. Some of us have companions, friends, or girlfriends/boyfriends, but we need more opportunities to be around able-bodied people so we can learn about each other and from each other. This will help us be a part of society, and accepted. We are still not fully accepted. We want to be around able-bodied people. We crave that. We want to feel a part of the overall system of social acceptance.

In my “world imagined”, imagine this: social clubs, where people with and without disabilities can be social together. It needs to be accessible, and should not be like a hospital. We need to have conversations that a lot of people don’t want to have. We need to talk about companionship, loneliness, and accessibility.


What makes your community more accessible to you?
Transportation – I have the ability to pay for my own cab. Not everyone does, and it is hard. Even though I can pay for my own transportation and go where I want to go, it is still hard. At least I don’t have someone telling me where I can go and where I can’t go. I have accessible cabs and I have enough advocacy skills to advocate for myself, and I have enough funds to go where I want.

What is one thing you would like to see change so the community is more inclusive?
The more we can see the humanity in each other, the more our preconceived ideas come off.

The more we can see each other as people, not “subjects”, the more we can get rid of the ideas we believed that may not be true.


Meet Sunny: https://www.md-council.org/council-member-...

Image of Sunny sitting in front of a piano. She is an Asian woman with short black hair, and her head is turned to the right. She is wearing a blue striped shirt and dark pants.

Name: Laura-Sun, “Sunny” Cefarratti

Time on the Council: 4 years

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am co-founder of the Musical Autist. I am an Autistic Advocate. I serve on the Council and the Self-Directed Advocacy Network of Maryland. I am a musician and I sing.

2. How do you feel that your time on the Council has helped people in the community come together?

My time has made a difference in the lives of people with developmental disabilities. I have educated people, I have advocated for disability rights, including accessibility and diversity.

3. What barriers do we need to remove to make our communities more inclusive? How can we do that?

One barrier, as a blind person, is that technology can be a barrier – especially if websites are not accessible and compatible with screen reader software. Another barrier is for an Autistic person – a lot of places are not sensory friendly – like movie theaters have lots of lots and sounds that can bother people.

For technology – website designers need to make their websites more accessible. Use alternative text (alt. text) and picture ID to tell what an image is.

Make quiet spaces available for when an Autistic person has sensory overload – turn down the lights, turn down the sound.

I think Autistic people need to be respected and not considered threats to society [just], because we spin and move our bodies. We can remove that barrier by treating Autistic people as humans, with respect, and not threats to society.

4. What makes your community more accessible to you?

The fact that I have access to technology. I have more independence in participating in virtual meetings. I am more independent sending messages to people if I need to, text, email, or phone.

5. What is one thing you would like to see change so the community is more inclusive?

There needs to be more knowledge about disabilities and less assumptions.

The stigma for developmental disabilities needs to be put aside, biased opinions need to be put aside.

People with disabilities need to have a support network that is patient and compassionate and willing to work with people with disabilities.


********

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new illness spread around the world. It is nicknamed Coronavirus.

The Council and the Maryland Department of Health Partner to Bring you COVID-19 Fact Sheets in Plain Language

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council (Council) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) released seven (7) COVID-19 fact sheets in plain language.

Watch and learn Information for people with developmental disabilities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continu...

Download the fact sheets: https://www.md-council.org/covid-19/

Plain Language COVID-19 Fact Sheets

Testing Fact Sheet

High Risk Health Conditions Fact Sheet

Vaccines Fact Sheet

Vaccinations At Home Fact Sheet

Vaccines For Children Ages 5 to 11 Fact Sheet

Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Fact Sheet

UPDATED Booster Shots Fact Sheet


Download the fact sheets in different languages:

Amharic Fact Sheets

Chinese Fact Sheets

Dari Fact Sheets

French Fact Sheets

Korean Fact Sheets

Pashto Fact Sheets

Russian Fact Sheets

Spanish Fact Sheets

Read and learn more HERE!: https://www.md-council.org/council-member-...

Know Your Rights

The Maryland Department of Disabilities and the Maryland Department of Health issued a memo to hospitals, outlining the minimum policies that must be put into effect, to ensure support persons are able to accompany, visit, and stay with people with disabilities while in the hospital. Thank you to Secretary Beatty and Secretary Neall for their work to ensure this critical support is provided to people with disabilities. To read the full memo, click the link below.

Patients with Disabilities in Hospital Settings: https://www.md-council.org/wp-content/uplo...

Easy to Read FAQs for patients with disabilities in hospital settings: https://www.md-council.org/wp-content/uplo...

How do I know if it is coronavirus, and when should I see a doctor? https://www.ynhhs.org/-/media/images/page-...

Tips to Stay Healthy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7Yl-BesvD...

Toolkit for people with developmental disabilities: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/humandevelopmen...

Read and learn more: https://www.md-council.org/covid-19/

Posted By: agnes levine
Monday, March 14th 2022 at 7:55PM
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