ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) Governor Larry Hogan today, in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Disabilities, announced the release of the new Maryland State Disabilities Plan, a roadmap for changing the lives of Marylanders with disabilities for the better.
“Our state is committed to ensuring all Marylanders living with disabilities have the knowledge and influence to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others,” said Governor Hogan. “This plan will guide us there, and I want to commend Secretary Beatty and all those involved in preparing this bold and ambitious roadmap.”
The State Disabilities Plan provides for the coordination of those state services and policies that ensure compliance with state and federal civil rights laws, and will provide community-based supports, emergency preparedness, housing, transportation, employment, health care, accessible technology, education, and family support to Marylanders with disabilities. The plan also provides a framework for delivering, monitoring, and striving to improve these services. Progress is measured annually by the Maryland Department of Disabilities.
“The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the lives of Marylanders with disabilities,” said Secretary Carol A. Beatty of the Maryland Department of Disabilities. “This plan builds on lessons learned and will improve and enhance our state’s service delivery systems.”
The State Disabilities Plan is developed quadrennially by the Interagency Disabilities Board, which is composed of cabinet secretaries of key state agencies and is chaired by the Secretary of Disabilities. The board is charged with producing recommendations, assessing funding and service needs for individuals with disabilities, identifying performance measures, and working with the Secretary of Disabilities to create a seamless, effective, and coordinated delivery system.
The plan has five guiding principles: self-direction, financial well-being, accessible communication, maximizing resources, and health and wellness. The health and wellness guiding principle was added as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.