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Maryland Announces Disability Plan To Improve Services, Programs For Disabled

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland state agencies will coordinate services and policies that ensure compliance with state and federal civil rights laws and provide community-based supports, emergency preparedness, housing, transportation, employment, health care, accessible technology, education, and family support to Marylanders with disabilities under the new Maryland Disabilities Plan released Wednesday.

The plan, announced by Gov. Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Disabilities, also will provide a framework for delivering, monitoring, and striving to improve these services, according to a department statement. The department will monitor the progress yearly.

The Interagency Disabilities Board, made up of cabinet secretaries from key state agencies, develops the plan every four years. The board must make recommendations, assess funding and service needs for people with disabilities, identify performance measures and work with the Secretary of Disabilities to create a coordinated delivery system.

The plan's five guiding principles are self-direction, financial well-being, accessible communication, maximizing resources, and health and wellness. State officials added the health and wellness principle during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the lives of Marylanders with disabilities," Carol A. Beatty, secretary of the Maryland Department of Disabilities. said in the statement. "This plan builds on lessons learned and will improve and enhance our state's service delivery systems."


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