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    Developmental Disabilities Admin. hailed as national leader for work effort
    Univ. of Mass. praises program as top performer in employment of disabled
    Baltimore, MD (October 13, 2016) – The University of Massachusetts Boston has recognized the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (Developmental Disabilities) top marks as the national leader in employment outcomes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).   
    Representatives from the institute visited Developmental Disabilities on Friday. The Developmental Disabilities received this recognition from the university’s Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) on August 22, 2016. “The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration is excited to receive such a prestigious rating,” said Developmental Disabilities Deputy Secretary Bernard Simons. “It validates our focuses on self-determination and employment.”
    “Researchers from the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston conducted an analysis to describe the relationship between state employment system characteristics and employment outcomes from individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Using data representing state I/DD agencies, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, and state public education systems researchers created a composite indicator to represent overall State Employment System Performance rakings. Maryland had the highest overall score in this analysis. Researchers are currently doing case study research in Maryland to better understand the system’s strategies and challenges, and levels of collaboration across the state,” said Allison Cohen Hall, project director with the ICI.
    During the case study, ICI staff will identify the policies and practices that have aided Maryland in being a high performing model across the Maryland State Department of Education divisions of Special Education and Early Intervention, and Rehabilitation Services.
    Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities Administration provides a system of services to support people with developmental disabilities to live full lives in the community. Partners include people with I/DD and their families, providers of support, advocates and other state agencies. Developmental Disabilities is guided by the principle that people with I/DD have the right to direct the support they need to live the lives of their choosing. In 2015, Developmental Disabilities launched an initiative focusing on five areas: Self-DeterminationSelf-AdvocacySupporting FamiliesHousing and Employment First
    For more information about Developmental Disabilities and Employment First, visit us at https://goo.gl/6Nm9MZ.