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National Federation of the Blind logo and tagline live the life you wantMaryland Department of Disabilities Logo

Virtual Meeting Platforms continue to be a fixture in work, school, and even personal life. The increased demand has pushed providers to add features and improve accessibility. Join the National Federation of the Blind’s Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Accessibility on May 30, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to learn about the latest developments in online meeting platforms. Some platforms that will be covered are:

  • Zoom
  • WebEx
  • Microsoft teams

Register today for the Virtual Meeting Platform boutique, May 30, 2023, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. eastern.

Image Center Logo

The IMAGE Center of Maryland


Disaster Preparedness Response and Recovery

Disaster Preparedness

This session will provide a comprehensive review of the disaster preparedness /response/recovery activities of the Maryland Department of Disabilities. The discussion will include emerging challenges in how disasters impact people with disabilities. 

Tuesday, June 13 · 1 – 3pm EDT on Zoom


Traffic Stop Practice Sessions for Drivers and Passengers

EVERYONE feels anxiety when they see that police car light up behind them and may worry about what will happen next.

Police car pulling over a black sedan

View the 1-hour webinar and then practice being pulled over by law enforcement in  Anne Arundel County. This program is offered to:

  • Licensed drivers with a developmental disability
  • Drivers with a learner’s permit with a developmental disability
  • Drivers with a passenger with a developmental disability that might be anxious about traffic stops

Participants will receive:
• A printed copy of “PFA Tips: What to Do During a Traffic Stop
• An envelope which can be used to hold the person’s registration card, insurance card, disclosure card, and a copy of the PFA Tips article with tips about autism for the officer on the back side
• A laminated card (with clips) to attach to the driver’s visor with the top five instructions of what the driver needs to remember to do during the traffic stop

• An Autism or Intellectual Disability disclosure card

By Stephen Polacek

Over the course of my three years here at the IT Accessibility Initiative, I’m confident in saying we’re making headway in making Maryland more accessible to those with disabilities.  This State Scoop article explains our approach to this goal.  Here are some of the highlights of the past year.


We’ve continued our partnership with DGS, training procurement officers throughout the state in what the Non-Visual Access Clause (NVA) and what digital accessibility means, what standards we’re using in Maryland to determine that, and what can be done when IT solutions aren’t compliant.  We’re also developing more resources for different situations and for helping departments and vendors create remediation plans to achieve compliance within the time limit of the NVA. 


Our regular monthly webinars are still drawing a broad representation of attendees, on average, providing training to 30-40 participants at a seminar.  We’ve begun expanding our outreach through our monthly newsletter and announcements, and have developed a partnership with the EEO office to help raise awareness of digital accessibility and get our resources into the hands of those who need them.  Individual training requests have risen, including a series of content creation and website accessibility sessions for two state agency communication teams.  These four part series should empower agencies to create and remediate their content for accessibility independently.


This past year, one of our major achievements was the adoption of mapping accessibility guidelines by the DoIT GIS Office and its partners throughout the state.  With this, the state departments using the various mapping tools such as ESRI will have an easier time providing geographical information in an accessible manner without having to reinvent the wheel.


For the future, we’re looking to solidify the NVA evaluation process in procurement and provide more on-demand training especially to communications staff.  This on-demand training will be in the form of classes available on the statewide training platform, meaning state employees have it on hand as soon as they need it or can go back for a refresher without needing to schedule.  Of course, we’ll still be available to provide relevant guidance and training for all.


While I can’t yet claim Maryland state government is fully accessible, the goal of incorporating accessibility into our processes is more than attainable. From procurement, to development, to remediation, we’ll continue working towards greater accessibility, and hopefully, someday soon, accessibility will be a normal part of our daily routines.

Would you like to learn or teach JAWS, VoiceOver, TalkBack, or Braille? Students and volunteer trainers are welcome to register at the DC Public Library Center for Accessibility for summer assistive technology (AT) classes. 

The Center for Accessibility at DC Public Library sponsors AT classes both remotely and in-person. The in-person classes are held on the 2nd floor, Room 205 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and include Braille, JAWS for Windows, VoiceOver for iPhone, and a TalkBack for Android drop-in clinic. Remote AT training is held by phone or Zoom. Remote Volunteer Trainers and students are both needed. 

The Summer Session starts with JAWS class on Wednesday, May 31st . The iPhone class will start on Thursday June 8th. The Android and Braille classes will start on Friday and Saturday June 2nd and 3rd. The classes will go through Saturday, Aug 5th.

Please call 202-727-1335 or email james.timony@dc.gov to register.


The schedule for in-person classes is:   

Wednesdays starting May 31

JAWS Keyboarding: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  

For those wanting practice with the screenreader software who aren’t yet comfortable using a standard keyboard, or key combinations, without sight.    

JAWS Intro: 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.   

Learn to use word processing software, internet browsers, email, and book downloading with JAWS for Windows.    

JAWS Intermediate: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

More advanced students get as close to one-on-one help as possible with projects.


Thursdays starting June 8th     

iOS VoiceOver Beginning level Drop-In Clinic:  12 to 1 p.m.

This class is for total beginners. We will practice the gestures and other basic skills.

VoiceOver Drop-In Intro: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. 

A drop-in for people with a little bit of experience with VoiceOver for iPhone.    

VoiceOver Intermediate: 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.  

More advanced students get as close to one-on-one help as possible with projects. 



Android Talkback drop-in clinic: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This is a drop-in clinic. Bring your Android device and questions and we will try to find an answer. 



Braille Intro: 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. 

Learn the Braille alphabet and practice using slate, stylus, and Perkins Braillers. 

We are located in room 205 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at 901 G Street NW, Washington DC 20001
Classes are held in Computer Lab 205-J

The Community and Professional Development Training Program offered by the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute is committed to providing evidence-based training across a broad spectrum of topics to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families. MCDD’s 2023 Summer Learning Series will run from June through July. The series consist of one-hour to three-hour workshops with interdisciplinary topics focused on working with individuals with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities and their families.

MCDD 2023 Summer Learning Series Workshops

Click on the associated link to register for any workshop that you are interested in attending. All workshops are virtual via Zoom.

Join us for a Virtual Tour of Maryland’s Accessible Telecommunications and Assistive Technology Programs | Tuesday, June 13, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

How Does the Body Learn to Move? Exploring Motor Learning in Typical Development and After Brain Injury | Thursday, June 15, 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Substance Use, the Brain and Disability—Working through the Emotional Brain of Adolescents and the Vulnerable Population | Wednesday, June 21, 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Addressing Learner Variability through Inclusive Instructional Design | Thursday, June 22, 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Working with Diverse Population: Cross-Cultural Assessment and Treatment Considerations | Tuesday, June 27, 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Thinking about Meaningful Inclusion and Belonging in Your Work and Life Spaces? Join us to Learn More | Thursday, June 29, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Discipline of Students with Disabilities and Updated Federal Guidance on School Discipline | Tuesday, July 11, 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Engaging Communities in Research Implementation and Dissemination: Challenges and Opportunities | Thursday, July 20,3:00 to 4:00 p.m.


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