Posted by: servicecoordination | October 25, 2013

Q&A With Dan Keplinger

From The Frederick News Post


Dan Keplinger is a Maryland-based artist who developed cerebral palsy in his infancy and paints using a brush attached to his head. He holds two degrees from Towson University and was the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary “King Gimp.” On Wednesday, he’ll make an appearance at the Weinberg Center for the Arts, where he’ll give a live painting demonstration and participate in a question-and-answer session. In person, he communicates through a translator, and he uses assistive technology to text and email.

The Frederick News-Post caught up with him last week via email.

Have your physical challenges influenced your perspective as an artist? If so, how?

My disability is why I am an artist; it is how I communicate with the world without having a translator. I started painting portraits, because everyone was amazed at how well I could capture emotions. I think this is because being disabled, I needed to learn how to read people from an early age. It is hard to trust people, if you cannot figure them out. In my later work, I started to morph my body and chair together, because most of society sees my disability before me as a person. More importantly, the new work is also about obstacles in my life. I think everyone has obstacles in life and needs to learn how let the small ones go and just overcome the big ones.

How does painting empower you?

Art gives me an outlet to express the emotion I have inside of me. Sometimes there are no words to express how I feel, and if I did, these emotions might be too much for people to handle. If you look at my work throughout the years, one could see the ups and downs in my life.

When did you start painting? How did you discover that it was a passion for you?

I always liked and did art, but in high school at the age of 16, my teacher started to give me the tools to have art say what I wanted it to. My art says what I would be saying with words. It also speaks the feelings that are inside of me. Those feelings would make people close to me scared and worried about me. Maybe I want people to see these feelings so they know everything is not happy in my world. Translating myself onto canvas became my language, something I needed to exist.

Who are your favorite artists and why?

The two artists that I look to are Chuck Close and Philip Guston. I look at Close because of the style he works in. A lot of his work is huge and made up of smaller shapes. … (Y)ou cannot see the whole picture until you are halfway across the room. Just as my pieces, you do not get the impact of my work until you see them from afar. But up close, you can see each mark I make.

I like Phillip Guston’s work, because he developed his iconography to talk about the world around. The symbols might represent him, or something in his life. Just as I have (come) up with symbols to represent objects in my own life.

Which of your paintings are you most proud of and why?

“Self I.” I did this painting in high school. I think it shows both sides of me. … I always say this would be my flag when I take over the world.

Why did you decide to participate in “King Gimp”? How has your life changed since the documentary?

I just did it to break stereotypes of disabilities in films and in life in general. The producers and I really did not know what directions the story would take, but I just kept breaking down barriers. … Although people still stare at me, some people still just see my disabilities and others see the accomplishments that I have done with my life.

How often do you participate in events like the one planned for the Weinberg Center? What do you hope attendees take away?

I do these types of engagements as often as I can. I would like to make a career out of these events but might average seven to nine a year. I see these events as a way to educate the public about the disabled community, but not hitting them over the head with it. I think there are a few different messages from my gig. Most importantly, I would like people to realize that everyone has something to contribute to society. Even though most of these deeds go unnoticed, they do have an impact.

What: King for a Day, a free event, will feature a painting demonstration by Dan Keplinger. He will also answer audience questions. The documentary “King Gimp” will be playing during the event. After the demonstration, the group Service Coordination Inc. will recognize Maryland businesses who support individuals with disabilities.

When: 3 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30

Where: Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick


Posted by: servicecoordination | September 4, 2013

National Disability Employment Awareness Month


Live Art Exhibit by Dan Keplinger, Jr., Silent Auction and Recognition Reception

 Dan Keplinger, Jr.









Dan Keplinger, Jr., as featured in the Academy Award winning documentary, King Gimp.

 Service Coordination, Inc. will host a one-of-a-kind event, King For A Day, on October 30, 2013 at The Weinberg Center in Frederick, MD. This event will feature a live painting demonstration by artist Dan Keplinger, Jr., subject of the Academy Award winning documentary, King Gimp. Following the painting demonstration, Service Coordination will host a welcoming reception that recognizes Maryland employers who support individuals with disabilities, in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Concluding the event will be a special presentation by Dan Keplinger, Jr. about his work as a professional artist with a disability, including a Question & Answer session with audience members. Filmmakers from the University of Maryland Video Press will be filming the day’s activities for an upcoming documentary.












Free Event

October 30, 2013

3 pm- 8:30 pm

Weinberg Center For The Arts

20 W, Patrick St., Frederick, MD 21701

































Regular updates about this event will be posted on the Service Coordination blog, on twitter at and on facebook. For more information, visit Service Coordination online at, or call 301-663-8044.

Posted by: servicecoordination | July 30, 2013

Slice of Life

From The Frederick News Post, 7/30/13

SLICE OF LIFE: Doug Silvern, Service Coordinator


Doug Silvern started his job in 2005 and hasn’t worked a day since.

At least it seems that way at times.

“The things we do for people and the relationships we build, I would volunteer to do this kind of work. It didn’t feel like I was laboring at all,” Silvern said. “The work that we do is just delightful.”

Silvern works at the nonprofit Service Coordination Inc., the largest resource coordination agency in Maryland, serving more than 13,700 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by linking them with government or private programs to improve their lives.

Amy Buhrman, a supervising service coordinator, said Frederick has 20 service coordinators.

She has worked with Silvern for a year and a half, but knew him previously through their past work.

“He’s an amazing person and one of the most positive people I’ve ever met,” Buhrman said. “He has a passion for people and the community.”

Silvern was attracted to the job after his 30-year career as a special education teacher and administrator in Montgomery County Schools because he wanted to help his students into their adulthood, he said.

He has had some of the same clients for all eight of his years at the agency, coming to know them on a deeper level.

“We laugh. We talk. We have a bond. It’s very important,” he said. “Because then the walls come down, they talk. They tell you what their dreams are, what their goals are.”

He beams when he talks about the successes of some clients. Such as the man who moved out of his parents’ home in his 20s and now lives with his fiancee in downtown Frederick while working a full-time job and volunteering in several service organizations.

Recently, Silvern helped a woman who was providing in-home care for both her grown son, Silvern’s client, and her ailing mother. Silvern connected the family with a caregiver for the son, and “you could just see the stress lifting,” he said.

“We get a lot of reward when families are given the gift of support,” he said.

The job has helped him in several ways, Silvern said, including his increased involvement in civic organizations through the connections he makes.

He is active in Frederick Challenger Civitan, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Frederick County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee, Frederick Running Festival and Patty Pollatos Fund.

The groups help him build a connection to the community where he has lived for more than 30 years, but for decades had to commute out of each morning, Silvern said.

“At first, I didn’t really know where I live,” the Middletown resident said. “Now, I love where I live. I just love it.”

And that’s what feeds his drive to give back, he said.

Know of a person who would make a good Slice? If so, please send your suggestions or call us at 301-662-1178 and ask for a city editor.

Follow Danielle E. Gaines on Twitter: @danielleegaines

Posted by: servicecoordination | July 25, 2013

23rd Anniversary of The ADA

(Atlanta, GA – July 9, 2013) – Celebrations of the July 26, 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by President George H. Bush will take place across the nation during the week of July 22-28, 2013.

The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA and ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.

To celebrate this milestone, the Southeast ADA Center, a member of the ADA National Network and a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, has created an ADA Anniversary Tool Kit for use by the public and the media through the ADA Anniversary website ( The Tool Kit contains:

  • background and history on the ADA;
  • information about the Supreme Court’s July 1999 Olmstead Decision prohibiting the unnecessary institutionalization of persons with disabilities;
  • disability statistics; and
  • other resources on the ADA.

“Since 1991, the 10 Regional ADA Centers in the ADA National Network have worked to change the landscape for individuals with disabilities by providing free, confidential and accurate information, resources and training to businesses, employers and state and local governments on their responsibilities under the ADA, “ said Pamela Williamson, Director of the Southeast ADA Center. “We also provide free and confidential answers to questions asked by people with disabilities, their families and other advocates. Recently these have included calls from veterans living in the 8-state Southeast Region, home to the highest number of military bases in the United States.

“Because of the outreach, training and technical assistance the Network has done to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA, people with disabilities now have access to buildings, programs, and opportunities for competitive employment. And their opportunities for full participation in community life are increasing every day.”

The ADA National Network’s 10 Regional ADA Centers receive hundreds of calls on their toll free number: 1-800-949-4232 (voice/tty) that connects callers to the ADA Center serving their region. The ADA National Network is the “go to” resource for information, guidance and training on the ADA and its implementation — call toll free 1-800-949-4232 (voice/tty) or visit their website at

About the ADA National Network

The ADA National Network is the “go to” resource for information, guidance and training on the ADA and its implementation. The Network consists of ten regional centers located throughout the United States that provide services and assistance tailored to meet the needs of local businesses, government and individuals. The ADA National Network is not an enforcement or regulatory agency—but rather a helpful resource. Contact the ADA National Network with questions on the Americans with Disabilities Act or to find a Regional ADA National Network Center near you by calling 1-800-949-4232 (voice/tty). All calls are confidential. Visit the ADA National Network website for links to extensive ADA information and training opportunities (

About the Southeast ADA Center

The Southeast ADA Center is a grant project of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University. The Center answers questions, provides training and materials about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Center serves an eight-state geographic region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. As part of the ADA National Network sponsored by grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the Southeast ADA Center is one of 10 regional centers offering training and technical assistance to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA, including information about the rights of people with disabilities and the responsibilities of businesses as well as state and helpful resource. For more information, visit the Southeast ADA Center website (


Southeast ADA Center
404-541-9001 (voice/tty)

Posted by: servicecoordination | July 17, 2013


August and September are some of the busiest times for summer vacations. If you’re planning a trip, check out these 10 tips to help with a safe and stress-free trip.

  • Speak with your doctors before the trip to see if they have any special advice or concerns.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace if applicable.
  • Bring a list of your doctors, medications and an emergency contact and carry it with you during your trip.
  • Consider using a travel agent that specializes in trips for persons with disabilities.
  • Speak with the hotel manager or rental agent before your trip to make sure the accommodations are accessible for you.
  • Arrange all of your ground transportation ahead of time; especially if you need a wheelchair accessible van during your trip.
  • Research the place you are going and see what you want to do when you get there. The internet, library or a travel agent are good places to start.
  • Create a travel itinerary of where you’re going and when. Share this with your friends and family back home to have during your trip.
  • If you’re traveling by air, be sure to arrive at the airport early.
  • Have fun- You’re on vacation!
Posted by: servicecoordination | March 25, 2013

2013 Service Coordination Self Direction Conferences

OUR COMMUNITY: Together We Are Stronger!

Service Coordination will host our 5th Annual Self Direction Conferences this April and May. These conferences feature presentations by and for self-advocates, interactive workshops, time to meet other self-advocates, lunch and a very special presentation by our keynote speaker, Dan Keplinger, Jr. To register, please email your contact information to one of the addresses below or visit


North Baltimore/Towson Self Direction Conference

Saturday, April 27, 2013, 8:30am—2pm, Oak Crest Village,

8820 Walther Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21234

Contact: Lisa Smith, 410-256-8441,

Allegany/Garrett County Self Direction Conference

Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 10am—2pm, Allegany College of MD,

12401 Willowbrook Road, SE, Cumberland, MD 21502

Contact: Amanda Paul, 301-722-1470,

Washington County Self Direction Conference

Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:30am—1:30pm, Ramada Plaza Hotel,

1718 Underpass Way, Hagerstown, MD 21740

Contact: Sarah Johnson, 301-791-0400,

Howard County Self Direction Conference

Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 10am—2pm, Columbia Meeting House,

5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD 21045

Contact: Bonita Miller-Real, 410-772-8774,

Frederick County Self Direction Conference

Thursday, May 9, 2013, 10am—2pm, Mount St. Mary’s Frederick Campus,

5350 Spectrum Drive, Frederick, MD 21703

Contact: Ann Verbeten, 301-663-8044,

Montgomery County Self Direction Conference

Saturday, May 11, 2013, 10am—2pm, Montgomery County Executive Office Building,

101 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD 20850

Contact: Mike Baisey,

Carroll County Self Direction Conference

Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 10am—2pm, Carroll County Nonprofit Center,

255 Clifton Boulevard, Westminster, MD 21157

Contact: Kari Borgealt, 410-876-0028,

About our keynote speaker, Dan Keplinger, Jr.:

Dan keplinger_1Dan Keplinger was born on January 19th 1973 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was still born; not breathing at all. In error, the Dr’s mistook Dan for dead, and placed him aside. Dan went over a minute with no air. He revived himself, and as aresult of the lack of Oxygen to his brain for such a long time, Dan developed Cerebral Palsy (CP).

At the age of 18 months, Dan enrolled in The Delray School run by United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland. It was at Delray School that Dan began his education and therapies. When he turned 6, Dan enrolled at Ridge School; a Level Five special education school based in Maryland. With the encouragement and support of his mother and family, at age 16 Dan made the leap to a mainstream school called Parkville High. He was completely main-streamed by his sophomore year. Dan graduated from Parkville in 1993 and attended Towson University in the fall. He graduated Towson in May of 1998 with a B.S. in Mass Communications. Dan returned to Towson in the fall of 2000 for a second B.S. in Art. He has since graduated and now holds two degrees. Currently, Dan practices his art and participates actively in speaking engagements across the country. Topics discussed range anywhere from “Accessible Arts” to “Overcoming Physical Challenges to Create Success.

In 1983 Dan became a subject in the documentary “Beginning with Bang,” a film about how six children, from different backgrounds and with disabilities, would be educated. He was later the main subject and writer of The 2000 Oscar winning documentary “King Gimp.” Both films were produced by Susan Hadary and William Whiteford through Video Press, University of Maryland. They are currently distributed to schools and professional training programs as educational material. “King Gimp” is also a featured show on HBO, winner of the Peabody Award and a national Emmy nominee. In 2001 Dan was featured in a Super Bowl commercial for Cingular Wireless to promote self-expression. The commercial was ranked number one in a USA Today survey.

Above the Skyline, by Daniel Keplinger

Keplinger ART

Posted by: servicecoordination | February 6, 2013

How Your United Way Donation Helps Our Communities


Have you ever considered who you may be impacting with your gift to United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM)? When you make an undesignated donation, or direct your gift to a UWCM initiative, you are contributing to work that brings financial stability, good health and self-sufficiency to central Marylanders facing poverty – real people here in our local area.


United Way of Howard County provided an Impact Fund grant to Service Coordination in 2012. This grant helps local residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities, often in times of emergency. To date, the United Way Impact Fund grant has already helped 5 individuals who receive support from Service Coordination. Two individuals received assistance with medical bills, one with dental bills, one with eviction prevention and one with respite care.

Read below to learn about other ways that United Way helps local individuals in our communities.

Through United Way of Central Maryland, Service Coordination and so many others locally not only receive critical services to get them through a crisis, but help with stabilizing and ultimately achieving higher-quality, self-sufficient lives.

Anne Arundel County

Imagine if you were a single mom of five young kids facing a battle with cancer…while being homeless. This was the case for ‘H’, an Anne Arundel County resident. With the help of programs funded by United Way, ‘H’ received transitional housing for her family and help enrolling in a career training program so she could begin the journey to self-sufficiency. Without the support of UWCM donors like you, it’s tough to think about where ‘H’ and her kids would be today.

Baltimore City

The impact of a disability on a person’s quality of life can be far-reaching – particularly, when that person is living in poverty. Wheelchair bound, Baltimore City resident ‘W’ could only buy as many groceries as would fit on his lap. By participating in the UWCM-funded BaltiMarket Virtual Supermarket program, he is able to have groceries delivered to him at a nearby location and no longer worries about getting enough to eat. Even better, ‘W’ said that this program has allowed him to get all of the foods he needs to be a healthy adult.

Carroll County

Being a single parent is challenging enough under the best circumstances. Carroll County single mom ‘S’ has a daughter, ‘M’, who faces several behavioral and mental health challenges. Through UWCM-funded programs, ‘S’ was able to connect with mental health professionals to get ‘M’ tested and establish a treatment and daycare plan. Now ‘S’ can go to work each day, secure with the knowledge that her daughter is receiving the special care that she needs.

Howard County

Most parents will agree that nothing is more important than your child’s safety. ‘A’, a single mom of a three-year-old daughter and five-year-old son with Down syndrome, fled a domestic violence situation and had nowhere for her family to live. With help from UWCM funding, she secured transitional housing, completed nursing assistant training and now has a stable, rewarding job. The future looks bright – she has a plan to move into permanent housing within the next six months.

To support United Way, visit

*All names are abbreviated for confidentiality

Posted by: servicecoordination | December 27, 2012

Helping Hands for the Holidays

Helping Hands for the Holidays
Vanessa Blackner
Senior Service Coordinator
Perry Hall Office

“Choices, Connections, Communities”. These words appear in the mission statement of Service Coordination, Inc. but could as easily describe the Helping Hands for the Holidays campaign, facilitated by the Perry Hall Office of Service Coordination for the past 3 years.

The project was originally started as a way Service Coordination Perry hall could form and strengthen reciprocal connections with a community resource. We chose the Baltimore County Department of Social Services as this agency has benefited many individuals supported by Service Coordination. We chose to collect and donate mittens, hats and other warm goods. We quickly realized that this was a project that all members of the community could participate in. This project offered a real choice for people with and without disabilities and with and without a lot of disposable income to do something very real and meaningful for their community.

The 2012 campaign got off to a slow start when were learned that the Department of Social Services was unable to accept direct donations such as ours. The campaign may not have occurred at all were it not for a phone call from staff at the Gibbons Center, a training facility serving adults with disabilities and a long time supporter of Helping Hands. Center participants were already preparing posters, collection boxes and other materials. With this unexpected boost the 2012 was on in earnest. We chose to support the Assistance Center of Towson Churches, an organization that has provided assistance to persons served by Service Coordination and to others in the surrounding community.

On December 4, 2012 helpers from the Gribbons Center made their way to the Perry Hall office and (using the decorations they made) transformed it into the central collection site. eMerge green house and Arc Dundalk Center (training facilities supporting individuals with disabilities) also set up collection sites at their respective locations. An individual served by the Perry Hall office found that (despite his health issues) he could participate by making a collection box. The Kenilworth Office of Service Coordination joined the campaign. They contacted management of their building and put up a mitten tree in the lobby (encouraging the participation of tenants and patrons of that complex).

Service Coordination staff spread word of this project throughout the community. A donation made by St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Perry Hall. Individual members of the community came forth as well, bringing items to the various collection sites. One woman had some yarn that she had no use for. She passed this along to a Service Coordinator who in turn gave it to an individual he provided services to. This individual transformed the yarn into several beautiful hand-knit blankets that became the center piece of the collection.

On December 18, items were gathered from the various collection sites and delivered to the Assistance Center for Towson Churches. A Service Coordinator picked up items from the eMerge green house. Green house participants excitedly came out to the car and added the items they collected to the growing pile there-in.

Five participants from the Gribbons Center accompanied Service Coordination staff on the actual delivery. Donning festive hats and jingle bell necklaces they proudly carried box after box into the Assistance Center, all the while announcing they were “Santa’s Helpers”. Sadly on this day a homeless family was at the center, seeking assistance. The Gribbon’s members watched as the gloves they collected were handed to this family in need, and they heard first hand the sincere thank yous of those they had helped

Choices and real opportunities to give to and participate in one’s community. Connections between people with and without disabilities and between agencies and individuals. Communities made better by the efforts of a seeming few. This is what Helping Hands for the Holliday 2012 was all about.

Posted by: servicecoordination | November 29, 2012

The People-First Pledge


Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Mayor Grim, County Executives Ulman and Kamenetz Issue Proclamations to Recognize December 3rd as IDPD

December 3rd is recognized around the world as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (#IDPD). International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with a disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being. The 2012 theme is “removing barriers” and a local man is asking to help remove social barriers with the dialogue we use.

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim issued local proclamations in observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is the first local observation of this day.

Read the press release with Governor O’Malley, County Executives Ulman, Leggett and Kamenetz and Mayor Rawlings-Blake here: or just scroll down. Observance of this day stemmed from an 18-year-old Frederick man with a passion for helping others. His messaage is below.

A message from Troy Baisey:

“Hi, my name is Troy Baisey and I am almost 19 years old. I am from Walkersville near Frederick, Maryland and I’ve got some news to share with you!

I was born 3 months premature on December 4th 1993 at Frederick Memorial Hospital. I was only there for a couple of hours then I was transported to the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore. I had to stay there for 3 months. My lungs weren’t developed and I had a hole in my heart when I was 10 days old. So the doctors had to operate on my heart and my twin brother Colby’s heart too. It didn’t work for Colby and he went to heaven.

I stayed at the hospital until March. I lost a lot of my hearing because of the antibiotics the doctors and nurses were giving me to keep me alive. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and the doctors told my mother and grandmother and uncle Mike that I was not going to ever learn how to walk or talk or learn. Well, we are proving them wrong!!!

I graduated from high school last spring. Now I am at the Success Program in Walkersville with other students with special needs or disabilities. I wear hearing aids, but I am able to walk without leg braces and I do Unified Special Olympics sports such as tennis, bocce ball, track and Challenger League baseball. And I’m pretty good!

I have 2 different jobs- I have my work study job at St. Timothy’s Roman Catholic Church where I do shredding, filing, cleaning and weekly bulletins and I also work as an Altar server and usher for mass. My other job is at the Frederick YMCA where I work for membership services. I make sure the towels are folded, assign locker keys, scan members cards and I greet them. I have just started working with Mr. Ashley, he’s my new service coordinator. He seems really cool because he likes to dress nice, he has an accent and he likes sports such as soccer, football and baseball.

A couple of months ago I went and did a speech about what it was like to be bullied when I was in school because it wasn’t very easy. Kids weren’t always very nice and sometimes said and did mean things. But I’m doing great now and I wanted to tell you that we should all use kind words and be nice to all people. It’s very tough for people like me and you shouldn’t say or think mean things just because people are different or special. I’m not special because of my disabilities, I’m special because they didn’t think I would walk or talk or learn—but I just wrote this letter and I’m pretty awesome so we proved them wrong!!!” – Troy Baisey, 11/19/12

See Troy in stories about bullying and overcoming obstacles:

Read about Troy helping cancer patients here in the Frederick News Post:

Read about Troy with the Challenger baseball league: “I’m not nervous, I’m pumped up!”

See Troy throw out the 1st pitch at the Orioles game:

“Troy’s Birthday is December 4th and rather than asking for typical gifts, he said all he really wanted was for people to be nice to each other and use kind words, especially when talking to or about people with disabilities. Altruistic, perhaps … but it’s possible.

Throughout life, Troy and many others have received unwarranted judgments and labels because of disabilities. Around the world, December 3rd features events and acknowledgements for persons with disabilities. In support of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we are asking you to do your part and help evolve our words into a universal, respectful dialogue.

It takes just a few seconds to support this pledge, followed by a lifetime of commitment to fulfill it. Please join us in the People-First Pledge by “liking” or commenting with your support below.” – Michael Baisey, Service Coordination


Service Coordination, Governor O’Malley,

County Executives Kamenetz, Ulman, Leggett; Mayor Rawlings-Blake

Suppport IDPD on Dec. 3rd

NOVEMBER 30, 2012 (Baltimore, MD): December 3rd is recognized around the world as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (#IDPD). International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with a disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim issued local proclamations in observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Observation of this day also includes a Proclamation by President Barack Obama of the United States of America. In part, the 2011 Presidential Proclamation reads:

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we recommit to ensuring people living with disabilities enjoy full equality and unhindered participation in all facets of our national life. We recognize the myriad contributions that persons with disabilities make at home and abroad, and we remember that disability rights are universal rights to be recognized and promoted around the world.

Service Coordination, a local nonprofit organization that coordinates resources for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, along with leaders in Maryland including: Governor Martin O’Malley, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake are encouraging members of the community to support International Day of Persons with Disabilities. County Executives Ulman and Kamenetz have also issued official citations in observance of this day.

“In Maryland, we believe in dignity of every individual, and that’s why we work to ensure that our citizens with disabilities have the opportunity to be productive members of their communities,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “With this goal in mind, we are committed to supporting programs and policies that create new opportunities in employment, community living, education, housing and transportation for all Marylanders with disabilities.”

“In Baltimore County, we work hard to foster a culture and environment that provides the supports and opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in all aspects of community life,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “By embracing our differences and adapting to one another’s challenges, we build a better community.”

“As we work to grow Baltimore in the next 10 years, we are focused on ensuring all residents have an opportunity to call this great city home,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “We are focused on improving services and policies to make Baltimore more accessible for everyone.”

Service Coordination has issued a call to action by asking citizens to pledge to learn about and use People-First language to demonstrate universal rights for all. People-first language is a style of speech that aims to avoid perceived and subconscious stereotypes when discussing people with disabilities.

“Putting people first is a basic tenet of good government. Today is just a reminder that treating all people with disabilities with respect and dignity is something we should practice 365 days a year,“ said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “Nothing is simpler than embracing the concept of People-First language. We should never let our language give the perception that a person is defined by his or her disability. It’s a matter of equality for all. I applaud and I appreciate the countless contributions made every day by people with disabilities.”

“We need to continue to work every day to ensure that individuals with disabilities have an excellent quality of life—in housing, in employment and in every area of life,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.  “I urge all residents of Montgomery County and throughout the area to commit themselves to helping those with disabilities achieve this.”

Service Coordination created online forums including a blog and Facebook page where people can pledge to demonstrate integrity and equality with a commitment to use People-First language from December 3rd going forward. A pledge can be made by commenting on or otherwise supporting these forums from now thru December 3, 2012.

“Our organization strives to connect people to supports in their communities and also works to increase awareness about rights for people of all ability levels whenever possible. On behalf of the more than 13,000 Marylanders who we serve and many others around the world, we proudly recognize and embrace this important day,” said Executive Director of Service Coordination, John Dumas.

The People-First Pledge sites include additional information and are located at: and

Howard County


baltimore county top

Cumberland Proclamation


About Service Coordination:

Service Coordination, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, those with mental health challenges, the elderly, transitioning youth, and court-involved individuals throughout Maryland. Service Coordination provides quality case management services to people with disabilities and other groups. We do this by helping people understand what their choices are and connecting them to resources in their communities in ways that respect their dignity and rights. Service Coordination serves more than 13,000 people around the state of Maryland.

Media Contact:

Michael Baisey, Marketing and Communications Manager




Posted by: servicecoordination | November 26, 2012

Festival of Wreaths

Service Coordination Participates in Carroll County Arts Festival of Wreaths

Service Coordination, a local nonprofit organization that provides resource coordination for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will once again participate in the Carroll County Arts Council Festival of Wreaths.

The Festival of Wreaths is one of the most well-attended holiday events in Carroll County and serves as the official start of the holiday shopping season in downtown Westminster. Each year more than 200 theme wreaths are displayed through this weeklong silent auction and it is the Arts Council’s most significant fundraising event. Visitors experience a wonderland of creativity and generosity as they vote for their favorites in this spectacular event. More information can be found at the Carroll County Arts Council website here:

Artist Cherie Smith of Service Coordination has submitted a wreath on behalf of the organization called, “Hands of Hope: hands at work, hands at play” which represents the organization’s mission to connect people throughout our community. Service Coordination participates in this festival to raise awareness about its mission to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Last year’s entry by Service Coordination was awarded the honor of “Most Artistic.”

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