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Council Approves Resolution to Create Work Group on Needs of Residents with Developmental Differences

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Council Approves Resolution to Create Work Group on Meeting the Needs of Residents with Developmental Differences

Councilmember Leventhal says, “Council must do its utmost to ensure developmentally different community is treated equitably and fairly in all aspects of life.”

ROCKVILLE, Md., December 12, 2017—Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal, who chairs the Health and Human Services Committee, introduced a resolution at the Council meeting on Tuesday, December 5 directing the Council Administrator to designate appropriate members of the Council staff to form a Work Group on Meeting the Needs of Residents with Developmental Differences. The Council unanimously approved the resolution today. 

“The goal of this work group is to provide a blueprint to address many of the important issues facing, not only individuals with developmental differences, but their family members and care givers,” said Councilmember Leventhal. “Members of the work group will provide an in-depth examination of how individuals with developmental differences and their loved ones navigate services for things like housing assistance, transportation, job training and education and help us to identify areas that need improvement.”   

The goal of the work group is to advance the fair and equitable treatment of County residents with developmental differences (also called developmental disabilities). The group will include representatives from major County departments – Health and Human Services, Transportation, Housing and Community Affairs, Recreation, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and Montgomery College – as well as the Maryland Developmental Differences Administration, community organizations, and the public at large.  

While there is no exact estimate of the number of County residents with developmental differences, the 2016 American Community Survey reports that 29,614 people identify as having a cognitive disability; with about 70% of those being less than 65 years of age.  MCPS reported that for 2016, there were 2,386 special education students with Autism; 3,387 with a Developmental Delay; and 653 with an intellectual disability. Other national models estimate that the County has about 15,000 to 16,000 people with developmental disabilities.  

Councilmember Leventhal has been a consistent and long-time advocate for developmentally different residents of the County. In October he hosted a town hall meeting for people with developmental differences that focused on education, housing, job skills training, health care, and recreation. Since 2003, he has advocated for supplementing the wages of service providers for people with developmental differences, and this year cosponsored a bill that would require that a payment be made each year to such providers.  

The full text of the resolution can be viewed at:

http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=169&event_id=7511&meta_id=147208  . 

For more information, contact Walton Harris in the Office of Councilmember Leventhal at 240-777-7945 or at walton.harris@montgomerycountymd.gov.

 

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Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926 , Delphine Harriston 2407777931