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NDSC Governmental Affairs Newsline
April 13, 2015

Great News in Maryland

The Ethan Saylor Alliance for Self-Advocates as Educators was passed unanimously by the Maryland House of Delegates and is expected to be signed into law by the Governor today!  Congratulations to Patti Saylor and her family, who under the most tragic circumstances used tremendous advocacy skills and talent to make significant change for people with disabilities in Maryland.

As you may recall, Ethan Saylor died in January of 2013 in a movie theater in Frederick, Maryland after being restrained by three off duty Frederick County police officers serving as security guards.  Ethan wanted to see the second showing of a movie, had not paid for a ticket for that showing and refused to leave the movie theater.  His support worker was told to stay outside after she told the officers that he would "freak out" if they touched him and asked to be able to talk to him.  They were also told that his mother was on the way.

The provisions of the bill provide that:

An entity will be selected and funded (if funds are appropriated) to serve as the Alliance and will:
  • build on the work of the Commission for Effective Community Inclusion of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities by prioritizing the training needs of law enforcement officers;
  • connect law enforcement trainers with self-advocate educators or entities that use self-advocate educators in a central role when providing training;
  • identify and support the development of self-advocate educators;
  • identify resources needed to prepare and support self-advocate educators; and,
  • promote collaborative efforts that support community inclusion.
A steering committee supported by the Department of Disabilities will, among other things:
  • guide the work of the Alliance;
  • develop parameters for the Alliance, including expected outcomes for and evaluation of the Alliance;
  • select entities to operate the Alliance through a competitive process;
  • provide general oversight of the Alliance;
  • review the Alliance's activities and outcomes; and,
  • develop recommendations for sustainability and expansion of the Alliance
A huge thank you to the Saylor family and the advocates that made this happen!
NDSC envisions a world with equal rights and opportunities for people with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Congress
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Roswell, GA  30076

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