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macs-howell-lauramf02Maryland Association of Community Services

In 2016, the Maryland Association of Community Services (MACS) launched Moving Maryland Forward, a project designed to help community-based developmental disability service providers transform their organizations due to significant changes in government mandates.

“Moving Maryland Forward is unique because it was the only process to merge numerous resources into one three-day, high-intensity experience for a team from each developmental disability provider,” said MACS Executive Director Laura Howell.

Each organization that attended was required to send a team that included the CEO, at least one board member, at least one person with a disability who receives service, at least one direct support employee, and other team members.

“This is what made it such an innovative approach,” Howell said. “This type of organizational change is often done by its leadership. A broader array of voices made for a more effective process.”

Subject matter experts talked about how to create more integrated and inclusive services, and were available to speak with each team, which also had the assistance of facilitators, Howell said.

The goals were to provide a unique tool to service providers, support leaders making changes, and improve opportunities and support for people with developmental disabilities. “The first two goals were achieved, and based on outcomes by participants, the most critical goal is in the process of being achieved,” Howell said.

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