Press Release

July 28, 2023
Cardin, Van Hollen, Hoyer, Sarbanes Deliver Nearly $1.8 Million to Support Individuals with Disabilities and Neurodivergent Communities in Prince George’s and Howard Counties
This week also marks the 33rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act into law

WASHINGTON – In advance of this week’s 33rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act into law, Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer and John Sarbanes (all D-Md.) delivered $1,759,500 in direct federal investments through Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus funding to expand resources for the disability community and expand job opportunities for neurodivergent Marylanders in Prince George’s and Howard Counties. 

“For 33 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has paved the way for incredible progress for our disability community. There is still more to do in creating an accessible and inclusive environment and Team Maryland continues to fight for life-changing resources for our local communities,” said Senator Cardin. “This most recent federal funding that Team Maryland worked to secure for The Arc Prince George’s County, Melwood and the Howard County Autism Society will help create more employment opportunities, expand services and other resources for individuals with disabilities. We’re committed to working with our state, local and federal partners to uphold the integrity of ADA so every Marylander, regardless of disability, can reach their full potential.” 

“While there has been much progress since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 33 years ago, we also recognize how far we have to go in the fight for equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities and those who learn and process information differently. This federal funding will continue to help bridge the gap in services and care available by providing more comprehensive care and targeted employment services. I will keep working to support organizations like these to help ensure every Marylander has the chance to reach their full potential,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“I was pleased to partner with members of our Congressional delegation to secure federal funding that will give more Marylanders with disabilities greater independence and control over their lives ,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Ahead of the thirty-third anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act – a historic law that I was proud to sponsor in the House – it was powerful to see how facilities like Melwood and Arc Prince George’s County continue to promote dignity and equality of opportunity for all. We always ought to focus on what people can do rather than what they can’t. That principle was the foundation of the ADA and underlines the crucial work that these institutions do on behalf of our community.”

“Americans with disabilities deserve equitable access to employment opportunities,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I am proud to have secured $440,000 for the Howard County Autism Society to build on the success of its hiring program, which helps connect companies and employers to a talented pool of neurodivergent individuals and expand it to meet the growing need across Maryland. This program advances workforce development, economic opportunity and equity in Maryland. As we mark the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act 33 years ago this week, we must keep working to promote inclusiveness, equity and respect in our workplaces and throughout our communities.”

These investments include:

  • $819,500 for The Arc Prince George’s County to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  • $500,000 for Melwood’s Neurodivergent Workforce Initiative in Prince George’s County; and
  • $440,000 for the Howard County Autism Society’s Autism Hiring Program.

Respectively, these investments will help expand comprehensive services to address the backlog of evaluations, services and education to better support youth and adults with developmental disabilities, including those in the Hispanic community who may face language barriers to access care; support workforce training in tech and tech-related fields for individuals with disabilities; and increase hiring opportunities for individuals with autism by connecting more businesses and employer partners to this untapped workforce.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law in July 1990, prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal access to employment opportunities, the ability to use or purchase goods and services, and participate in state and local government programs. The lawmakers are working to fulfill the promises of this legislation and build further progress for those with disabilities.