The project is designed with a primary goal in mind: to "cover" all Marylanders with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, their Direct Support Professionals and their family caregivers with face masks to ensure those most vulnerable in our current environment have a basic layer of protection. These face masks are not meant to take the place of PPE. Access to PPE is vitally important for our community, but unfortunately there is not enough, and people are working or living in congregate settings without needed protection.
Did you know:
COVID-19 deaths will likely be more prevalent among those with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD).
Death rates from pneumonia are between 2.2 times and 5.8 times higher among individuals with an IDD than among those without IDD, giving us a clear warning of the severity of COVID-19 among people with IDD.
Underestimation of COVID-19 deaths is potentially more severe for those with IDD.
Four members of The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Coalition came together to create this campaign in fulfillment of our mission to ensure the rights and quality of life for people with developmental disabilities in Maryland.
The Arc Maryland is a statewide non-profit organization that works to create a world where children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have and enjoy equal rights and opportunities. The Arc Maryland began in the 1950’s as a small group of concerned parents and today is the largest statewide advocacy organization dedicated to the rights and quality of lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Maryland. The Arc has nearly 7,000 members throughout Maryland including people with intellectual disabilities, parents and other family members, educators and professionals working in the field, and interested persons from the general public. In Maryland, there is one state-wide and ten local chapters that provide an array of direct supports for people of all ages and their families.
The Maryland Association of Community Services (MACS) is a non-profit association of over 100 DDA licensed agencies that provide community supports to people across the state. MACS is dedicated to strengthening agencies to better support people with developmental disabilities and their families in their own communities. This is accomplished through advocacy that promotes the highest standards of program excellence; fosters a climate that develops and nurtures a quality workforce; and results in an increased capacity within Maryland communities to support people in inclusive settings. In addition to advocacy work, MACS provides training, conferences, peer networks, and inter-agency support for its members.
The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council is a statewide public policy and advocacy organization that works to advance the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life by eliminating barriers, creating opportunities, empowering people, and promoting innovation. The Council educates and informs policymakers about issues of importance to people with developmental disabilities and their families; advocates for services, policies, and practices that support people with developmental disabilities to exercise self-determination and lead productive, fulfilling lives; and designs and funds innovative initiatives that promote community inclusion and improve services and supports. The Council advocates for the elimination of barriers that create separation and segregation and limit opportunities for full inclusion and community participation.
People On the Go (POG) is a statewide self-advocacy organization run for and by people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. POG uses its voice to be heard and recognized. The foundation of POG is the belief that all people with disabilities have the right to be full participants in their communities, regardless of disability and level of support needed. POG believes that all people have the right to live a life of their choosing, and strives to eliminate discrimination. People On the Go has been in existence for over 30 years, and continues to be a leader in the advocacy movement.
1. How can I help?
Answer: There are many ways to join the effort!
Provide Masks-If you have a sewing machine, you can make and donate masks. Check out our pattern page on this website for ideas, and complete the donation form. If you know someone who has a business that makes masks or have a connection to a group that is collecting and making masks, please share our site with them and encourage them to complete the donation form. We have a large and urgent need for masks and every source helps!
Donate to our "gofundme" page. Click on the colorful button and donate to enable us to purchase more supplies of masks we can supply to those in need!
Request masks: If you are a person with developmental disabilities, a provider, or a family member and you need masks, please complete the form from the home page and we will supply you with a mask or masks as soon as we can!
2. I want to make and donate masks. Are their any materials that are more effective for blocking particles than others?
Answer: The following article may help answer that question. While there are some fabrics that are preferred (such as tightly woven cotton), we cannot endorse any particular material due to the fact that we all still have so much to learn about how the viral particles are transmitted. Here is a chart of what this study found to be most effective.