Maryland Community of Practice (MD-CoP) for Supporting Families and Charting the LifeCourse Framework

Maryland joined the National CoP for Supporting Families of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) in 2016 to better support families caring for family members with developmental disabilities across the lifespan, using the Charting the LifeCourse Framework. For more information on national efforts, visit the National CoP for Supporting Families.

What is a CoP?

It is a group of people or stakeholders who share a concern or passion for something they do, or something of importance to them. They meet regularly to share knowledge, learn new techniques, and implement new strategies to improve policies, programs and practices.

MD-CoP Goal

The goal of the MD-CoP is to build capacity across and within the state to create policies, regulations, systems and practices to enhance the lives of people with I/DD and their families enabling all people to live, love, work, play, learn and pursue their aspirations in their community.

Why focus on families?

Families are the core unit in the community, serving as an essential source of support for all its members. For people with I/DD, the role of the family is unique and often central to the support and care provided across the lifespan. Based on prevalence rates, there are approximately 93,000 Marylanders with developmental disabilities, most of whom live within their family homes or are supported by family members.

New CoP on the Eastern Shore at Mid-Shore

The MD CoP Leadership Team and community members will launch the Mid-Shore Local CoP for Supporting Families Thursday, Sept. 13 at the Talbot County Library from 10 a.m. to noon. This will help to better support families in the Mid-Shore community in helping their loved ones to lead their “Good Life.”

Who Should Attend?

Family members, self-advocates, Coordinators of Community Services, local school systems, health departments, recreation programs, state and county employees, law enforcement, civil engineers, educators, and the general community.

Please contact Kathleen Walker Roberts, DDA Employment and Family Coordinator, by email at or by phone at (410) 572-5923 for more information.

To learn more about the MD-CoP, a local CoP, and/or establishing a local CoP in your community, please contact one of the MD CoP statewide facilitators below:

Mary Anne Kane Breschi, DDA

Michael Lewis, Maryland Developmental Disability Council

Grace Williams, The Arc Maryland