Meeting Minutes - March 20, 2017 |

Charles County, Maryland

Meeting Minutes - March 20, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Charles County Commission on Individuals with Disabilities

Meeting Minutes: Monday, March 20, 2017

Charles County Government Building, Room B140

Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Emily Ferren, Chair.

Attendance:  Gia Richmond, Marchesa Whittington, Emily Ferren, Charlie M. Patterson, Joane Gulvas, Gale Kladitis, John Hartline, John Lewis

Afer a call to order, the minutes from February 27, 2017 were approved.

Our guests for today were introduced. From Melwood, Gia Richmond (Compliance Manager), Marchesa Whittington (Manager, Volunteer Engagement), Gale Kladitis (Charles County Arts Alliance).

Packages on Melwood services were available at today's meeting for those who may not have received one in February. For those interested in Legislative bills in Annapolis that affect people with disabilities please check out the website of Maryland Department of Disabilities for recent updates. The link is:

Today's agenda was a planning session for upcoming events that will occur from March thru September 2017.

  • The Employer Recognition Breakfast will be held in the month of October 2017.
  • Our April meeting on Monday, April 17, 2017 will be a field trip to the Melwood campus in Nanjemoy, Maryland--the time will be from 2-4 include a tour. An invitation with directions and details will be available shortly. The tour will include Camp Accomplish, equestrian therapy and the retreat center.
  • Our May meeting, May, 15, 2017 will be a film documentary viewing. Light refreshments will be served. The title of the film is "Bong and Donnell" and was selected by the Academy for inclusion in its 1995-96 Contemporary Documentary Series. After being released as a film, the program was acquired by HBO and received a CableAce Award and two national Emmy nominations. The film follows Bong, who never lets his wheelchair slow him down, and his best friend Donnell through their lives from 3rd grade to high school graduation and a special trip to Good Morning America.    
  • June meeting will be to continue preparations for special events.
  • July 17th meeting will be from 6 - 7:30 p.m. and will be a reception for "Artists Without Limits" instead of our regular meeting. Joane Gulvas will check scheduling.
  • The "Artists without Limits" gallery will run from July 12th through September 5th.

Gale Kladitis from the Charles County Arts Alliance attended today's session to respond to any questions in the planning of the gallery exhibit. A press release will be prepared and sent out after Easter. It will also be reviewed by the Charles County Arts Alliance and Commission members before being released.

Tri-County Council may also participate this year as a sponsor. Other details for discussion included what details are needed for submissions--it will be made easier to include the name of the artwork, headshot of the artist, and short biography along with contact information. Also arrangements need to be made for signed certifications the evening of the reception. Arrangements will be made to drop off art on Monday, July 10th and Tuesday, July 11th from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Safety Office (Room B140) at the County Government Building.

Each Commission member will help spread the word once the press release is prepared. Emily will take Spring Dell Center and Freedom Landing. Gia will take Melwood and John Hartline will take WOIA/ADA. Other contacts are Arc of Southern Maryland, HARC and the Adult Learning Center. We will also check out public school contacts and Charles County Government Media.

The last agenda item was agency updates and reports. A grant to Tri-County Council in design thinking will allow for medical appointments across three counties. It also involves sharing CMRT software. Nicky Pires will have additional information for the next meeting.

The Charles County Commission on Individuals with Disabilities is being represented by Emily Ferren at the Transportation Development Plan Advisory Committee. The first meeting was held on March 9th. The input sent in so far was in the following categories:

  • Low vision (and learning to travel with their newly diagnosed disability)
  • Limited mobility (moving slower at intersections) - with canes, walkers, or wheelchairs
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments--how to make the initial request
  • Transportation to recreation events, such as a concert as CSM, workshop at the public library, or visit to their child's school

If you have additional input, please send to

Joane Gulvas reported on Safety Minutes that are taped every other month on various topics and rotated with 30 minute segments. A budget transfer now has 74 AED units in public buildings, as compared to an original 20. John Hartline reported on the Bicycle Infrastructure Advisory Committee and Governor Safety Committee. The projects include blinking light armbands for safety and a bicycle path from Indian Head to Lexington Park as part of the rail trail. In 2015, 77 people were killed in bicycle accidents.

Melwood reported on "Wellness Community" for staff and participants. Registration is now open for June summer camp (ages 5 - 18). Recertification of Melwood is occurring from May 10 - June 15, 2017.

The next meeting will be a field trip to Melwood in Nanjemoy to include Camp Accomplish, equestrian therapy and the retreat center. It will be a casual dress day and the time will be 2-4 p.m. An invitation with directions and details will be sent closer to the April 17th tour.

Meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m. (Submitted by Emily Ferren)