(From left ) Teri Sparks (Paralegal, Disability Rights Maryland), Erika Wheeler (Special Olympic Athlete and Self-Advocate), Carol Beatty (Secretary, Maryland Department of Disabilities), Jennifer Eastman (MBA Director of Community Living Policy, Maryland Department of Disabilities)

Disability Rights Maryland’s (DRM) Terri Sparks, and Erika Wheeler, Special Olympic Athlete and Self-Advocate, co-chairs of the Ethan Saylor Alliance Steering Committee, attended the Ethan Saylor Alliance Police Training and Appreciation Event on August 11, 2019, at the Public Safety and Education Training Center in Sykesville, Maryland.

The event was held to increase awareness of new policies instituted to better train and prepare Maryland’s law enforcement officers about their interactions with individuals who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure safe, respectful and effective outcomes for all. The Alliance is focused on the development of programs that instruct and support people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities as educators and establish meaningful roles for self-advocates on police training teams. The Ethan Saylor Alliance Police Training and Appreciation Event acknowledged and thanked the officers who understand that training by self-advocates is important in meeting the needs of the people police serve.

Learn more about the Ethan Saylor Alliance: https://disabilityrightsmd.org/ethan-saylor-alliance/