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The Maryland Down syndrome Advocacy Coalition (MDAC) is pleased to announce the passage of the Universal Design for Learning bill (HB 59/SB 467) in Annapolis. The UDL bill is now “enrolled” and is awaiting signature from the Governor. This bill, entitled “Task Force to Explore the Incorporation of the Principles of Universal Design for Learning into the Education Systems in Maryland,” is the first of its kind in the nation, reinforcing Maryland’s reputation as a progressive state that constantly strives for excellence in education. This bill will establish a statewide Task Force of stakeholders that will make recommendations related to UDL implementation in Maryland.
MDAC would like to thank its vast group of stakeholders for supporting this bill. Most notably, this would not have been possible without the support and assistance from the Maryland Department of Education. MSDE has already taken significant steps toward UDL implementation and will be integral to the Task Force. We would also like to thank everyone who submitted written testimony in support of the bill, as well as those organizations who testified at the hearings, including MSDE, the Governor’s Office for Children, Prince George’s County Schools, the Arc of Maryland and the Maryland Council for Exceptional Children.
Last but certainly not least, MDAC would like to thank the legislators for their tenacity and vision in making this happen. Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk led the legislative effort by introducing the bill and continuously provided valuable insight into the Annapolis political process. We are grateful to Delegate Sheila Hixson for becoming the lead sponsor in the House, and to Senator Joan Carter Conway for cross-filing and becoming lead sponsor in the Senate. We also appreciate Delegate Anne Kaiser’s helpful advice during the final stages of reconciliation between the House and Senate versions. These leaders – as well as the 34 other House co-sponsors and 18 other Senate co-sponsors -- have shown their commitment to looking forward and ensuring that educators get the resources they need so that the education of ALL children in Maryland is consistent, equitable, and flexible enough to be of the highest standard - today, and in the future.
The final bill can be viewed here!