About Center for Excellence

Maryland Center for Excellence in the Employment of People with Disabilities and other Barriers


The mission of the Maryland Center for Excellence in the Employment of People with Disabilities is to provide a shared vision and collaborative driving force for State development and implementation of a new, dynamic, comprehensive, and life-long model support system for increasing and enhancing competitive community integrated employment for its residents with disabilities.


The vision of the Center for Excellence is that all Maryland residents with disabilities will be able to explore, secure, retain, and advance in jobs and careers of their own informed choices within the competitive workforce of the community, inclusive of business ownership options, with ready access to the type and level of assistance and support needed for them to do so. As a result, Maryland residents with disabilities will be afforded self-selected and supported opportunities for meaningful work along career paths in integrated job settings that result in greater earnings, better benefits, increased self-sufficiency, improved health, expanded social networks, and enhanced quality of life. In the process, Maryland will maximize the full inclusion and integration of its residents with disabilities into the full fabric of life in their home communities and throughout the State.


The goals of the Maryland Center for Excellence in the Employment of People with Disabilities are:

  • To ensure, expand and enhance the opportunities for meaningful work within competitive, inclusive, and entrepreneurial job settings for Maryland residents with disabilities; and
  • To influence federal, state, and local policies and practices so as to establish and actualize "Employment First" as the outcome for all state and local systems that fund and/or provide transitioning youth education and/or adult day services for people with disabilities.

Current Initiatives:

Transforming and Improving Practices through Customized Technical Assistance (TIP Grants)

Service Providers throughout Maryland

Round One: Appalachian Parent Association, Bay Community Support Services, CHANGE, Inc., CHI Centers, Head Injury Rehabilitation & Referral Services, Humanim & Compass (jointly funded), Itineris, Providence Center, Spring Dell Center, The Arc of Howard County, The Arc Prince George's County, The Arc Southern Maryland, The Arc of Washington County

Round Two: Ardmore Enterprises, Bayside Community Network, Community Living, Inc., Gallagher Services, Melwood, Opportunity Builders, Rehabilitation Opportunities, The Arc Baltimore, The Arc Central Chesapeake Region, The Arc Montgomery County

Round Three: Delmarva Community Services, Gallagher Services, New Horizons Supported Services/Compass, Inc., The National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA), Penn-Mar Human Services; Spectrum Supports, The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region, Jewish Community Services, The Arc Carroll County, The League for People with Disabilities, SEEC: (Seeking Employment, Equality, and Community for People with Developmental Disabilities), and Community Options.

Round Four: Chesapeake Center, Chesterwye Center, CHI Center, Harford Center, Scott Key Center, St. Peter's Adult Learning Center, and Star Community.

TIP grants provide funding to improve employment outcomes of people with developmental disabilities by funding customized technical assistance for community service providers licensed by the Developmental Disabilities Administration. The grants allow providers to improve the way services are provided, building their capacity so that more people with developmental disabilities are supported to obtain and keep the meaningful work they want in their communities and to have meaningful days when not working. Maryland Works and the DD Council has funded four rounds of TIP grants for a total of 40 organizations.

To review the summary of the TIP Grantees final reports Click Here

Approved Basic Community Employment Certificate Training (ACRE)

For more than four years competency-based Approved Basic Community Employment Training (ACRE) has been provided for Direct Support Professionals throughout the Maryland region. The ACRE training is facilitated by nationally recognized subject matter experts; this intense 5 day- 40 hour training has resulted with more than 350 Direct Support Professionals being professionally trained in the Discovery, Customized Employment, Systematic Instruction and Natural Supports, Benefits Planning and Self Employment Strategies. The ACRE training has helped Community Service Providers throughout the State build capacity to help increase community employment outcomes for the job seekers we all support.