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       February 2021
Give Me Five:

Five things you need to know
picture of a hand
Check out ARI's COVID-19 Resource Page for updated info & resources!
Bottle with fluid inside that says VACCINE and a syringe penetrating the bottle
1.) COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance

Are you planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine, or considering it? If so, the Anne Arundel and Howard County Health Departments are eager to assist you! Follow the links above to get their contact info for registration and transportation assistance.

For trustworthy information on this vaccine, you can rely on official websites from the Centers for Disease Control and the Maryland Department of Health. Reliable information is also available in plain language

If you are a Marylander with a disability who has had difficulty accessing the COVID-19 vaccine or want to share your story with vaccine access, please contact our COVID-19 Response Coordinator, Audrey Sellers, at or (443) 713-3915. 
Banner for the Among Us! game2.) Upcoming Events
Check out these upcoming events brought to you by and with our local partners. Follow us now on Facebook to stay up-to-date!

Independence Amplified Maryland (I AM) live every Monday from 2-3pm - Presented by Maryland's Centers for Independent Living Have you missed us? Tune in next week to join Maryland's unprecedented community of disability advocates! Check out I AM's YouTube for a sneak peek at what you can expect when you join us at our next session! Don't forget to "Like" and "Follow" our Facebook page to receive notifications for future sessions. 

    COVID-19 Vaccine Myth Busters on Monday, February 8th from 2-3pm: Do you have concerns     about the COVID-19 vaccines? Would you like a safe space to express those worries? Join I AM on     February 8 to get a few facts about the vaccines and have a chance to talk with others with disabilities     about the vaccines. Rev. Dr. Duke Morrow will lead the conversation, Dr. Morrow is a lifelong social     justice advocate, retired clergy, and presently a medical research ethics wonk. Register now.

"Among Us! A Gaming Group" on Tuesday, February 9th from 4-5pm. Come play with us! That's right - we're gaming, and you're invited. Among Us! is popular. easy to learn, and accessible via Android, iPhone, and the computer. Wanna give this game a try? Register now for access info.

    Join your crewmates in a multiplayer game of teamwork and betrayal! Play with 4-10 players as you     attempt to hold your spaceship together and return back to civilization. But there may be     an alien impostor aboard! One crewmate has been replaced by a parasitic shapeshifter. Their goal is to     eliminate the rest of the crew before the ship reaches home. The Impostor will sabotage the ship,     sneak through vents, deceive, and frame others to remain anonymous and kill off the crew. While     everyone is fixing up the ship, no one can talk to maintain anonymity. Once a body is reported, the     surviving crew will openly debate who they think The Impostor is. The Impostor's goal is to pretend that     they are a member of the crew. If The Impostor is not voted off, everyone goes back to maintaining the     ship until another body is found. If The Impostor is voted off, the crew wins!

"Accessible Resources for Independence (ARI): Our Programs, Staff, and Vision for Independent Living" on Wednesday, February 10th from 1-2pm. Come one, come all! On 2/10, we invite anybody and everybody to virtually join ARI as we explain our vision of independence for Anne Arundel and Howard County residents with disabilities, and how our programs help to achieve that. Learn from our leadership about ARI's role in the history of Centers for Independent Living nationwide. Our Program Managers will present on their respective programs, detailing exactly how individuals with disabilities in these 2 counties can receive our various services. Questions are encouraged! Register now.

"Accessible Zoom Fitness Class" on Wednesday, February 24th from 1-2pm. Join us in a virtual fitness class for all abilities. Find out what SPIRIT Club is all about, and have fun with fitness in a 30 minute exercise session. Check out this class preview from SPIRIT Club. Register now.

"Food Resources in Anne Arundel & Howard Counties" on Wednesday, March 10th from 1-2pm. Food insecurity is a challenge for many people with disabilities, especially since the COVID pandemic began. But there is help! Join us to learn from our partners about food resources available in Anne Arundel & Howard Counties, and leave with your own copy of ARI's Food Resource Guide. Register now.

Remote Conference Captioning (RCC) for ARI's events is provided by Maryland Relay. This RCC is provided in English. For additional information or to request accommodations other than English-language RCC for such events, please contact Office Manager Nicole Griffith at or (443) 713-3918.

Partner Events:
3 individuals, one with a sign saying LEARN, the next with a sign saying ACT, and the last with a sign saying CHANGE3.) Anti-Racism Action Plan

With the guidance of some of our consumers of color, Accessible Resources for Independence has now finalized our Anti-Racism Action Plan. This action plan was created so our organization may better serve Anne Arundel and Howard County residents with disabilities who are people of color. Staff conducted a series of focus groups with our consumer consultants, during which we collectively identified community needs, organizational weaknesses, and potential solutions. To organize this action plan, we narrowed our focus to 5 major goals, listed below:

1) Operationalize racial equity so that its tenets are woven into ARI's routine decision-making processes, measurement tools, accountability procedures, staff trainings, and strategic planning.
2) Help K-12 education become equitable for students of color with disabilities within our jurisdiction.
3) Help local law enforcement practices become equitable for all individuals of color with disabilities within our jurisdiction.
4) Help improve access to behavioral health treatment and peer support for individuals of color experiencing mental illness within our jurisdiction.
5) Help improve access to timely, culturally competent, and accessible social assistance for individuals of color with disabilities within our jurisdiction.

ARI is excited to begin working towards these goals with structure and commitment. Thank you very much to our consumer consultants for your time, effort, and wisdom!

Interested in learning more about our plan or partnering with us on these goals? We welcome your input! Just contact Audrey Sellers at or (443) 713-3915. 
box on doorstep4.) Recruiting New Board Members

Are you looking to make a difference? We are looking to recruit new board members with disabilities!

ARI is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ensuring that we have knowledgeable and engaged Board Members to ensure maximum impact. ARI's Board of Directors comprises leaders from the disability community, federal government, and for-profit sector who are dedicated to the organization’s mission to maximize the independence of people with disabilities so they enjoy self-directed, productive lives.

Board membership is a wonderful opportunity to serve your community and make a difference in the lives of hundreds of people. We welcome board members who are seeking opportunities to be active advocates and ambassadors for ARI and are fully engaged in creating financial and organizational stability, as well as community visibility. Board members attend meetings held in the evening six times per year and participate in one Committee depending on their interest and expertise.

For more information, please contact Katie Collins-Ihrke, Executive Director, at or 443-713-3914.
infographic entitled "4 Ways to Get Marketplace Coverage" with a grid picturing a phone, computer, trio of people, and a paper application
5.) FEAST Study Recruiting People with Mobility Impairments

Are you a person with a mobility impairment who shops on Amazon? If so, read on! The FEAST study will survey 500 people with mobility impairments who will help inform best practices guidelines for diagnostic services such as testing, follow-up care, and vaccine preparedness. And, for completing each survey, participants earn an Amazon gift card! That's called a win-win.

Interested? Contact the research team to get started. Detailed info about the study available here.