Categories
Bridges Blog Orientation and Mobility Recreation Resources Series: Choose Your Own Adventure April

Paratransit/Call-a-Ride

Choose Your Own Adventure April

Life is an adventure, but where to begin? Join us at the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Helpdesk as we explore tools to support you as you Choose Your Own Adventure this April!

In this fourth installment of our “Choose Your Own Adventure April” series, we explore transportation options reserved for disabled travelers.

At times, public transportation may not serve our needs due to availability or scheduling needs, but taxis and ride-share services like Uber and Lyft can be very expensive to use. Paratransit, including Call-a-Ride, offers transportation that is more individualized to your needs than public transportation while being less expensive than ride-share and taxi options.

MobilityLink Paratransit Services

Through MobilityLink, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) provides public transportation alternatives to Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County residents who cannot independently access, board, disembark from, or ride other MTA services (such as MTA’s BaltimoreLink bus system, Light RailLink, and Metro SubwayLink.

MobilityLink provides:

  • Shared ride service within a three-quarter (3/4) mile radius of MTA’s services (excluding Commuter bus routes and MARC train routes)
  • Door-to-door service

Accessing MobilityLink

  • Proof that you applicants have an impairment that prevents them from independently accessing, boarding, disembarking, or riding other MTA services
  • Apply online, or call to request an application
  • Schedule MobilityLink transportation by phone, computer, or Smartphone app
  • Out-of-town visitors: up to 21 days of service per year; application required
  • One-way fare is $2.10
    • Exact fare for each trip is required
    • May purchase a 20-ride ticket book

Complete MobilityLink/Paratransit Services Ride Guide available as a PDF download

Call-a-Ride

MobilityLink is not the only paratransit option in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County.  Another option, Call-a-Ride consists of two parts: Call-a-Ride Center and Call-a-Ride Service. Call-a-Ride uses selected Taxi Cab and Sedan Companies to provide door-to-door transportation for MobilityLink customers. Please note that some of these companies have a limited service area, and these limitations are set forth on the Taxi Cab and Sedan Companies web page.

Call-a-Ride cost

Call-a-Ride fares cover up to $40.00 of the cab/sedan meter. If the meter reads more than $40, the rider must pay the amount over $40. For example, if the meter reads $35, the rider owes nothing more than the original fare. If the meter reads $48, the rider must pay $8 ($48-$40) in addition to the original fare.

Call-a-Ride Center Highlights

  • Available ONLY for trips to and from the customer’s dialysis center
  • Fare is $2 each way (pays for meter up to $40)

Call-a-Ride Service Highlights

  • Available for any purpose
  • Fare is $3 each way (pays for meter up to $40)
  • Limited to sixty-two (62) one-way trips per month
  • After 62 trips in a month, the customer must pay the full meter reading per trip

Call-a-Ride Service Highlights

Using Call-a-Ride (Service or Center)

  • Contact approved Taxi Cab/Sedan companies directly to schedule the ride
    • Tell the dispatcher your MTA Call-a-Ride card number
    • Must call at least 40 minutes in advance
    • May take up to three people on your ride, but all must get on and off at the same place
  • When entering the vehicle, present your MTA Call-a-Ride card and pay your fare
  • Get your paper receipt after your ride and keep it for six months (Call-a-Ride requirement)

MetroAccess Paratransit

Disabled individuals In Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties who meet MetroAccess eligibility requirements may access its paratransit services. The MetroAccess eligibility process is quite involved and can be time-consuming; please feel free to reach out to us at the Bridges Helpdesk for more information.

Like many other paratransit services, MetroAccess provides door-to-door transportation in shared-ride vehicles. MetroAccess serves addresses within a three-quarter (¾) mile radius of the Metrorail and Metrobus services in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. MetroAccess operates during the same hours of operation as Metrorail and Metrobus.

Cost of MetroAccess

MetroAccess fares vary based on the route and are double the regular fare on a comparable fixed-route trip. However, the maximum MetroAccess fare is $6.50 per trip.

Customers must pay the exact fare for MetroAccess service. Customers may also prepay fares using MetroAccess EZ Pay.

Using MetroAccess

Customers must schedule rides at least one day in advance and up to seven days before the trip. MetroAccess also offers a subscription service that allows customers to set up regular trips in advance. To qualify, these trips must have the same start and end points and must occur on the same day of the week and at the same time each day.

MetroAccess Abilities-Ride Program

MetroAccess offers its customers the opportunity to participate in its Abilities-Rode program. In this program, the customer calls to schedule trips as usual. For customers who have signed up for the Abilities-Ride program, MetroAccess decides whether to send the regular MetroAccess shared-ride vehicle or to have a taxi cab or sedan provide the trip (which will be curb-to-curb rather than door-to-door service). MetroAccess makes this decision; the customer does not. If your ride is moved to an Abilities-Ride vehicle, you’ll get a private ride, and your fare will be free.

Other MetroAccess benefits

Individuals with MetroAccess cards can ride for free on these public transportation services: Metrobus, Metrorail, DASH, DC Circulator, Arlington Regional Transit (ART), Fairfax CUE, Fairfax Connector (most routes), Prince George’s The Bus, and Montgomery County Ride On.

Other Metro Area County Transportation Options

Montgomery County paratransit options

Montgomery County Ride On Buses

  • Free rides on all Montgomery County Ride On buses
  • Discounted fares on some Metro buses (in Montgomery County)

Connect-A-Ride (CAR)

Call-n-Ride (CNR) Program, including the Same Day Access (SDA) Program

Medical Assistance Transportation Program

FREE Taxi Rides to COVID Vaccination, Testing and Mask Pick Up Sites

Prince George’s County paratransit options

Call-a-Bus

Call-a-Cab

Senior Transportation Services

  • Nutrition Program
  • Medical Program
  • General Transportation

Anne Arundel County paratransit options

Complementary Paratransit

General Paratransit (GPT)

Anne Arundel County Paratransit Riders Guide (PDF download)

Regional Transit Options

Areas outside of the Baltimore and DC Metro areas also offer paratransit services. Many of these are “ADA paratransit” services. In general, ADA paratransit provides services within a three-quarter (¾) mile radius of the fixed public transportation routes in the region and operates only during the same operating hours as regular public transportation. Most of these paratransit options are shared-ride services and require customers to schedule the ride. Additionally, most also charge fares, and some are limited to certain kinds of travel (typically for medical and educational purposes).

All of the ADA paratransit services listed below require applications to use the service, so it’s important to get the application process started at least a week or two before you want to start using the service. The application process Can be confusing, so please do not hesitate to reach out to the Bridges Helpdesk for help.

Most of the following services do not provide information about the availability of their services for non-residents. Please check with the agency or contact the Bridges Helpdesk to explore paratransit options outside of your local area.

Here are some links to other transit options in different areas of Maryland:

Central Maryland

Frederick County Paratransit options

Paratransit options

  • Transit-Plus
    • ADA Paratransit Service
    • Fares not listed

Taxi Access Program

  • Available to Transit-Plus customers
  • Discounted fares
    • Depending on one’s residence, each month, get $70 or $140 of taxi fare “credit” for a $10 fee
    • Three taxi companies participate in this program

Harford County Paratransit options – $2 fares

Harford County Paratransit options – $2 fares

ADA Paratransit

Demand Response

Howard County Paratransit Options

General Paratransit (GPT)

  • One round-trip per day
  • Limited service: medical appointments, colleges, senior centers, etc.
  • $5 fare each way

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) services

  • Shared ride service; Unlimited trips per day
  • $4 fare each way

Carroll County Demand Response Service

  • Limited to medical, employment, and education trips
  • Fares vary based on distance: $2 to $9

Western Maryland

Washington County Paratransit options

Complimentary Paratransit Program – $2 fare each way. 

Ride Assist Program

  • Vouchers for taxi rides

Garrett County Garrett Transit Service (GTS)

GTS provides demand response service to all residents of Garrett County. There is no special paratransit service.

Allegany County Alltrans paratransit service – $3 fare

Southern Maryland

Calvert County Paratransit options

Para Transit Services

  • Four Routes

ADA

  • Curb-to-curb transportation

St. Mary’s County Transit System (STS)

STS ADA Riders” – $2 fare

Statewide Specialized Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP)

  • $3 fare
  • Travel throughout St. Mary’s County

Charles County:

VanGo Paratransit services

Eastern Shore

Cecil County

Transportation Reimbursement Program

Reimbursement for taxi or ride-share trips

Maximum reimbursement for 2023 is $500; the minimum is $50

Fixed Route Deviation from Cecil Transit

Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties: Delmarva Community Transit

https://www.ccgov.org/government/community-services/cecil-transit

Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties: Delmarva Community Transit

ADA Complimentary Paratransit

  • Dorchester County ADA Service
  • Talbot County ADA Service

Discounted fares on Delmarva Community Transit in Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties

Queen Anne’s County

Specialized Services of the County Ride

  • Curb-to-curb demand response service
  • $0 fares through December 2023

Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties

Ocean City ADA Paratransit – $4 fare/day (covers all rides in one day)

Moving Forward

Of course, this is a lot of material. Please reach out to us at the Bridges Helpdesk for anything from exploring your options to finding out what you’re eligible for to formulating an ambitious travel plan for the first time. We’re here to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to Choose Your Own Adventure without emptying your wallet.

Ocean City ADA Paratransit – $4 fare/day (covers all rides in one day)

Ocean City ADA Paratransit – $4 fare/day (covers all rides in one day)

Ocean City ADA Paratransit – $4 fare/day (covers all rides in one day)

Of course, this is a lot of material. Please reach out to us at the Bridges Helpdesk for anything from exploring your options to finding out what you’re eligible for to formulating an ambitious travel plan for the first time. We’re here to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to Choose Your Own Adventure without emptying your wallet.

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

Categories
Bridges Blog Orientation and Mobility Recreation Resources Series: Choose Your Own Adventure April

Public Transportation

Choose Your Own Adventure April

Life is an adventure, but where to begin? Join us at the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Helpdesk as we explore tools to support you as you Choose Your Own Adventure this April!

In this third installment of our “Choose Your Own Adventure April” series, we explore inexpensive and free public transportation options to get you to and from the adventures you choose!

Breaking Out Without Breaking the Bank

Many of us use ride-share services, like Lyft and Uber, but we do well to remember a much older ride-share option: Public transportation. While most public transportation does not offer the door-to-door convenience of services like Lyft and Uber, they also cost a lot less than those services.

Another bonus: reducing our carbon footprints. Public transportation allows for more efficient per-person travel, so both the cost and the amount of fuel used to get from here to there are greatly reduced.

Public Transportation in Maryland

Baltimore area

Through the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), the Baltimore area enjoys many public transit options.

The BaltimoreLink bus system offers CityLink buses (high-frequency routes and frequent, 24-hour service, form a downtown grid that radiate out from the city on major streets, LocalLink buses (operating on neighborhood streets between the CityLinks and form crosstown “rings,” and Express BusLink service (limited-stop service from suburb-to-suburb and suburb-to-downtown). Additionally, the Charm City Circulator is a FREE bus shuttle system that operates in Baltimore’s downtown area on a regular schedule.

But that’s just the beginning. MTA also provides train and subway options. Light RailLink offers transportation between the Baltimore-Washington Airport and Hunt Valley, Maryland – and 28 more stops in between! Metro SubwayLink has a dozen stops between its end points of Owings Mills and Johns Hopkins, and MARC (Maryland Area Rail Commuter) trains offer transportation to and from Washington, D.C.

Outside of Baltimore

While the Baltimore area has the most developed set of public transportation routes, other areas in Maryland provide great public transportation options as well. Examples include:

Planning Your Adventure

It’s great to have public transportation resources available, and the next step is learning how to make them work for you. First, check out the available options, including operating hours and routes. Sometimes these can seem overwhelming, and the Free Bridges Helpdesk is always available to provide as much or as little assistance as you need – please feel free to call on us anytime.

Some Tips From A Seasoned Public Transit Traveler

Seasoned blind traveler and Bridges Project Coordinator Braden Flax offers his advice on public transit:

Spring is here, which means we can now get out and about to engage with our communities, and even explore other communities we haven’t been to yet. Of course, it usually isn’t practical to arrange long, expensive trips by car to get this done, but this shouldn’t hold us back. And with a good public transit system, and a healthy bit of confidence that you can make your way from one point to the next safely and efficiently, it won’t. And by the time summer is over, you’ll have visited friends without feeling like a burden, gotten a taste of taking ownership of your own movements, communicated with people as you plan and execute your trips, and yes, made your fair share of mistakes along the way. But that’s OK, in fact it’s exciting, because with the tools to keep yourself safe and the forethought to bring your plans to fruition, today’s mistake is tomorrow’s lesson, and if you choose to make use of your travel skills, tomorrow will always hold something to look forward to. So in the spirit of getting some travel experience throughout the warmer seasons, this transition tip focuses on useful tips for any traveler anywhere, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a practiced explorer. To begin with, there are some constants when it comes to public transit that generally hold true whether you’re in Maryland, or anyplace else.

Let’s suppose you’d like to meet up with some friends at a mall in your area, but it’s not within walking distance. But, you heard that there’s a bus that will drop you off right there, if only you can catch it. In order to make this trip, there are a few pieces of information you need. First, where are you getting on and off the bus? Secondly, how frequently does it run, and thirdly, how will you need to pay for this ride, if at all? Be sure to factor in not only your initial trip, but your return trip too. When researching this, there’s no need to get overwhelmed, as there are resources available to you. You can look up information online, but you’ll want to make sure the relevant information is up-to-date. And besides, what if you run into a lot of broken links? That’s when your other problem-solving techniques come into play. It’s a valuable experience, for example, to call up the relevant transit authority on the phone. Make sure you know when they are able to accept calls, and by the end of the call, you should know what bus you’re talking about, what times it departs and arrives, and that you’re prepared to meet it, pay for it, and find your way around once you’ve arrived. We at Bridges, of course, would be glad to help you with any of this, up to and including helping you find the relevant information if you get stuck. You should never be held back from going somewhere if the means exist to get you there, and it’s our pleasure to help you find those means.

Notably, public transit can help you venture outside of Maryland just as much as within it, which is very exciting because of your close proximity to Virginia and Washington, D.C. When it comes to the train, for instance, two major options are the MARC train and Amtrak. In both cases, as the saying goes, there’s an app for that. In the case of the MARC train, that app is called CharmPass. Using this app, you can buy your tickets ahead of time; supposing, for example, that you wanted to make your way from Baltimore Penn Station to Union Station in Washington, you could buy a ticket and have it on your phone for months before using it, since the ticket is not restricted to a certain timeslot. On the other hand, let’s suppose you wanted to go from Baltimore Penn to Richmond, Virginia, and you opt to take an Amtrak. Then, it is crucial that you make the particular train you bought a ticket on; this is a vital difference to keep in mind when planning your trip.

It can be empowering to know that if you do some research and practice your skills as a communicator, so much is open to you at fairly low cost both within and around the state of Maryland. It is of course impossible to cover all of the options, much less the routes, that exist. But much like your plans themselves, your travel itinerary can be subject to change, as long as you keep in mind the basics of travel safety and the information you gathered while researching and planning your trip. For instance, if you’re going to be out later than the MARC is running one night, you’ll want to either make alternative arrangements or otherwise adjust your plans. For more pointers on how to stay safe while traveling, please check in with us next week, when we’ll have s similar discussion about how to get around safely, efficiently, and for a reasonable price. In the meantime, please reach out to us early and often, and happy travels!

Contact Us Anytime!

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

Categories
Accessible Assistive Technology Resources Bridges Blog Educational Resources Employment Resources Extracurricular Resources Independent Living Resources Information Resources Recreation Resources Series: Choose Your Own Adventure April

AIRA Access Points and Be My Eyes Apps

Choose Your Own Adventure April

Life is an adventure, but where to begin? Join us at the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Helpdesk as we explore tools to support you as you Choose Your Own Adventure this April!

  • April 4: Museums for All
  • April 11: AIRA Access Points and Be My Eyes Apps
  • April 18: Public Transportation
  • April 25: Paratransit/Call-a-ride

In this second installment of our “Choose Your Own Adventure April” series, we share details about free access to live human visual support/information via smart device apps.

Smart Device and Connectivity Required

As a preliminary matter, please note that the tools discussed below use applications (apps) on smart devices, like smartphones, tablets, etc. Additionally, these apps provide real-time information, so they require wi-fi and/or data connectivity to function.

About AIRA

Aira is a service where you can call an agent in real-time to assist you with tasks in which visual information might be helpful. Using the camera on your phone, the agent can provide you with information about your environment or answer visual questions for you at your request. Agents have undergone rigorous training and have been through various clearances and background checks so that users can feel confident that their information and privacy will be protected throughout all Aira calls.

Getting started with Aira

First, you will need to download the free Aira Explorer app in the Apple App Store or the free Aira Explorer app in the Google Play Store. You just need your name, an email address, and a password to register with Aira.

You’ll also need either a mobile phone number or an email to set up a free account. If you need help, call 1-800-835-1934 or go to AIRA’s website to get a link to download the app. Using this method, you will open a Guest account (they are free).

Pricing

Aira is primarily a fee-based service. For more information, please reference “Changes to AIRA’s On-Demand Visual Interpretation Services” in the Bridges Blog.

Free options

Aira also offers free access under certain circumstances, including “Access Points” – locations at which you may use Aira at no cost. Notable Aira Access partners in the Maryland region include Wegman’s grocery store, Target, Starbucks, TD Bank, Bank of America, and the headquarters of the National Federation of the Blind. Additionally, there are multiple museums, including quite a few in Washington, DC, that offer free Aira Access during your visits there.

About Be My Eyes

Getting started with Be My Eyes

First, you will need to download the Be My Eyes app in the Apple App Store or the Be My Eyes app in the Google Play Store. You just need your name, an email address, and a password to register with Be My Eyes.

Pricing – always free!

The Be My Eyes app provides unlimited access to sighted volunteer assistance at no cost. Yes, it’s completely free, and there are no advertisements, in-app purchases, or requests for donations.

Beta-testing: AI-powered assistance from Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is primarily a volunteer-staffed app that connects blind/low vision individuals seeking visual information with sighted volunteers. Just three weeks ago, Be My Eyes announced that it will soon be adding Virtual Volunteer, a digital visual assistant powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4. Virtual Volunteer will not involve human volunteers, but Be My Eyes support will remain “if and when the tool is unable to answer a question, it will automatically offer users the option to be connected via the app to a sighted volunteer for assistance – our volunteer experience isn’t going anywhere.” From the Be My Eyes Virtual Volunteer announcement web page.

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

Categories
Bridges Blog Educational Resources Extracurricular Resources Information Resources Recreation Resources Series: Choose Your Own Adventure April

Museums for All and More!

Choose Your Own Adventure April

Life is an adventure, but where to begin? Join us at the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Helpdesk as we explore tools to support you as you Choose Your Own Adventure this April!

  • April 4: Museums for All and More!
  • April 11: AIRA Access Points and Be My Eyes Apps
  • April 18: Public Transportation
  • April 25: Paratransit/Call-a-ride

In this first installment of our “Choose Your Own Adventure April” series, we learn about a program that offers access to museums all across our nation for free or at greatly reduced admission fees. We also explore Maryland museums with free admission for all and the National Parks Access Pass.

What is Museums for All?

Museums for All is a program designed to encourage those with low income to visit more museums more frequently by reducing financial barriers to admission. Through Museums for All, individuals who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits receive reduced-price or free admission to museums whose admission fees might otherwise be too much to afford. The maximum per person admission fee under this program is three dollars ($3).

Am I Eligible to Use Museums for All?

Eligibility for Museums for All benefits is based on receiving SNAP benefits and displaying a SNAP EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. While some museums may offer reduced or free admission to individuals based on their receipt of other government benefits, such as WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), the Museums for All program guidelines are limited to the presentation of a SNAP EBT card. As noted on the Museums for All “For Visitors” web page: “Please check with the museum you wish to visit ahead of time, as we cannot guarantee that they will honor anything besides the SNAP EBT card.”

How Do I Get Free or Reduced-price Admission?

Just present your SNAP EBT card to a participating museum, and you will receive free or discounted museum admission (no more than $3 per person). Also, up to three (3) additional people in your party can receive free or reduced-price admission fees for each SNAP EBT card presented.

Can I Pay the Admission Fee with my SNAP EBT card?

No. SNAP EBT cards can only be used to purchase eligible food items. The card is only used as proof of eligibility for the Museums for All program.

Are There Limitations on Admission under Museums for All?

No. Museums for All has a “year-round open door policy,” so you may visit anytime during regular museum hours.

Museums for All Adventures Await!

What Museums are Included?

More than one thousand (1,000) museums across the United States participate in the Museums for All program. Check out the Museums for All Participating Museums web page for more information.

In Maryland alone, there are twenty-six (26) participating museums. The bulleted list below sets forth participating museums in Maryland includes hyperlinks for more information and shows the museum’s location in parentheses.

Can I Use Museums for All Benefits Outside Maryland?

Yes! All participating Museums for All museums will accept a SNAP EBT card from any state. However, as noted above, you cannot pay any admission fees with your SNAP EBT card.

Free Museums in Maryland

As noted above, the Museums for All program focuses on providing free or reduced-price museum admission to individuals with low income. But even if you don’t qualify for Museums for All, there are free museum options in Maryland!

Admission to National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands

The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Access Pass, also called the Interagency Access Pass, is available to any citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. who has been medically determined to have a permanent disability, and Access Passes do not expire.

The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Access Pass is accepted for free or reduced-price admission (of up to four total adults per pass) at museums and other sites where Entrance or Standard Amenity Fees (Day use fees) are charged. Sites include those managed by the Forest Service, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, USACE, and Bureau of Reclamation. In addition, the Tennessee Valley Authority may honor the Access Pass for entrance or camping discounts. From Access Pass Frequently Asked Questions web page.

Proof of permanent disability includes any of the following:

  • A statement by a licensed physician (Statement must include that the individual has a PERMANENT disability, that it limits one or more aspects of their daily life, and the nature of those limitations.)
  • A document issued by a federal agency such as the Veteran’s Administration, Social Security Disability Income, or Supplemental Security Income.
  • A document issued by a state agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency.

From America the Beautiful-The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Access Pass web page.

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.