Resource Connections Incorporated (RCI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing community services coordination;(formerly resource coordination), as authorized by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). Community services coordination includes assistance with the DDA services eligibility application process; waiting list case management; development of an individualized service plan; advocacy; and support of each person's goals and dreams.
Our mission "to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities direct their own lives through supportive partnerships and connection to resources that promote independence" guides all operations. Fulfilling this mission requires an approach that is person-centered (learning what each person wants and partnering with him/her to achieve it), community-based (supporting the person to live and work within the local community), and cost-effective (understanding how to connect the person to the right resources).
Resource Connections' vision aligns our mission with our commitment to:
Board of Directors
Edda Perez, President
Edward Mixon, Treasurer
George Hoehl, Secretary
Management Staff (See Contact Us for phone and email list)
Joyce Sims, Executive Director
Audra Schor, Deputy Director
Theresa Thomas, Finance Director
Caranda Clements, Human Resources Director
Raychon Stroman, Quality Improvement Manager
Atai Nyambi, Team Leader
Henry Chapman, Team Leader
Jennifer Cicale, Team Leader
Jennifer Faria, Team Leader
Jolanta Stoops, Team Leader
Simone Vyfhuis, Team Leader
Self-advocates serve on the Resource Connections' Steering Committee, which reports to the Board of Directors in an advisory capacity. Steering Committee representatives participate in agency strategic planning, and work with administration to promote the agency mission through projects and activities. Meetings are held bi-monthly to maximize understanding and participation.
Projects have included providing insight on what is most important to have included in the IP (Individual Plan); development of a Resource Coordinator job description that is presented to new staff during orientation; a booklet about individual rights and responsibilities, which is provided to all persons receiving our services; and a video to help people understand how to responsibly exercise their rights.
In June 2006, the Steering Committee published a book about the lives and challenges of people with disabilities. "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives" was made available for purchase, and over 300 copies have been distributed to date. The group has sponsored a number of successful social events, promoting the value of networking and connecting to others. They interviewed people who recently graduated from school in order to develop a Fact Sheet of information regarding the services and opportunities they will encounter as adults.
In response to a request from DDA, the Committee worked with it's founding members to develop a guidebook for agencies that are interested in promoting people's active voice in their organization's mission and activities. "Steering for Change: The Guidebook for Consumer-Driven Advisory Committees." Click here to view this resource.
A more recent project involved review of the training material being used to inform people about their fundamental rights in regard to their services. The Committee found existing resources failed to convey those rights in a way that most people would truly understand. More importantly, there was really no clear guidance on how to responsibly exercise those rights. Committee members felt that, without that information, the "listing of rights" was just so many words. So, members worked for about a year, discussing and creating a guidebook for people to help them exercise their rights. A copy of "Know Your Rights", is available for download here. Look for the companion video - coming soon!