Mayor and City Council Meeting
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm







  1. Call to order.
  2. Roll call
  3. Approval of Minutes from CAC for Persons with Disabilities Meeting on March 11, 2021.
  4. New App – FuelService – An app for persons with disabilities to use when going to the gas station.
  5. Update on the CAC for Disabilities Website.
  6. General discussion.
  7. Next meeting.
  8. Adjournment.




The meeting was called to order at 6:03 p.m. with Chairman Nicholas presiding. Roll was called with Valerie M.A. Nicholas, Chairman; Brent Debnam; Mike McLaughlin; Erin McLaughlin and Kim Rau, Clerk, present.

On motion by Mr. Debnam, seconded by Mr. McLaughlin, the Minutes of the CAC for Persons with Disabilities Meeting on March 11, 2021, were approved.

Chairman Nicholas told the committee members she was a guest speaker today for the WSSC Maryland History Month Women Guest-Speaker Services. Tonight, she is being recognized by the Laurel Historical Society in recognition of Black History Month.

Kim Rau reported that Chairman Nicholas had seen a feature story on Fox 5 earlier this week about a new app for people with disabilities and asked her to get some information for the committee. Fuel Service App is an automated system for disabled persons to use to get assistance at gas stations. Josh Basile has been working for two years to get on the market. 130 Shell Stations have signed on in the DC Market, including Maryland and Virginia. Does not cost the user. Can be accessed at Google App. Chairman Nicholas wants this information added to the website under resources list.

Kim Rau showed the committee the website for the CAC for Persons with Disabilities. It was noted the website is a work in progress. Committee members were asked to send Kim their pictures and bios (if they haven't already) to be added to the website.

"Disability is Natural" written by Cathy Snow will be added to the website under recommended reading. Mike McLaughlin will contact her about speaking with the CAC.

Chairman Nicholas would also like to add recommended reading for adults as well as children on the website,Chairman Nicholas has tasked Erin McLaughlin with giving the committee a few words of encouragement at each meeting before adjourning.
Chairman Nicholas reached out to Metro Access, leaving a message. She received an email from Customer Service saying she will get a call back on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Mike McLaughlin forwarded to the committee the bill tracker for The Arc of Maryland. He said it can be overwhelming reading but encouraged everyone to look at it. There were two key bills he was looking at:

  1. require schools to develop a seizure action plan, Arc Maryland supports this bill. He reached out with friend who has two children that have seizures, and she doesn't support this bill. Her thoughts are that the child should have action plan written into their IAP. Brent Debnam expressed concern about what happens when a nonverbal person experiences a seizure.
  2. HB 724 Special Education advocates are unhappy with progress this past year with the remote learning. This bill allows kids in transition (the final two years of high school) to get to repeat the last year. Maybe next Legislative Session the CAC can have a platform and stand behind as a group.

Brent Debnam said a lot of organizations are sharing concerns about the virtual learning issue. There are a lot of agencies trying to do job training virtually that they would normally doing in-person, which is not as effective.

Discussion about agencies trying to help individuals with intellectual disabilities finding themselves in situations with law enforcement and fair representations. Brent Debnam said this recalls the Ethan Saylor tragedy and legal representation. He believes that the Maryland Center for Disabilities has been taking the lead on this with the Ethan Saylor Alliance. The link will be added to the website.

Ethan Saylor Alliance

The Ethan Saylor Alliance was passed in April of 2015 and was aimed at providing increased training for members of law enforcement and other public service entities on specific needs of those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The premise of the alliance is that self-advocates take the central role in educating and informing the community regarding the specific needs of those with disabilities. The Maryland Department of Disabilities was tasked with forming an alliance of self-advocates, family members, disability related professionals, educators, and members of law enforcement. The alliance will form the framework needed to support and facilitate self-advocates as educators for law enforcement and other public service entities.

"Love you!" from Erin McLaughlin.

Next Thursday, April 8, 2021, 6:00 p.m.

There being no further business to come before the committee the meeting was adjourned at 6:35 p.m.


Clerk to the Council