MDTAP - 2021 Annual Report



To enhance the lives of all Marylanders with disabilities, older Marylanders, and their families by helping support access to assistive technology (AT) devices and services.



Lori Markland, Executive Director


Andrew Drummond, Director

of IT Accessibility Policy & Programs

Stephen Polacek, IT Accessibility



Denise Schuler, AT Specialist

James Whitney, AT Clinician

Nora Walker, AT Assistant


Tanya Goodman, Program Director

Michelle Watson, AT Loan Administrator


Sama Bellomo

Sarah Calhoun

Gabriel Rubenstein

Melissa Day

Jeanne Dwyer

Matt Hackert

Toby Larue Haynes

Betsy Hein

Kristen Patterson

Matthew Peeling

Jessica Salmond

Shoshana Shamberg

Monica Simonsen

Alfred Sonnenstrahl


Photo of Accessible Technology Proclamation

Photo of Secretary Carol BeattySECRETARY’S STATEMENT

Carol Beatty, MD - Secretary of Disabilities

Assistive Technology (AT) has the power to leverage individuals with disabilities into greater opportunities for employment, education, and community living. It can provide access, choice, and empowerment. The Maryland Assistive Technology Program ensures that constituents statewide can engage with AT through regional and community AT device libraries, through virtual and in-person consultations with AT professionals, and through direct, ongoing support from our AT staff. This free service

of the state is critical to ensuring that Marylanders with disabilities have the opportunity to explore AT options for all of life’s needs, providing needed financing to support the purchase of equipment, and ensuring that individuals, professionals, and service providers have access to the most current, relevant assistive technology to make informed decisions to improve independence.

Photo of Lori MarklandDIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

Lori Markland, MDTAP - Executive Director

The Maryland Department of Disabilities Assistive Technology Program (MDTAP) is aimed at ensuring independence for all Marylanders with disabilities by increasing opportunities to access assistive technology (AT) in the home, school, and at work. On the heels of the ongoing pandemic, we established new and improved ways to support our consumers, expanding access to virtual consultations, shipping AT statewide, establishing Community AT Libraries, increasing assistive technology donations for the High-Tech AT Reuse Center, and building a robust & relevant series of assistive technology webinars that highlighted topics including AT to combat social isolation, accessible gaming, accessibility features in Chromebooks, and so much more.

MDTAP continues to ensure access to assistive technology across the state - a key pillar of our work in 2021 included building partnerships with agencies and organizations to improve direct services and impacting policy development to improve AT access. We hope you take a few moments to explore our current projects and all our program data right here in our 2021 Annual Update! And stay tuned to our website,, or follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Where It’s AT blog, YouTube, TikTok) as we plan for another year of great accomplishments!


MDTAP conducts short term loans and comprehensive demonstrations of AT devices to help constituents make informed decisions about long term device procurement, and to serve as short-term or interim technology.


  • Devices Demonstrated: 85

  • Device Loans Conducted: 132

  • Number of devices loaned: 193

  • Number of devices borrowed in order to make an AT decision: 164

“I have nothing but good to say about MDTAP.

Thank you for all that you do!”

-Nancy V, Loan Recipient

Girl Talking to male using AAC

Recipient Highlight - Debbie's Story

IWoman using screen magnifiern 2013, Debbie lost sight in her right eye. In early 2021, she suffered a detached retina in her left. That year, she had three surgeries, ending with the insertion of a scleral buckle and silicone oil in her left eye to save what vision remained.

Debbie has worked for the same firm for 30 years. Following her surgery, she could only work in the office for a brief period. “I was unable to see the computer or safely navigate my way around unfamiliar places. I was going stir crazy sitting at home, paying my family and friends to be my eyes so I could continue to earn my paycheck while working remotely” she tells us.

Debbie connected with Hoover Low Vision Rehabilitation Services at GBMC, and after overwhelmingly positive experiences working with their staff, she was referred to MDTAP.

With the help of AT Clinician, James Whitney and AT Specialist, Denise Schuler, Debbie borrowed and tried a number of devices to support her in the workplace. “Denise also provided invaluable information on disability rights, ride share opportunities and guidance on the documentation required by my employer to return to the office to work.“, Debbie says. She felt pushed to stop working following the loss of her sight, and utilized these resources to advocate for her guaranteed return to the office.

“The equipment I continue to use from MDTAP has been paramount in me being able to do my job” says Debbie. “Being able to borrow these visual aids from MDTAP has afforded me the opportunity to keep working and not have to spend thousands of dollars on equipment.... Thank you from the bottom of my heart! ”


The Assistive Technology Financial Loan Program (ATLP) helps Maryland residents with disabilities and their families qualify for low-interest loans to buy equipment that will help them live, work, and learn more independently.


  • Approved Loans Made: 25

  • Total Applications Received: 68

  • Total Value of Loans: $644,719

My heroes are Ms. Goodman and Maryland TAP!”

-Jeanette D, Loan Recipient

Africian American female in wheelchair with service dog

Girl in wheelchair talking with boy

Recipient Highlight - Ayanna's Story

African American female in wheelchairAyanna was becoming increasingly frustrated with the unreliability of her transportation options. She’s a wheelchair user, and found it difficult and arduous to get where she needed to go consistently.

After an especially discouraging experience, waiting over twelve hours for transportation to and from a 15 minute appointment, only to end up heading home after dark along inaccessible sidewalks, Ayanna and her mother decided to find a better way. They reached out to Ayanna’s DDA Coordinator, who suggested they contact MDTAP. Ayanna’s mom spoke with ATLP Director, Tanya Goodman, who lead them through the application process, and before long, they were approved for a loan to purchase their own accessible van. “Ms. Goodman was so very understanding and extremely helpful in the entire process“, she says. Now, Ayanna can safely and reliably get where she needs to go every day.


Gently used Assistive Technology is collected via donation, sanitized, refurbished and made available for free to those who can’t otherwise afford it.


  • Devices Refurbished/ Repaired: 236

  • Low Cost/Free Devices Provided: 358

  • Total Savings to Consumers: $556, 441


Lollipop Kids Foundation

Equipment Connections for Children

Loan Closet of Howard County

African American Girl in wheelchairGirl using walker

Recipient Highlight - B*'S Story

Boy crossing street in wheelchairB is a high school student who has a malignant, progressive brain tumor. She was having difficulty with her wheelchair breaking down and needed help.

B worked with someone from the Transportation department within the school district, who contacted two different Physical Therapists, one of whom reached out to the Lollipop Kids Foundation (LKF)- one of MDTAP’s partners in reuse. LKF provides free, refurbished equipment through their loan closet.

LKF was able to obtain a power wheelchair and arrange to have it delivered to the high school via a local wheelchair vendor. Power wheelchairs can cost upwards of $10K and usually take six months or more to get into the hands of students when insurance is billed.

Just two weeks after this process began, B is independent with her mobility in her wheelchair!

*Initial changed for anonymity*


The Maryland Assistive Technology Program supports the work of AT Discount Sales & Services, LLC. AT Discount Sales coordinates discounted prices on assistive technology through collaboration with a wide variety of AT vendors. Those discounts are then passed on to organizations, agencies, and individuals purchasing AT.


  • Total entities/people served: 129

  • Total # of devices provided: 6,425

  • Total savings to consumers: $90,992

“[My student] is thriving in his new school because his world has been expanded at home with the eye-gaze system you have provided. Thank you so much.”

Lady sitting outdoor talking on headset
Boy in wheelchair outdoors using laptop

Recipient Highlight - Joe's Story

Man Looking at Computer with ScreenMagnifierJoe has macular degeneration, and his eyesight is slowly declining. He first came to MDTAP in October of 2021. “I was not sure what to expect but hopeful that they could help me with watching TV and reading as those are activities I enjoy but was having difficulty seeing to participate”, he says. He and his daughter visited the central library, where MDTAP Clinician, James Whitney demonstrated a number of devices. “Mr. Whitney was patient and knowledgeable. He allowed me to take the items home to try for a few weeks. I met with him several times, trying different items, before finding the glasses and magnifier that were the best fit for me.” James worked with AT Discount Services to find a significant discount for the AT Joe wanted to purchase. Joe says, “I have been using the TV glasses and magnifier for several months now and can say that the quality of my life has improved so much. Both have been life changing for me. The glasses enable me to see the screen pictures more clearly. The magnifier allows me to read newspapers, magazines, and books. The combination of the magnification and background colors make it easier to read a variety of materials. I have always enjoyed reading and now am able to continue this pastime. I am so grateful to the Assistive Technology Program and Mr. James Whitney.”



  • Feature for WDVM news Assistive Technology Segment


  • Interview for Heaven 600 AM Radio


  • Interview for IAM Independence Amplified Podcast

  • Feature on the ABCs of Disability Planning podcast


  • Chromebook Accessibility

  • AT in Transition

  • AT to Combat Social Isolation

  • Accessible Gaming

  • AT@Work for Seniors


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Facebook - 1.8k Followers

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Twitter - 759 Followers

Wordpress Logo

WordPress - 1,440 Posts


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TikTok - Over 1400 views NEW!



YouTube Logo

YouTube - 4,850 Views

30 Subscribers

8 New Videos Poste



  • 851 Training participants


  • DDA Technology First Initiative

  • CASH Campaign of Maryland Financial Capability Awareness Series

  • AbleGamers (distributed over 200+ adapted switches)


  • 570 direct consumer contacts




Maryland Technology Assistance Program

2301 Argonne Dr. T-42

Baltimore, MD 21218

800-832-4827 (Voice)

866-881-7488 (TTY)


Bay Area Center for Independent Living, Inc.

909 Progress Circle, Ste. 300

Salisbury, MD 21804



Southern Maryland Center for Independent Living

38588 Brett Way, Ste. 1

Mechanicsville, MD 20659

301-884-4498 (voice) (email)


Resources for Independence

735 E. Oldtown Rd.

Cumberland, MD 21502

301-784-1774 (voice)


IMAGE Center of Maryland (Serving Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Harford County)

300 E Joppa Rd. Ste. 312 | 410-982-6311 | |

Independence Now, Inc. (Serving Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties)

12301 Old Columbia Pike, Ste. 101 | 301-277-2839 | |

Accessible Resources for Independence (Serving Howard and Anne Arundel Counties)

1406-B Crain Hwy S. Ste. 206 | 410-636-2274 | |

The Freedom Center (Serving Frederick and Carroll Counties)

14 W. Patrick St. Ste. 10 | 301-846-7811 | |