A representative of SDAN, Dennis Shifflet, held a third meeting with Secretary of Disabilities, Carol Beatty. The meeting explored a variety of ideas in increasing and improving quality of staff for participants of self-directed services. One possible development would be an internship program and statewide certification for those working to provide services to Maryland’s special needs/disability community. This was the third meeting with Sec. Beatty since February of 2017. Mr. Shifflet feels Secretary Beatty, is sincere and that SDAN has found a team member who is sensitive and supportive of our cause & concerns. Mr. Shifflet has been actively pursuing the ability of increasing the applicant pool. He strongly believes this can be accomplished not only by monetary incentives, but by directing college/university students to move beyond classroom instruction to an “Experiential Learning” program. This would be mutually beneficial to all servicing sectors, especially Self Directed Services. In addition, after students serve in this internship beginning in their Sophomore year, they might be attracted to continuing to work as part-time paid staff throughout the remainder of their college education. We thank Mr. Shifflet for representing SDAN and all those in the community with disabilities in his efforts to strengthen the applicant pool and quality of the work force!