January 1, 1987
SEEC was founded in 1987 by a group of motivated families and concerned professionals and is considered a pioneer in community-based, person-centered supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Karen J. Lee Becomes Executive Director
January 1, 1990
Karen J. Lee has served as SEEC’s executive director since 1990. At that time, SEEC was a small agency serving 10 people with a staff of four and a budget below $100,000. Under Karen’s leadership, SEEC has experienced tremendous growth in terms of the number of people supported, the size of our staff, the breadth of our services, and our annual operating budget which now exceeds $14 million.
Montgomery County Center Opens Its Doors
January 1, 2009
SEEC pioneered total community-based supports in Montgomery County in 2009 when we closed the doors to our Rockville facility that served as the hub for day supports. Since then, all supports have been offered exclusively in the community.
Project SEARCH Launches
January 1, 2010
SEEC launched its first replication of Project SEARCH in 2010, a school-to-work transition program for young adults with developmental disabilities. Our employer partners include the National Institutes of Health, Montgomery County Government, the Smithsonian Institution, and Embassy Suites/Hilton Hotels. More than 240 interns have participated in these program with a hiring rate of up to 80% in jobs that offer competitive wages and benefits.
Maryland Customized Employment Project
December 1, 2015
In December 2015, SEEC was awarded a two-year grant totaling $284,000 to implement the Maryland Customized Employment Project to improve employment outcomes for Marylanders with developmental disabilities. The project provided trainings and certifications for staff throughout the state in proven customized employment best practices. Working with state agencies helped form new policies and funding streams to support customized, person-centered strategies in Maryland.
DDA Fellowship for Employment Policy
January 1, 2016
In 2016, at the request of Bernard Simons, Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), Karen Lee was appointed to a 16-month DDA Fellowship for Employment Policy. Karen successfully led the development of Maryland’s Employment First Strategic Plan
2016 Public Policy Advocate Award
June 1, 2016
Karen Lee was awarded the 2016 Public Policy Advocate Award from the Association of People Supporting Employment First at its annual conference in June. In that same year, she was named a 2016 “Most Admired CEO” by Maryland’s The Daily Record.
Moving Mountains Best Practice Award
August 1, 2016
SEEC received the 2016 Moving Mountains Best Practice Award for innovative and comprehensive staff development. This competitive, national award is presented by the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), Research and Training Center on Community Living, Institute on Community Integration of the University of Minnesota.
Business Advisory Council (BAC)
September 1, 2016
In 2016 SEEC created a Business Advisory Council (BAC) representing Employers in Montgomery County whose mission is to increase employment options and opportunities for local residents with developmental disabilities. BAC members serve as mentors and ambassadors to promote a diversified workforce through the inclusion of workers with disabilities.
April 1, 2017
In April 2017, SEEC was awarded a two-year $150,000 EARN grant from the Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulations to create The Maryland Direct Support Professional Training Consortium, a collaboration of five providers of services (led by SEEC), and the Maryland DDA.
U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program Subject Matter Expert (SME)
May 1, 2017
In 2017, Karen Lee was named a U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program Subject Matter Expert (SME) in the field of Employment First Policy and Practice. Karen provides the consultation and technical assistance to providers throughout the country who aspire to transform their services from facility-based to community-based person-centered customized supports here in Maryland.
Emerging Leader Award
January 1, 2018
In 2018, Nancy Eaby, SEEC’s Director of Project SEARCH-Montgomery County Government, received the Emerging Leader Award from the Association of People Supporting Employment First at its national conference.
Life Course Framework for families in Southern Maryland
October 23, 2018
In 2018, Donne Allen, SEEC’s Parent to Parent Coordinator, and Cindy Kauffman, SEEC’s Director of Strategic Planning, were selected by the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration to be two of five Ambassadors be certified in and conduct Life Course Framework for families in Southern Maryland. Both women serve in leadership positions on the statewide Community of Practice for Supporting Families in Maryland.