History & Funding
Disability Rights Maryland (DRM) is Maryland’s designated Protection & Advocacy (P&A) agency and a member of the National Disability Rights Network. As such, DRM is part of a nationwide network of organizations working to advance the rights of people with disabilities. Congress established the P&A System in 1975 in response to squalid conditions in institutional facilities for people with disabilities. In creating and funding the P&As, Congress granted us unique statutory authority to conduct investigations of suspected abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities in facilities.
DRM receives federal funding from several agencies under the following grants:
- Protection & Advocacy for Developmental Disabilities (PADD), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Protection & Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR), U.S. Department of Education
- Protection & Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT), U.S. Department of Education
- Protection & Advocacy for Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Protection & Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS), Social Security Administration
- Strengthening Protections for Beneficiaries with Representative Payees (PARP), Social Security Administration
In addition, DRM is a proud grantee of the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC).
The Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention has awarded DRM several grants since 2016 including funds under the following programs:
- Victims of Crime Act (2016 and ongoing)
- Legal Services for Victims of Crimes (2018)
- Maryland Victims of Crime (2019)
- Children’s Justice Act Committee (2019-20)
DRM has also been very fortunate to receive funding for our work from several private foundations. Current and recent grants have been provided by the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, Open Society Institute, Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund, Fund for Change, Venable Foundation, Leonard & Helen R. Stulman Foundation, and the Baltimore Bar Foundation.
DRM governing Board of Directors financially supports the organization with 100% participation. DRM also relies on–and is grateful to receive–charitable contributions from individual donors to make possible our advocacy for individuals with disabilities who are unable to afford the legal assistance they need. DRM also participates in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC: 76352 / MCC: 5178).
Thank you for your support!
This website produced and published at U.S. taxpayer expense.
Breaking Barriers Gala
Over the years, Disability Rights Maryland has hosted its annual Breaking Barriers Gala, an inspiring awards ceremony celebrating the achievements in the struggle to secure legal rights for Marylanders with disabilities. Guests enjoy fantastic food, drink and entertainment; mingle with fun, interesting and caring folks; and see the presentation of our Breaking Barriers achievement awards honoring advocates for people with disabilities. DRM appreciates your support for the work that lies ahead!
Gayle Hafner Grassroots Advocacy Award: Floyd Hartley on behalf of the full CARS team (Debbie Benaderet, Will Fields, Imani Graham, Floyd Hartley, Marlene Hendler, Linda Merkle, Danielle Phelps, May Robinson, Valerie Smith and Kim Stevens)
Judith Heumann Champion of Justice Award: Wade Henderson (presented by Judith E. Heumann)
Lorraine Sheehan Lifetime Achievement Award: Andrew D. Levy
Public Policy Award: U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen
Legal Advocacy Awards: Jennifer Bruton and Daniel O’Brien, Venable; and Stephanie Hales, Sidley Austin LLP
Gayle Hafner Grassroots Advocacy Award: Patti Saylor
Excellence in Journalism Award: Erica Green
Public Policy Award: Congressman Elijah E. Cummings
Lorraine Sheehan Lifetime Achievement Award: Curt Decker
Influencer Award: Tatyana McFadden
Advocacy Leadership Award: Regina Lee & Dominic Radcliff
Public Policy Award: Congressman Steny H. Hoyer
Legal Advocacy Award: Sidley Austin LLP
Gayle Hafner Grassroots Advocacy Award: Thomas Hicks
Lorraine Sheehan Lifetime Achievement Award: Judith E. Heumann
Public Policy Award: Maryland Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell
Public Policy Award: Maryland Senator Richard Madaleno
Legal Advocacy Award: Raymond Marshall
Grassroots Advocacy Award: Kenneth Capone
Public Policy Award: Maryland Delegate James W. Hubbard
Legal Advocacy Award: Venable LLP
Grassroots Advocacy Award: Sandra Spears
Lorraine Sheehan Lifetime Achievement Award: U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin
Public Policy Award: Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger
Legal Advocacy Award: Earl Bartgis, Jr.
Grassroots Advocacy Award: Floyd Hartley
Lifetime Achievement Award: Lorraine Sheehan, posthumously (presented to Laura Carr & John Sheehan by Senator Benjamin L. Cardin)