History & Funding

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

In addition, DRM is a proud grantee of the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC).

Logo for Maryland Legal Services Corporation

In 2016, DRM was awarded a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention.

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’s 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

Over the years, DRM has hosted Breaking Barriers, an inspiring evening awards gala celebrating 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!

2018 Honorees:
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

2015 Honorees:
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 Heumann

2012 Honorees:
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

2011 Honorees:
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

2010 Honorees
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)