There are many resources and services designed for supporting individuals with disabilities.
The resources below provide information on support groups, self- and parent-advocacy groups, specific disability associations, guides to better understand disabilities, as well as valuable information on legal resources. This page also includes resources to help people understand the need for social and racial justice, how to explain racism to children, and more.
The below list features a variety of support and advocacy groups aimed to help people with disabilities living in the state of Maryland.
Advocates for Children and Youth
Advocates for Children and Youth is dedicated to identifying problems, evaluating the effectiveness of programs and policies, and promoting policies and programs that improve results for Maryland’s children.
The Arc Baltimore
The Arc Baltimore is an indispensable resource, providing employment training and support, day and residential services, family support and education, treatment foster care, respite care, public policy advocacy, and information and referrals. The Arc holds several support groups.
Brain Injury Association of Maryland
The Brain Injury Association of Maryland aims to be the voice of those affected by brain injury through advocacy, education, and research. Find a brain injury support group near you.
Homeless Persons Representation Project, Inc. (HPRP)
The Homeless Persons Representation Project (HPRP), a non-profit organization, aims to end homelessness by providing free legal services, including advice, counsel, education, representation and advocacy, for low-income persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education (MCIE)
The Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education (MCIE) promotes effective and inclusive education practices in Maryland and beyond, advocates for families, supports schools in their work to improve instruction and inclusion, and shares current information on best educational practices.
Parents’ Place of Maryland
The Parents’ Place of Maryland empowers families as advocates and partners in improving education and health outcomes for their children with disabilities and special healthcare needs.
People On the Go Maryland (POG)
People On the Go (POG) is a group of advocates with intellectual and developmental challenges who advocate, educate and legislate about the importance of choice and the freedom it brings with the reward of independence.
Learn more about the many national advocacy groups that support and empower people with disabilities.
ADAPT is a national organization made up of local chapters. The members engage in nonviolent, direct action to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.
Attention Deficit Disorder Association
The Attention Deficit Disorder Association provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder lead better lives.
The Autism Society exists to increase public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocate for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and provide the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy.
Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Find support groups and other resources near you.
Brain Injury Association of America
Through advocacy, the Brain Injury Association of America’s mission is to advance brain injury prevention, research, treatment and education and to improve the quality of life for all individuals impacted by brain injury.
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD): National Resource on ADHD
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is part of a social movement more than twenty years in the making that seeks to reshape how society treats, accommodates, and views people with ADHD. This organization wants you to be armed with information to make a difference in your own life, whether that means dealing with issues in the classroom, the boardroom, or your living room.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is dedicated to educating, advocating, listening, and leading to raise awareness and provide support to those affected by mental illness. Find a support group or other NAMI programs in your state.
National Association for Down Syndrome
The National Association for Down Syndrome offers parent support, resource referrals, public awareness, a self-advocate program, retreats, conferences, and seminars.
National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)
The mission of the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) is to improve the lives of the one in five children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities.
National Parenting Education Network (NPEN)
National Parenting Education Network (NPEN) believes all parents/families should have the information, resources and support needed to provide a nurturing relationship and an optimal environment that will encourage their children’s healthy growth and development.
TASH is an international leader in disability advocacy. TASH advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and support needs.
Understanding Asperger Syndrome: A Professor’s Guide
This title in the new DVD series Asperger Syndrome and Adulthood focuses on educating professors, teaching assistants, and others on what it means to be a college student on the spectrum and how they might best be able to help them succeed.
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates, and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. They work to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network that has helped millions.
Civil Advocacy & Legal Services
The list below provides an assortment of civil advocacy and legal services available nationally and in the state of Maryland.
Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services at the Esperanza Center
Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services assists with immigration and naturalization issues, legal services, health care, employment, English and citizenship classes.
Disability Entitlement Advocacy Program (DEAP)
This organization provides free legal and non-legal services to residents of the state of Maryland. The program is designed to help individuals with disabilities qualify for Social Security Income and other federal benefits.
Health Education and Advocacy Unit (HEAU)
The Health Education and Advocacy Unit (HEAU) of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office offers a free mediation service to consumers who have a billing issue with their healthcare provider or a coverage or enrollment dispute with their health insurance company.
House of Ruth
House of Ruth Maryland leads the fight to end violence against women and their children by confronting the attitudes, behaviors and systems that perpetuate it, and by providing victims with the services necessary to rebuild their lives safely and free of fear.
Legal Information Brochures
The Maryland State Bar Association offers a series of easy-to-read guides about common legal problems. They are designed to inform the public and not serve as or replace legal advice.
Disability Rights Maryland
Disability Rights Maryland, formerly Maryland Disability Law Center, advocates to improve the lives of Marylanders with disabilities by providing free legal services to Marylanders of any age with all types of disabilities (developmental, intellectual, psychiatric, physical, sensory, learning, traumatic brain injury), who live in facilities, in the community or who are homeless.
Maryland’s Governor’s Office for Children: Local Management Board Directory
Today, the Local Management Boards serve as the coordinator of collaboration for child and family services. Find the Local Management Board contact information for your county.
Maryland Legal Aid
Maryland Legal Aid is a non-profit law firm that provides free legal services to low-income individuals as well as other vulnerable populations, such as assisted living residents and children in need of assistance. Maryland Legal Aid handles civil cases over a vast range of issues including housing, employment, and public benefits.
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Services
The Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service provides legal representation at low or no cost to Marylanders with limited income.
People on the Go of Maryland
People on the Go (P.O.G) of Maryland is a group of advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities who use their voices to be heard and recognized and strive to eliminate discrimination.
The People’s Law Library of Maryland
Find legal services statewide.
Project HEAL is a community-based program of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Project HEAL enables attorneys, doctors, educators, social workers, and healthcare advocates to work together, for the benefit of children and adolescents needing both legal and medical assistance.
Public Justice Center
Public Justice Center advocates in the courts, legislatures, and government agencies, educates the public, and builds coalitions, all to advance their mission of pursuing systemic change to build a just society.
Senior Legal Services (SLS)
Founded in 1992 as Legal Services to the Elderly, Senior Legal Services (SLS) provides vital pro bono legal services to low-income seniors, aged 60 and over, in Baltimore City.
University of Maryland Clinical Law Program: JustAdvice
For a small fee attorneys provide brief legal advice on a wide variety of civil and criminal matters. The JustAdvice Program is a limited-scope legal advice service and should not be considered a substitute for representation.
University of Maryland: Immigration Law Clinic
The Immigration Clinic represents individuals in immigration proceedings before the Immigration Court and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in Baltimore.
Women’s Law Center of Maryland
Through impact litigation and public education, our founders hoped to eliminate discrimination and unfair practices, especially in the area of family law and in the workplace. The Women’s Law Center of Maryland provides representation for victims of domestic violence in protective order hearings and to foreign-born victims of domestic violence in immigration matters.
World Relief Baltimore
The World Relief Baltimore Immigration Legal Clinic ("The Clinic") advises and represents immigrants and their family members in immigration matters such as: applying for permanent residence and work permits, petitioning for family members to remain or reunite with them in the U.S., and applying for naturalization.
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)
Members of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates work to protect the legal and civil rights and secure excellence in education on behalf of tens of thousands of students with disabilities and their families per year at the national, state and local levels.
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) is dedicated to advancing the civil human rights of people with disabilities through legal advocacy, training, education, and public policy and legislative development.
A Guide to Disability Rights Laws
This guide provides an overview of federal civil rights laws that ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities.
National Association for the Deaf
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. It was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level.
National Disability Rights Network
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) works to improve the lives of people with disabilities by guarding against abuse; advocating for basic rights; and ensuring accountability in healthcare, education, employment, housing, transportation, and within the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind promotes and protects the rights of the blind through information services, legislative advocacy, and litigation. They work to inform blind individuals of available governmental and private services, facts about laws and regulations concerning them, and work to change legislation that discriminates against the blind.
Tahirih Justice Center
Tahirih Justice Center provides a combination of direct social services and pro bono legal services to immigrant women and girls on issues concerning family law, immigration and gender based asylum, domestic violence, and human trafficking.
Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Advocacy
Wrightslaw provides accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.
Social and Racial Justice Resources
The resources below can help people of all ages better understand racism and advocate for change against inequities in Maryland, nationally and worldwide.
Below are resources to help our children understand and respond to racism:
- Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Talking to Your Kids About Racism
- "But Daddy, Why Was He Shot?" : How to Talk to Children about Race Today
- Talking to Kids about Ahmaud
- I'm a White Mother of a Black Son and We All Need to Talk to Our Kids About Ahmaud Arbery
- White Parents: Here's How To (and How Not To) Talk to Your Kids About Racism
- Imani Perry | Breathe: A Letter to My Sons (Interview, Book Link, Article)
- How To Talk To Your Kids About Race And Justice
- How to Talk to Your Children about Protests and Racism
- Talking to Kids About Race
- Resources for Talking About Race, Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids
- 10 Ways to Start a Conversation About Race
Resources for White Parents to Raise Anti-Racist Children:
- Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners: books for children and young adults
- Fare of the Free Child podcast
- PBS’s Teaching Your Child About Black History Month
- The Conscious Kid
- “America’s Racial Contract Is Killing Us” by Adam Serwer | Atlantic (May 8, 2020)
- ”My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Antonio Vargas | NYT Mag (June 22, 2011)
- The 1619 Project (all the articles) | The New York Times Magazine
- “The Intersectionality Wars” by Jane Coaston | Vox (May 28, 2019)
- “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi | Atlantic (May 12, 2020)
- Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives: Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, Charlene Carruthers (50:48)
- "How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion" | Peggy McIntosh at TEDxTimberlaneSchools (18:26)
- 1619 (New York Times)
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Seeing White
- Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
- Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
- Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
- How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander
- The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
by Grace Lee Boggs
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson
- White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
Films and TV series:
- 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
- American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
- Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
- Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
- Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
- Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
- I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin documentary) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) [based on James Baldwin’s novel of the same name] — Hulu
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) [based on book of the same name] — Available to rent
- King In The Wilderness — HBO
- See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
- Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
- The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
- The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
Organizations to Follow on Social Media:
- Antiracism Center: Twitter
- Audre Lorde Project: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Black Women’s Blueprint: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Color Of Change: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Colorlines: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Families Belong Together: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- MPowerChange: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Muslim Girl: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- NAACP: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- National Domestic Workers Alliance: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- RAICES: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- SisterSong: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- United We Dream: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
Additional Anti-Racist Resources: