DD Advocacy

DRM provides advocacy services to individuals with developmental disabilities under the federal PADD Program.

Additionally, DRM also provides advocacy services to adults with Autism & Intellectual Disabilities who receive Developmental Services. DRM's Developmental Services Advocates (DSA) are funded by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS). The DSA advocates, who are located in Caribou, Bangor, Lewiston, Augusta/Rockland, and Portland, provide direct representation, respond to reported rights violations, attend all 3-person committee meetings reviewing the use of severely intrusive behavior and safety plans, attend Person Centered Planning meetings, and conduct regular outreach and training statewide.

Find the Developmental Services Advocate in your district!

 DRM's Recent Work

DRM Addresses Array of Serious Rights Violations for Client

DRM received several reportable events alleging rights violations regarding a man with an intellectual disability. The advocate at DRM met with the man, his staff, the guardian and the executive director of the agency and found out that the man's rights were being violated in many ways; staff were restricting his right to his property; using the soda that he purchased as a reward for good behavior; restricting what clothes he could wear; refusing to let him keep his property in his room; making his clean up his feces and urine when he was incontinent and using planned restraints - all without any intrusive plans in place. The advocate also discovered that there were over 30 pages of plans that the agency was using and they were all outdated or unapproved. These plans were also wrought with disrespectful language and were not person centered. The advocate educated the entire home staff and their supervisors about rights and reportable event procedures. Because of the advocacy of the DRM, the man's plans were discontinued and all of his rights were restored for the first time in his adult life.

DRM Assists Client with Becoming Her Own Guardian

An adult female with an intellectual disability contacted DRM requesting assistance terminating her guardianship and conservatorship. DRM discovered that the client had been put under guardianship and conservatorship without due process. The probate court had processed the client's family member’s request for temporary emergency guardianship/conservatorship without contacting the client. Then, instead of scheduling a hearing, the court issued an order for full guardianship and conservatorship. The client was never contacted by the court and had no knowledge of the order until he contacted DRM. DRM made a motion to the court requesting that the court vacate the client's guardianship/conservatorship on the basis that she did not receive due process when the order was made.

At hearing, the court requested that the parties consider a potential settlement.  The client's current guardian agreed to terminate guardianship/conservatorship if the client agreed to put her money in a special needs trust, which the client agreed to do.  At hearing, both parties submitted the Settlement Agreement to the court. Pursuant to that agreement, the court terminated the client's guardianship.

DRM Successfully Advocates for Client to Receive Specialized Services

In the course of conducting outreach to Van Meter v. Mayhew class members living in nursing facilities concerning the provision of specialized services, DRM discovered woman in her 40's with cerebral palsy that had not left the nursing facility in months.  Initially, she had not been identified by the State as needing specialized services.  DRM successfully negotiated for the client to receive community support services.  In arranging these community support services, the nursing facility attempted to limit her choice to one program, citing transportation issues. DRM resolved the transportation issue by obtaining additional information and sharing it with the nursing facility.


How to Request a COVID-Related Reasonable Accommodation

Everyone’s life is currently affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of COVID-19, many providers have made new rules and changed the way they offer services to people with disabilities. Sometimes these new rules make it hard for people to access their services because of their disability. If you or someone you know is having difficulty receiving services because of these new rules, you might be able to request a “reasonable accommodation” based on your disability. This webinar will talk about what a reasonable accommodation is, how to request a reasonable accommodation and what to do if your provider says no. There  will also be time at the end for questions and answers.


Developmental Services Advocacy Rack Card

Learn how a DRM Developmental Services Advocate can help you!

DOJ Guidance

In December 2017, the US Dept. of Justice rescinded 25 guidance documents. Shortly thereafter, the New York Times archived these documents and made them available on the cloud.

Below is the list of documents that are available for viewing by clicking the link below:

  1. ATF Procedure 75-4.
  2. Industry Circular 75-10.
  3. ATF Ruling 85-3.
  4. Industry Circular 85-3.
  5. ATF Ruling 2001-1.
  6. ATF Ruling 2004-1.
  7. Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative Guidelines (2013).
  8. Northern Border Prosecution Initiative Guidelines (2013).
  9. Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants Program Guidance Manual (2007).
  10. Advisory for Recipients of Financial Assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice on Levying Fines and Fees on Juveniles (January 2017).
  11. Dear Colleague Letter on Enforcement of Fines and Fees (March 2016).
  12. ADA Myths and Facts (1995).
  13. Common ADA Problems at Newly Constructed Lodging Facilities (November 1999).
  14. Title II Highlights (last updated 2008).
  15. Title III Highlights (last updated 2008).
  16. Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business (July 1996).
  17. ADA Business Brief: Service Animals (April 2002).
  18. Prior Joint Statement of the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Group Homes, Local Land Use, and the Fair Housing Act (August 18, 1999).
  19. Letter to Alain Baudry, Esq., with standards for conducting internal audit in a non-discriminatory fashion (December 4, 2009).
  20. Letter to Esmeralda Zendejas on how to determine whether lawful permanent residents are protected against citizenship status discrimination (May 30, 2012).
  21. Common ADA Errors and Omissions in New Construction and Alterations (June 1997).
  22. Common Questions: Readily Achievable Barrier Removal and Design Details: Van Accessible Parking Spaces (August 1996).
  23. Website guidance on bailing-out procedures under section 4(b) and section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (2004).
  24. Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers (May 2002).
  25. Statement of the Department of Justice on Application of the Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C. to State and Local Governments' Employment Service Systems for Individuals with Disabilities (October 31, 2016).

New York Times, December 2017

Department of Health & Human Services Training Opportunities

This site provides a list of available training opportunities offered by DHHS' Staff Education & Training Unit. Individuals may also use this site to register for upcoming events.

DRM's Developmental Services Advocates collaborate with DHHS staff on rights trainings across the state.

Department of Health & Human Services, Staff Education and Training Unit (SETU)

A Basic Guide to Self-Advocacy

This manual is intended to provide a simple yet informative overview of how to be a self-advocate. This manual is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have specific questions or need assistance with a particular issue, please contact Disability Rights Maine.

 Trainings & Upcoming Events


 Systemic Work

Supported Decision-Making

DRM is one of the founding members and facilitator of the Supported Decision-Making Coalition, a group of community partners with a shared objective of providing information to the community on alternatives to guardianship.  The third meeting of the Supported Decision-Making Coalition occurred February 19, 2016. The Coalition met to review outreach materials, training, and policy research to share on the Coalition’s website. In the first half of the meeting, the Coalition heard from Julia Otis of TrueLink Financial on the organization’s new product, the TrueLink Card, to assist individuals with difficulty making financial decisions. Also presenting via Skype, the Coalition heard from Clint McKay of The Arc of Indiana, on Indiana’s progress implementing Supporting Decision-Making in their State. The Coalition has agreed to meet in smaller groups to better develop strategic plans of outreach before the next meeting (TBA) in May. More information on Supported Decision-Making and alternatives to guardianship can be found on the Coalition’s website at www.supportmydecision.org.