The Maryland Disability Law Center has changed its name to Disability Rights Maryland to better reflect how the agency serves its clients.
The name change, which took effect last week, also helps identify the agency as a member of the National Disability Rights Network, aligning it with other state-level Protection and Advocacy agencies, according to a news release. The Protection and Advocacy System was established more than 40 years ago in response to abusive conditions at institutions for those with developmental disabilities, and eventually expanded to cover all those eligible for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The new name also emphasizes the organization’s core mission — to advocate for the rights of those with disabilities.
“At this juncture, most of our clients are no longer segregated in institutions, but are out in the community — and so are we,” Executive Director Virginia Knowlton Marcus said in a statement. “The work has shifted. As long as there are institutions, we will continue conducting investigations in those settings to keep people safe. But increasingly, our work is in the community.”