Advocacy Support Unit

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The Director of Advocacy Supports and the regional advocacy specialists are self-advocates. Advocating for ourselves and others, we can support people who receive DDA services to get the supports they want and need.

What we do:

Regional Advocacy Specialists

  • Build relationships with self-advocates, self-advocacy groups and providers
  • Support other self-advocates to learn about and understand DDA services
  • Coordinate and conduct a seven week training with a group of Self-Advocates
  • Provide general support to people receiving services from DDA
  • Develop and conduct additional training that meets the needs of Self-Advocates in their regions

What we offer:

In response to feedback from self-advocates, we will offer training on topics that people need. To ensure all self-advocates statewide receive the same information, at least one training will take place in each region every quarter. Self-advocates are encouraged to contact the regional advocacy specialists for support for any individual issue about DDA.
  • Do you understand how your PCP is written?
  • Do you want to know how to get different or more services from DDA?
  • Do you want someone to explain DDA processes in terms that make sense to you?
  • Do you just need support to fill out DDA paperwork?
To get answers and support: We, the regional advocacy specialists are here to assist.


Meet the Team:

Jessica Stine is the Western Maryland Regional Advocacy Specialist. As a vision-impaired person, Jessica uses adaptive technology and braille. She graduated with an associate degree in general studies and earned a paralegal certificate. Jessica helped start an advocacy group. She is the recipient of the SelfAdvocate of the Year Award and Award for Using Technology in the workplac​​e. She brings determination, strength, and compassion in supporting people who access disabilities services.  ​

Cody Drinkwater is the Eastern Shore Regional Advocacy Specialist. He has a bachelor’s degree from Towson University in history with a minor in English. He previously worked for the Wicomico County Public School System. In addition to his role at the DDA, he assists with the Homework Help Program at the Wicomico County Public Library and is a freelance writer with a local newspaper.

Resources and I​​nformation

Contact the Advocacy Support ​Specialists

Western Maryland Re​gional Office
Jessica Stine
(301) 791-4670

Eastern Shore Region​al Office
Cody Drinkwater
(410) 572-5949

Maryland Self-Advocacy Organizations

Charles County Self-Advocacy Group
c/o Judy Craft & Florence Knapper
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
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Helping Hands at The Arc Baltimore
7215 York Rd
Baltimore, MD 21212
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People First of Charles County
c/o Linda Clem, Arc of Southern Maryland
Waldorf, MD 20603
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People First of Garrett County
c/o Lee Ann Hamilton
Oakland, MD 21550
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People on the Go of Calvert County
355 West Dares Beach Rd.
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
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People On the Go of Maryland
7000 Tudsbury Road
Baltimore, MD 21244
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People on the Go of Talbot County
c/o Roger Rima
Easton, MD 21601
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Rights and Rallies --
Silver Spring, MD 20910
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Self-Directed Advocacy Network of Maryland, Inc.
Marylynn Brennan
Frederick, MD 21701
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St Mary's People on the Go
Arc of Southern Maryland
Leonardtown, MD 20650
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