Mission, Goals, Principles & History

The Self Directed Advocacy Network of Maryland, Inc. (SDAN) Participants, Families, Friends, and Independent Support Brokers for Self-Directed Services. 

Our Mission

To empower people with developmental disabilities to achieve remarkable lives through Self-Directed Services.  

Our Goals:

  1. Perserve and improve Maryland’s self-directed services program.
  2. Expand access to self-directed services and act as a resource to participants, families, CCSes, Transitioning Youth (TY), and others interested in self-direction.
  3. Advocate for and influence policies and procedures that acknowledge each participant’s right to an individualized program that allows for flexibility and choice by working with DDA.
  4. Connect all individuals who self-direct through state-wide forum and assist in forming supportive communities in each county to celebrate achievements, arrange social gatherings, share resources/experiences, and promote self-direction.  
  5. Establish a directory of individuals who self-direct for legislators in each Maryland district an help establish a working relationship and understanding of the needs of individuals who self-direct and the differences between self-direction and traditional services.   

 Our Principles:

  1. Every person, regardless of disability or socio-economic status, has the right to a self-directed life.
  2. All individuals can self-direct their programs given appropriate supports.
  3. The participant is always the team leader.  All team members must work together to ensure that the participant’s unique needs, strengths, desires and interests are reflected in the person-centered program. 
  4. Flexibililty and choice are the keys to a successful self-direction program in Maryland, with the needs and desires of the participant used as the criteria to determine qualifications of employees, who those employees will be, and all other aspects of the program.  The State should not impose additional restrictions not required by CMS guidelines. 

History and Accomplishments:

  1. Formed in August 2016 in response to Amendment 2 proposals; monthly/bi-monthly meetings since October 2016
  2. Developed State-wide outreach through social media, community and public events
  3. Developed an online presence in all areas of social media and website
  4. Communicated with legislators at the local, state, and Federal level representing the needs of individuals who self-direct their services and regarding concerns re DDA changes
  5. Held fund-raiser event (Hear Our Voice t-shirts) to help spread our message
  6. Participated in all DDA listening sessions, helping with transportation for participants for their voices to be heard
  7. Organized a petition with over 600 signatures to stop Amendment 2; Ultimiately Amendment 2 was abandoned by DDA
  8. Participated in Work Groups that gave extensive input to DDA on Amendment 2, which would become the waiver renewal
  9. Testified at DDA Budget Hearings in Annapolis, March 2017
  10. Established as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in August 2017
  11. Ongoing, face-to-face quarterly meetings with DDA administrators
  12. Reviewed, researched, and made formal comments on Waiver Renewal Proposal, resulting in some changes to the waiver submission
  13. Testified at DDA Budget Hearings in Annapolis, February/March 2018
  14. Advocated for multiple FMS providers to maintain participant choice   


To Join SDAN please register here or  contact our Secretary at  carolc@marylandsds.org.