Disabilities | WYPR


Have you ever faced a problem that seems insurmountable, only to have someone come along, view it from a different perspective and find a solution? That is the business model for the IMAGE Center of Maryland. Executive director Michael Bullis explains how the non-profit connects people with disabilities to solutions to help regain independence in their lives.

Plus, we talk with Rhonda Taylor and Shannon Clancy to learn about Volunteers for Medical Engineering -- one-off devices that are tailored to a client’s needs.


Baltimore Mayor Jack Young signed a bill into law Monday morning that would protect vulnerable residents from losing their homes to the city’s annual tax sale. The bill was introduced by councilwoman Danielle McCray of Northeast Baltimore. 

Baltimore hosts a tax sale each year to collect debts owed, including houses with debt. 

But McCray’s bill withholds homes from tax sales if their owners are seniors, low-income or have disabilities. 

Baltimore County Public Schools


It’s been a long road to graduation for Raymond Shaw Finney.

He was born with multiple disabilities. His father died when he was an infant. Raymond slipped into the foster care system. Then eight years later, a family member recognized a picture of Raymond on AdoptUSKids, a website that connects foster children with permanent families. She told Raymond’s aunt, Vanessa Finney, to have a look.

And when she did she immediately recognized her nephew.

Loyola University Maryland

Sometimes tragedy gives birth to social change. Six years ago Ethan Saylor, a young man with Down Syndrome, died in an encounter with law-enforcement. Could adequate training have changed that outcome? Ethan’s mother Patti Saylor thinks so. She tells us about officer training designed to help contacts with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or IDDs.

And we meet Lisa Schoenbrodt, a Loyola professor coaching people with IDDs to perform reality scenarios for the trainings, and Patrick Chaney, an actor with autism.

Open Society Institute Baltimore

Combining his longtime advocacy for people with disabilities and his criminal law background, 2017 ‘Open Society Institute Baltimore’ fellow, Munib Lohrasbi plans to create the ‘Prisoner Protection and Advocacy Committee.’ Working in partnership with Disability Rights Maryland, Lohrasbi will perform site visits and observe how intake screenings are done; then he’ll compile and disseminate the data. OSI is a nonprofit that focuses on addressing the needs of Baltimore’s underserved communities and supporting innovative solutions to longstanding problems. 

Photo courtesy of movoto.com

Will is a second grader in Anne Arundel County schools, and already he’s on his third school since kindergarten; not because he moved, or his old schools closed, but because he has a disability that leads to behavioral problems. And the behavioral problems have led to suspensions.

He was suspended six times from Jacobsville Elementary in Pasadena as a kindergartner. His mother, Lori Cornwell, says the school didn’t recognize his disability.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The state agency that oversees services for people with disabilities has for years directed health care providers to overcharge patients, according to a state audit released Tuesday. Residents may have lost millions to the error, and they may not be able to get the money back.