Ballard Spahr attorneys in Baltimore have directed nearly $10,000 in firm and individual charitable contributions to Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), a Kennedy Krieger Institute program that helps low- and moderate-income families raising children with disabilities navigate the countless challenges of the legal and health care systems. The financial support complements the firm’s pro bono commitment to Project HEAL, which began over a year ago.

A community-based program of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, Project HEAL is a medical-legal partnership, which provides advocacy and legal services to children with disabilities and their families. It helps families secure appropriate special education and related services through local school systems, appeal inappropriate denials of disability payments under the Supplemental Security Income program, challenge school disciplinary actions, and obtain representation in simple family law matters. Kennedy Krieger is an internationally recognized institution dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with pediatric developmental disabilities and disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system through patient care, special education, research, and professional training.

“Ballard Spahr’s generous donation to Project HEAL will help provide advocacy and legal services to some of Maryland’s most vulnerable children—children with disabilities who are living in poverty,” said Maureen van Stone, director of Project HEAL. “These services can make all the difference for families, whether it’s finding an appropriate educational placement for their child or understanding their rights under federal and state disability laws.”

Since Ballard Spahr began working with Project HEAL a little more than a year ago, the firm’s lawyers have worked one-on-one with families to ensure they receive critically important services. Among other matters, Ballard Spahr attorneys helped a boy secure a needs-based educational plan at his elementary school and wrote a pamphlet describing options for young adults with disabilities who have aged out of the public school system.

“Ballard Spahr’s partnership has played a vital role in helping Project HEAL serve children with disabilities and their families,” said Ms. van Stone. “They have provided legal services to families and provided meaningful consultation to our health care professionals. I am truly grateful for the partnership and all they have done for Project HEAL and the children we strive to help.”

Founded in 2005, Project HEAL provides representation to more than 330 families annually, with income-based, sliding scale fees. In addition to legal services, the program offers case consultations and professional trainings to Kennedy Krieger health care professionals, as well as community trainings for service providers, consumers, parents, guardians, and pro bono attorneys.

Kennedy Krieger Institute serves 20,000 children a year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services, and school-based programs.

Related Areas

Pro Bono