Hold the Date!



Saturday, November 5, 2022 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

When you're not there, By Their Side will be, but let's face it, parents do everything!

Learn what By Their Side can (and can't) do and how Advocates work with those they serve and their families.

*In consideration of the health challenges faced by many, we will meet virtually by Zoom.

Attendance is free.

We hope you will join us, and encourage siblings to attend.   Guests are always welcome.

Look for your invitation this fall!

Email your name, email address, address, and relationship (eg parent, sibling, guest prent) to info@bytheirside


November 6, 2021 Annual Meeting

Sage Hart, Estates and Trusts Attorney with the O'Byrne Law Office discussed assuring your Special Needs Trust is up to date. She reviewed changes in law, benefits of first vs third party SNT, and relatively new options like ABLE Accounts.

Sibling Advocates Joan Chevalier, Louise Bond Heck, and Calvin Simpson discussed how By Their Side supports sibling advocacy, how parents involve siblings in advocacy work as well as when and how to start the conversation.

By Their Side member Lee Levinson was presented the Martin Lampe Leadership Award, in recognition of his heroism as an essential worker in a hopspital during the pandemic, and his interview for a video initiative to help increase confidence and access to the COVID vaccination, organized by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).

2020 Annual Meeting - Cancelled due to COVID pandemic.

November 2, 2019 Annual Meeting

Angela Strauch/Unified Community Connections Assistive Technology Center and Denise Schuler/Maryland Technology Assistacne Program discussed new opportuniites for support for people with I/DD (and even aging caregivers)  ranging from single button communication devices to aids for daily living, blindness, memory, and computer access.

An Advocacy Panel discussed questions and concerns facing the people we serve and their parents and sibling advocates.  Self Advocates, parents, siblings, and By Their Side was represented by Mat Rice, Judy Volkman, Joan Chevalier, Cathy Raggio, and Kathy Vecchioni, with Mary Scott facilitating.

Mary Scott, M.Ed. was recipient of By Their Side's Martin Lampe Leadership Award.  In addition to her invaluable support to parents and transitioning youth in Baltimore County, Mary has been a trailblazer as an advocate for her daughter, who enjoys living in the heart of her hometown with self directed services. 

October 2020 Family Radio WBMD

By Their Side was featured in 3 segments that aired each week in October on Family Radio WBMD, informing families of future planning options including future advocacy.

November 3, 2018 Annual Meeting

Joanna Pierson, Ph.D., Executive Director of Arc Frederick discussed innovative person centered services in Frederick County, providing a vision of what is possible and how to advocate for your relative..

Beth Greenland, PCP Coach Approach Partners and Monica McCall, PhD Executive Director of Creative Options discussed the Coach Approach--asking someone what should happen and their ideas for how to accomplish that. Developed as an interactive training for direct care staff, this approach is valuable to families and advocates alike.

Joanna Pierson was presented with By Their Side's Martin Lampe Leadership Award in recognition of her leadership, innovation, and significant contribution to people with disabilities and their families, not only in Frederick County but across Maryland and the country.

November 4, 2017 Annual Meeting

Gail Godwin Executive Director of Shared Supports Maryland discussed Person Centered Planning.

Lori Markland of Maryland ABLE discussed the ABLE program which  allows people with disabilities (and their familie) to save now for disability related expenses while protecting benefits ilke SSI and Medical Assistance. Sage Hart, Esq with O'Byrne Law provided a comparative overview of Special Needs Trusts. Since DDA requires Medical Assistance eligiblity before funding services, an ABLE account may be a good resource for saving assets in excess of $2500.

Patti Saylor was the recipient of the By Their Side Martin Lampe Leadership Award, for her courage and effectiveness in addressing training needs of police officers in Maryland and elsewhere in the nation.

February 19, 2017 Insight on disABILITY Talk Radio 680 WCBM AM featured By Their Side on it's Sunday evening program. Host Michael Gerlach and Kathy Vecchioni discussed By Their Side's founding parent's desire to assure future advocacy, 50 years ago, and the range of advocacy services currently available. Mark Wagner, Board President and parent, talked about his plans for By Their Side advocacy support for his son and his out of state siblings. Board member and sibling Joan Chevalier discussed the advocacy services she arranges for her brother when she travels for work. Listen to the archived program; the interview begins 13 minutes into the recording.

Pictured: Lou Botteon, Insight on disABILITY announcer, Kathy Vecchioni, Mike Gerlach, Insight on disABILITY host, Joan Chevalier, Board Member, and Mark Wagner, Board President.

With Insight on DisABILITY Crew

November 5, 2016 By Their Side Annual Meeting and Luncheon. Brian Cox, Maryland Developmental Disabilties Council discussed ABLE accounts, which will offer families an opportunity to save up to $14,000 a year ($100,000 total) for disability related expenses. Karen Lee, Executive Director of SEEC and recent DDA Public Policy Fellow, discussed DDA's plans to shift from center based vocational services and activities to jobs and community based activities, by 2019, as mandated by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services which funds about half the cost of services. Toni Webster and Nicole Hazel of The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region discussed how the Arc closed its segregated workshop and activity centers over 10 years ago, in favor of jobs and community based activities. Board member Judy Volkman presented Ken Capone with By Their Side's Martin Lampe Leadership Award. Ken lead People on the Go's successful effort with the Maryland Legislature to end sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities.                Or CLICK HERE for registration form to mail to By Their Side. 

Pictured: Ken Capone and Judy Volkman, Board Member.

Capone Leadership award

October 19, 2016The Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities Award Presentation. By Their Side was delighted to receive the Commission's 2016 Family Support Award.

November 2015 By Their Side Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration. Christine Marchand/Arc Maryland discussed the history of services in Maryland and new opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. A panel of parents and professionals discussed the issues and resources identified by By Their Side's multi-disciplinary focus group exploring Planning for the Future of an Only Child.

October 2015 MD Sibs 2015 Statewide Conference Maryland's first sibling conference, was attended by over 180 siblings of all ages. By Their Side helped plan the conference and participated in a panel discussion of advocacy strategies.By Their Side also partnered with the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council and Arc Maryland to support the development of the Maryland Sibling Network.

April 2015 By Their Side met with representatives from the United Arab Emirates to discuss family funded advocacy for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities by a non-government organization, as organized by the US State Department.

Pictured: UAE delegates, Board members Judy Volkman and Tracy Wright, and Kathy Vecchioni.


November 2014 Annual Meeting and Luncheon. A panel of By Their Side Advocates discussed their work, and the differences between the Lifelong Advocacy Service and Annual Advocacy Plan Services.

April 2014 BJ's Wholesale Club selected By Their Side for a Community Service Grant, replacing old computers and providing supplies to support outreach to Maryland families.

Pictured: Martin Lampe, Board President, Kathy Vecchioni, Executive Director, BJ's Team Member, and Kelly Trizzino, BJ's General Manager