Goli Balakhani is the DDA Director of Advocacy Supports. She received her Associates degree in general education from CCBC. Due to an accidental fall, she ended up in a nursing home facility. In 2008, after much struggle, she transitioned back to living independently. She completed her Bachelor's degree in psychology, sociology from Towson University in 2010. She is a licensed Support Broker and has worked as a volunteer with Courtland Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, National Institute of Mental Health and Bais Yaakov Middle School in Baltimore. She has been advocating for a life of her choosing and for people with disabilities for many years.
Jessica Stine is the DDA Western Maryland Regional Advocacy Specialist. She is a person with a visual impairment. She uses adaptive technology along with braille, to support her productive life. Due to her own determination, strength, and support from others, she has been able to not only advocate for herself but for other individuals with disabilities. She earned her Associates Degree in General Studies in 2003, and more recently her Paralegal Degree. Also, while attending community college, she was able to give the school helpful ideas on making their campus more accessible for people with disabilities. During that time, she also worked at The Arc of Washington. She won the Self-Advocator of the Year award, and another for successfully using technology in the workplace.
Nicole Leblanc is the DDA Southern Maryland Regional Advocacy Specialist. She has a specialty in public policy and excels at communicating the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to public officials. She has presented keynotes on the dignity of risk at statewide self-advocacy conferences. From Sept. to March 2017, Leblanc was a Paul Marchand Public Policy intern at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). During this time, she researched the Trump administration's policy stance on various issues such as IDEA, civil rights, and Medicaid. Most recently, she served as a part-time transit organizer for Americans for Transit, where she collected petition signatures opposing bus and rail service cuts.
201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201