During this time of social distancing, the staff of MDDC is working hard to continue our advocacy for Mainers with developmental disabilities, but much of that work is being done remotely. If you need to contact us, the best way is by email! You can find staff email contact information on our contact page.
The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council is very concerned about the treatment of people with developmental disabilities during this pandemic. One of our particular concerns is around equitable access for people with developmental disabilities to healthcare right now - making sure that they can get the accommodations they need to understand their doctors and their options, and pushing back against a culture that does not always value the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
Our executive director, Nancy Cronin, recently sent this letter to the head of the Maine CDC, Dr. Shah, explaining our concerns and pushing for clear guidance from leaders on providing adequate care to people with developmental disabilities - please click here to read it.
MDDC is committed to continuing to support Mainers with developmental disabilities through this unprecedented and stressful time. We will be working to ensure that the systems that care for and protect people with developmental disabilities in the state are communicating with their constituents effectively, working safely to mitigate the spread of the virus, and getting people the support they need.
Plain Language Guide –
Green Mountain Self-Advocates have written an 8 page booklet to teach you all about the corona virus in plain language: https://selfadvocacyinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Plain-Language-Information-on-Coronavirus.pdf
Our sister agency, Disability Rights Maine, has put together a list of resources specific to the disability community:
Speaking Up For Us (SUFU), our statewide self-advocacy organization, also has a page with resources and information about upcoming phone and video webinars to keep you connected:
The Autism Society of Maine also has a page with resources supporting families, with both information and lots of activities and educational opportunities for kids at home:
This plain language video does a great job of explaining how the virus can be transmitted:
For ongoing updates on COVID-19, go to Maine CDC’s webpage:
Our federal parent organization, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) has a page with a plethora of COVID resources:
Look for posts on our Facebook page in the next few weeks highlighting the wonderful works of these talented students!
1st Place Essay
Kayla Collins of Windham, for “What I have Learned About Inclusion”
2nd Place Essay
Vanessa Woods of Augusta, for “My Sister”
3rd Place Essay
Hannah Richardson of Augusta, for “Easy as 1, 2, 3”
Honorable Mention Essay
Anna Reny of Gardiner, for “The Sound of Acceptance”
1st Place Artwork
Magnolia Sinisi of Freeport, for “A Day in the Park”
2nd Place Artwork
Aurora Burmeister of Ellsworth, for “Cultivate Inclusion”
3rd Place Artwork
Reagan Davis of Freeport, for “Together We’re a Masterpiece”
Honorable Mention Artwork
Kaitlyn Sawicki of Freeport, for “Putting the Pieces Together”
And a special congrats to Kimberly Medsker-Mehalic, who was awarded a Commitment to Inclusion grant for her work at Freeport High School to bring inclusion into her curriculum and teaching!
It's Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! Throughout March, check out the NACDD website for news, info, and lots more about highlighting the important roles that people with developmental disabilities play in our communities and lives! Find more here: https://www.nacdd.org/ddam1/
The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council is pleased to present a very special publication that speaks to the work we do, and containing stories from Mainers with developmental disabilities that span a lifetime of issues that affect them, from school to work to aging in the community. This news insert is being placed in newspapers all over Maine, with particular emphasis on underserved populations in rural counties.
We are so proud of this pamphlet and of the people who allowed us to tell their stories. This is a vivid snapshot of the state of the systems that serve people with developmental disabilities in Maine and the effects those systems have on those people. Thanks to N&R Publications for helping us put this together!
We have an accessible pdf version of this publication available here: MDDC 2020 Newspaper Insert
Maine SILC is conducting a survey to gather information about services that provide support to people with disabilities. The information you provide in the survey will help set goals for the next three years. The deadline to complete the survey is March 31, 2020.
Click here to participate: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9t2nyyc
MDDC is a partnership of people with disabilities, their families, and public and governmental agencies which promotes and advocates for equal opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities to participate in every aspect of community life.
Opportunity to work with Disability Rights Maine!
Are you looking for temporary, part-time, flexible work? Are you passionate about people with disabilities living in and accessing the community?
In January 2014, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new rule requiring changes to home and community-based services (HCBS). States must comply by March 2022. The rule establishes new standards and requires that services and supports funded through Medicaid must be in settings that are truly home and community-based.
DRM needs several people to conduct 500 on-site visits to Maine’s home and community based settings statewide from February 1st through September 30th. These visits are to assess and validate whether the setting is in compliance with the rules. DRM will provide extensive training and support.
People with disabilities and family members are encouraged to apply.
Wings for All® is Coming to BGR Airport
We are happy to announce that Wings for All will be landing at the Bangor International Airport (BGR) on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Wings for All® is an airport rehearsal program designed specifically for individuals with autism or other intellectual disabilities. Families are given the opportunity to practice all steps involved in air travel including: entering the airport, obtaining a boarding card, going through TSA security, and boarding a real plane (that does not take off). A small reception will be held for all participants with light snacks and refreshments after deboarding the plane.
Our executive director, Nancy Cronin, had a fantastic time with her cohorts from around the country at this year's Executive Director Leadership Summit! Thanks to the folks at NACDD for putting this together and giving our executive directors a chance to talk about the work they are doing in their respective Councils.
Council Executive Directors on steps in the Governor's Mansion in Arkansas
The group got a chance to visit the Little Rock Central High School, the school where the Little Rock Nine were escorted by the National Guard in 1957 to desegregate that school.