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.
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.
This past Monday, Sept. 6 — in recognition of international FASD awareness day — saw the launch of FASD Maine, a group for anyone affected by or involved with fetal alcohol in Maine.
If you are interested in being involved with or following their work, you can join their new Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/463838167530594/
FASD Infographic Text:
Alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to lifelong effects.
Up to 1 in 20 US school children may have FASDs.
People with FASDs can experience a mix of the following problems:
Which leads to…
Behavioral and intellectual disabilities
These can lead to…
Lifelong issues with
Drinking while pregnant costs the US $5.5 billion (2010)
Sources: CDC Vital Signs, February 2016. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, November 2015
Our executive director, Nancy Cronin, is also Maine's ambassador to the CDC's Act Early Campaign, which is an initiative that helps to educate about the importance of tracking young children's developmental milestones and strives to get information about those milestones into the hands of parents, doctors, and early education professionals. Watch Nancy and her fellow ambassadors talk about their work in this video:
On April 25, 2019, the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council honored students who created remarkable works, essays and art, around the idea of inclusion for people with developmental disabilities in our communities. These young adults exemplify the attitudes and ideas we need to cultivate in the future for the benefit of all!
The ceremony was held in the Hall of Flags at the State House in Augusta, and featured the winning artworks, as well as highlights from the winning essays.
Deputy Commissioner Daniel Chuhta from the Department of Education and State Representative Dennis Keschl presented awards to the students, as well as teachers and schools who made an impact through this contest.
Also honored was State Representative Richard Farnsworth, who has been a stalwart supporter of the rights of people with developmental disabilities for many years, with MDDC’s Policymaker Award.
On hand to support our honorees were members of the Council, self-advocates, parents, legislators, representatives from state agencies, and other members of our community.
Congratulations again to the winners of the 2019 Inclusion Awards!
1st Place: Seth Tapley, Hodgdon High School
2nd Place: Ben Burgess, Vinalhaven School
3rd Place: Sam Peterson, John Bapst Memorial High School
Honorable Mention: Maddie Beckwith, Winslow High School
Teacher of 1st Place Recipient: Linda Garcia, Hodgdon High School
School Participation: Vinalhaven School
1st Place: Reagan Davis, Freeport High School
2nd Place: Galina Fallon, Freeport High School
3rd Place: Nicholas Alexander, MidMaine Technical Center
Honorable Mention: Kylieanna Rantz, Narraguagus High School
Teacher of 1st Place Recipient: Kimberly Medsker-Mehalic, Freeport HS
School Participation: Freeport High School
Date: April 4, 2019
Time: 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Welcome Center Maine Statehouse
State St Augusta, ME
We will meet our legislators and take a tour of the statehouse.
Speaking Up for Us
Maine Developmental Disabilities Council
Pre-Registration Required by March 22nd. Space is limited.
Advocacy Day will be held this year and all adults living with Developmental Disabilities are invited to participate. This program requires you to pre-register and complete steps before and after the day of the event.
Speaking up for Us PO Box 4139 Presque Isle, ME 04107
Call Laurie Coldwell (207) 956-1004 ext 4
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Call for Submissions of Essays and Artworks on Inclusion
The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council has recently put out a call for submissions for its 2019 Inclusion Awards, which celebrate extraordinary high school students who think deeply about issues of inclusion for people living with developmental disabilities. Open to all Maine high school juniors and seniors, the Awards have two components: an Essay Contest and a Visual Arts Contest, which allows students to express these ideas as artwork.
This year, students are asked to write essays or create two-dimensional artworks responding to the following prompt: “What does the full inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities mean to you?”
The experience of participating in these contests has been a rewarding one for both teachers and students. "An insightful experience that I would recommend to any high school student...I was able to develop my idea of community and how disabilities should never be thought of as a barrier between individuals. Awareness and acceptance being major takeaways from this contest, I feel new participants will cultivate these same beneficial values and an overall appreciation for the communities that they live in." writes Corilie Green, an award recipient in 2018. Linda Garcia, an educator at Hodgdon High School, says “By participating in the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council's Inclusion Awards, my students become advocates for a special segment of communities across Maine and beyond. Through their participation, my students share stories about inspiring individuals who make our world a more beautiful place.”
The deadline for entries is Friday, February 15, 2019, and scholarship prizes range from $250-$1,000 for individual entries; $500 will be awarded to the teacher with the first-place winning student and $2,500 goes to the school with the most entries.
The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) is a partnership of people with disabilities, their families, and agencies which identifies barriers to community inclusion, self-determination, and independence. MDDC is committed to creating a Maine in which all people are valued and respected because we believe communities are stronger when everyone is included.
Congratulations to our friends at Momentum, who are the newest recipients of our Small Grants Program! They are developing a program called the Relate Healthy Relationship Leadership Development Program, which will include the development of a comprehensive healthy relationship and sexuality curriculum as well as a leadership development program, designed to increase the capacity of individuals with IDD to support healthy relationships.
This will include curricula around the following themes:
Momentum will be running workshops at their locations, as well as creating videos that will serve as a continuing resource for the larger DD community. We are so excited to support this important work!
Improving the lives of older adults and people with disabilities through services, research, and education
Older adults and people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to:
On April 25th, the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) hosted its 3rd annual Inclusion Celebration in the Hall of Flags at the State House, celebrating the efforts of high school juniors and seniors who created essays and artworks reflecting on the meaning of full inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities in our communities.
MDDC also honored Senator Angus King for his advocacy for those with disabilities and for their full inclusion in our Maine communities. Senator King’s aide, Scott Wilkinson, was on hand to give a brief presentation and to show a short video acceptance provided by the Senator, who said of the work of the Disabilities Council, “Every business I talk to, no matter where I am in the state, the number one problem they have is workforce, is people. So by working with developmentally disabled people, you are helping to fill an important gap in the economic future of Maine. And of course, what you’re doing is so important to those individuals. You are literally changing lives, you are building lives. You’re making such an important contribution.”
The students honored were: Caleb Richardson, Cony High School; Sophia DeSchiffart, Narraguagus High School; Taylor Files, Windham High School; Corilie Green, Freeport High School; Raveena Angotti, Hodgdon High School; McKenna Troast, Freeport High School; Lily Goltz, Lincoln Academy; and Alexander Les, Freeport High School. Two educators, Tom Wells from Cony High School and Michelle Birkenshaw from Narraguagus High School were also recognized for their encouragement and support, as well as Hodgdon and Freeport High Schools for their extraordinary student participation.