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.
Now Available – handouts/materials from the July 27, 2017 Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Conference
Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns: As an early care and education provider, you play a critical role in the health and wellbeing of children. You are also very well positioned to help identify children who might need some extra help in their development. This FREE online training course, Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns, helps you fulfill this role by providing tools and best practices for monitoring the development of children in your care and talking about it with their parents. Click here for more information.
Continuing Education (CE) is available. You must complete all four modules, each quiz, and a final evaluation to qualify. Click here for more instructions.