The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS), Maine’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), was awarded initial funding as Maine’s University Affiliated Program (UAP) in January 1992. Under the leadership of founding director, Lucille Zeph, Ed.D., the UAP was established as the Center for Community Inclusion, consistent with the responsibilities detailed in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act), and the mission of the University of Maine. In 2003, the Center’s name was changed to the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) to better reflect its full mission.
CCIDS brings together the resources of the university and Maine communities to enhance the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Our statewide mission is met through interdisciplinary education, research and evaluation, community engagement, and dissemination of state-of-the-art information that reflect the guiding principles of inclusion, diversity, universal design and access, and social justice.
The Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies is a recognized administrative unit of the University of Maine. The Center’s main office is located in Orono on the University of Maine campus, with an outreach office located in Augusta, the state capitol to facilitate statewide outreach. The University of Maine is the flagship, land-grant campus of the University of Maine System.
To assure a statewide focus, CCIDS collaborates with, and works to enhance, existing networks throughout Maine (including networks that serve people in rural communities and other unserved and underserved populations, such as culturally and linguistically diverse populations). These networks include the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC), the Disability Rights Center (DRC), Speaking Up for Us (SUFU), Maine Parent Federation (MPF), Maine Consumer Information and Technology Exchange (Maine CITE), Maine’s Independent Living Center (Alpha One), and other advocacy organizations and state and community agencies throughout Maine.
CCIDS is part of a national network of congressionally authorized University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities sponsored by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Grant No. 90DD0641).
CCIDS offers Maine’s only nationally and internationally recognized undergraduate and graduate education in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies; and in collaboration with the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development and the Maine Department of Education, Maine’s only graduate study in early intervention, producing graduates that provide leadership in providing policy, services, and supports for young children with special needs and their families. See Interdisciplinary Education for more information.
With diverse projects and initiatives, CCIDS contributes to and advances the knowledge base in a wide range of disability-related areas through ongoing research, evaluation, and the analysis of public policy. Recent initiatives include the areas of inclusive child care, literacy access for individuals with intellectual disabilities, universal design, autism, and early childhood mental health. See Research for more information.
Through outreach education, training and technical assistance, CCIDS faculty and staff enhance the capacity of individuals, communities, organizations, and state systems to create services and supports for individuals with disabilities. Methods reflect current and emerging evidence-based practices that are inclusive, accessible, self-determining, culturally competent, and socially responsible, respecting the inherent abilities of each person to contribute to society. See Community Engagement for more information.
CCIDS implements the principles of universal design in the development of publications, products, presentations, resources, curricula and virtual environments to meet the needs of multiple and diverse audiences and disseminates scholarly and community resources through our website and our Resource Center. See Resources for more information.
The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, Maine’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service, is a partnership of people that brings together the resources of the community and the University to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. We achieve our mission through interdisciplinary education, research, community service, and dissemination of information that reflect culturally competent attitudes and practices. As agents for social change, we believe in self-determination and advocacy for people with disabilities, and we are committed to community inclusion, interdependence, and the recognition of each person’s ability to contribute to society.
What are Developmental Disabilities?
CCIDS maintains a Resource Center, which contains over 10,000 books, monographs, journals, videos, audiotapes, articles, and assessment tools related to disability issues.