CAC Corner: News from the Community Advisory Committee

We have a few updates since the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) last met in October 2021.

CAC Member News

Avery Olmstead is serving as an accessibility subject matter expert on the Wheelchair Odyssey Team, one of four faculty-led innovation teams selected to participate in the fifth cohort of the University of Maine’s Maine Innovation Research and Technology Accelerator (MIRTA) program. Wheelchair Odyssey is pursuing development and commercialization of immersive software to simulate wheelchair navigation in inaccessible, real-world settings. The software will be designed for students in higher education so they can experience the everyday obstacles that wheelchair users face, learn about related Americans with Disabilities Act access requirements, and hear first-person stories from people with disabilities.

On March 28, 2022, Nancy Cronin and Avery Olmstead appeared in a Fox 22 Bangor news broadcast, Advocates spread awareness about cerebral palsy.

For the fourth year in a row, Libby Stone-Sterling and the Maine Department of Labor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) will be partnering with CCIDS, the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development, and Student Accessibility Services to offer the Step Up Program this summer. Like the successful 2019 pilot project, the 2022 program will be offered in-person to provide a multi-week learning experience for high school juniors or seniors with an autism spectrum diagnosis who are DVR clients, and who have shown interest in postsecondary education. This year, the program will be recruiting students with a particular interest in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council recently moved to a new location: 526 Western Avenue, Unit 2, Augusta, ME 04330. Their new telephone number is (207) 480-1478 or toll free 833-713-2628. Their mailing address remains the same: 139 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333-0139.

CCIDS, DRM, MDDC and SUFU Collaborate on COVID-19 Vaccination Video PSAs

CCIDS, Disability Rights Maine, Maine Developmental Disabilities Council, and Speaking Up for Us collaborated with Gray Media Group (WAGM-TV) to design, produce and broadcast seven video public service announcements (PSAs) to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among people with disabilities and direct support professionals; the individuals who support people with disabilities where they live and work. (Update) Three additional video PSAs featuring parents and their children (please see Maine DD Network’s New PSAs Encourage Parents to Get Their Children Vaccinated for COVID) were produced and broadcast statewide for an 8-week period from mid-March to early May 2022.

Looking Ahead: Next CAC Meeting is Tuesday June 14, 2022

The next CAC Meeting will be held online via Zoom on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. A Zoom invitation and meeting agenda will be sent to members soon. We’ll look forward to seeing you then!

Photo credit: Building corner image by Ben Vaughn (