CCIDS Statement on the Lewiston Shootings and Resources for Supporting People with Disabilities
Our hearts are heavy at the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) as we join others in offering our sympathies to the victims and their loved ones impacted by the violent events in Lewiston, and all of our Maine community. We support UMaine’s sentiments of “using this time to support each other, connect with loved ones, and grieve for those whose lives were tragically lost in these senseless acts of violence and destruction.” Members of Maine’s Deaf community were killed Wednesday night, along with so many others. We mourn them all.
In keeping with the mission and vision of CCIDS – to bring together the resources of the community and the university to enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families in Maine and beyond – we would like to ensure that the collective support that is available also includes and addresses the individualized needs of people with disabilities.
We all use multiple means of communicating our thoughts, feelings, and needs, including nonverbal expression. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other disabilities may have difficulty with cognitive processing, reasoning, problem-solving, and coping skills, as well as language and communication challenges, and as we all may, communicate their needs through their behavior.
As we navigate through the coming days, it is important to recognize that this is a difficult time, and we encourage you to access support and resources. The potential direct and indirect impacts on individuals cannot be understated. To that end, we want to share resources to immediately support you and your families.
- The Impact of Trauma on Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Fact Sheet for Providers (PDF) (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
- Trauma and Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family (PDF) (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
- Statement on Gun Violence and Mass Shootings to Ensure the Safety of People with Disabilities (PDF) (Association of University Centers on Disabilities)
If you or a loved one may be having mental health concerns while processing these tragedies, please consider connecting with the Maine chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
NAMI Maine Helpline
1-800-464-5767 (Press 1)
NAMI Maine’s Teen Text Support Line
Free, confidential resource for youth from 13-23 years of age. Staffed by trained support specialists 18-24 years old.
Text (207) 515-8398
Photo credit: Antonio Guillem (istock.com)