Projects and Initiatives

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.

The Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies seeks to enhance the capacity of individuals, communities, organizations, and state systems to create services and supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which reflect current and emerging best practices of inclusion, interdependence, self-determination, cultural competence, and respect for the inherent abilities of each person to contribute to society.

An alphabetical listing of current CCIDS projects and initiatives appears below. Click on the project or initiative name for additional information.

Afari™: A Stylized Adaptive Mobility and Fitness Device for Outdoor Movement

The R.M. Beaumont Corporation of Brunswick, ME and three University of Maine Researchers are collaborating on a $225K National Institutes of Health (NIH) Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to complete the design, safety and usability testing of Afari™, a three-wheeled, aesthetically designed, adaptive mobility and fitness device. Over the one-year project period, inventors Elizabeth DePoy, Ph.D., and Stephen F. Gilson, Ph.D., professors of interdisciplinary disability studies at the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies; and Vince Caccese, Ph.D., UMaine professor of mechanical engineering, will research the major barriers to timely commercialization of Afari™ so that they can be eliminated.

Collaborative on Faith and Disability

For many people with disabilities and their families, faith communities can be a powerful source of natural community support and connection, as well as a doorway to other important outcomes in the areas of relationships, work, community living, recreation, and service. The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) is one of many University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) that will serve as collaborating partners on a new initiative, the Collaborative on Faith and Disability.

Educare and Beyond

The Educare Implementation Study at the University of Maine is part of a national project that documents the features of Educare Schools. The purpose of the study is to support the mission of Educare, which is a researched-based program that prepares young at-risk children for school and which serves as a platform for quality early learning programming. This project includes a study of Educare “Beyond the Walls,” which expands the data-driven early childhood model to child care settings outside of the actual Educare building.

Educare Follow-up Study

The University of Maine has been contracted as a partner in a multi-site effort to conduct follow-up studies of Educare children as they enter kindergarten and progress through the early elementary years. This project is one of six to participate in the “Educare Follow-up Studies” project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). The University of Maine will be responsible for gathering Educare data in Maine over three school years and will contribute to the cross-site dataset at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC.

The Effects of Providing Additional Supports for the Use of Therapeutic Crisis Intervention in Special Purpose Private School and Residential Settings

CCIDS is partnering with the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council on a research project to measure changes in the frequency of incidents of restraint, seclusion, and isolation, resulting from increased support and training related to an agency’s existing crisis management program. This is a controlled study that will be conducted over two years in both residential and educational programs.

Expanding Disabilities Networks’ (UCEDDs) Access to COVID 19 Vaccines

As Maine’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), CCIDS has been awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among people with disabilities and the people who support them. The funding was made possible through a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL). These grants to the Developmental Disabilities Networks in every U.S. state and territory will help provide critical services to overcome barriers that are preventing millions of those most at risk for serious illness and death from COVID-19 from receiving vaccines.

Maine Roads to Quality – Professional Development Network (PDN)

The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) has received funding from the University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service to provide professional development and consultation to the Statewide Professional Development Network (PDN) working to improve the quality of early care and education settings in Maine.

Maine’s Supported Decision-Making Coalition

The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) is a member of Maine’s Supported Decision-Making Coalition, led by Disability Rights Maine. As a Coalition partner, CCIDS supports the expanded use of Supported Decision-Making by older adults and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to exercise greater self-determination, and the reform of policy and practice to make Supported Decision-Making a universally accepted alternative to guardianship.

New Hampshire-Maine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program – 2016-2021

The University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies is partnering with the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in the New Hampshire-Maine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NH-ME LEND) Program. NH-ME LEND provides graduate level interdisciplinary training for students and professionals from diverse disciplines, including developmental pediatrics, early childhood education, social work, psychology, occupational therapy, health management and policy, and speech language pathology. Program activities include leadership development, clinical training, continuing education/technical assistance, research, and cultural competency field work. University of Maine trainees participate remotely in the weekly NH-ME LEND seminar through the use of eLearning and videoconferencing technology.

Completed Projects

View a listing of completed CCIDS projects and initiatives here.