Maine CITE Coordinating Center

Maine CITE Coordinating Center logo

Serving the People of Maine Since 1989

Offers activities and services that help get assistive and universally designed technology (AT) into the hands of Maine people with disabilities, senior citizens and their families.

Our Mission:

  • Partnerships: Providing AT services and devices.

Develops partnerships and supports organizations that provide direct assistive technology services, devices and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM).

  • Technical Assistance: Offering help to organizations.

Provides technical assistance to public and private organizations on accessible information technology, universally designed web site development, accessible distance learning and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM).

  • Alternate Financing: Affordable loan programs.

Works with financial lenders such as the Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Programs for more affordable loans to purchase assistive technology, adapt vans and do home modifications.

  • Recycled Devices: Accessible and global connections.

Spurwink ALLTECH accepts donations of “gently used” assistive technology and durable medical equipment, and sanitizes and restores the equipment to good working condition. This equipment is then made available for purchase, and often provides consumers with a savings of 50-80% over the cost of new equipment.

  • Training and Workshops: Expertise on what is available.

Provides training, workshops and demonstrations on assistive technology. Promotes conferences and seminars on innovative technology and universal design.

  • Policy Research and Program Development: Research and review policies.

Promotes ways for Maine people to acquire the assistive technology and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) they need or want.

  • News and Information: Spreading the news and information.

Publishes and disseminates information about assistive technology products and services, Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) and universal design.

  • National Connections: Organizations and agencies.

Provides connections to national organizations, resources and policy issues. Provides linkages through our website.


Jessi Wright, ATP – Director

Sherie Lizzotte – Administrative Specialist

Historical Timeline

History and Highlights of Maine CITE Program. Contributors:  Kathy Powers, Kathy Adams, John Brandt. Published, February 17, 2021.

Year Activity
1988 Federal law created the Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act.
1989 Governor John McKernan designated the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) as the lead entity to submit the federal AT grant application. The MDOE Office of Special Education State Director was David Stockford.
The MDOE, University of Maine System’s Education Network of Maine Distance Learning Program and Alpha One joined to collaborate on an application for federal AT Act funds to create the Maine CITE Program. The grant writing team included Steve Tremblay, Kathy Powers, Barbara Keefe, David Stockford, Maureen Connolly, Kathy Adams.
The MDOE was awarded a grant from the federal Dept of Education NIDDR (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research) that created the Maine CITE Program. Maine was one of the first 9 states in the country secure funding to plan & create statewide comprehensive AT services.
Kathy Powers became the Maine CITE Program Director: Barbara Keefe joined the Maine CITE staff and Deborah Wolfenden as a consultant.
After 1998 the federal funding agency changed from NIDDR to the Dept of Education’s Rehab Services Administration (RSA).
1990 Maine CITE Coordinating Center, as part of the University of Maine System’s Distance Learning Education Network of Maine, located the office at the University of Maine Augusta (UMA). This close collaboration helped to provide statewide distance learning and training opportunities on AT. UMA President George Connick was instrumental in supporting the role of Maine CITE at the University.
The MDOE designated the Maine CITE Coordinating Center (CC) at UMA and Alpha One, ILC to provide statewide AT services.
Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law.
1990 – 97, Barbara Keefe managed, created, and produced protocols and training on the accessibility of distance learning and assistive technology in collaboration with many organizations, agencies, and parent groups.
1991 Maine CITE sponsored the first statewide Assistive Technology Conference called “Yankee Ingenuity and Independence.”
The Software Evaluation Center at the University of Southern Maine contracted with the MDOE to provide AT training activates. Libby Cohen was the director.
1992 Maine CITE published the first Parent Guide on Assistive Technology.
1995 Maine CITE began working with CAST (the Center for Applied Special Technology) and the Software Evaluation Center on Universal Design for Learning.
1997 Ruth Shook consulted with the Maine CITE program on a feasibility study to create the Technology Exploration Center in Bangor.
Maine CITE hosted a statewide policy meeting, Universal Design, Maximizing Economic Potential to analyze issues of economic impact, information technology, telecommunications, and universal design. The policy report was sent on to the governor.
1998 The Technology Exploration Center (TEC) in Bangor was created as an affiliate program of United Cerebral Palsy of Maine and was managed by Leslie Youngblood.
The USM Software Evaluation Center became MeCATS (Maine Center for Assistive Technology Services).
1993-98, Maine CITE’s Barbara Keefe secured funding and managed the Maine Point Project designed to teach American Sign Language to high school students as a foreign language, using distance technology.
1999 Maine CITE was instrumental in creating the State of Maine ITAC (Information Technology Accessibility Committee) at the Office of Information Technology which continues to meet monthly.
The statewide AT Consortia was formed by Maine CITE with all the state organizations that provide AT services. The AT Consortia continues to meet quarterly each year.
John Brandt became a Maine CITE consultant with expertise in information technology and web accessibility.
2000 Maine CITE developed and launched the first website built in HTML on the MDOE First Class server. Many paper publications were converted to and published as digital books.
2002 MeCATS changed its name to ALLTECH and left USM to become a program of Spurwink Services. ALLTECH moved the Pineland campus in Pownal.
At the MDOE, the MLTI (Maine Learning Technology Initiative) program was underway, and Maine CITE was a key collaborator in beta testing the iOS Apple system to achieve greater access for blind and visually impaired persons.
Maine CITE offered its first workshop on Accessible Web Design by John Brandt.
2003 Husson College (later to become Husson University) Occupational Therapy Director, Lynn Gitlow began managing the TEC program providing AT device demonstrations, device loans and device reuse.
2004 The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized with the inclusion of the NIMAS/NIMAC requirements ensuring students with print disabilities receive their instructional materials in a timely manner.
The federal AT Act was reauthorized, amended, and mandated a wider array of AT services: device demo, device loan, device reuse, public awareness, information/assistance, training, and technical assistance.
2005 The State AT Advisory Council was formed per federal mandate. Since then, the ATAC has met quarterly.
Kathy Adams joined the Maine CITE Coordinating Center team as a consultant to assist in meeting the new federal AT Act mandates.
MDOE/Maine CITE program applied for an RSA federal AFP grant and was awarded $750,000. $250,000 of the Maine AELP financial loan program was an in-kind commitment to be combined with the federal AFP funds. Kathy Adams managed this program in close collaboration with the established Maine Financial Loan Program Board and their contactors: FAME and Alpha One.
Maine CITE Coordinating Center was appointed by the MDOE as State Coordinator with the National Instructional Materials Center (NIMAC).
2008 As contracted by the MDOE, the Maine CITE Coordinating Center became the state’s Maine AIM (Accessible Instructional Materials) program to provide information, training, and technical assistance to Maine educators K-12: was created. Cynthia Curry consulted in creating AIM materials and training. The Maine AIM Community of Practice was formed and continues to meet quarterly.
2010 Husson University decided to close TEC as Lynn Gitlow had left the program to move to NY.
Maine CITE worked with ALLTECH to integrate the TEC AT inventory and expand their AT device demo, loan, and reuse services. The ALLTECH reuse store opened in Bangor at the Airport Mall location.
The UMS adopted the use of an online webinar platform (Adobe Connect) and Maine CITE began to deliver fully accessible online training webinar events on AT and AEM. All webinars are presented with live CART and archived on the website. Numerous webinars continue to be provided each month using Zoom.
Barbara Keefe retired and in September and Kathy Adams became the Maine CITE CC Training Coordinator
2012 Maine CITE CC moved the office to 225 Western Ave to share space with the CCIDS program of the University of Maine.
2013 Maine CITE collaborated with Cindy Brown, the DOE Child Development Services Director. Maine CITE worked with early intervention therapists across Maine to create a statewide inventory of the CDS adaptive equipment and AT on a new website This site enabled the statewide CDS therapists to share devices and equipment between regions.
2014 Kathy Powers retired in March as the Maine CITE Director and was replaced by Kathy Adams OTL, ATP in June.
John Brandt joined the staff as the Training Coordinator in December.
2017 Maine CITE staff began working in March with the four AT services subcontractors (UM Farmington, Pine Tree Society, Spurwink ALLTECH and CARES, Inc) to collaborate on a new public website that would centralize the Maine AT Inventory. was introduced to the providers and each program created their AT device inventory.
2018 was launched in January by Maine CITE as the statewide central inventory of more than 1100 AT devices available for AT device Demo & Loan through Pine Tree Society, University of Maine Farmington, CARES Inc., and Spurwink ALLTECH.
March 2018, MDOE issued a competitive RFP for the State AT Grant Manager.
May 2018, the Maine CITE Coordinating Center at UMA/UMS applied to continue as the State AT Grant Manager for the MDOE.
June 2018, the Maine CITE Coordinating Center was selected as the State AT Grant Manager for a 5-year period through September 2023.
Oct 2018, a two-year contract between MDOE and Maine CITE Coordinating Center at UMA/UMS began.
2020 Spring 2020, Maine CITE director worked with DOE staff to renew four subcontractors thru Sept 30, 2023 to assure AT services are statewide and comprehensive.
Sept 2020, CARES Inc contract for AT device demo and loan concluded.
Oct 2020, Gallant Therapy Services began as a subcontractor for AT device demo and loan services. More than 200 AT devices from CARES Inc were transferred to Gallant Therapy Services.
Oct 2020, the Maine CITE Coordinating Center at UMS/UMA 3-year contract for AT and AEM was extended thru Sept 2023.
October 2020, Kathy Adams retired.
UMS/UMA search committee reviewed 14 applicants and in Dec 2020, Jessi Wright MBA, ATP was named the new Maine CITE Director.
2021 February 2021, Jessi Wright begins as the Maine CITE Program Director
2022 February 2022, John Brandt retires

rev: 02/28/2022 jeb