Work & Benefits Navigator Training Available

From MaineHealth Educational Services and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services…

A person receiving Social Security disability benefits or SSI has likely been told they can’t work, or if they do work that they should limit their hours. They may believe they can’t work. They may have limited work experience or education. And likely they fear losing their financial and medical safety net if they try to work.

How can a service provider encourage work for a consumer who is living this experience? What is a social service provider to do in this “Employment First” state, especially without experience in employment services?

Join a session to learn what “Work and Benefits Navigation” means, and how you can be an employment champion for your clients and your agency.

As case managers, community integration workers, DSPs, residential staff, or others with a supporting role in the life of a person with a disability, you have a critical role in the employment success of the individuals you serve.  Work and Benefits Navigation training will equip you with information, skills, and resources you need to challenge myths about work and benefits and encourage employment.

Training will be provided by Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWICs) from Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services.  They have many years of experience in assisting people with navigating Social Security’s return-to-work rules, and encouraging them – and those who play a supporting role in their lives – to think about earnings and work in a new way.

Use this link for more information and to register for the training programs…

Needs of Persons with Brain Injuries in Maine

Woman with child speaking at public hearingThe Maine Acquired Brain Injury Advisory Council (ABIAC) has announced a series of Public Hearing on the Needs of Persons with Brain Injuries in Maine. 

The ABIAC will hold public hearings to receive information from persons with brain injuries, their families, rehabilitation experts, providers of services and the public in an effort to generate greater understanding of this growing public health issue. The ABIAC is seeking responses to the Council’s published priorities, *the rights of recipients receiving brain injury services, the Brain Injury Waiver, and the unmet needs of persons with brain injuries and their families.

Dates and Locations of Public Hearings

Friday, September 7, 2018 – 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Department of Health and Human Services
30 Skyway Drive, Unit 100
Caribou, Maine

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 – 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
234 Northeast Road, Suite #1
Standish, Maine

Thursday, September 13, 2018 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Maine Center for Integrated Rehabilitation
95 Skowhegan Road
Fairfield, Maine

The Maine Acquired Brain Injury Advisory Council welcomes either written or spoken comments at the hearing.  In addition, written comments will be accepted through close of business on September 28, 2018 and should be submitted to:

Acquired Brain Injury Advisory Council
Neurobehavioral Services, OADS/DHHS
11 State House Station, 41 Anthony Ave.
Augusta, ME 04333-0011


The ABIAC established the following priorities for 2018*:

  1. Enhance Maine’s brain injury neurorehabilitation system to respond to current needs.
  2. Address the workforce shortage of qualified brain injury professionals.
  3. Expand care coordination and neuronavigation in order to meet the needs of all individuals with brain injuries in Maine.
  4. Prevent brain injury through education and public awareness.
  5. Strengthen family and peer supports.
  6. Improve employment opportunities.
  7. Addressing the needs of children with brain injury.

* For copies or additional information, please contact Neurobehavioral Services, at (207) 287-9295.


Photo credit: Image licensed through Creative Commons by Wikimedia.

Assistive Technology Makers’ Fair

From the University of New Hampshire – AT in New Hampshire Program

Make A.T. for All Conference and Expo!

Makers at FairSaturday, September 29, 2018 – 8:00 am to 4:30 pm ET

The A.T. Makers’ Fair will inspire participants to become creative problem solvers, bringing together makers of all abilities to share ideas, develop new skills and enhance innovations for persons with disabilities. The Fair will empower individuals with the methods, materials and know-how needed to efficiently create everyday just-in-time devices and technologies. Join us! Novice to veteran makers of all ages and abilities are welcome.


  • Conference kick off with inspiring AT maker movement leaders
  • Hands-on learning workshops
  • AT Invention Contest
  • Make AT Café Makerspace
  • Exhibition hall of vendors and program booths


More than 200 assistive technology makers including individuals with disabilities, family members, caregivers, educators, administrators, therapists, and program directors.

Registration Fee

$199 –  Includes access to the conference, fabrication of 5 multi-use devices, lunch, refreshments, and CEU’s. State and National CEUs available.


Grappone Conference Center
70 Constitution Avenue
Concord, NH

Use this link for more information and to register for this event…


US DOE Looking for Stories

StudentsRepublished from ACTEM’s newsletter Connected Educator

by Jennifer Orr, NBCT, 3rd grade teacher

Jennifer approached ACTEM in the hopes that they might be able to recommend a few great examples of work happening in schools or districts that might fit into one of the topics listed below.

I am working with the Office of Educational Technology (OET) at the U.S. Department of Education to research and write a collection of stories for the OET Story Tool as part of a new pilot project and I was hoping ACTEM
readers might be able to help us!

The OET has a Story Tool that collects and shares short narratives that describe exemplary educational technology policies and practices in schools across the country. See some example stories on the US-DOE website…

Specifically, we are looking for stories on certain topics including:

  • Technology use w/early learners
  • Accessibility and universal design for learning
  • Active use of technology (e.g. AR/VR, games, coding, media production, etc.)

Each story will identify a challenge faced by a school, district, or state as well as how the institution leveraged technology to address the challenge. In highlighting these stories, we hope to provide actionable examples that other schools, districts, or states might learn from and replicate.

If you have a story to tell, please contact Jennifer Orr directly at: Each collection will include ten stories, so it isn’t guaranteed that every story will be highlighted in this round.

Spurwink ALLTECH opens store in Portland

Website Launch and Store Opening

Spurwink-ALLTECH logoSpurwink ALLTECH has announced the re-opening of the Assistive Techology Equipment Reuse and Loan Store in Portland and the launch of the new website

Equipment Reuse

The new Portland location at 892 Riverside Street, offers consumers access to gently-used recycled durable medical equipment at a much-reduced cost, as well as short-term loans of Assistive Technology equipment. Some items available for purchase or loan include scooters, wheelchairs, canes, and bath chairs.

The Assistive Techology Equipment Reuse and Loan Store, which  was previously located in Bangor, also accepts donations of gently-used durable medical equipment to be cleaned and repaired and offered to consumers.


The Portland store will also house ALLTECH’s assistive technology demo and loaner program. With over 140 AT devices in the inventory, the demo/loan program allows Mainer to try before they buy.


Store Location

892 Riverside Street
Portland, ME 04103

Store hours are:

Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friday, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Wednesday, Closed

For more information, please call at 207-535-2017 to ask any questions.

New Website

For additional information about ALLTECH’s recycle and reuse program, AT demo and loaner program, or about additional services that ALLTECH offers, please visit the new website at


AFARI Mobility Device featured in exhibit

AFARI deviceNews from the University of Maine’s Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS)…

The AFARI Mobility Device, co-invented by CCIDS professors Elizabeth DePoy and Stephen Gilson, is part of the current Access+Ability exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City.

Here are links to some recent articles about the exhibit and/or AFARI:

Spurwink ALLTECH moves AT Reuse Store to Portland

Spurwink: Going the distanceSpurwink ALLTECH is pleased to announce the relocation of their Assistive Technology Reuse and Equipment Loan store to Portland.

The address of our store is:

892 Riverside Street
Portland, ME 04103


The new phone number is 207-535-2017

The store’s hours of operation will be:

Monday – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tuesday – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesday – Closed
Thursday – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friday – 9:00 am – Noon

Spurwink ALLTECH will also be launching a new website within the next few weeks. The address will be

For further information about the store, our services, and other general questions please contact Lou Isom at 535-2017 or at or Eric Campbell at 207-871-1200 or at

Spurwink ALLTECH is in need of donations for their new location. Please share this information with anyone that might be looking to donate any gently used items such as canes, wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, bath chairs, commodes, etc.

AT helps Maine orchard grow

AgrAbility logoThe Sun Journal recently published an article about the Pietree Farm in Sweden, Maine describing how the Maine AgrAbility project helped Stephen and Tabitha King make the farm more accessible so their daughter Naomi (who has a progressive muscular disorder) could continue to work.

The article notes, “King was adamant about making the whole farm accessible — not just for herself but for anyone who might like to visit the farm. She understood, better than most, how alienating it can be for a person with limited mobility to visit businesses, even those that claim to be accessible, only to find a ramp leading to a 6-inch step, or a bathroom with a trash can blocking the way where a wheelchair might need the space to maneuver.”

Quoting from the article:

“Maine AgrAbility is a nonprofit collaboration among the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Goodwill Industries Northern New England and Alpha One. A grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funds the program that came into existence through the 1990 Farm Bill. The first eight state programs received funding in 1991. As funding increased, more state programs were added across the US.

“Maine was first funded as part of a tri-state effort with New Hampshire and Vermont in 1996. In 2010, Maine was awarded single state funding to address the needs of Maine farmers and farm workers. Lani Carlson is the Maine AgrAbility project coordinator.”

Read the whole article on the Sun Journal website…

Learn more about the Maine AgrAbility Project…