Maine citizens with disabilities seek to have control over their lives and environments with equal access to options, opportunities, and choices as do all (Raymond) Maine citizens. There are many resources available to Maine people with disabilities on a national, state and local level. Below are a series of information links and resources that may be helpful on your journey. Check back at this site for future updates and additions.
means many things to many people. The Disability Achievement Center of Florida http://disabilityachievementcenter.org/about-us/
A DEFINITION OF INDEPENDENT LIVING
What is independent living? Essentially, it is living, working and playing just like everyone else--having opportunities to make decisions that affect one's life, able to pursue activities of one's own choosing--limited only in the same ways that one's neighbors who are not disabled are limited.
Independent living should not be defined in terms of living on one's own, being employed in a job fitting one's capabilities and interests, or having an active social life.
These are aspects of living independently. Independent living has to do with self- determination. It is having the right and the opportunity to pursue a course of action and it is having the freedom to fail --and to learn from one's failures, just as people without disabilities do.
There are, of course, individuals who have certain mental impairments which may affect their abilities to make complicated decisions or pursue complex activities. For those individuals, independent living means having every opportunity to be as self-sufficient as possible. Independent living, it isn't easy, and it can be risky, but millions of people with disabilities rate higher than a life of dependency, narrow opportunities and unfulfilled expectations.
Center for Independent Living (CIL)
The term "Center for Independent Living" means a consumer‑controlled, community‑based, cross‑disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provides an array of independent living services. In Maine the CIL is Alpha One with locations in South Portland, Bangor and Presque Isle.
Maine Statewide Independent Living Council (Maine SILC)
Each state and US territory is required to maintain a statewide independent living council (SILC). The SILC is made up of a majority of people with disabilitys. It meets regularly to further the fortunes of Maine people with disabilities seeking more independence. The Council and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) within the state develop a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL). The SPIL is a document required by law that indicates how the IL Network is going to improve independent living services for individuals with disabilities over the next three years. It identifies the needs and priorities of consumers, providers, and other stakeholders and sets forth goals and objectives to respond to them.
Core Services for Independent Living
- Advocacy-Encouragement and training for self-advocacy for maximum independence, together with focused advocacy at all levels to promote systems change that will remove barriers to full community integration;
- Information & Referral-Providing state of the art and best practices information on independent living strategies and resources and direct referral to available resources and programs that aid self-reliance and independence;
- Independent Living Skills Training-Comprehensive, direct and hands-on skills training for independent living providing the real-time, real world knowledge resources that enable people to maximize their independence using all available tools;
- Peer Support-Mentoring that maintains and expands community knowledge and connections while building momentum for ongoing individual and systems transformations;
- Transition Services-Nursing home to community, diversion from nursing home (only federally mandated) & youth transition to postsecondary life
Independent Living Areas of Focus
Maine Independent Living services include a mandated group of focus areas, these include:
Community Based Living (sub group Emergency Preparedness)
Economic Self Sufficiency
Transition - Youth
In Maine and nationally, there are programs, resources and support as you travel towards a more independent life. Many will have support for the CORE Services and the Independent Living Focus areas.
For more information on Independent Living, visit these links:
At ILRU we create opportunities for independence for people with disabilities through research, education, and consultation.
National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities. NCIL envisions a world in which people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully.
ALPHA ONE (Maine CIL) http://alphaonenow.com
Since 1978, Alpha One, a Center for Independent Living, has enabled thousands of people with disabilities to live more fully and more independently in all aspects of their lives. Few Centers for Independent Living in the United States or other public or private agencies in Maine offer Alpha One's variety and depth of independent living services.
Maine Statewide Independent Living Council (Maine SILC) http://mainesilc.org
The Maine Statewide Independent Living Council is dedicated to ensuring that citizens with disabilities have control over their lives and environments with equal access to options, opportunities, and choices as do all citizens.
The Maine State Plan for Independent Living (Maine SPIL)
This mandated 3-year plan serves to guide Maine efforts in improving independent living. The current plan opened in October 2016.
Maine Outdoor Recreation for Everyone (MORE) http://mainesilc.org/recreation/
The Maine Statewide Independent Living Council was charged by law (1995) to support resources and opportunities for Maine People with Disabilities. The specific law and the responsibilities of that law are found here: The Maine statute that established MORE into law can be viewed here. Go to the link to find a variety of recreation opportunities that are accessible for Maine people with disabilities.
Senior Guidance http://www.seniorguidance.org/
Senior Guidance is an organization dedicated to providing helpful senior living resources for the elderly. The site outlines helpful state programs for seniors, including assisted living facilities in every city, town and county in Maine.
Assisted Living Resources: AssistedLiving.Org: AssistedLiving.org is dedicated to enhancing the lives of older adults by compiling comprehensive research, the latest studies, and real-world insight from experts, caregivers, and seniors into easy-to-understand, actionable guides and resources.
To learn more or get involved
To connect or seek more information on independent living in Maine, contact the Maine Statewide Independent Living Council (Maine SIL) at