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Independent Living

Community Accessibility Checklist Tip Sheet (opens new window)


Principles for Consumer-Directed Services Tip Sheet (opens new window)

Here are some links and resources that give information about living independently in Maine. Some may assist blind and visually impaired consumers; other sites might help obtaining in-home or other supports for daily living. Let us know what’s missing and what would make this page more useful.

Blind and Visually Impaired Services

American Council of the Blind of Maine - American Council of the Blind of Maine is a consumer group that promotes independence and opportunities for Mainers who are blind and visually impaired. Some of their programs include: annual convention, fun weekends, and scholarships for post-secondary education.


Association of Blind Citizens - This site provides information to fund 50% of the cost of assistive technology for use by individuals who are legally blind.


Canine Companions - This national organization, based in New York state, provides trained service dogs to consumers. Professionals may be eligible if they work for an agency in which the clients would benefit from a dog.


Deaf & Blind Link - A website devoted to providing information related to children who are deaf & blind. It is designed for parents, educators, and other professionals and has a wide variety of topics at both a national and state level.


Guiding Eyes - Though based in New York state, this guide dog school will visit your home to assess your needs and your application for a service dog.


Iris Network - The Iris Network assists Mainers who are blind or visually impaired to live self-determined lives, by offering services through a rehabilitation center, community services, Maine AIRS and residential programs Click onto their live broadcasts. 


Maine Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired — This is the state program that provides services to Mainers who are blind or visually impaired. Services include vocational rehabilitation, independent living services, education services for children, and library services.


Mainely Access - Providing adaptive technology assessment and training to individuals with disabilities throughout the state of Maine.


Pine Tree Guide Dog Users - This is a Maine-based site for guide-dog users. They also have a newsletter.

Deaf Services

ASL/English Interpreting at the University of Southern Maine - This program provides the only ASL interpreter training and ASL teacher training in Maine.


Baxter Compensation Authority - This is a temporary website of the compensation plan for former students of the Baxter School for the Deaf.


Closed Captioning - This site focuses on information and supports for closed captioning. It suggests ways to influence change in your community movie theatres.


Deaf & Blind Link - A website devoted to providing information related to children who are deaf & blind. It is designed for parents, educators, and other professionals and has a wide variety of topics at both a national and state level.


Deaf Related Information Packet - Effective communication with deaf people, how to use interpreters, assistive technology for deaf persons and much more can be found in this brief guide prepared by Brenda Schertz for the Baxter Compensation Authority Board. You can download this document as a PDF file or a Microsoft Word file.

Pine Tree Society Deaf Services - This organization provides American Sign Language interpreting services to Maine people who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing.


Maine Center on Deafness - The Maine Center on Deafness serves people who are deaf, late-deafened or hard-of-hearing by providing resources, advocating for social equality, and helping the general public to better understand and appreciate Deaf culture and effective ways of communication.


Maine Division of Deafness — The Division of Deafness (DoD) provides services for hard of hearing and deaf citizens of Maine including information and referral; needs assessments and accessibility promotion.


National Deaf Education Center - How the IDEA applies to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students - This national site contains information regarding the law, how it works, and its implications for families with children who are Deaf or hard of hearing. It focuses on the laws that affect education.


Alpha One - Alpha One is a center for independent living that helps with home modification, accessibility, employment counseling, and other services to enable people to live independently.


Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice - AHCH provides home care and hospice services for one hundred communities in Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford and northern Cumberland counties.


C.A.R.E.S. Client Assistance Program - C.A.R.E.S., Inc. administers the federally funded Client Assistance Program (CAP) information, assistance and advocacy to people applying for or receiving services under the Rehabilitation Act. Programs under this Act include Vocational Rehabilitation, Independent Living Services and Projects with Industry.


Charlotte White Center - This site is a nonprofit agency, devoted to assisting adults and children with mental retardation, mental heath, physical handicaps, and elder age related issues. With headquarters in Dover-Foxcroft Maine, the agency provides multiple levels of social services including: residential, day treatment, clinical counseling, vocational, and in-home supports.


Day One - This organization is a Portland resource for teens and their families who are dealing with the issue of substance abuse. With various programs and residential settings, they offer a variety of programs to help teens.


Easter Seals - Maine - Easter Seals services include medical rehabilitation, adult day programs, employment training, recreational opportunities and inclusive child care.


Goodwill Industries - Goodwill Industries provides services and jobs to over 1,000 employees in Maine and New Hampshire.


Healthy and Ready to Work - This site offers assistance to adolescents with disabilities who are ready to transition to post-secondary education, or towards working in an independent environment.


Maine Developmental Disabilities Council - The DD Council supports individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to participate in the design of, and access to, community resources. The council provides information and referral, works on systems change, educates legislators, and funds projects.


Maine's Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) - SILC supports the independent living goals and needs of citizens regardless of their disabilities, while they work towards community-based independent living.


New England ADA and Accessible IT Center - New England ADA & Accessible IT Center, funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, explains compliance with ADA, has a FAQs and an e-newsletter.


Northeast Passage - A New Hampshire based organization that provides recreational activities to individuals with disabilities. They have a wide variety of resources related to recreation, independent living, and assistive technology.


Pine Tree Society for Handicapped Children and Adults - Founded in 1936, the Pine Tree Society provides innovative direct service programs statewide to people with disabilities. Each year the Society's many quality programs help thousands of individuals with disabilities.


Spurwink School - Spurwink assists teens experiencing emotional, behavioral and/or developmental difficulties to achieve their potential. Services include counseling and independent living in a day-treatment setting.


Support Solutions - This Lewiston/Saco based organization provides in-home and residential support services for individuals ages 8-28 to promote independence in the community.


Washington Hancock Community Agency - This is the community action program (CAP) for Washington and Hancock counties of Maine. They help a wide range of people through programs that include transportation, family and community services, and heating, utilities and rental assistance.


WheelchairNet - WheelchairNet is a community for people who have a common interest in (or in some cases a passion for) wheelchair technology and its improvement and successful application.

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