Resource Guide: AGENCIES
Last Updated; March 26, 2019
1-800-640-7200 or 767-2189 (V/TTY)
1-866-906-5375 or 767-5387 (TTY)
South Portland office
127 Main Street
South Portland, ME 04106
11 Bangor Mall Blvd., Unit A
Bangor, ME 04401
Presque Isle office
66 Spruce Street
Presque Isle, ME 04769
Website: Alpha One
Alpha One is a community-based program directed and managed by people with disabilities to provide independent living opportunities. Alpha One promotes peer interaction, community resource utilization, and self-advocacy skills. It seeks to ensure equal opportunity and compliance with all disability-related laws through increased public awareness, professional consultation, and community advocacy.
The Adaptive Equipment Loan Program (also known as mPower), Adaptive Driver Education, and Information and Referral Service are of special interest to deaf citizens and agencies who serve deaf clients.
The mPower Loan Program (also called Adaptive Equipment Loan Program) lends funds for assistive equipment, such as hearing aids, to individuals in Maine who are able to repay the loan over time. Loans have flexible terms and can cover hearing aids, flashing alert systems and other equipment.
Title 7, Part B Grant Program provides financial assistance to help consumers with disabilities address: health and disability management, self-care, mobility and home accessibility, communication, and learning difficulties. Funds are available to purchase services and adaptive equipment such as hand controls, lifts for vehicles, ramps, showers, hearing aids, flashing alarms and signals. Priority is given for people who are at risk of institutionalization.
Area Agencies on Aging
Aging & Disability Resource Centers
These agencies provide services to older adults, adults with disabilities and their families, including information and assistance, education, advocacy, insurance counseling, nutrition programs and caregiver education and support.
One Weston Court, Suite 203
P.O. Box 2589
Augusta, ME 04338-2589
Disability Rights Maine-Deaf Services (DRM)
1-800-639-3884 (V/TTY within Maine)
207-766-7111 (Front Desk VP)
Riley Albair, Program Director
Michelle Ames, Program Director
Programs for individuals who are D/deaf, late-deafened or hard of hearing.
Civil Rights Program
Did the organizers of a public hearing or meeting refuse to provide CART services when you requested them?
Is your D/deaf or Hard of Hearing child being denied services by your school system?
DRM staff can help by offering free advice and individual representation at meetings, hearings, and court proceedings with the full weight of ADA and Maine Human Rights law behind them. This is FREE to D/deaf, HoH, Late Deafened people and to parents of children with hearing loss.
DRM also promotes systemic change by working directly with Maine agencies and legislators on matters of importance to the D/deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened communities.
DRM does NOT provide assistance with criminal or family law, cases but we can refer to other lawyers who can.
John Shattuck, Advocate
Communication & Outreach Program
Disability Rights Maine's Communication and Outreach Program travels statewide speaking at hospitals, community groups, law enforcement agencies and various businesses about Maine Relay Service (MERS) and hearing-loss related topics. Maine Relay Service is a free service that makes it possible for anyone with a hearing loss or speech impairment to communicate by telephone. Maine Relay also allows businesses and service providers to connect with everyone in their community, improving access to services for all. Use this link to learn more about the Maine Relay Service.
If you know an individual who is D/deaf, hard-of-hearing or late-deafened or someone who has a speech, cognitive or physical disability that cannot use a standard telephone they can apply for specialized adaptive equipment through Maines Telecommunication Equipment Program (TEP). Individuals often receive equipment at no or low cost!
We'd love to reach out to YOUR organization. If you'd like to schedule a training, Lunch and Learn or presentation about hearing loss, Maine Relay Service (MERS), Maine's adaptive Telecommunication Equipment Program (TEP), Civil Rights or more please contact us 207.797.7656.
Debra Bare-Rogers, Outreach and Communications Technology Specialist
Deaf-Blind Equipment Program
If you or someone you know is a Maine resident with hearing loss as well as vision loss, you may qualify for the (Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program) DBEDP.
Equipment that may be received through this 2-year pilot program includes, but is not limited to:
Laptop or desktop computers
iPads or other tablets
Computer software (i.e. screen reader software text zooming software)
OCR (optical character recognition) devices
Computer accessories including specialized keyboards, speakers, microphones, and mice
Amplified telephones and cellular phones
In order to find out if you are eligible, you can contact Scott Murray at our Portland Office: 207.797.7656. Qualification is established through an application process which requires proof of annual income, and proof of disability by a doctor or other trained professional. After eligibility is approved, an in-home assessment/ at-work assessment of need may be conducted. This is to ensure that we find the appropriate equipment match to achieve successful communication.
Scott Murray, Telecommunications Equipment Program Assistant Manager/Deaf-Blind Program Coordinator
Peer Support Group & Visual Gestural Communication
Peer Support Group (PSG) is a structured gathering for D/deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, or non-verbal (hearing) adults with intellectual disabilities, their caregivers, and families. The focus of these group sessions is to enhance communication skills through structured activities. These opportunities increase clients communication partners and strategies, improving access to health, safety and vocational situations and services.
Visual Gestural Communication (VGC) is useful to many people who need an alternative technique for expressing and understanding the needs and wants of other people in their environment. VGC is not a language like English or American Sign Language. It is a communication mode that uses gestures, facial expressions, and body language. In our classes we will teach you how to think visually and conceptually, and to use VGC to communicate with people who have limited formal language. Sponsored by Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
For more information contact:
Michelle Ames, Program Director
Telecommunications Equipment Program (TEP)
The Telecommunications Equipment Program (TEP) was established by state law to provide No or Low cost adaptive telecommunications equipment to any Maine resident who cannot use their home's conventional telephone due to a physical or cognitive disability. The program was established to assist low-income residents, and most clients pay nothing for the phone equipment they need.
Through a simple application process, the DRM's TEP staff will determine which amplified, captioned, or voice-activated telephone and call signaler will meet your needs.
To apply, complete the TEP application form, on-line at Disability Rights Maine-Deaf Services TEP, or call to have us mail you one. Send it back to DRM with:
Verification of Disability (note from doctor, an audiogram, or diploma from deaf school)
Proof of Household income for all family members for prior 12 months (tax returns, pay stubs, social security award letters, or bank statements)
DRM Program staff will use the information in your application form to select the best phone for you.
Once you are approved as a Lending (no cost) client, we will send the phone right to your home! Installation is easy; with amplified phones you just plug them into the phone and electrical outlets, and start making phone calls!
If the equipment does not meet your needs, DRM staff will do their best to find something that does through equipment exchange. As a Lending client, you may keep the equipment for as long as you need or want it, but you cannot give it to someone else, or take it out of the state of Maine. Since the equipment belongs to the state program, you must give us your new address and phone number when you move, or if you no longer need the equipment, you must return it to DRM (we can provide a UPS label so you don't have to pay the shipping costs). If your needs change and you need a replacement or the equipment breaks down, we will send you a replacement along with a UPS label that will pay to send the old equipment back to DRM.
If you are approved as a Cost-Share (low cost) client, you will pay a portion of the cost (on a sliding scale basis) of the equipment you need. We will send you an invoice that is payable by cash, check or money order. Once we receive your payment, we will ship the equipment directly to you. The equipment is yours, just as if you had purchased it from any store, and can be removed from the state of Maine. If your equipment needs repair, DRM staff will refer you to the appropriate repair center or warranty process. Many low cost clients only pay $50 for equipment worth hundreds of dollars.
Some clients ages 65 and up may be eligible to choose either an adaptive telephone OR a single telecoil-equipped hearing aid. Our hearing aid program currently has a waiting list. Anyone who completes the TEP application process and appears eligible for the hearing aid option will be contacted with an acceptance letter and further information by DRM staff. Anyone who needs help through the process should contact DRM staff for guidance.
Debra Bare-Rogers, Communications Technology Specialist
Family Violence Assistance Project
The Project provides counseling, advocacy, referral, and shelter to victims of domestic violence.
Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation (formerly Maine Handicapped Skiing)
Free year-round recreation lessons and programs for children aged 4+ and adults with physical disabilities. Sports include fishing, hiking, alpine skiing, nordic skiing, snowboarding, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, and golf, and take place at various sites and resorts throughout Maine. All equipment and instruction is provided. Call or visit the website for more information or to register for programs.
New England ADA Center-DBTAC
A Project of the Institute for Human Centered Design [formerly Adaptive Environments]
200 Portland Street, Suite 1
Boston, MA 02114
Provides federally approved information and training to individuals, businesses, and organizations about the Americans with Disabilities Act. An educational resource, not an enforcement agency. Inquiries will be kept confidential.
New Ventures Maine (formerly Women, Work and Community)
North Central/Down East Region
1 University Drive
Bangor, ME 04401
Contact: Sarah Joy Chaples
TTY users call Maine Relay 711
Website: New Ventures Maine
New Ventures Maine mission: We help individuals recognize strengths, overcome barriers, find resources, develop a plan, take action towards their goals: start a business, find a career, return to school, build assets, be active in the community.