Speaking Up For Us of Maine
First Quarter Report
July 1 – September 30, 2004
Access: What activities does SUFU want to do that help people gain access to information and resources they need?
Goal 1: SUFU will do things to promote access to needed information and resources by:
Objective 1: Maintaining and updating the SUFU website monthly to share resources and information about our work and to get information from others, including the website address in all fiscal year 04-05 SUFU materials and announcing the website in at least three ways by June 2005.
SUFU forwarded updating information to our sister organization, MDDC, however staffing changes there prevented monthly updating as planned. Currently, CCI is kindly filling this role until MDDC can take it back over. The SUFU website address has been announced in the SUFU training brochure, in the Conference brochure, at trainings, via a listserve and email announcement and is on advisor business cards. SUFU and its website were added to the linkmaine.org resource web page on July 22.
Objective 2: Publishing and sending out two newsletters a year, about every six months, to share information with people inside and outside SUFU; first issue by December 30, 04, second issue by June 30, 05.
Several articles and ideas for articles are in the process. Marie Fearon is working on an article about returning to school as an adult.
Objective 3: Publishing and sending to our mailing list by 9-1-04 a booklet that tells about the trainings we offer and how to get them, giving this booklet out in at least three other ways.
SUFU published and mailed a new training brochure on July 21, 2004. This booklet has also been distributed at our trainings, including to about 40 people at Project Vote and Self Advocacy trainings in August and September and at Disability Awareness Day. We have received numerous inquiries from recipients and some of these have led to scheduling trainings.
Objective 4: Maintaining a resource library and publicizing its services four times by June 30, 2005.
A limited library in the northern end of the state is currently being maintained and accessed by self advocates and supporters in Northern Aroostook County. The central SUFU library listing is being put into an updated database in preparation for publishing and dissemination.
Objective 5: Helping members get information by:
SUFU officers have planned topics about access for our upcoming winter and spring statewide meetings. Staff and officers have planned to support self advocates to three out of state conferences this fall.
Self advocates and supporters received a sample letter to help with fundraising along with a list of fundraising suggestions. Self advocates around the state have taken advantage of several of the suggestions by using their skills to make quilts, latch hook rugs, and other items with the intent of selling tickets for items to be raffled off. Some have been saving their money, doing bottle drives, Avon sales, candle sales, and holding an auction as part of the effort to attend the annual statewide conference in Bethel.
Eighteen self advocates and supporters from Region 3 and one self advocate from Region 6 spent the day at Windsor Fair Grounds selling hot dogs at the Toys for Tots Toy Run sponsored by United Bikers of Maine. They raised $1,100 and were able to give 10 self advocates scholarships for the SUFU annual conference.
This objective is in planning stages.
Objective 6: Helping people learn the skills of self advocacy leaders and advisors for local self advocacy groups by offering trainings at least three times this year.
Two board members, with the Region 4-5 advisor, presented the self advocacy training to 28 self advocates and supporters in Rumford on August 6, 2004.
Objective 7: Educating and promoting community inclusion efforts by training seven different audiences such as community, family members, professionals or agencies by June 30, 2005.
Three self advocates and the Region 3-4 advisor have been meeting monthly in Augusta to design strategies for promoting community inclusion.
Objective 8: Planning, designing, promoting and putting on a statewide annual conference for 300 self advocates and supporters this fiscal year.
SUFU advisory staff has been helping the SUFU conference planning committee in making the SUFU annual conference accessible to as many self advocates as possible through low costs, arranging transportation, hiring interpreters, and instructing hotel planning staff on our accessibility needs. Several self advocates from Northern Maine attended the regional gathering in St Albans to celebrate self advocacy and also raise funds to attend the annual SUFU Conference.
Objective 9: Studying and applying for at least three grants to increase access to resources we need by June 30, 2005.
SUFU has not been able to work on this objective this quarter.
Independent Action: What activities does SUFU want to do that help people solve problems and make decisions on their own, acting independently, as family members, citizens or workers?
Goal 2: SUFU will do things that help us and other self advocates solve problems and make decisions on their own, acting independently, as family members, citizens or workers:
Objective 1: Conducting regular business through regularly scheduled officer (bimonthly minimum), and at least four board meetings by June 30, 2005.
The SUFU Board and supporters met September 1, 2004 in Orono to conduct routine business, receive updates on local self advocacy groups business and nominate new board members to be elected at the annual SUFU conference in October. Officers have met in Houlton to connect via phone with the Chair on a monthly basis. This objective is ongoing.
Objective 2: Developing an action plan by 1-05 to develop tools to evaluate advisors and the evaluation tools by June 30, 2005.
Discussion for this plan will be on an upcoming officer meeting agenda.
Objective 3: Supporting programs that help people direct their lives and increase independence such as the Independence Plus pilot project and Tools for Tomorrow by June 30, 2005.
SUFU supported Youthspeak with a letter and supported MASS regarding the closing of the Fernald institution by signing on to their proclamation.
The Tools for Tomorrow two day workshop with three presenters from MA for 20 self advocates and staff was held in Augusta in September to promote better self advocating at PCP’s and other planning meetings, to encourage individuals to identify non negotiable and needs for a healthy, happy lifestyle of choice while working with family and identified supports.
SUFU is working with the DHHS/Muskie Independence Plus (IP) Project, through coordination with project manager Vanessa Pelzer on the IP advisory council and on curriculum design with and for interested self advocates to ensure quality of IP and work out potential problems. This objective is ongoing.
Voice: What activities does SUFU want to do that help people share opinions and ideas effectively?
Goal 3: SUFU will do things that help us and other self advocates effectively share ideas and opinions with others by:
Objective 1: Helping individual voices to be heard by teaching about voting through 3 trainings by June 30, 2005.
Two advisors and four self advocates met in July, August and September to design improvements to Project Vote Trainings. SUFU’S Project Vote Team presented one training September 29, 2004 in Bangor to ten self advocates and other community members about voting. Three other trainings are scheduled. SUFU had more requests for this training than we could fit in prior to the election.
Additionally, a small group of SUFU members have, with advisor support, been educating themselves on voting issues by attending monthly All Maine Votes (AMV) meetings at the Disability Rights Center (DRC). This SUFU group has attended two forums sponsored by the AMV & DRC; one with candidates for office and one on the upcoming tax cap referendum.
Objective 2: Supporting at least ten individuals to speak out publicly through letters and testimony about issues that affect people with disabilities by June 30, 2005.
Three SUFU members asked questions of candidates at the candidate forum and several SUFU members have taken a stand on the tax cap, participating in educating others on it.
One SUFU member gave passionate testimony at a DHHS hearing regarding support hour cuts. This testimony was also reported in the Portland Press Herald.
Objective 3: Doing meaningful work as an equal partner with organizations such as DRC, BDS, DDC and CCI on at least one project that will help increase access to needed information and resources by June 30, 2005.
One SUFU member is on the DHHS merger MR workgroup, six SUFU members participated in the DRC advisory meeting, one is a member of the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council, the DRC is now our fiscal agent, DRC staff and SUFU members are planning rights trainings together and we have two SUFU members on the Center for Community Inclusion (CCI) Advisory Committee. A SUFU member was recommended to join the Woodfords board in July.
Additionally, we are receiving support for our website from both the MDDC and CCI.
Objective 4: At least twice, support new local self advocacy groups to start and help current groups in trouble by June 2005.
Technical support has been given to both the Auburn/Lewiston & Gardiner groups in Region 3 & 4. We have supported the Rumford group to regroup and become a whole new group and Farmington now has their own group.
Objective 5: Informing DHHS MR regional team leaders of local self advocacy meeting schedules to encourage collaboration.
Officers connected with Jane Gallivan and team leaders to extend an invitation to DHHSMR team leaders to attend Regional meetings at the upcoming annual self advocacy conference in Bethel, Maine, as well as to local group meetings. Jane will share information with team leaders and officers will offer Jane time on the officer’s agenda periodically to promote sharing of information and collaboration.
Bridge to the Future: What activities does SUFU want to do that help people keep growing and learning to be ready for the future?
Goal 4: SUFU will do things that help us and other self advocates keep growing and learning to be ready for the future by:
Objective 1: Working on improving teaching and facilitating skills by supporting at least three members to participate in train the trainer type events by June, 2005.
Objective 2: Supporting members to participate in efforts with policy makers, professionals and the public to increase access to:
These objectives will be planned and met in the coming months.
You can also download SUFU Annual Reports to read on-line or print:
July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004: HTML format
July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2003: HTML format
July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2002: HTML format