Center for Community Inclusion & Disability Studies (ME UCEDD) Offers Workshops to Promote Volunteer Opportunities for People with Disabilities

August 25, 2009

The Maine UCEDD, in collaboration with the Maine Commission for Community Service, Alpha One: Maine's Center for Independent Living, and Speaking Up for Us of Maine, is delivering a three-part series of statewide workshops to encourage and support the participation of Maine citizens with disabilities in national service and volunteering. The workshops are being coordinated by Project Director, Janet May, as part of the Maine UCEDD's National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) funded grant, Project Ready to ServeMaine.

The first workshop, "What Can National Service/Volunteering Do For Me?" provides information about community-based volunteering and other opportunities in National Service Programs such as AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and VISTA. Participants also receive information about Maine's Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program (WIPA) to help current and future volunteers make informed decisions about their earnings and state and federal benefits.

Two additional workshops are planned for the fall: the second workshop will provide information from the perspective of current National Service members, "A Day in My Life - What Do National Service Members Do?"; and the third workshop will cover the application process, "Getting Involved - How to Become a National Service Member or Volunteer." Each of the three workshops will be videotaped and offered online.

In addition, Project Ready to ServeMaine staff member Avery Olmstead, will appear with an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and a Senior Corps representative in a videotaped public service announcement for VolunteerMaine, a free web-based statewide volunteer center which serves as a link between agencies looking for volunteers and people interested in volunteering. For more information about Project Ready to ServeMaine, please visit the project website here: