Table of Contents - Additional Volunteer Policies B.1.
B.1.1 University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Volunteer Philosophy and Definition of a Volunteer
Philosophy Statement - The University of Maine Cooperative Extension engages volunteers through educational experiences that extend the reach of our programs to strengthen local communities. We believe volunteers deserve to be treated with respect, matched with a relevant assignment, provided with high-quality training and recognized in meaningful ways. In return, volunteers will learn new skills, celebrate their own personal development and be inspired to share their time, talent and wisdom within the area they have been trained.
Definition of a Volunteer - A University of Maine Cooperative Extension “volunteer” is anyone who without “taxable compensation” performs a task at the direction of a staff member and on behalf of Extension. Unless specifically stated, volunteers shall not be considered as “employees” of Extension and are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Extension “volunteers” must be:
1. enrolled or registered,
2. provided with orientation and/or training, and
3. engaged in projects or assigned duties that are approved by an Extension staff member.
The following 4-H volunteers must complete the 4-H Youth Development Volunteer Application process:
- those who have more than eight (8) hours of contact in a leadership or advisory role with 4-H members per year;
- all drivers and chaperones at 4-H events; and
- All members of the Maine 4-H Animal Science Committees.
These volunteers must complete the following steps.
- Complete a volunteer application: Word | PDF. Applications are also available by contacting a local county extension office.
- Successfully complete a State Bureau of Investigation background check (PDF) conducted by University of Maine Human Resources. This form is available by contacting a local county extension office. [See Section B.1.4, Volunteer Background Checks]
- Interview and be approved by county 4-H staff and/or a county volunteer screening committee.
- Submit the names of at least two references. Reference checks may extend beyond the persons listed on the application. On the application, the applicant’s permission is requested to extend the reference check to other persons suggested to us in the course of contacting the given references. Occasionally, the office also may receive unsolicited information about an applicant. All information received is evaluated in the selection process on the basis of the UMaine Extension Volunteer Standards of Behavior
- Sign the UMaine Extension Volunteer Standards of Behavior Form (PDF).
- Complete the required 4-H volunteer training for their specific volunteer responsibilities.
- Enroll each year as a 4-H volunteer. (Note: New volunteers can enroll at any time during the year. Re-enrollment period is between October 1 and December 30 of each year.)
Other adults who support the 4-H program do not complete an application form. The interaction of these individuals should be under the direction of enrolled, certified volunteers. The enrolled 4-H volunteer is offered protection by the University of Maine’s liability insurance policy (see Section A.1.5). The Good Samaritan Law and the Volunteer Protection Act may provide protection for other volunteers.
Volunteer applications may be declined based on information received in the application process. Prior to making the decision to decline an application, the 4-H staff member should consult with the 4-H Program Administrator.
All 4-H volunteers who spend more than eight hours of contact time with 4-H members per year, all drivers and chaperones for 4-H events, and all members of 4-H Animal Science Committees are required to complete Volunteer Orientation and Leadership Training). There are two training options for new 4-H volunteers, online or in-person. Speak with your local county Extension 4-H staff person to determine which option is right for you.
For all new 4-H volunteers age 18 or older, the University of Maine Office of Human Resources will complete a criminal background check covering all counties/states/countries in which a volunteer has lived during the past ten years. There is no cost to the 4-H volunteer.
The potential volunteer completes the Supplemental Application Form for Volunteer Positions Requiring State Bureau of Investigation Checks. The form is mailed to the University of Maine Office of Human Resources. The county 4-H staff is informed of the outcome of the background check.
Personnel who work in Maine school systems are required by the Maine Department of Education to have a background check. In lieu of a background check through the University of Maine Office of Human Resources, potential volunteers who currently work for a Maine school system can provide a copy of the certificate validating a background check has been performed in the last five years. A copy of the certificate will be kept on file at the local county extension office.
In the management of Extension programs, difficult issues or situations will arise in which effective conflict resolution is required. These steps are suggested for dealing with difficult issues or situations.
- Present your concern to the Extension staff member or volunteer in a timely, respectful and responsible manner. Be willing to meet and discuss the issues of concern directly with the individuals involved.
- Either party may request a formal meeting that may include a mutually agreed upon third party facilitator.
- If there is continued conflict after step two, the volunteer or staff member may send all relevant documentation to the appropriate University of Maine Cooperative Extension Program Administrator.
- The Program Administrator will respond on an individual, case-by-case basis.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has the right to terminate the volunteer from the program. The Extension Director is the only person authorized to exercise the right to terminate an Extension volunteer. The process leading to termination is:
- Written documentation (which can include email) of the situation or circumstance that may warrant the consideration to terminate a volunteer is made by an Extension staff member with copies sent to the volunteer and the appropriate Program Administrator.
- The Program Administrator provides an opportunity for the volunteer to respond to the issues documented in step number one.
- The Program Administrator will forward documentation, the response of the volunteer and any other relevant information to the Director of Extension.
- The Director of Extension will make a determination and notify the volunteer of the decision in writing.
- If there is considered to be a risk to the safety of program participants or volunteers, the Director can act immediately to terminate a volunteer from the program.
As part of their training, all volunteers will be oriented using Maine 4-H Youth Development Low Risk Management Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.
The following checklist is available to staff and volunteers for event planning Risk Management Checklist (Word).
B.1.7.a Animals and Liability
Procedures to Reduce Liability
- Volunteers working with large animal 4-H projects at their homes need to carry farm insurance or talk with their insurance agent about getting a “rider” to their homeowner’s policy. If an animal causes injury, the animal owner is considered responsible.
- Posting a sign that says something like “Pass at your own risk; animals can cause injury,” can be very helpful to display near animals at public events such as fairs.
B.1.7.b Meetings in Homes
Conducting Meetings, Programs or Events at Home
Volunteers should carry homeowner’s insurance if 4-H activities are conducted in the home.
- Recommended minimum liability coverage is $300,000.
- Volunteers should be aware that they may be held responsible if a program participant is injured at their home. Volunteers should check with their homeowner’s insurer to make sure they are covered.
- Volunteers transporting others in their vehicles must carry automobile insurance. Note: Recommended minimum liability coverage is $300,000. The person causing an accident is primarily responsible, and the driver’s/vehicle owner’s liability is considered primary.
- A licensed driver of any age may drive himself or herself to a 4-H event/activity with parental/guardian consent.
- Volunteers transporting youth in University vehicles must be 21 years of age and approved through the University Motor Pool.
- Volunteers transporting youth in private vehicles must be 21 years of age.
- Everyone must wear a seatbelt at all times while in a moving motor vehicle in the state of Maine.
- The use of a full-size 15 passenger style van is prohibited.
The following questions are ones that would be part of the determination of liability in the event of an accident involving one or more vehicles.
- Was the activity consistent with the organization’s mission?
- Was the activity a regular part of the organization’s program?
- Did the organization permit such trips under its policies?
- Did anyone within the organization authorize the trip?
- Was driving, related, or incidental, to the individual’s normal duties?
- Were the drivers properly licensed, following safety precautions, and adequately trained?
- Was the age of the licensed driver transporting youth at least 21 years and a certified volunteer with the Maine 4-H Youth Development program?
- What was the condition of the vehicle?
- Did the vehicle have adequate safety equipment and had it passed inspection?
- How was the behavior of the passengers?
- Did everyone use seatbelts and was there an older adult to monitor behavior?
The work of the UMaine Cooperative Extension 4-H Animal Science committees will be to help Maine youth nurture and grow through positive learning experiences in which participants develop and use life skills.
Animal Science Committee (ASC) members work closely with other ASC members and the Staff Liaison to develop and implement an educational program aligned with the Maine 4-H State Plan of Work for Maine 4-H members interested in a particular animal species.
ASC applicants must be a currently enrolled Maine 4-H volunteer. Membership is gained through an application. Applications can submitted to the State 4-H Office between April 1 and October 1. Youth membership is encouraged on these committees.
Find role descriptions and application forms under Part F Attachments.
Federal Income Tax Exemption for 4-H Organizations
Organizations that are authorized by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to use the 4-H name and clover emblem are exempt from federal income tax. As of 2008, small tax-exempt 4-H organizations such as 4-H clubs or leaders’ associations are required to file an annual electronic notice. The 990N, also known as the e-Postcard, meets this filing requirement.
If a club plans on raising funds and/or having a club treasury account, club leaders will get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for their club before filing the 990N. When your club opens an account with a bank, they will ask for this number. Never give someone’s social security number when opening a bank account for a 4-H club/organization.
The EIN is obtained by filing an application, Form SS-4, with the IRS. The SS-4 Form may be obtained from any Social Security Administration or IRS office, or from the IRS website. Your county Extension 4-H staff can help if you have trouble locating the form.
How to Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for New 4-H Clubs
(Revised October 2013)
Remember: 4-H Clubs will need to fill out and submit Form SS-4 to the IRS in order to get their EIN. The EIN is required when filing the 990N (e-Postcard).
Instructions for filling out the SS-4 form:
Questions 1, 3-5: Fill in the 4-H club name, then the club leader’s name and address.
Question 2: usually left blank
Question 6: leave blank
Question 7a-b: Fill in leader’s name and SSN. Please note: this SSN is not tied to the EIN, and is used only for confirmation of the name given in 7a.
Question 8a: check ‘no’
Question 9a: select ‘Other (specify)’ and write in “4-H Clubs and Affiliated 4-H Organizations”
Question 9b: leave blank
Question 10: select ‘Other (specify)’ and write in “Starting 4-H Club” or “Starting 4-H Organization”
Questions 11-12: leave blank
Question 13: enter ‘0’ for all three sections
Question 14: leave blank
Question 15: leave blank.
Question 16: select ‘Other (specify)’ and write in “Education”
Question 17: write in “Youth Development and Education”
Question 18: mark ‘yes’ only if you have filed for an EIN in the past, otherwise check ‘no.’ The form is complete once it is signed and dated.
Once the form has been completed you can apply by mail, fax, or telephone. Refer to the following instructions. Please note: do not apply for an EIN online. The online version does not follow the format of the SS-4 form, so is not suited for use by 4-H clubs and affiliates.
How to File a Completed SS-4
Filing options are listed on the Internal Revenue Service website.
Mail or Fax
Internal Revenue Service Center
Attn: EIN International Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Please note: it may take four business days for a faxed application, or four weeks for a mailed application, before an EIN confirmation is received.
Call 800-829-4933 from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
(You will usually get a number the same day you call.)
Important note: If you apply for your EIN over the phone you may need to give your Social Security number for identification purposes only and you may be asked to fax your completed form to the IRS.
Contact your local county office to receive a sample of a completed SS-4 Form for a 4-H Club.
Because 4-H is exempt from Federal Income Tax, many donations to 4-H and out-of-pocket expenses of 4-H volunteers are deductible on volunteers’ personal income tax forms. For other Federal Tax Forms or information, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or visit their website.
4-H Club Certification
Once you have your EIN, you need to fill out the Maine Certification of 4-H Clubs and Affiliated 4-H Organizations form (Word – PDF) and send it in to your county’s UMaine Extension office.
Filing Your 4-H Club or 4-H Organization Form 990N (e-Postcard)
All tax-exempt 4-H organizations earning $50,000 or less are required to file Form 990N, an annual electronic notice. Maine’s tax period for 4-H clubs/Leaders Associations/Animal Science Committees, etc. is October 1 through September 30; therefore our filing date is Feb 15th of the following year.
How to File Form 990N e-Postcard (Revised Oct 2013)
- All 4-H clubs/organizations in Maine need to file by Feb 15 each year. Income reported will be for the previous October 1 – September 30 4-H year.
- 4-H clubs and organizations will not receive a reminder to file the 990N, so it is up to the club leader(s) to remember to file by the deadline.
- Go to www.irs.gov and use the keyword/search field to find links to Form 990-N information. Once on this page, select “How to File” and then follow the instructions below. Please note that filing requires you to leave the IRS site, and that is okay as that is the process the IRS has created.
- IMPORTANT: For Users who have filed a 990N E-Postcard in the past you can go directly to “Step 2: Create your Form 990-N (e-Postcard)” and log in and file.
For Users who have never filed a 990N e-Postcard:
1. Register as a New User.
2. Create your Form 990-N (e-Postcard). Please note the instructions to log-in. (For example if your EIN is # 33-333333 you would login using 3333333301)
To complete Form 990-N, qualified 4-H Clubs and Affiliated 4-H Organizations need to provide the following information:
- Organization’s legal name – as legally chartered or otherwise formally tied to the organization’s EIN
- Any other names your organization uses (not relevant for most 4-H Clubs and Affiliated 4-H Organizations)
- Organization’s mailing address – as tied to the organization’s EIN
- Organization’s website address – if you have one
- Organization’s EIN – this is a unique number that identifies the organization to the IRS. This is what you received after sending in your SS-4 Form.
- Name and address of the principal officer of your organization – same as the name and address provided on the SS-4.
- Organization’s annual tax year – the tax year for Maine is October 1 through September 30.
- Confirmation that your organization’s annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less
- The e-Postcard includes an option for stating that your organization has or is terminating, but isn’t relevant for GEN 5930.
3. Submit your Form 990-N (e-Postcard).
As noted on the IRS website, the e-Postcard is supported by most browsers. Please contact your local 4-H staff if you need assistance filing your e-Postcard.
Steps to follow if you get an error message when you try to file your 990N (e-Postcard) or are unable to file:
- Please contact IRS Customer Account Services (CAS) at 877-829-5500.
- Indicate that your organization (4-H club, Leaders Association, Animal Science Committee, etc.) is a subordinate of a central organization called the “University of Maine System Inc.” The EIN for the University of Maine System is 016000769.
- Tell the IRS that your group exemption number (GEN) is 5930.
Collecting State Sales Tax
Non-profit groups, including 4-H and other volunteer Extension groups, are required to register with the Maine Revenue Services and collect and remit sales taxes if the sales, such as fund raisers, are “on a continuing basis” or if the club or association “continuously holds itself out to the public as a seller.”
Volunteer organizations such as 4-H groups are exempt from paying sales tax on fund-raising efforts “of limited duration,” although the activities are no longer limited to a specific number of days. If a fund-raising effort is on going, sales tax must be both collected by the organization and transmitted to the Maine Sales, Fuel and Special Tax Division.
If a 4-H club owes taxes to the state, it needs to file a report and remit payment only once annually unless its tax liability is more than $25 per month, in which case it must file monthly. For more information, ask for the Sales, Fuel and Special Tax Division Instructional Bulletin No.9 (PDF), “Casual and Infrequent Sales” (see section 5), and General Information Bulletin #79 (section 5) from:
Maine Revenue Services
Sales, Fuel and Special Tax Division
P.O. Box 1065
Augusta, ME 04332-1065
Tel. 207-624-9693, V/TTY: 7-1-1
Because of the record-keeping involved, it is strongly recommended that 4-H organizations limit their fund-raising activities to a few days or some other limited period of time in order to remain exempt.
It is not recommended that Maine 4-H clubs incorporate.
As an unincorporated university organization, 4-H clubs are protected under the University of Maine’s general liability insurance policy. By the single act of incorporating, a club removes itself from protection under the university policy. After a club removes itself from protection, it cannot regain university coverage by terminating its incorporated status.
To protect the privacy of 4-H members and volunteers, Extension does not share the names, addresses or phone numbers of Extension program participants with anyone outside of Extension, other than to provide mailing labels of adult 4-H volunteers to National 4-H supply so it can mail its catalogs to 4-H leaders. And, with the permission of adult 4-H volunteers, we also share their names and contact information with people who inquire about joining a 4-H Club.
If anyone asks you to provide information about 4-H leaders or members, (for example, a business calls you with a “special offer for 4-H”), please do not give out information. Ask them to call your county Extension office, or get the information about the offer and send it to Extension. If appropriate, the information will be shared in a 4-H newsletter or by other some other means so that 4-H members and leaders can decide for themselves whether to pursue the offer.
When fund raising for a 4-H club, or under the 4-H umbrella for any reason, clubs and leaders must be conscious of upholding the good name of 4-H, get approval in advance for the activity from the county 4-H contact person, and use all funds for 4-H purposes. In handling club funds, follow the 4-H Financial Guidelines, in Section B.2.3 of this manual or other responsible financial procedures. Keep good records and be very open about such activities.
If funds are raised for a charitable cause, clubs and leaders must be sure they clearly inform donors about how the funds will be used and then follow through on that commitment. University of Maine Cooperative Extension, as the protector of the 4-H emblem, must make sure that such sanctioned activities are appropriately concluded. People who donate money to a specific cause or organization have every right to believe that the 4-H fundraisers will honor their desire to have the money forwarded to that cause or organization. After the funds are collected, you cannot revise where and to whom the funds will be directed. If you find the original intended cause or organization has all the money it needs, or you no longer trust them to use the funds honorably, the only option is to return the money to the donors. When such activities are concluded, send an accounting of what funds were raised and how they were expended to the Extension office. Fundraising for police organizations is prohibited by Maine law. Fundraisers that include gambling for money or 50/50′s, jackpots, etc. are not permitted.
The 4-H name and emblem are protected under federal statute (Title 18, U.S.C. 707). Brief reminders for proper use of the emblem are:
- Use only an official emblem graphic, obtained from an authorized 4-H source, that includes the language “18 USC 707″ to the right of the stem. You need to maintain the proper height and width proportions of the image.
- Text or graphics should never cross or cover any part of the clover emblem. Use of the 4-H clover as a desktop wallpaper or web page background is inappropriate.
- Read the emblem guidelines carefully, regarding commercial use of the name and emblem and production of items with the 4-H name or emblem.
If you have any questions, please contact your county 4-H educator of professional.
- Have a minimum of four members between the ages of 5 and 18. (Members should be at least 5 years old as of January 1 and not have passed their 18th birthday on January 1.)
- Have an official club or group name.
- Have youth leadership opportunities such as elected or rotating officers.
- Have at least one Volunteer Orientation and Leadership Training certified volunteer organizational leader and volunteer project leaders as appropriate.
- Have at least six or more regularly scheduled club meetings per year.
- Have a written planned educational plan that provides a variety of learning experiences.
- Have a set of 4-H club standards of behavior.
- If a club has a treasury, they must follow B.2.3 4-H Financial Guidelines, Maine 4-H Youth Development program: Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.
- The club and all 4-H members and leaders must be currently enrolled at the County Extension Office with 4-H members taking at least one 4-H project experience.
- Staff members can obtain a club charter by sending an email request (including the county, name of the club and club leader) to Jessy Brainerd in the state office. Jessy will obtain signatures from the 4-H program administrator and the Director of Extension and mail the charter back to the staff member.
If at any time, the 4-H club members and/or the volunteer leaders do not meet the requirements established by Maine 4-H Program or the 4-H name and emblem is used inappropriately, the 4-H Club Charter may be revoked using the following procedures:
- Communication will occur with 4-H leader(s) so they understand that maintaining the 4-H club charter is a privilege not a right, and the 4-H club charter may be revoked if the Extension Educator/Professional knows that the club is not complying with established rules and policies.
- Communications to 4-H leader(s) should outline the procedures needed to correct the 4-H Club Charter requirements that are not being met or the inappropriate use of the 4-H name and emblem.
- If the violation(s) continue to occur, the 4-H club leader(s) will be notified personally or by certified mail that a hearing will be conducted (within 60 days) to revoke the club’s 4-H charter. The notice will incorporate a statement of the reasons for the proposed revocation of the 4-H club charter.
- The hearing will be conducted by the county Extension Educator or Professional, a representative of the County 4-H Leaders Association and a county Extension Educator/Professional from another county.
The results of the hearing will be forwarded to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H Program Administrator, who will write the official letter of revocation of the club’s 4-H charter.
The official University of Maine Cooperative Extension and 4-H logo (shown above) incorporates UMaine’s crest art, Extension’s logotype, and the 4-H emblem. The logo must be used in the exact proportions and layout as shown above. The crest, typewritten words, and emblem constitute an entire logo; the elements should not be separated. The logo is shown here in the official color combination of Pantone Matching System® (PMS) 292 UMaine light blue, PMS 289 UMaine dark blue, and PMS 347 green. The logo may also be printed in all black or all green. When the logo is printed in a single color or black, the light blue on the crest should not be printed as a tint or gray scale, but as a solid.
Why use a “combination” logo instead of just the 4-H emblem?
Using the combination logo will help build and strengthen brand awareness and ensure consistency of message. It carries a reciprocal benefit: 4-H will be recognized as part of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and University of Maine Cooperative Extension will be recognized as home to 4-H. The combination logo will help people understand that they should connect with their county UMaine Extension office to find out more about 4-H.
Perhaps most importantly, 4-H — like all other UMaine Extension programs — depends heavily on University of Maine funding and infrastructure. Legislators need to make the connection that if they love 4-H, they should fund the University of Maine.
Where can I get a copy of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and 4-H logo?
You can download it from here.
To download, right click on any of the links below and choose “Save Target As.” (WARNING: simply clicking on the links will NOT download the file.) Save the file to a folder on your hard drive where you will be able to easily find it again. Download times will vary depending on the speed of your connection.
- Color logo for printed materials (TIF) [1.5M; 300 DPI]
- Black & white logo for printed materials (TIF) [428K; 600 DPI]
If none of the versions above is suitable for your project, please contact the Cooperative Extension Communications Office at email@example.com, and we will send you one that is.
What else do I need to know about the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and 4-H logo?
The University of Maine crest art is trademarked. Products (such as t-shirts or mugs) printed with UMaine licensed names and marks must be produced by licensed vendors. Contact University Relations or the Cooperative Extension Communications Office prior to ordering such products in order to be considered for licensing royalty waivers.
For information about the appropriate use of the 4-H Name and Emblem, see Using the 4-H Name and Emblem.
If you are a 4-H member or volunteer, you are permitted to use the 4-H Name & Emblem once your program is chartered with the official 4-H Charter from National 4-H Headquarters at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). If you are a commercial vendor, private organization, or any other entity, you need to contact the State 4-H Office at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to determine what steps you need to take for your use of the 4-H Name & Emblem.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension honors the University’s nondiscrimination statement, the University of Maine System Sexual Harassment Policy and relevant federal laws. Because 4-H and Cooperative Extension both receive federal funding, these laws apply to us.
University of Maine Non-Discrimination Statement
The University of Maine does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, 581-1226.
USDA Non-Discrimination Statement
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
The intention of these statements is to raise our awareness of federal legislation and of Extension’s goal of creating an atmosphere in 4-H activities that is welcoming to every young person in our communities, and their parents or guardians. It is also intended to help us realize that, although Maine may, on the surface, be fairly homogeneous in race, color, religion, sexual orientation, and so on, there are people in our communities who differ in these characteristics. They all need to feel welcome in 4-H and Extension.
Maine 4-H Youth Development Diversity and Inclusion Statement
The Maine 4-H Youth Development Program is dedicated to upholding the University and Extension’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Civil Rights (EEO/CR), goals and policies. We are dedicated to providing outreach to diverse populations within the confines of the financial and staffing resources available. We are actively pursuing the development and delivery of programming and services that meet the needs of Maine’s diverse population. We hold the following goals.
- Follow EEO/CR policies and address EEO/CR issues as they arise to ensure a fair and equitable hiring process.
- Reach out to new audiences through intentional, inclusive advertising and public relations efforts.
- Develop programs that appeal to and meet the needs of underserved and underrepresented youth and potential 4-H volunteers in Maine.
- Provide opportunities for staff to meet with and develop relationships with underserved and underrepresented audiences.
- Increase needs assessment and networking with underserved and underrepresented populations.
Maine 4-H Disabilities Statement
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program is dedicated to providing information and resources to youth. As part of that commitment, 4-H Youth Development staff and volunteers must be conscientious in providing accommodations that will allow people with disabilities to participate in its educational programs. Facilities used for educational programs must be accessible to those with disabilities.
Other community resources that may be able to assist you include churches, schools, universities, hospitals, community centers and county health departments.
Qualified Individuals with Disabilities
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides comprehensive civil rights protection for “qualified individuals with disabilities.” An “individual with a disability” is a person who
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a “major life activity,” or
- has a record of such an impairment, or
- is regarded as having such impairment.
Examples of physical or mental impairments include, but are not limited to, such contagious or noncontagious diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities, HIV disease (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic), tuberculosis, drug addiction, and alcoholism. Homosexuality and bisexuality are not physical or mental impairments.
- “Major life activities” include functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
- Individuals who currently engage in the illegal use of drugs are not protected by the ADA when an action is taken on the basis of their current illegal use of drugs.
- A “qualified” individual with a disability is one who meets the essential eligibility requirements for the program or activity offered by a public entity.
- The “essential eligibility requirements” will depend on the type of service or activity involved.
- For some activities, such as state licensing programs, the ability to meet specific skill and performance requirements may be “essential.”
- For other activities, such as where the public entity provides information to anyone who requests it, the “essential eligibility requirements” would be minimal.
Procedure for Accommodation
Individuals with disabilities who require auxiliary aid, service or accommodation to participate in Maine 4-H Youth Development Programs should notify the Extension office at least two weeks prior to the program or event.