Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies

The Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS) is Maine’s federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). CCIDS is an interdisciplinary research unit of the University of Maine that offers an undergraduate and graduate curriculum in interdisciplinary disability studies; conducts research, evaluation and policy analyses relevant to the lives of individuals with disabilities, their families and communities; engages in a broad range of community education, technical assistance and consultation activities; and serves as a resource to professionals and community members to positively affect the lives of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families throughout Maine and beyond. CCIDS faculty, staff and partners are committed to the principles of inclusion, universal design and access, respect for human diversity, and the creation of a socially just and civil society.

CCIDS research areas include:

  • Family-centered transition planning for individuals with disabilities, including youth and young adults with autism spectrum disorders
  • A field-tested transition model for high school students with disabilities who are interested in STEM-related postsecondary education and careers
  • Literacy acquisition for individuals with significant intellectual disabilities
  • The intersection of humans and their environments
  • Health and wellness related to individuals with disabilities

CCIDS research contributions include:

  • Conducting community engaged needs assessments, interdisciplinary research projects and policy analyses
  • Translating research findings for general audiences
  • Linking research, professional practice and public policy to positively affect the lives of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, their families, and the professionals and communities that support them

CCIDS points of pride include:

  • CCIDS is Maine’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities — Teaching, Research and Service. Established in 1992, CCIDS is part of a national network of centers federally designated under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000
  • The center is the 2013 recipient of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities’ C. Peter Magrath Award in recognition of 20 years of exemplary work reflecting university commitment to community engagement
  • CCIDS has administered more than 20 projects annually that are supported by grants, contracts and other external support that have averaged more than $3 million a year for the past 20 years
  • CCIDS provided funding support to at least 20 undergraduate and graduate students annually for more than 20 years
  • The center supports an interdisciplinary faculty and staff of 20-40 members each year through a variety of grants and contracts
  • Over the past 20 years, CCIDS teaching, research and community outreach projects have engaged more than 5,000 students and 100 faculty across more than 20 disciplines and directly affected the lives of more than 400,000 individuals with disabilities and families in communities throughout Maine and beyond

Unique facilities, tools and libraries include:

  • CCIDS Resource Center located on the UMaine campus in Orono with more than 8,000 disability-related books, monographs, training manuals, DVDs and videos, and periodicals that are searchable through an electronic database
  • Maine Autism Spectrum Resource Center (website under final stages of review), an online repository developed by an interdisciplinary team at CCIDS that focuses on resources that are most consistent with the CCIDS mission and its guiding principles of inclusion, respect for human diversity, access/universal design and social justice; organized into 12 categories to facilitate access by individuals on the autism spectrum, family members, professionals, employers, policymakers or other interested community members
  • Maine Head Start State Collaboration Office website (online repository and resource) that helps to educate the public about Head Start/Early Head Start, supports the activities of the office, and highlights resources relevant to the Maine Head Start community
  • Growing Ideas Tipsheets and Resources for Guiding Early Childhood Practices (online resource) that offers early childhood and school-age care professionals with topical information related to quality inclusive care and education as well as professional development activities in the form of tipsheets, resource pages and virtual toolkits.
  • Early Childhood Settings Inclusion Toolkit (online resource) that supports early childhood programs in providing high-quality inclusive settings for young children and their families
  • Increasing Access and Success in the STEM Disciplines: A Model for Supporting the Transition of High School Students with Disabilities into STEM-Related Postsecondary Education” (online/print resource), a field-tested transition model that includes a package of evidence-based supports that can be used by educators or instructors with high school students with disabilities who are interested in pursuing STEM-related postsecondary education and careers

For more information, visit the CCIDS website, like CCIDS on Facebook or follow CCIDS on Twitter.

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