Enroll and Pay for Training through the OHI Website

By Jenny Wise

(Jenny Wise is a homeschooling mom to four children. As any homeschooling parent knows, every day is an adventure, and Jenny has begun chronicling her experiences at SpecialHomeEducator.com. She hopes to use the site to connect with other homeschoolers and to provide helpful advice to parents who may be considering a home education for their kids.)

The link between sleep issues and autism is well-established. And not only is failure to get enough shut-eye bad for your child’s physical health, a lack of restful sleep can actually exacerbate aggression, poor concentration, and hyperactivity, all issues associated with autism.

The state of Maine has a well-documented history of abuse and neglect in its policies and practices.

BIDDEFORD — On several occasions, both this year and last, this newspaper has published the moving accounts of Maine parents who fear for the safety of their adult children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the care of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services. Exacerbating their fears was a 2017 audit by the U.S. DHHS, severely criticizing Maine officials for failing to investigate the deaths of 133 individuals in state-funded facilities between January 2013 and June 2015. Nine deaths were described as “unexplained, suspicious or untimely.”

OHI is a nonprofit agency with services in six rural counties. We provide a wide variety of supports for over 600 people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) or mental illness, and to many who are homeless. Like most states, Maine providers are faced with looming workforce shortages that are getting worse.

Maine is the largest state in New England with a population of 1.3 million people, larger than the other five New England states combined. Its unemployment rate is 3.7%, and the rate in Penobscot County, where the majority of OHI employees reside, is 3.1%. Maine’s household poverty rate is 14.90%, the highest of all the New England states. Maine has the oldest median age in the country at 44 and it is getting older faster than any other state. The living wage for a single adult who is working full-time is $15.66 an hour. OHI’s starting wage for a Direct Support Professional (DSP) is $10.50 an hour. These demographics, combined with the rural nature of Maine and the transportation deficits, add up to a significant workforce challenge.

Read the full article here: https://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/311/OHI/#OHI

HERMON, ME – Danita “Dani” McKenney-Hallett of OHI received her American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) 2018 Maine Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Award April 17 at a ceremony in New Orleans, La.

The Maine Developmental Disabilities Council, in collaboration with the University of Maine at Augusta, invites you to a Maine State Forum addressing the sexual abuse of people with developmental disabilities.

If you or someone you love is unable to work due to an illness or life-long disability, you might be eligible for assistance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers resources for people who are unable to earn a living wage due to a disability. If your disability will last for at least a year or is terminal, you may be eligible.

Programs Available for Those with Disabilities

Wende Tyler

HERMON, ME - Wende Tyler of OHI received her American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) 2017 Maine Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Award on May 3 at a ceremony in San Antonio, Texas.

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By Paul Denikin

(It is estimated that one in six children between the ages of 3 and 17 have a developmental disability. My daughter Maggie is one of them. When she was born, my wife and I quickly learned that we had to make some minor - and major - changes to make our house a happy place for her to grow up. Instead of paying a contractor to handle all the repairs, I decided to learn how to tackle some of them myself. It was important to us that any improvements were functional for everyone in the family, so I did a lot of research on universal design and accessibility modifications and got to work. With several projects successfully under my belt, I started DadKnowsDIY.com. It’s a side project that allows me to share my knowledge with home improvement novices, but it’s also a means to connect with other people seeking to modify their homes for a loved one with a disability.)

One of the places in your home that poses the most risk to personal safety is the bathroom. From slipping and falling in the shower, to falling while getting up or down from the toilet, to slipping on a wet floor, anyone can get injured in the bathroom; however, the risk is much higher for people with disabilities.

That’s why making your bathroom more accessible is one of the first things you should do when considering the various home repairs and modifications to make to accommodate people with disabilities. We share some bathroom accommodations that are most critical to improving safety here, to help you plan ways to make your home more accessible for people with disabilities.

Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program 

HERMON, ME - OHI has been selected as a beneficiary of the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program for January 2017.

This exciting program has been designed to support local nonprofits like OHI. For every blue Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag with the good karma message
purchased at the Broadway Street Hannaford store, OHI will receive a $1 donation in order to help fulfill its mission of inspiring adults with intellectual disabilities and mental illness to recognize possibilities and lead meaningful lives.

For more information on the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program, visit www.hannaford.bags4mycause.com or www.facebook.com/hhbagprogram.

OHI, Hermon - The Brewer Area Food Pantry holds a food drive 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 31 in the Brewer Hannaford parking lot at 383 Wilson Street.
With the food drive taking place on Halloween, treat bags will be provided to children who accompany parents to donate.
“The food pantry depends upon donations to help our neighbors in need,” said Brenda Leavitt, OHI director of resource development. “As typical, donations tend to dwindle during the summer. As we gear up for the upcoming holiday basket season, we hope people will give from the heart and for the heart – food that is nutritious and healthy.”