Maine Developmental Disabilities Council


Point of view stories about living with Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities

created by Community Connect Maine for Maine Developmental Disabilities Council.

The stories in this section were produced in collaboration with Community Connect Maine (CCME), thanks to the sponsorship of the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council. As a non-profit organization founded in 2020, CCME aims to make the disability community more visible by creating relationships and sharing our stories. Since the spring of 2021, we have hosted two digital storytelling workshops facilitated by a professional trainer, Anne Aronson of Digital Story Makers.

Each participant created a narrative, either based on their own experience or by interviewing someone else. Under the guidance of the trainer, the group layered their narratives with video clips and photos in order to bring their stories to life.  Through the storytelling process, participants learned about meaningful aspects of each other’s lives. They presented different perspectives of the disability community and identified some common themes. They learned that sharing stories can help people connect, and support each other and themselves. Significantly, the stories can help policymakers understand the complexity, diversity, and needs of the disability population.

We hope that you enjoy watching these short videos as much as we enjoyed making them. Thanks again to the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council for sponsoring our work!

 “Chasing Your Dreams”  -Lisa Wesel and Anna McDougal

Anna has been speaking up for herself her entire life. She also uses her voice to advocate for all people with disabilities and to share her passions: art, athletics, and writing. Hear her describe in her own words how she came to be the strong self-advocate she is today.

 “The Graduation Letter” -Rebecca Schroeder

This digital letter—a gift to Clare from her mother, Rebecca—highlights Clare's journey to her official launch as a STRIVE U graduate. Congratulations, Clare!

“Knowledge is Power” -Hibo Omer and Barry Schklair

A story about how one person's understanding of the cultural challenges of raising a child with special healthcare needs has changed the lives of many.

“Jay and Alan” -Alan Kurtz

Alan never saw Jay on his first day as a student teacher in a high school special ed program, but he heard Jay as he was observed through a peep hole. How did their relationship develop and what did Alan discover that would be relevant for all of us to know?

“Journey with Jake” -Charmaine Daniels

A mother struggles to help 'fix' her son's disability, not knowing what effect it would have on his life or hers. She reflects on how her thinking transformed along the journey, and Jake reveals his own insights about life with a disability.

 “Shoes”-Kim Fulmer

Dan is like many people with autism and other disabilities. Finding the right support is easier than one might imagine if policymakers would practice just this one thing.

“Invisible” -Barry Scklair

How some people can't see members of a marginalized population, but others can.

 “Trauma- A Cry for Help” -Margaret Cardoza

Trauma can be a difficult topic for people to discuss. Because of the many societal barriers, it is even more difficult for people like Margaret Cardoza, who lives with intellectual and developmental disabilities. People living with trauma and IDD are just beginning to have these conversations in Maine. Margaret hopes that sharing her own story will empower people so that they, too, can identify one person who they can pour their heart out to and begin the healing process.


“Cathy Chafin’s Bumpy Road to Peace”- Kim Fulmer and Darla Chafin

Having a living situation that works is essential to all of us. Cathy Chafin, a woman with autism, found hers. But it was a bumpy road before she finally found peace. Her mother, Darla, shares her story.

 “Rock Life” - Maggie Hoffman

Jake's story as shared by his mother, Maggie, leads to a deeper understanding of the benefit and importance of every state offering self-directed services.

“Rwanda to Maine- Creating Direct Support Education- MDSE-The Story”   Cedric Mfuranzima

From Rwanda in 2000 to Maine in 2022, Cedric Mfuranzima tells the story of how the Mfuranzima Direct Support Education program came to be! Find out what it is, how it happened, and how it is helping Mainers.





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Maine Developmental Disabilities Council
526 Western Avenue  Unit 2
Augusta, ME 04330



139 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333


Phone: 207-480-1478 or toll free 833-713-2618