Out of the Shadows - The Legacy of Pineland Logo
History Personal Stories
Paige Barton and the Creation of SUFU

Paige Barton spent 15 years in an Ohio institution before proving her self-sufficiency. She became a leader of self-advocates in Maine, eventually forming the advocacy group Speaking Up for Us (SUFU).

Smaller Budgets and Bigger Waitlists

The second decade of the 21st century ushered in big changes to state government. An economic downturn and a new administration ushered in alongside others in an austerity-based, small government movement led to budget cuts and staffing freezes at the Department of Human Services. Over this decade, waitlists for services exploded, especially for Section 21 services, which serve those who need daily support to live full lives.

History Policies
New System, Old Problems

Despite a growing understanding that community-based services were a better choice for individuals than institutionalization, switching from a consolidated and hierarchical system to one of many service providers helping smaller numbers of clients follow personalized plans for success was difficult, and the path forward had many hurdles to overcome.

Olmstead vs LC (federal)

While Maine was working to build a system of care for people with developmental disabilities outside of institutions, a legal case before the Supreme Court finally codified the idea that people with developmental disabilities had the right to life in the community.

Americans with Disabilities Act (federal)

Furthering the gains of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, the ADA protects people with disabilities from discrimination not just from the government, but from employers and businesses that provide public accommodations.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (federal)

This act was the first federal law that protected the civil rights of people with disabilities, providing that people with disabilities could not be excluded from or denied participation in any program that received federal funding - including schools, healthcare, and government assistance.

History Repeats Itself?

The impulse toward institutions continues as some community-based facilities for developmentally disabled persons grow in size and the people they serve become less integrated in everyday community life and less in control of their own lives.

Educational Aside – The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The IDEA law of 1990 built upon the the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 - further enshrining the main elements of an inclusive education.

Beginnings of Community Care

With public and policy sentiment turning towards the idea that people with developmental disabilities deserved the right to care in their communities and a full life with control over their choices, a new system needed to be built from the ground up.

Law Requiring Home-based Care

The Legislature passed a law into statute requiring the Department of Human Services to provide in-home and community support services for adults with long-term care needs.