Since 1978, Alpha One, a Center for Independent Living, has enabled thousands of people with disabilities to live more fully and more independently in all aspects of their lives. Few Centers for Independent Living in the United States or other public or private agencies in Maine offer Alpha One's variety and depth of independent living services.
Alpha One annually assists more than 6,000 people of all ages, including children and the elderly, with a range of disabilities: mobility impairments, traumatic brain injury, deafness, blindness, other vision and hearing impairments, developmental disabilities, mental illness, and AIDS. For more than three decades, Alpha One has been responsive to the needs of individuals with disabilities, initiating, advocating for, and implementing systems change to overcome the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from living independently.
Since 1978, Alpha One has stood at the forefront of the fight to establish and expand consumer-directed personal assistance, promoting this approach at the state and national level.
As a result of Alpha One's recommendation and active support, the Maine Legislature established the Commission on Independent Living in 1985 to coordinate, improve and expand services for people with disabilities. Chaired by Alpha One's Founder and involving some 200 consumers in two years of study, the Commission issued its report, Toward Opportunity, that called for expanded personal assistance, information services, and financing for assistive technology and home modifications.
Alpha One today manages three distinct consumer-directed personal assistance programs statewide, enabling more than 650 consumers to directly employ more than 2,100 personal care assistants.
Alpha One has been an innovator in the services to promote independent living. Some highlights from this history of innovation includes:
- In 1993, Alpha One was awarded a U.S. Department of Education grant for Job Trek to enable people with disabilities to direct and manage the transportation they need to get to work. Job Trek provided vouchers for consumers to design the transportation systems. As residents of a rural state with virtually no public transportation, many Job Trek consumers chose to hire neighbors, friends, and family to drive them to work. Several consumers became employed for the first time while participating in Job Trek. Alpha One has had the lead role in the creation, administration, promotion, and enhancement of Maine's Adaptive Equipment Loan Program, a model low-interest financing program for assistive technology. Since 1989, Alpha One has co-administered the Loan Program with the Finance Authority of Maine. Alpha One provides consumer services and markets the Loan Program statewide. Alpha One assists consumers in choosing assistive technology and completing their loan applications. Alpha One has also been instrumental in promoting the development of financial loan programs for assistive technology across the United States.
- In 1990 the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research recognized Alpha One's milestone efforts with the Adaptive Equipment Loan Program by funding Credit-Able. Alpha One assisted 16 states and organizations in launching consumer-directed, community-based, income-contingent loan programs for assistive technology.
- In 1991 the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation selected Alpha One in its national effort to improve the health care of people with disabilities and to strengthen the financial viability of Independent Living Centers. Alpha One has worked to design a new generation of services that puts people with disabilities at the forefront of initiating and managing their health care. As a member of Maine's State Independent Living Council, Alpha One's active participation led to the 1994 Autumn Summit, the largest gathering of people with disabilities in Maine, and The Maine Opportunity, a 1995 report outlining how Maine can effect public policy that will provide choice in the lives of people with disabilities.
Alpha One serves Maine through three statewide offices:
South Portland Office
127 Main Street
South Portland, ME 04106
|Toll Free:||(800) 640-7200|
11 Bangor Mall Blvd., Unit A
Bangor, ME 04401
|Toll Free:||(800) 300-6016|
Presque Isle Office
66 Spruce Street
Presque Isle, ME 04769
|Toll Free:||(800) 974-6466|