In This Issue:

  • Community Mapping Celebration

  • Jon's Corner

  • Guardianship from a self-advocate

  • Kile's Corner
January 2023 Newsletter

Sufu has started off 2023 with a variety of activities and meetings.
Members in Northern Maine have been out in their community working on their community mapping projects. Our Greater Portland chapter is growing with new members. SUFU Staff have been able to attend a variety of trainings this month.
Community Mapping Celebration
From Stacy Giberson
Some of the SUFU chapters recently were involved in an activity called the Community Bingo Challenge that involved members of SUFU finding and identifying different resources in their community. Many members showed great excitement and we all agreed to make it a contest between the SUFU Chapters. Winning chapters will host a Winter Celebration Pizza Party! The entries far exceed my expectations, and the entries were amazing. 

A Central Aroostook duo found the oldest books in the library and signed out some other books. A Southern Aroostook team made a community scavenger hunt Bingo card. A Northern Aroostook team expressed their interest in a cleaner environment a made a wildlife awareness poster. These are just of few of the things that the chapters did with this challenge. It was hard to choose a winner and it was decided that there will be two SUFU Chapters to host a Winter Celebration Pizza Party, one will be at the Houlton Rec Center and the other will be at the Caribou Rec Center. I look forward to seeing everyone and sharing the Community Bingo Challenge entries.  

Pictured below top photo - Wildlife Awareness Poster.
Bottom Photos - Some of the SUFU members enjoying their celebration at the Houlton Rec Center

Jon's Corner

I was able to go with Monique and Marco to Camden to speak to students at the Camden-Rockport Middle School about disability civil rights. 
I want to give praise to the students as they gave their attention to us. Their eyes were focused on us and what we had to say.  
Both groups gave Marco and I praise for what we do and what we came to talk about.
I was able to share about graduating from high school, and the journey in my life to get to work for SUFU. I was also able to talk to them about being there when the ADA was signed.  
I learned a lot from this experience.  I learned the history of the impact of getting Section 504 signed into law. 

I found this trip to be very beneficial.  I would participate in something like this again in the future. 
Speaking to students is important to me.  I hope this opens the eyes of students that even with a disability they can be what they want to be.  That they are not limited. 
I left the students with the saying “Nothing About Us Without Us.” We should not be excluded from anything.   

Guardianship from a Self-Advocate

This month Rose Belanger shared with self-advocates her story of getting her guardianship back.
Rose shared what the journey was like, and the process in a recent statewide meeting.

Rose shared her why of doing this, "This is not out of disrespect but out of responsibility." Rose is now using Supported Decision Making in her life.

If you would like to read more about this you can check out Rose's blog post.

Pictured above back row, Rose, her mom and dad. Sitting in front is Judge Jim Dunleavy.
Kile's Corner

Hey hey hey it's Kile again!

Every Thursday I attend SARTAC. What is SARTAC? Well, let me explain, it is a national self-advocacy research and technical assistance meeting that happens every Thursday from 1:00 to 2:00 pm There are a lot of self-advocates from around the country that attend these meetings and I invite you to attend with me on one of these meetings.

The things that you would get out of these meetings are meeting new people, learning about other issues that happened in other states, and learning about what other states are doing in their self-advocacy groups.

Last Thursday we talked about leadership, and how to become a leader in your group. They made a fantastic PowerPoint presentation on leadership, and I loved it. They took some of our SUFU’s leadership information and put it into theirs. I love when we all come together and talk about the same issues.

I would love to see through your eyes, what things you get from SARTAC. If you don't feel comfortable attending, it’s OK, Jon and I will be happy to have you join us together. Contact Jon or me and we can give you the zoom link to attend.

What's on the blog?
Our Blog is a space where Self-Advocates share their stories. We invite you to check them out here.
If you are a self-advocate that would like to submit an entry for our blog please reach out to Laurie Coldwell or Jon McGovern.

We invite you to check out our website . Read our most recent blog post and subscribe to future blogs. You can also find the list of our chapter meetings, or follow us on Facebook. If you are a SUFU member we want you to join our members only Facebook Group. To do that please email Laurie Coldwell or Jon McGovern. We don't want you to miss anything.
Have an Idea for Something to be in The Connector?
Contact: Laurie Coldwell
Program Manager (207) 956-1004 / Ext. 4
Speaking Up For Us of Maine