Ability Maine is a place for collecting and sharing information and opinions about living with disabilities. Our intent is to provide a place on the web for people to get information that will help them create better lives for themselves and others. We want to educate and provide resources that will contribute toward people achieving a better quality of life. Ability Maine aims to create resources for and by people with disabilities.
Ability Maine was founded in 2000 by Norman Meldrum and Russ Anderson, both board members of Resources for Organizing and Social Change (ROSC), Ability Maine’s umbrella organization. Norm and Russ envisioned a web site that would provide news, information, and empowerment for people with disabilities in Maine. Norm and Russ worked together to create the Ability Maine site and its list of resources in those early years. Other regular contributors in the next few years were Steve Hoad and Sharon Wachsler. This group collaborated to create a website that was accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities that included resource guides and information for people living with disabilities in Maine. Sharon and Norm also launched the literary journal, Breath & Shadow, which is now run by Chris Kuell. Ability Maine continues today under the leadership of Ivy Quigley, Web Manager; Mike Reynolds, Investigative Reporter; and Sass Linneken, Content Editor and Web Consultant. Ability Maine’s content is created, curated, and published exclusively by people living with disabilities.
Breath & Shadow
Breath & Shadow is a literary journal that promotes disability writing and culture, thereby promoting cross-disability pride and community. The journal's goal is to empower and create opportunities for people with disabilities in the literary field. Chris Kuell, editor, says, "We want to showcase the richness and significance of disability literature, promote a greater understanding of the disability experience, and convey the importance of disability culture for all people."
Ability Maine and "Breath & Shadow" are projects of Resources for Organizing and Social Change (ROSC).
ROSC was founded as INVERT (Institute for Non-Violence Education, Research, and Training) in 1977 to promote nonviolence and social change through education, training, and research programs. Since 1978, it has been a tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. In 2001, the organization changed its name to ROSC.
The mission of ROSC is "To build and support a movement for nonviolent social change that will educate, activate, and empower all Maine people through grassroots community organizing."
In additional to Ability Maine and Breath & Shadow, ROSC's projects in the past year include Maine Draft and Military Counselors (speaking to students and counselors about the realities of military service and support for those who want out), the Changing Maine Directory (examining economic alternatives to capitalism), Alternatives to Violence Project (conflict resolution workshops with inmates and others affected by the prison system), War Tax Resistance Resource Center, and numerous other projects relating to class/poverty, nonviolence, youth mentorship, and peace and justice initiatives.