Disability Services

Goodwill supports people with disabilities through several programs, all customized to the individual’s needs. The programs on this page center around employment, Vocational Rehabilitation supports, Home and Community Based Services, Goodwill homes, in-home supports, and care coordination. We also serve people though two brain injury clinics in Maine and through LifeWorks active community-based supports. To learn more, click on the dropdown by the service you’re interested in.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Bootcamp

These programs help people find a path to fulfilling and gainful employment, regardless of any physical or developmental challenges they face. Goodwill offers programs for adults and for high-school students.
Click the dropdown on the right for more info

Adults who have a disability can meet with a specialist any time. Goodwill also offers “Bootcamp” which is a Vocational Rehabilitation program aimed at high-school students. Bootcamp is offered in the classroom, where students learn essential job skills before their graduation day. In both adult and youth programs, participants find paid job experiences, and often long-term career placements that suit their skills and their dreams.

Goodwill staff empower people with disabilities to achieve their career aspirations by offering an array of services, resources, and support, all aimed at removing barriers to employment and fostering self-sufficiency. Participants can expect:

Individualized Support: Every person starts with an individualized assessment to determine their unique skills, interests, and challenges. From there, a personalized plan is crafted to address specific career goals.

Skill Enhancement: For many, learning new skills or refining existing ones is pivotal. Goodwill staff provide training resources and education, equipping individuals with the tools they need to excel in the workforce.

Job Placement Assistance: Finding the right job is crucial. Goodwill works with local businesses to match-make. Often, participants start with a “paid job experience” so they can see if a job would be a good fit for them. This job experience is free to the employer, which also gives them a chance to try out the potential employee. 

Ongoing Support: The journey to employment doesn’t end with a job offer. We provide ongoing support and counseling to help individuals thrive in their careers. For many participants, this might start with on-the-job supports with a job coach. Goodwill’s goal is to slowly fade away, as the participant gains independence and confidence.

Accessibility Advocacy: Access to workspaces, technology, and reasonable accommodations are essential. Goodwill staff advocate for individuals to ensure their work environments are inclusive and conducive to their success. We also teach self-advocacy, so that everyone continues to get what they need to succeed.

These programs are part of the Maine Department of Labor’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Home and Community Based Services Innovation (HCBS)

Offering work readiness and community-integration services to adults with disabilities in underserved areas of Maine.

Goodwill’s HCBS Innovations Grant Program: Helping adults with disabilities integrate into the community and the workplace. Goodwill launched a program to provide work readiness and community-integration services to adults with disabilities in underserved areas of Maine. Goodwill Community Integration Coordinators will teach important skills such as: social interaction, money management, how to access community resources, and self-advocacy. The goal is for every participant to learn the skills they need to find a job they love, or to otherwise become part of their community — whether that’s by joining a local bowling league or pursuing another passion. Six partner nonprofits will learn the curriculum and carry on this work.

How we teach independence, work readiness 

The program is personalized based on the clients’ interests and goals, with three tracks:  

  • Community integration: For clients who may want to join a local basketball team, or volunteer at an animal shelter, or otherwise pursue their interests. 
  • Work-readiness: For clients who know they want to work, but need help getting and keeping a great job that fits their strengths and interests. This program can be a bridge to other programs, such as Vocational Rehabilitation Services, which will lead to competitive, integrated employment. 
  • Discovery: For clients who may want to work part-time, or may be unsure about employment. 

All clients participate in seven classroom-style lessons in soft skills including appropriate communication, decision making, positive relationships, time management, and more. After that, participants choose more lessons based on their interests. An example is a class on “how to fill out an application” — which could be useful for someone looking to find a job, but also useful to someone who wants to join their local YMCA.  

Classes are offered virtually or in-person. Transportation is not provided, but Goodwill staff are happy to teach participants how to find and use transportation. 

Ensuring long-term success: Teaching providers how to do this work 

Goodwill’s Community Integration Coordinators start by teaching clients, and then will begin to “teach the teachers.” Embedded in six nonprofits, the Community Integration Coordinators will teach the curriculum to direct support professionals and behavioral health professionals who can continue the work long-term. This ensures long-term support of adults with disabilities in Maine.  

About HCBS – Home and Community Based Support 

Recently, Maine programs that serve people with disabilities have come into compliance with Home and Community Based Support (HCBS) regulations. Goodwill’s HCBS Innovations Grant Program helps support those changes, to help make sure all people can achieve their work and life goals. 

Goodwill NNE will use Public Health AmeriCorps members as Community Integration Coordinators. These Community Integration Coordinators will increase the capacity of HCBS providers to connect people receiving services to meaningful, community-based opportunities such as work, volunteerism, and community integration through delivery of this work readiness and community integration curriculum.  

Initial partners include: SKILLS Inc., Assistance Plus, Spectrum Generations, Living Innovations, Penquis CAP, Hope Association, Goodwill LifeWorks programs, Goodwill’s 18 homes, Goodwill Workforce Services. Partners are located in Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Washington and Hancock Counties. 

This pilot program is funded by the Community Based Services (HCBS) Innovation Grants through the State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services Office of Aging and Disability Services. 

Goodwill Homes: Staffed group homes

Goodwill’s 16 homes in Maine offer 24/7 support for people with an acquired brain injury, an intellectual disability or other barrier to independence.

We believe everyone deserves a comfortable, safe home where they can live as independently as possible. We have 16 homes in Maine for people with an acquired brain injury, an intellectual disability or other barrier to independence that requires the support of Goodwill’s Direct Support Professionals.

Our homes provide the following services for residents:

  • 24-hour direct support staff
  • Recreational opportunities and outings
  • Transportation
  • Case management services
  • Skill training in personal care & community access
  • Vocational training & job placement opportunities
  • Access to Goodwill NeuroRehabilitation Services

Direct Support Professionals: Care at home

Our direct support professionals are the backbone of Goodwill’s 16 homes. More than 200 DSPs help participants get to work, be part of the community, and achieve independence. Our direct support professionals are all certified with training in CPR, First Aid, NAPPI and Certified Residential Medication Administration. Each year, we celebrate Direct Support Professional Week to recognize the work our employees do each day to help others achieve success.

If you are looking for a job that makes a positive difference in the lives of others, please visit our jobs page. We will train you and pay for your certifications to ensure you’re able to do your best work.


In-home supported living

Many adults with disabilities can live safely in their own home, with just a little help. Our staff can help with cleaning, cooking, transportation, grocery shopping, and other activities of daily living (ADLs).

Our goals are to help people live safely, take care of their personal well-being, integrate into their communities and enjoy life as independently as possible.

Goodwill staff help foster independence and encourage development of a full life in the community, based upon what is important to and for the person. Like in all Disability Services, Goodwill supports anyone who would like to explore competitive, integrated employment.

Supported Living services are offered in central and southern Maine, by referral. Goodwill serves people covered by MaineCare waiver 18, MaineCare waiver 20, MaineCare waiver 21, and MaineCare waiver 29.

Care Coordination

We help participants who have a brain injury (or other related conditions) plan for the life they want to live. Our team secures funding and engages the community to find natural supports, housing, employment, and more.

We develop a person-centered care plan with each participant and offer ongoing support, empowering participants to make the best decisions for them. This includes monitoring of the health, welfare and safety of the participant.   

Through our work, we strive to increase an individual’s independence, productivity, fulfillment and inclusion in the community, while maintaining his or her best health and welfare. We do this with individualized, person-centered support plans for people with intellectual disabilities throughout Maine, as we have for more than 30 years.  

Goals we have helped clients achieve 

Goodwill staff will help clients assess and achieve their life goals. Some goals we’ve helped with through Care Coordination include: 

  • Buying assistive technology like wheelchairs or communication devices 
  • Job coaching to gain employment, career planning 
  • Improving family communications (buying a cell phone, etc),  
  • Participant directed services: such as moving into their own supported apartment from a group home.  
  • Connect to day programs or community support services (102 service),  
  • Help advocate for services and disability rights 
  • Connect with alcoholics anonymous or other community programs 
  • Set up fulfilling volunteering opportunities 
  • Accessing a Clubhouse 

Maine Section 18 and Section 20 waiver services 

Goodwill accepts MaineCare clients who have a Section 18 Brain Injury Waiver, or a Section 20 Other Related Conditions (ORC) Waiver. Participants in other Goodwill programs are not eligible for these services from Goodwill NNE. 

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services refers individuals to us for care coordination services. If you or someone you know would like help getting these services, you may fill out the form at the bottom of the page.

Participant directed services in action 

Goodwill’s Care Coordinators use a person-centered planning process to help participants create, work on, and achieve their goals. Here’s an example of what that might look like: 

Joe acquired a brain injury and is eligible for a Section 18 Waiver. He connects with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to get care coordination. He then meets with Goodwill’s care coordinator Ashley, who asked him about his life goals.  

Joe wants to move out of his group home and into his own apartment. Because he has not lived alone since acquiring a brain injury, Ashley leads him through some questions, such as: “After you wake up, what do you do next?” and “what would you eat and how would you prepare it? How would you get groceries?” and “what community activities would you like to participate in and how could you get there?” — questions and life-skills planning some people may take for granted, but are imperative to Joe’s long-term success.

Joe and Ashley would work through these questions and identify any barriers to success or independence. For instance, Joe might need to learn some basic cooking skills, or he might need some in-home support to help with meal preparation. Joe might need to learn how to use his local bus network to go to the movies. Goodwill’s staff care coordinator Ashley would help connect him to the resources he needs. Ashley would check in with Joe about his goals, and the steps he’s taking to achieve them every month or more — sometime in person, and sometimes by a videoconference.  

This is one example, but every person’s plan is different. Everyone has unique needs and our care coordinators are ready to help. 

Assistive Technology Services

Goodwill’s Assistive Technology Services help individuals with disabilities who want to increase their functional ability, safety and overall independence. 

Our professional staff includes speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, and assistive technology certified professionals who will work with you, your family and your team to identify your assistive technology needs and connect you with the best options and resources for reaching your goals. Assistive technology is any equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities. 

MS Case Management Services

Getting people with Multiple Sclerosis the services they need to thrive. The MS Society makes referrals to Goodwill when there is a need for case management service.

To help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in Maine and New Hampshire live active, independent lives, Goodwill is a contracted partner with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. MS Case Management Services Links is a short-term support program. Assessment for personalized case management through the MS Edward M. Dowd Personal Advocate Program are provided by Goodwill. Our Case Manager arranges appropriate care, assists with applications, and follows up with providers to meet your family’s needs. The program is free thanks to funding from the MS Society

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