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Portland, Maine
 


Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact  Nicole Evans of the Greater Portland CA$H Coalition at [email protected].   

If you are already a member of the Disability Initiative Workgroup and have questions regarding the IRS participation, then please contact Tess Armstrong at [email protected].

 
 
Disability Initiative Workgroup


The Greater Portland CA$H (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Coalition, established in 2003, is an alliance of representatives from nonprofit, government, and business sectors dedicated to supporting tax preparation and asset building needs of low-income individuals and families in Maine’s Cumberland County.
 
In February 2009, the Greater Portland CA$H Coalition (under the direction of Nicole Evans, Financial Stability Partnership Project Director) partnered with the Maine Center on Deafness to host its first “Deaf Tax Day” event at the Portland, Maine Goodwill Industries VITA site.
 
The Maine Center on Deafness provided American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for the event, who earned accreditation towards their Maine State licensing and National certification.
 
Because the First ASL Tax day was such a great success, and there was still a demand for more, a second “ASL Tax Day” was held in March 2009 where additional deaf taxpayers were served.
 
Although some of the Deaf taxpayers attending these events did not have an obligation to file a tax return, they benefited from the asset building aspects of the program – particularly the assistance received in the completion of the Maine Circuit Breaker application – for rent or real estate tax rebates.
 
Because the Greater Portland CA$H coalition is committed to expanding its outreach efforts to the disabled, press coverage for the 2010 “Deaf Tax Day” event appeared in the “Portland Daily Sun” and on an email list serve sent out by Maine Center on Deafness to over 400 Mainers with a connection to deafness and hearing loss.  Many Deaf taxpayers were assisted in the completion and e-filing of their Federal and Maine State tax returns.
 
For Deaf taxpayers who were unable to attend the 2010 event, ASL interpreters were scheduled (upon request) at CA$H coalition tax prep sites throughout the filing season to assist Deaf taxpayers in meeting their federal obligation to file an income tax return.
 
Portland, Maine was recently selected as one of the REI Tour cities, and a key focus is bringing free tax preparation and asset building services to people with disabilities by making services as convenient and mobile as possible and promoting the Earned Income Tax Credit.
 
For the 2011 filing season, the Coalition will work to implement additional outreach to people with other disabilities and their families.  Plans for sustaining and growing the program long term include expansion into additional underserved areas and establishing new partnerships with disability organizations. CA$H already serves a number of persons with disabilities and their families and these activities will expand and enhance the services provided.