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Office of Equity and Human Rights

Realizing Equity. Enhancing the City of Portland.

Phone: 503-823-4433

Fax: 503-823-4420

421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204

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Local storytellers share their experiences of living with disabilities at Portland ADA 25 Celebration

June 16, 2015

ADA 25 Logo

The City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights, Portland Commission on Disability, and community partners invite the community to attend a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on Sunday, July 26th from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The ADA 25 event will be held at Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) located at 10301 NE Glisan St. Portland, OR 97220. The ADA is a landmark civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.

The celebration’s theme is “Sharing Our Histories, Dreaming Our Future” and features storytellers who will share their personal experiences of living with disabilities. The storytelling project is made possible by an expanding cultural access grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. The storytelling portion of the celebration will give the audience and those unfamiliar with the disability community an array of voices and disabilities, and an opportunity to hear from individuals from varied cultural backgrounds.

The City of Portland’s Commission on Disability’s mission is to guide the City in ensuring that it is a more universally accessible city for all. Despite advances in the ADA, people with disabilities still face barriers to employment, housing, transportation and other basic needs. Portland Commission on Disability works to bring a cross-disability perspective to City policy development and decision-making.

For questions on how to participate, volunteer, or sponsor, contact Phillip Hillaire, ADA 25 Event Coordinator, at 503-823-5146. 

Other details: City Council members will be present. Community organization-hosted tables will be on display. ASL and audio description will be provided. All video will be captioned. Universally accessible event.


Lavaun Heaster, Chair, Portland Commission on Disability:

“How often do most people get the opportunity to sit down with folks from a variety of disability communities and really hear their truth? For me this event is so exciting because I feel that the stories of folks with disabilities are so silent in the broader storytelling community and I want to laugh, cry, feel outraged and touched with members of all my communities.”

Ryan Stroud, Storytelling Coach/Workshop Facilitator:

“Over the course of four workshops, participants worked together to choose a true, personal story about their lived experience, and to prepare their stories for the stage. This process facilitated the creation of narratives that revealed both their universal and unique experiences, helping their audience gain a more complex view of what it is like to live with a disability.”