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Neighborhood Involvement

Building inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.

ONI Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Disability Leadership Academy

Disability Leadership Academy Logo

Disability Leadership Academy

The mission statement of the Disability Leadership Academy is designed to help people with disabilities empower themselves by teaching them personal/practical/experiential skills in order to obtain and maintain leadership roles in order to impact public policy and social change in their community with which they live.

People with Disabilities Empowering Themselves

This ambitious pilot project teaches participants with disabilities the following:

  • Practical skills
  • Personal skills
  • Real World Experience

What to Expect

  • Trainings and techniques focused on leadership
  • Increase skillsets
  • Empower yourself
  • Get your voice heard

Our story

The City of Portland and local disability leaders, through the former Connecting Communities Coalition, created the Disability Leadership Academy to teach skills in order to have people with disabilities empower themselves.  Historically, people with various disabilities  have not had a voice.  The Disability Leadership Academy wants to change that so that people with disabilities can become a powerful part of the City they call home.

This academy is meant to push people with disabilities in all aspects of their lives.  For too long people with disabilities haven’t had the opportunity to be active leaders in the City.  This Disability Academy looks to give many opportunities to people with disabilities to hold leadership roles to impact public policy.

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) designs various workshops and trainings to help communities of color, immigrants/refugees, and people with disabilities to learn how to empower themselves in ways that can create change.  ONI is committed to designing culturally sensitive, impactful, and interesting workshops/trainings meant to help marginalized groups find their voices in ways that can augment change.

How the Academy is organized:

PHASE ONE:  Work Sessions

  • Half-day Workshops start in October 2016 and run through February 2017
  • Sessions held every two weeks over five months
  • Workshops led by community leaders with disabilities
  • 12 sessions on various themes related to people with disabilities

Phase TWO:  Experiential field projects (internships) - community scan

  • Field project internships run March through May
  • The Community Scan is designed to give academy participants a way to showcase their skills in a practical “real world” manner to positively impact the lives of people with various disabilities.  Participants will design in collaboration with Office of Neighborhood Involvement staff as to designing and implementation of the community scan.  This community scan is intended to be a way for academy participants to engage with the Portland community in a way that can help the City and the participants understand what issues people with disabilities face in Portland.  This community scan will contextualize the STAGE ONE portion of the academy experience.  Some form of report should be generated from this community scan. 

PHASE THREE:  Graduation and celebration

  • June 2017
  • Academy participants celebrate their yearlong accomplishment with friends, family, and dignitaries.

Application form:

Please complete the application to be considered for selection. Find links to the applications in Microsoft WORD and Adobe PDF formats on the left side bar. You will be notified if you have been selected by the second week of September 2016. 

Due date:     Monday, August 15, 2016

For more information:

Kiel Moses, Project Coordinator

  • disabilityleadership@portlandoregon.gov
  • 503-823-2539