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Disability NEWS - November 27, 2012

NOVEMBER 27, 2012

  • Access-ABLE EXPO 2012 will be in Portland November 30 and December 1

  • Hearing Loss Association of America 2013 Convention set for Portland in June

  • Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability meetings

  • Cochlear Awareness Network sets meeting for users on December 1

  • Portland Commission on Disability sharing disability resource information

  • Assistive Technology Web Portal released by RESNA Catalyst Project

  • Connecting Communities Coalition has openings on ADA Subcommittee

  • Federal Benefit Paper Checks to Stop in 2013, Sign Up for Direct Deposit

  • Portland VA Medical Center seeks volunteers for tinnitus study

  • Health care law implementation will not allow banning for pre-existing conditions

  • Online questionnaire requests feedback on land use planning process

  • Visit the City’s and PCOD’s Facebook pages for current postings and news

Access-ABLE EXPO 2012 will be
in Portland November 30 & December 1

The extraordinary abilities in the disability community will be highlighted November 30 and December 1 during the access-ABLE EXPO 2012 at the Holiday Inn Portland Airport, 8349 NE Columbia Boulevard. The expo on Friday runs from noon to 5 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. The focus is access to an independent lifestyle through sports and recreation equipment and programs. Information will be provided that is intended to benefit all people with disabilities.

The expo has been developed to answer questions about what adaptive recreational equipment and local programs are available to people with mobility disabilities. Demonstrations are planned for hand cycling, rugby, basketball, bowling and more. Vendors will be onsite and joined by several Oregon-based adaptive sports programs like Oregon Adaptive Sports, Access Technologies Inc, Eugene adaptive parks and recreation, and Adventures without Limits.

Hearing Loss Association of America
2013 Convention set for Portland

The Hearing Loss Association of Portland is announcing that its parent organization, the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), will hold its annual convention in Portland on June 27 through 30. The local chapter says this is a large event for the city and the hearing loss community, and the first time the convention has been on the west coast since 2012 in Seattle.

With the exception of a Saturday evening banquet and an awards breakfast/ceremony at the Lloyd Center DoubleTree, all sessions and workshops will be conducted at the Oregon Convention Center. Numerous workshops are in the planning stages that can help people with hearing loss with self advocacy, what to consider when purchasing hearing technology, understanding a person with hearing loss, telecommunications needs, Medicare options and other important topics. More information, including membership and registration, is available at the Hearing Loss Association of America website.

Upcoming Portland Commission
on Disability Meetings

PCoD Employment Subcommittee

Friday, November 30, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Office of Equity & Human Rights

The Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Executive Board Meeting

Wednesday, December 5, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Office of Equity & Human Rights

The Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

Portland Commission on Disability Meeting

Friday, December 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Steele and Bridge Rooms,

Office of Equity & Human Rights

The Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Livability and Wellness Subcommittee

Friday, December 14, 1 to 3 pm

Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights
The Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Public Outreach and Awareness Subcommittee

Thursday, December 20, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Broadway Conference Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights

The Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PLEASE NOTE: All Portland Commission on Disability
meetings and events are open to the public.

Cochlear Awareness Network sets
meeting for users on December 1

The Cochlear Awareness Network has scheduled a meeting for those who have Nucleus Cochlear Implants and Baha technology for December 1 from 9:30 to 11:30 am at the Portland Airport Courtyard Hotel, 11550 NE Airport Way. Participants will explore how the network can be a resource for anyone seeking information on advanced hearing loss solutions and provide support to those who have experienced a cochlear implant.

This is an opportunity to raise awareness, voice ideas, receive information and build friendships with other Nucleus and Baha recipients. Parking is complimentary and anyone interested in attending should register online at www.regonline.com/awarenessnetwork or call 800-805-3532, option 2, extension 2359. Anyone unable to join may receive information on the network chapter and local activities by emailing awareness@cocklear.com.

PCOD sharing disability information
and resources at ITS meetings

The Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) recently staffed a Commission information table at the 2012 Celebrate Ability event in October. This is a step to expand the Commission’s outreach to individuals and other organizations in the Portland disability community. The Commission’s Public Outreach & Awareness Committee participated by staffing the table that displayed a variety of event and meeting information for people with disabilities. There were also voter information materials, including the Voter Access Project information from Disability Rights Oregon. Commissioners Lavaun Heaster, Chris Logan, Adam Kriss and Nicholas Johnson answered questions about the Commission and helped distribute the information.

The Commission’s goal is to work with other organizations to help provide more information about services, meetings and events of interest to people with disabilities in Portland. Organizations who wish to find out more about working with the Commission may call 503-823-4432.

Assistive Technology Web Portal
released by RESNA Catalyst Project

The Assistive Technology for Employers and Businesses Web Portal features information on assistive technology (AT) in the work place. The portal can provide help to access AT through the AT Act Entities, a consultant database directory of Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) professionals. Employers, businesses or human resource professions can find solutions and information about AT in the workplace and also review ideas and examples of how AT is used to create work environments which result in more productive employees.

The portal defines assistive technology and how it benefits everyone in the workplace by finding the right technology solution. Examples show how accommodations more often than not require some creativity and do not have to cost a lot of money. Directions are provided to find help with AT programs within one’s area and with job accommodation experts through RESNA. Tax incentives/credits and alternative financing programs are also provided for research. The AT Web Portal is a useful resource to help provide increased employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit AT Connects’ website.

Connecting Communities Coalition
has openings on ADA Subcommittee

Connecting Communities Coalition (CCC) is seeking people who want to have a voice in creating substantive change for the future regarding inclusion and accessibility in Portland. Its ADA Subcommittee is seeking members to join and develop a forum where citizens can bring their accessibility concerns to spur advocacy and action for change.

CCC asks anyone to consider joining the ADA Subcommittee who wants to see change and hasn’t had the opportunity to act, is interested in Univeral Design for inclusive access, loves and is interested in work on the ADA, and/or is concerned about access issues they encounter. The subcommittee meets every second Tuesday of the month in the evening. Email Allison Falleur or Stan Postlethwait for more information by clicking on their name.

Federal Benefit Paper checks to stop
in 2013, sign up for Direct Deposit

The U.S. Treasury Department is phasing out paper check payments and requiring federal benefit recipients to receive their benefit money electronically by March 1, 2013. Anyone receiving Social Security, veterans’ or other federal benefits by paper check should act now to receive their money safely, quickly and on time. People may choose to receive payment by direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or to a Direct Express Debit card account.

Visit the Go Direct website link to learn how to make your choice and avoid any interruption in payment next spring. Please note, anyone already receiving their federal benefit payments will not be affected by the change and does not have to indicate a change for payment.

Portland VA Medical Center seeks
volunteers for tinnitus study

The Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center is conducting a trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to determine if this procedure may help reduce the loudness or severity of chronic tinnitus. The Center is seeking volunteers to take part in a clinical trial, open to both veterans and non-veterans. The study has the long range goal to develop a safe, practical, effective and cost-effective treatment for chronic tinnitus.

The target population (to whom the study findings will be generalized) for this investigation includes people who experience bothersome, chronic tinnitus. This is a research study, not a treatment, and volunteers must be at least 18 years old to participate. If interested, please call 503-220-8262, extension 51868.

Law implementation will not allow
banning for pre-existing conditions

The Obama administration moved forward on November 20 to implement provisions in the health care law that would make it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. “The Affordable Care Act is building a health insurance market that works for consumers,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Thanks to the health care law, no one will be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition.”

The administration issued the proposed rule that, beginning in 2014, prohibits health insurance companies from discriminating against individuals because of a pre-existing or chronic condition. Under the rule, insurance companies would be allowed to vary premiums within limits, only based on age, tobacco use, family size and geography. Health insurance companies would be prohibited from denying coverage to any American because of a pre-existing condition or from charging higher premiums to certain enrollees because of their current or past health problems, gender, occupation and small employer size or industry. For more information regarding this rule, visit this website.

Online questionnaire requests
feedback on land use planning process

Portlanders have the opportunity to share experiences and ideas about the land use planning and/or the development review process by filling out a questionnaire. As part of the City of Portland Comprehensive Plan, the Community Involvement Policy Expert Group is interested in hearing what people’s personal experiences are, specifically with community involvement in land use planning and development processes in the city. Click this community involvement link to learn more about the survey and find contact information.

Input will be valuable to develop new community involvement goals and policies, a report documenting the group’s progress with community input, and recommendations for additional changes and improvements for consideration by the City’s Public Involvement Advisory Council (PIAC). Please response by Friday, November 30, so the group can begin working with your input.

Visit Disability Program Facebook
page for news, event postings

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement Disability Program Facebook page features daily postings of news, videos, events and issues of interest to people with disabilities.  Visit the program’s Facebook page to read these postings and other information posted daily on disability issues, news and concerns.

Get more news/information at the Commission’s website

You can access more information on resources, events and the Portland Commission on Disability at the program’s website:

http://www.portlandonline.com/equityandhumanrights/index.cfm?c=49185

The Commission has begun development of its own website, which is found at www.PortlandDisability.com. There are links for meeting calendars, the Commission’s Facebook page, commissioner profiles and other information. The site is adding more content now that the Commission has moved to the Office of Equity & Human Rights. Please visit and follow its development.

To update your contact information, if you know someone who would like to receive the newsletter or if you wish to submit information for the newsletter, please contact Patrick Philpott, Portland Commission on Disability Program Specialist, at:

Phone: 503-823-4432

Email: patrick.philpott@portlandoregon.gov

Please note: This information may also provided in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF formats. Please use the contact information above to make your request for an alternative format.

The Disability NEWS is distributed by the Portland Commission on Disability and the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Disability Program.