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Disability NEWS - 1/29/2013

JANUARY 28, 2013

  • Learn more about Incight and its services at a January 30 breakfast

  • Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability meetings in February

  • PBEM establishing 48 communication locations in event of an earthquake

  • GO Project conducting Advocacy Days Training on January 30

  • February 9 is An Evening of Art for Housing Advocates

  • Blogsite posts info on 5 tax deductions for special needs families

  • ILR hosting six-week hands-on Cooking Matters class to community

  • Federal government expands disabilities law to cover severe food allergies

  • Social Security adds new services to personalized online accounts

  • Incight scholarhip application now available online to apply for 2013-2014

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

Learn more about Incight and
its services at a January 30 breakfast

Anyone working to provide services to people with disabilities is invited to a breakfast with Incight on Wednesday, January 30, from 7:30 to 9:30 am. The breakfast will be at Mercy Corps Corporate Headquarters, 28 SE First Avenue, in the Old Town area in Portland. Incight has a unique approach because their perspective is unique, so join them for this morning meal to find out more about the employment services Incight provides and to network with other organizations who serve people with disabilities.

Incight exists to help people with disabilities to become contributing members of society through areas of education, employment, networking and independence. They will be doubling their employment events this year by offering 11 opportunities for job seekers with disabilities to network with employers looking to diversify their workforce. Six events are slated in Portland with four in Salem/Corvallis. Information about the events will be available to organizations at the breakfast. If you wish to attend, RSVP by 4 pm on Tuesday, January 29, to Tiana Tozer at tiana@incight.org or 971-244-0305.

February 2013 Portland
Commission on Disability Meetings

PCoD Executive Board Meeting

Wednesday, February 6, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Office of Equity & Human Rights

Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Accessibility in the Built Environment Subcommittee

Monday, February 11, 10 am to 1 pm

1900 Building, 1900 SW Fourth Ave, Room 4A

PCoD Public Outreach and Awareness Subcommittee

Thursday, February 21, 4 to 6 p.m.

Broadway Conference Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights

Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Employment Subcommittee

Friday, February 22, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Office of Equity & Human Rights

Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

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

PBEM establishing 48 locations
for communication during earthquake

In the event of an earthquake, communication systems may be out of service, so the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) is in the process of establishing 48 Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node (BEECN) sites in the city. The system will be available for Portlanders to call for help if they are sick, injured or in danger when systems are down.

BEECNs (pronounced beacons) are places to go for emergency assistance and information during a post-earthquake communications blackout. BEECNs are intended for use when phones and email aren’t working and residents in need of help are unable to remain safe at home. Workers at BEECN sites will use radios to relay calls for help to first responders.

Residents can go to their nearest BEECN sites to report severe damage and injuries. BEECN workers can also help access resources such as water, shelter or first-aid. During this time, OPB radio 91.5 FM may broadcast official emergency messages directly from the City of Portland.

A map of BEECNs was sent to all Portlanders’ mailboxes in December. Updated information is available at www.PublicAlerts.org/earthquake. PBEM’s goal is to have each temporary node activated under a clearly marked red and white shelter within 24 hours of an earthquake, if needed. The Bureau is now acquiring equipment for the BEECN network and staffing it with city employees, Neighborhood Emergency Team members and other volunteers. Contact PBEM at PBEMinfo@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-4375 with any questions.

DDC’s GO Project conducting
Advocacy Days Training on January 30

The Go Project, a program of the Developmental Disabilities Coalition DDC), will hold a legislative advocacy training on Wednesday, January 30, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at the Hollywood Library, 4040 NE Tillamook Street in Portland. Legislative Advocacy Training: Meet and Greet Your Local Legislator is the coalition's effort to inform legislators about issues of individuals and families experiencing disabilities.

Participants are welcome to attend and learn how the Oregon legislative process works, how to develop relationships with legislators, being an effective advocate, and current issues pertinent to intellectual/developmental disability advocates. Senator Chip Shields is scheduled to attend and speak with participants.

Participants are welcome to attend and learn how the Oregon legislative process works, how to develop relationships with legislators, being an effective advocate, and current issues pertinent to intellectual/developmental disability advocates. Senator Chip Shields is scheduled to attend and speak with attendees. All participants must register by submitting their name, email address and zip code to info@oregonddcoalition.org. For more information: http://factoregon.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Advocay-Training-Flyer2.pdf

February 9 will be An Evening
of Art for Housing Advocates

A February 9 fundraiser, An Evening of Art for Housing Advocates, is being conducted by Connecting Communities of Oregon (CCO) from 6 to 9 pm at Butters Gallery, 520 NW Davis Street, Portland. CCO is a broad coalition of public advocacy groups, working to restore community awareness in creating affordable, accessible neighborhoods.

This event features treats from local vendors like the Better Bean Company and Hot Lips
Pizza, music, wine, a silent auction and art, all in one place. The suggested donation is $50, however no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Email any questions or RSVPs to oregonconnect@gmail.com.

Blogsite posts info on 5 tax
deductions for special needs families

There are often unique financial concerns for parents of children with special needs, and one way to address the concerns is to reduce the tax costs. The Friendship Circle Blog has posted information about five useful tax deductions and credits for these families. The blogsite provides more information about medical/therapy expenses, specialized foods, legal expenses, child and dependent care credit and the earned income credit.

Independent Living Resources hosting
hands-on Cooking Matters class

A six-week, hands-on Cooking Matters class is being offered by Independent Living Resources (ILR) starting February 12 at the ILR office, 1839 NE Couch Street. The class is for adults age 18 and over, who make less than $1805 per month or $2428 per month for a couple. Income verification is not required.

Participants will learn how to make the most of their food resources; cook nutritious, delicious good; shop defensively at the grocery store, and to work with foods they may not have heard of before. Chefs will teach recipes for people to recreate at home. For more information or to signup, contact ILR at 503-232-7411 or email patricia@ilr.org

Feds expand disabilities law
to cover severe food allergies

Lesley University reached a settlement last month with the U.S. Department of Justice that will require the Cambridge institution to serve gluten-free foods and make other accommodations for students who have celiac disease. At least one student had complained to the federal government after the school would not exempt the student from a meal plan even though the student could not eat the food. The agreement says that food allergies may constitute a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, if they are severe enough.

Under the agreement, the university says it will not only provide gluten-free options in its dining hall, but also allow students to pre-order, provide a dedicated space for storage and preparation to avoid contamination, train staff about food allergies and pay a $50,000 cash settlement to affected students. A DOJ representative says that they are not saying what the general meal plan has to serve or not, but that if the college has a mandatory meal plan, they have to be prepared to make reasonable modifications to that meal plan to accommodate students with disabilities. It was added that by preventing people from eating, the institution is really preventing them from accessing their educational program.

Social Security adds new services
to personalized online accounts

SSA is expanding the services available through “my Social Security account,” a personalized online account that people can use during their working years and while they are receiving benefits. Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients can now access their benefit verification letter, payment history and earnings record. Social Security beneficiaries can also change their address and start or change direct deposit information online.

Visit Disability.gov for more information about Social Security disability and other benefits programs.

Incight scholarhip application is
now available online for 2013-2014

The Incight scholarship application for the 2013/2014 school year is now available for new and renewal scholars. This year has a new Incight Scholarship Application that can only be completed online. Use this Incight Education link to learn more about Incight's education program and to create a new scholarship account or to login and edit an existing scholarship application. The scholarship deadline is April 1, 2013.

Each year Incight awards up to one hundred scholarships to students with disabilities, who have demonstrated outstanding merit in giving back to the community and overcoming obstacles in order to pursue higher education.  These scholarships range in value from $500 to $2,500.  In addition to providing financial support, Incight remains a valuable resource to its scholars throughout their college years, during the transition from high school to college, while seeking accommodations, and preparing students for post-graduate life entering the employment sector.

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, Program Specialist for the Portland Commission on Disability, at 503-823-4432 by phone or 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.