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Disability NEWS - April 6, 2016

Banner with graphic for Disability NEWS

April 6, 2016

In this issue…

  • PF&R installing specialized smoke alarms for the deaf and people with hearing loss
  • Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings
  • 2016 Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Expo is free on April 9th in Portland
  • HLAA - Portland to present “Lives Worth Living” at April 18 meeting
  • NWDSA holding its cross-disability 2016 All Born (In) Conference April 23rd
  • DRO conducting survey for input regarding needs of Oregonians with disabilities
  • Incight conducting two April workshops for jobseekers with disabilities
  • Voting information from DRO is available for people with disabilities and candidates
  • There’s still time file for an exemption on the 2016 Portland Arts Tax
  • Friendly House’s SAGE asking for input on survey for its housing committee
  • 9th Annual Tapping Fresh Talent Career Expo will be May 3rd in the Convention Center
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

PF&R installing specialized smoke alarms for the deaf and people with hearing loss

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to install specialized smoke alarms in the homes of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. This program is purely voluntary and is offered to people with qualified disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, specifically those deaf or hard of hearing. This program is only for persons living in the City of Portland.

There are a limited number of these specialized smoke alarms available and will be provided on a first come, first served basis given in order to those qualified individuals who submit an application with all appropriate paperwork. Special installation priority may be given to people with multiple risk factors.

To apply, fill out the online application below and submit a Certification of Eligibility form. The form and further information about this program is available on the PF&R website. For questions regarding the program or to have help filling out an application, contact PF&R at or call 503-823-3752.

Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings

Portland Commission on Disability Full Commission Meeting
Friday, April 8, 11 am to 1 pm
Bridge & Steel Rooms, Office of Equity & Human Rights
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500

PCOD Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday, April 28, 5 to 7 pm
Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights,
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW Sixth Avenue, Suite 500

PLEASE NOTE: All Portland Commission on Disability
meetings and events are open to the public.
More information about PCOD is available
at the Office of Equity and Human Rights website.

Please contact PCOD staff at
with any questions or concerns for the Commission.

2016 Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Expo is free on April 9 in Portland

The Macular Degeneration Center and Evelyn L. Jones Vision Rehabilitation Center at OHSU Casey Eye Institute is sponsoring the Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Expo on April 9 at the Doubletree Hotel - Lloyd Center in Portland. The Saturday event is from 9 am to 4 pm at 1000 NE Multnomah. It is free and open to the public with free onsite parking.

Attendees can learn about this common eye disease and hear about current approaches for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. There will also be exhibits about the latest visual aids and resources, plus there will be an art and hobby showcase by individuals with vision loss. The program includes lectures and discussions on advances, technology, living with vision loss, AMD patient perspectives and more.

Attendees are asked to register online or call 503-494-8511. The event website offers a link to the agenda and registration.

HLAA - Portland to present “Lives Worth Living” at April 18 meeting

The Hearing Loss Associationof America - Portland Chapter (HLAA-Portland) will show the 2011 film "Lives Worth Living" at its April meeting on Monday, April 18th, at Good Samaritan Building 2. The meeting is from 6:30 to 8 pm at 1040 NW 22nd Avenue, in the second floor conference room, next to the elevator. Building 2 is on NW 22nd at Marshall, facing the main entrance of Good Samaritan Hospital.

This 60-minute documentary covers the successful efforts by people with disabilities to achieve passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

People with disabilities are one of the largest minorities in the United States. But for most of American history, they occupied a sub-class of millions without access to everyday things most citizens take for granted: schools, apartment buildings, public transportation, and more. Some were forcibly sterilized under state laws. Others were committed to horrifying institutions where they were left and forgotten. 

After World War II, however, things began to change, thanks to a small group of determined people with an unwavering determination to live their lives like anyone else, and to liberate all disabled Americans of the limitations their government refused to accommodate.

Lives Worth Living traces the development of consciousness of these pioneers who realized that in order to change the world they needed to work together. Through demonstrations and inside legislative battles, the disability rights community secured equal civil rights for all people with disabilities. Thanks to their efforts, tens of millions of people's lives have been changed.

HLAA-Portland meets on the third Monday of the month, September through May. Anyone affected by hearing loss is welcome.

NWDSA holding its cross-disability 2016 All Born (In) Conference April 23rd

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) is conducting its 11th annual All Born (In) Cross-Disability Best Practices Inclusive Education Conference on Saturday, April 23 at the Holiday Inn Portland Airport. The conference is from 7:45 am to 5:30 pm and offers an exciting day for parents, caregivers, and professionals working to end segregation in neighborhood schools and the community.

Come celebrate and learn how Universal Design for Learning and Best Practices can be used to reach and teach every child. Share, learn and make connections so that participants can all go forth to open the eyes of the wider community to the fact that their children are all born “in”. There will be over 36 sessions from birth through adulthood available to attendees.

Keynote speakers are Keith Jones, a disability rights activist, composer, producer and hip hop artist and Dr. Richard A. Villa, who has worked with thousands of teachers and administrators, in development and implementation of organizational and instructional support systems for educating all students. Jones is also the Founder, President and CEO of SoulTouchin’ Experiences, an endeavor founded on the belief that in order to build a stronger community, there must be a heart and soul commitment to those who need assistance.

More details about the cross-disability conference is available on the event website, including a link to register and download materials. For more information, contact Angela Frome by emailing or call 503-238-0522. Some scholarships are available if someone has a hardship, details available by calling the same phone number provided.

DRO conducting survey for input regarding needs of Oregonians with disabilities

Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) is conducting its annual survey regarding the needs of Oregonians with disabilities. The survey will allow DRO to learn and identify areas in which to focus its resources in the coming year.

The survey may take approximately 10 minutes to complete online and is also available in alternative formats. The 2016 Community Insights Survey announcement is available on the DRO website where links are available to the online survey with links to Word or pdf formats. DRO may also be contacted at 503-243-2081, 800-452-1694 or by emailing

Disability Rights Oregon is the protection & advocacy system for Oregon. It envisions a society in which persons with disabilities have equality of opportunity, full participation and the ability to exercise meaningful choice. More information about DRO and its services is available on the DRO website.

Incight conducting two April workshops for jobseekers with disabilities

Two skills enhancement workshops are scheduled in April by Incight to help jobseekers with disabilities better prepare for their job search. “Networking and the 30-second Elevator Pitch” workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, from noon to 2 pm in the 8th Floor Conference Room at Incight’s office, 111 SW Columbia Street. The second workshop, “Improve Your Resume,” follows on that day from 2 to 4 pm at the same location.

Networking and the 30-second Elevator Pitch will feature how to build a personal network, the art of the 30-second elevator pitch, tips for making a best impression, using social media in a job search, and meeting other jobseekers while practicing networking skills. Registration for the workshop is available on the registration website.

Improve Your Resume will help participants ensure that their resumes work for them. The workshop will cover building a strong resume with tips and tricks from real insiders. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department and Washington County are going to be there to provide inside information on what employers are looking for and to answer questions. The event website provides registration information.

Job seekers of all levels and disabilities are welcome to participate at both events.  Job Developers, Counselors, and other Employment Specialists are also welcome.

Accommodation will be provided to requests made a week in advance. ASL interpreters will be provided upon request only.

Further information and questions may be directed to Kim or Kali at (971) 244-0305 or emailing Kali at For more information about Incight and its work, visit

Voting information from DRO is available for people with disabilities and candidates

Oregon’s Primary Election Day is May 17th and the last day to register or change political party is April 26th. Persons with disabilities may learn more about registering to vote, the voting process, accessibility and other voting concerns by visiting Disability Rights Oregon’s voting webpage []. Since approximately one in four Oregonians have a disability, candidates will also benefit by going to DRO’s accessible campaign resources webpage to ensure they provide accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities.

To prepare for the voting process, persons with disabilities, their families, friends and providers will find DRO’s publications on the voting webpage to be good resources. Its voting brochure, voting handbook and “Assisting Voters with Disabilities - A Guide for Family, Friends and Providers” are available on the page for viewing and downloading. There are also links to accessible campaign resources, the Oregon Voter Bill of Rights, Oregon’s Motor Voter information, and other voting information.

The accessible campaign resources page offers resources for candidates and campaigns to make their campaigns be accessible to persons with disabilities. A webinar to make a campaign accessible may be participated in on April 7 at 10 am. It will provide information about disability friendly and culturally inclusive concepts, accessible documents and websites, resources and referrals. A link is also provided to Candidates Must Caption where information on captioning is provided. DRO recommends that all candidates use live captioning (CART) at events, and include quality closed captioning for all videos.

This work is supported by funding that DRO receives from Protection & Advocacy for Voting Access. PAVA is administered by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Developmental Disabilities.

There’s still time file for an exemption on the 2016 Portland Arts Tax

The Portland Department of Revenue has contracted with Elders in Action to do outreach to older adults and people with disabilities on the Arts Tax. A permanent exemption from the Arts Tax is now available to low income individuals over 70 years of age and low income individuals of any age with permanent disabilities. Elders in Action staff and volunteers will work with individuals who call or drop by their office or attend Multnomah County District Centers and other venues where they will be tabling.

Elders in Action is a nonprofit organization that advocates for older adults, provides meaningful volunteer opportunities and works to build an age-friendly community. They provide services in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties in the Portland metro area.

Elders in Action can explain the rules for the exemption and even help in filling out the required paperwork. Contact Elders in Action at 503-235-5474 for more information. More details are also available on their website. The Arts Tax for 2015 is due by April 18, 2016.

Friendly House’s SAGE program asking for input on housing survey

To help determine advocacy priorities for Friendly House’s Service and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) program, a survey is being conducted online. The feedback is critical to the program whose mission is to enhance the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender elders.

The survey will be used to:

  • help determine advocacy priorities for SAGE Metro Portland’s Housing Committee,
  • share with other non-profits and community groups working to support LGBT older adults
  • to plan session related to the theme, "Home is Where the Heart Is!", at the 2016, Gay and Grey Expo. Participation is entirely voluntary and will be kept anonymous.

Opinions and suggestions from participants that require follow up, may also be included by adding contact information at the end of the survey. Personal information will not be attached to survey responses should participants choose to provide it.

The survey may be accessed at this link on SurveyMonkey. If anyone has questions or concerns, they may contact the SAGE Program Coordinator, Max Micozzi at 503-224-2640 or by emailing

For over a decade Friendly House has provided a range of services for LGBT older adults with a mission to enhance the lives of LGBT community members through education, advocacy, outreach, resource development and case management. More information about SAGE is available on Friendly House’s website.

9th Annual Tapping Fresh Talent Career Expo will be May 3rd

The 2016 Tapping Fresh Talent Career Expo will be on May 3rd from 10 am to 2 pm at the Oregon Convention Center, Exhibit Hall B. Incight, with over 40 sponsors and exhibitors are hosting the ninth Tapping Fresh Talent event. This is Oregon’s top recruiting event that links employers with the skills and talents of Oregonians with disabilities and to grow inclusion with businesses needing those talents.

The career inclusion expo is the place for businesses to expand their diversity, interact with the fastest growing minority, improve their retention, recruit job seekers with disabilities, find interns and more. Workshops are scheduled for job seekers in self-empowerment, networking and resume review. More information, including registration, for businesses and attendees is at the Tapping Fresh Talent event website.

Job seekers of all levels, employment specialists, transition students and teachers are invited to attend the free event. Tapping Fresh Talent features resume review, workshops, information tables and a student central workshop for high school and transition-aged students. Please note that workshops and resume review are first come, first served, so arrive early to secure a spot. Email to learn more about the two-hour Student Central workshop. Any questions may be answered by contacting Incight at 971-244-0306.

Visit Disability Program Facebook page for news, event postings

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) 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.

The Disability NEWS is created and distributed twice monthly by the City of Portland’s Disability Program in the Office of Neighborhood Involvement. The NEWS, including back issues, is also available in the program’s website for viewing at this link.

To update your contact information, if you wish to submit information for the newsletter or if you know someone who would like to receive the newsletter, please email Events submitted will also be noted on the Disability Program Facebook page and featured on ONI Events calendar's list of Disability Events.

Please note: This information is available for reading online or downloading in an e-publication format.