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Building inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.

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Disability NEWS – July 20, 2016

Banner for Disability Program NEWS

July 20, 2016

In this issue…

  • State of Oregon wants feedback on its services for People with Hearing Loss
  • Disability Leadership Academy accepting applications for 2016-17 program
  • Portland Art Museum hosts tour for blind and partially-sighted on July 21
  • DRO conducting survey for SAMHSA/CMHS on PAIMI services and activities
  • State’s ODHHS Advisory Committee meets on July 27th in Salem
  • Sign up now for the Cross-Disability Kindergarten Inclusion sessions
  • Portland Commission on Disability meetings posted on PCOD website
  • NWDSA hosting Summer Social for families within the Down syndrome community
  • Inaugural Wheelchair Dancers Event is August 20 at the East Bank Esplanade
  • 18th Annual Portland Metro & SW Washington Buddy Walk is set for September 24
  • City wants to hear from PWD about taxi and other private for-hire transportation
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

State of Oregon wants feedback on its services for People with Hearing Loss

The Oregon Community Needs Assessment survey is now available and the Regional Resource Center on Deafness wants to hear from the public. The Oregonian Department of Human Services has asked Oregon’s Regional Resource Center on Deafness to collect information from Oregonians who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or anyone with hearing loss. 

The center will report the survey results to the Oregon Legislature, identifying barriers and gaps in public services for Oregonians who have a hearing loss. The results will affect future Oregon legislation and programs for people with hearing loss. People with hearing loss are asked to fill out this survey to add their input for the legislature to consider. The deadline is Wednesday, August 31.

The survey is available in three different languages: English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. To find the survey, click here, or copy and paste this link: The second link will take participants to the Regional Resource Center on Deafness’ webpage where they can choose the language survey version that works best for them. 

Please note: The ASL version can be used only on a desktop or laptop with a strong internet connection due to high number of video clips. Please wait a few minutes for the videos to download before starting the ASL survey. Due to compatibility issue with videos, the ASL version is not viewable on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc. The English and Spanish version of the survey can be viewed on mobile devices. Anyone clicking the ASL version on a mobile device, will see English text and blank space for the videos but will not be able to see the videos.

Please spread the word and tell any Oregonian you know who has a hearing loss to take this survey. It is open only until Wednesday, August 31, 2016. The final report will be submitted to the Oregon Legislature on December 31, 2016 for review during their 2017 session.

The public is encouraged to forward this message and post it on social media. Anyone experiencing any difficulties in accessing the ASL version, or has other questions/concerns, please contact Dr. Denise Thew Hackett, at or (503) 715-0756, for further assistance.

Disability Leadership Academy accepting applications for 2016-17 program

The City of Portland Disability Program is seeking applicants and community interest in its 2016-17 Disability Leadership Academy. The academy will offer skills to assist persons with disabilities to empower themselves and engage in civic leadership. It will be an intense and rewarding experience for participants to be more connected to the City and help enrich their lives.

This program is scheduled to run from October 2016 through June 2017. Ten to 15 students who are 18 or older will be accepted into an intensive leadership course to build leadership skills, knowledge of civic engagement and public involvement, practical skills and experimental skills. People with disabilities have long felt disempowered and left in a state of isolation. The academy seeks to change this longstanding dynamic by providing practical knowledge to assist them to be more active and advocate for themselves.

Anyone interested to apply for or to find more information about the academy program, may check out the Disability Program’s webpage. The webpage offers more specific details, a copy to download of the brochure, a fact sheet and an application form. Questions about the application process, how to support the academy and other inquiries can be directed to Kiel Moses by email at He may also be contacted at 503-823-2539.

The first phase of the academy will be nine sessions ranging on topics of advocacy, disability studies, conflict resolution and others. Leaders with disabilities will lead these sessions, sharing their personal and professional knowledge with the participants. The second phase will be experiential and the academy participants will apply their training in the first phase to a real world issue that impacts persons with disabilities. The academy will conclude with a graduation and celebration for the participants where friends and families, along with invited dignitaries will celebrate the participants’ work and accomplishments.

The academy’s structure is based on the Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s (ONI) Diversity and Civic Leadership model. ONI oversees the Disability Program which is one of its wide range of neighborhood livability direct services. Other similar programs are New Portlanders, Community Neighborhood Involvement Center, Neighborhoods, Public Involvement Best Practices, Youth and Neighborhood Mediation.

Portland Art Museum hosts tour for blind and partially-sighted on July 21

The Portland Art Museum (PAM) is pleased to host wood carver, Mick Yoder, for its July “Tours for Visitors who are Blind or Partially-Sighted.” After experiencing an injury that has left him completely blind, Mick continues to work in wood, specializing in animals that he carves in relief format. Through Mick’s expertise, attendees will learn how he selects his wood, makes his design, and the tools he uses to create his works. Plenty of tactiles will be available to enrich his presentation.

The one-hour tour begins at 2:30 pm on Thursday, July 21. Participants assemble at the museum’s main entrance, 1219 SW Park Avenue. Those requiring a ramp should use the Member’s Entrance on the north side of the building, near the Gift Shop.

Tours are free with museum membership. Non-museum members who are blind or partially-sighted pay $3 for museum admission, and attendees may bring in one helper at no charge. There’s no admission fee for children aged 17 and under. Docents are available to help those who need assistance. Seating is provided, and guide dogs are welcome.

Please let PAM know if you will attend the tour by responding by calling and leaving a message at 503-276-4290. These tours are held on the third Thursday of every month. Further information is available on the PAM calendar page.

DRO conducting survey for SAMHSA/CMHS on PAIMI services and activities

From September 13-15, 2016, representatives from three national mental health organizations will visit Disability Rights Oregon in Portland. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) PROGRAM are looking for feedback about the PAIMI Program services and activities conducted by Disability Rights Oregon (DRO).

SAMHSA/CMHS is requesting written comments by e-mail or regular postal service. The email address is and the address for postal delivery is:

1 Choke Cherry Road, Room 2-1105
Rockville, Maryland 20857 

Further information about SAMHSA/CMHS is available on the organization’s website with DRO information available on its website.

State’s ODHHS Advisory Committee meets on July 27th in Salem

The Oregon Department of Human Services, Aging and People with Disabilities, announces that the Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Advisory Committee will hold a regular meeting in Salem, 3:30 to 4:30 pm on Wednesday, July 27th. It will take place in Room 165, at the Human Services Building, 500 Summer St. NE, Salem, OR 97301.

Those unable to attend in person may by call 1-888-808-6929 to participate by phone, using the Participant Code 4517555 for access.

The agenda includes regular Executive Committee Meeting business, officer elections for the position of co-chair, and an overview of committee expenditures for the last fiscal year.

The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact Kelsey Gleeson at 503-947-5104 or email Requests should be made at least 48 hours prior to the event.

For questions about this meeting, please contact: Theresa Powell

For information about the Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Advisory Committee, its membership, and links to minutes of some past meetings, including its April 2016 retreat, are available on the committee’s website.

Sign up now for NWDSA’s Cross-Disability Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort sessions

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) is providing a kickoff session for its Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort program on September 15. The program is open to families with children that experience any developmental disability. Applications are currently being accepted with a deadline to apply by August 18.

The Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort program is a series of interactive and best practices-driven trainings, designed to help parents prepare for and advocate for inclusive kindergarten placements for their children. The Cohort works to prepare families for the kindergarten transition, and also build a community of parents who will support each other as their children move through the transition process and beyond. 

Designed for parents whose child will be starting kindergarten the following September, the cohort features six interactive training sessions over the school year. Session topics include information about the law and a child’s rights, tools and supports to use in the classroom, IEP goal writing to help support inclusion, communication and behavior strategies, tips from parents and teachers, and more. The Cohort is currently in its third year, and parents who graduated in the first two years reported that the skills learned in the cohort were instrumental to helping their children gain access to the general education classroom. Receiving teachers also reported that Cohort graduates are empowered advocates who come prepared to partner effectively with schools to help meet the needs of their children.

To learn more about the Cross-Disability Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort program and to register, please visit the program’s web page on NWDSA website.

Portland Commission on Disability meetings posted on PCOD website

The latest information for upcoming 2016 Portland Commission on Disability meetings is available on the Office of Equity and Human Rights website.

NWDSA hosting Summer Social for families within the Down syndrome community

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) is hosting its traditional summer get-together for families within the Down syndrome community on August 7. The event is from 1 to 4 pm at Camp Angelos, 32149 SE Stevens Road in Corbett.

Camp Angelos is fully-accessible retreat nestled in the Sandy River Valley. Some of the great amenities & activities included this year are: a bounce house, live music, fishing, shaded areas, lots of games, food and other activities for the families. Additional information about the event, including a link to RSVP, may be found on the NWDSA website.

The NWDSA has been a parent-driven family support network since 1997. The NWDSA’s mission is to create and nurture a loving and inclusive community celebrating every person with a disability including Down syndrome. Complete information, including services, meetings and events is available on the organization’s website.

Inaugural Wheelchair Dancers Event is August 20 at the East Bank Esplanade

The Wheelchair Dancers Organization is conducting a Groovy Walk/Run with Wheelchair Race, Party and Dance on August 20 on Portland’s East Bank Esplanade, Main Street Festival Plaza. People are invited to put on their grooviest costume for the run/walk around the downtown waterfront at sunset.

The run will be followed by a party and dance with local food and refreshments. Portland’s own Akiya Drum and Dance Circle will provide the beat for the night. There will be on-site photographers, free face painting and children’s coloring booth, fantastic food and other vendors.

Performances and joint dancing will be provided by Wheel Chair Dancers and Billy Blanks “Junior “Dance It Out.” Free dancing is available for all with lessons to be given by dance instructors. The event is to support the Wheelchair Dancers Organization whose motto is “Changing Lives Through Dance.” Further information is available on the event website. The Wheelchair Dancers website offers more information about its work and accomplishments.

18th Annual Portland Metro & SW Washington Buddy Walk is set for September 24

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) is hosting the 18th Annual Portland and SW Washington Buddy Walk® on Saturday, September 2, from 10 am to 1:30 pm, to promote acceptance and inclusion of all people with Down syndrome. The walk brings together many participants from the greater Portland metro area – family members, friends, professionals, community leaders and individuals with Down syndrome.

The Buddy Walk begins in the Rose Quarter Commons’ Main Amphitheater and Center Court. Join other participants for live music and family entertainment, games, bounce houses, auctions, raffles, tasty food and snacks. Hear from amazing self-advocates and connect with empowered families from across the Portland Metro region and beyond. 

Sign up at the 2016 Portland Metro/Southwest Washington Buddy Walk website. Those who can’t be there may register as a virtual walker or make a donation in honor of the people in their life who experience Down syndrome.

NWDSA creates and nurtures a loving and inclusive community celebrating every person with a disability, including Down syndrome. It empowers and supports families and self-advocates, increases education, promotes public understanding and acceptance, increases competence of parents and professionals, works toward full inclusion, and defends the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. Anyone who would like to learn more about NWDSA’s mission and opportunities to get involved, is encouraged to visit NWDSA’s website.

City wants to hear from PWD about taxi and other private for-hire transportation

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and the Private for Hire Transportation Advisory Committee are seeking public input on transportation service for people with disabilities. With an online survey posted on the PBOT website, people with disabilities can tell the City about their experiences using taxis or transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Take the survey now at the survey weblink. Further information about PBOT’s Taxi and Other Private For-Hire Vehicles program is on the program website.

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 for downloading in an e-publication format.