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Disability NEWS - May 8, 2014

Disability NEWS banner

May 8, 2014

  • City Hall Café serving great-tasting coffee and employing special needs adults

  • Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) meetings schedule

  • Sixth Disability Pride Art and Culture Festival to run May 16 through 24

  • IDNO sets May 15th for Beyond the Ramp 2014 Interfaith Conference

  • Jewish Family & Child Service celebrates “Our Caring Community”

  • Families and caregivers are welcome at the “Wellness in All Families” event

  • Deaf-Blind Action Meeting set for May 17 for networking and information

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

City Hall Café serves great coffee and employs persons with disabilities

Happy Cup Coffee Company is excited to be operating the new City Hall Café that opened earlier this year and helping to fulfill Mayor Hales’ goals for City Hall to be “an inviting and integrated part of the community.” The coffee is being appreciated as a positive addition in the building that houses Portland’s city government, and employing special needs adults helps to showcase Happy Cup’s integrated workforce. The company reports that it employs 75 adults with disabilities at minimum wage, out of its total workforce of 110 employees.

The café has been welcomed not only for providing coffee to enjoy in the open atrium area of the first floor, but for also offering breakfast and lunch items to satisfy hunger pains. Customers may select from a bagel, breakfast sandwich, yogurt parfait, pastry treat, sandwich or salad to enjoy with their favorite beverage. Downtown meeting needs are also being met by Happy Cup Catering.

Happy Cup is a social enterprise which knows individuals with disabilities want to thrive and be productive. One of its three missions is to offer employment, a competitive wage and a full life to adults with disabilities – People with Potential. The other two goals are to help create a better future for people with disabilities by donating 100 percent of the profits to vocational and recreational programming for this community and to deliver a responsible, great-tasting cup of coffee. Company founder, Rachel Bloom, says’ “It’s incredibly gratifying to see our employees flourish and develop that sense of independence that comes with a regular paycheck.”

Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings

PCoD Public Outreach and Awareness Subcommittee
Tuesday, May 20, 3 to 5 p.m.
Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Livability & Wellness Subcommittee
Thursday, May 22, Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Employment Subcommittee
Friday, May 23, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

Portland Commission on Disability Meeting
Friday, June 13, 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Steele/Bridge Rooms, 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.
For the most current meeting information, please see the PCOD calendar webpage.

Sixth Disability Pride Art and Culture Festival to run May 16 through 24

The Disability Art and Culture Project presents its Disability Pride Art and Culture Festival VI from May 16 to 24, featuring Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, a guest poet, performer and intensive instructor. The poetry reading and artist reception opens on Friday, May 16 from 7 to 9 pm at In Other Words, 14 NE Killingsworth.

Other events include a residency, conducted by Leah, on May 17, 18 and 20, at Zoomtopia Studio 2, 810 SE Belmont Avenue. A Revolutionary Arts Panel and Interactive Arts Installation is set for Saturday, May 17, from 7 to 9:30 pm at the Center for Intercultural Organizing, 700 N Killingsworth Street. Performances are also scheduled for May 23 -24 from 7 to 9 pm at Zoomtopia with a free performance on Friday morning, May 23, from 10 to 11:30 am. To order tickets for the poetry reading, the residency or evening performances, visit the event website.

IDNO sets May 15th for “Beyond the Ramp 2014” Interfaith Conference

The Interfaith Disabilities Network of Oregon is pleased to announce its next major conference, “Beyond the Ramp 2014: Treat Me as a Member, Not a Mission,” to be held on Thursday, May 15, 2014, at Concordia University, 2811 NE Holman Street. This will be the second Interfaith Conference for Clergy, People with Disabilities, Educators, Families of People with Disabilities, Lay Leaders, Professional Service Providers, and others interested in providing a welcoming and fully inclusive religious environment for people with disabilities.

The keynote speaker is William Gaventa, MDiv., and is speaking on "From Mission to Member to Mission: Everyone’s Got a Call." There will also be eight workshops throughout the day, including, among others:

  • Dorothy Coughlin, Archdiocese of Portland: A Toolkit for Religious Educational Inclusion, and Building Faith Communities of Support and Hope for People with Mental Illness and Their Families
  • Emerging Leaders Northwest, Panel Discussion: Developing Independence, Self-determination and Spirituality during Adolescent Transition
  • Sang Lee, MDiv, Well Able: Least Restrictive (Spiritual) Environment
  • Mona Fuerstenau, Bethesda Lutheran Communities: Transition to Living Outside the Family Home
  • Angela Weaver: Self-discovery and Connecting to Spirit
  • Roberta Dunn and Noelle Sisk, FACT Oregon: Successful Participation in Your Faith Community

In addition, local agencies and organizations will be on hand to provide information and resources to the community. Further information, including registration, is on the event website.

Jewish Family & Child Service celebrates “Our Caring Community”

The “Celebrating Our Caring Community” luncheon is the Jewish Family and Child Service (JFCS) major annual fundraiser to benefit clients of JFCS. The luncheon is Thursday, May 15, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. at the Oregon Convention Center.

The keynote speaker Howard "H" White, Vice President of the Jordan Brand at Nike. The luncheon's website offers further information about the event and how to register.

Founded in 1947, JFCS delivers essential human services to alleviate suffering, sustain healthy relationships and support people in times of need. All proceeds from this event will directly support JFCS, its programs and clients.

Families and caregivers are welcome at “Wellness in All Families” event

Wellness in All Families is a free day of programming for families and caregivers of children with special needs. There will be presentations and a resource fair on Friday, May 16, from 10:30 am to 4 pm in the Amphitheater at Providence Cancer Center, 4805 NE Glisan.

Speaker Greg Schell, M.Ed., founder and director of the Washington State Fathers Network, will be participating in the event. He has spent a career helping families embrace the extraordinary teachings their children with special needs offer.

From 10:30 am to noon will be “Challenged Parents - Even More Challenged Relationships: Dads & Moms of Children with Special Needs,” led by Dr. Schell. That will be followed by a Fathers Only Session from 1 to 2:30 pm where the group of fathers will discuss their unique issues in parenting a child with special needs. The Family Wellness Resource Fair will be all afternoon from noon to 4 pm with resources and service providers available. Register at the Providence Services website.

Deaf-Blind Action Meeting set for May 17 to network, share information

Oregonians with combined vision and hearing loss are invited to a Deaf-Blind Action Meeting on May 17 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm to meet together and find out what is happening to improve Deaf-Blind services in Oregon. Participants can discuss what they can do to improve services in Room CT 211 at Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus, 12000 SW 49th Avenue.

Persons who are deaf-blind, deaf or hard of hearing with low vision, and blind and hard of hearing or deaf are invited to attend. Questions may be directed to Heather Schoenwald by emailing She can also address any accommodation or communication needs.

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 (PCOD) at the Office of Equity and Human Right’s website:

The Commission also has developed its own website, which is found at There are links for meeting calendars, the Commission’s Facebook page, commissioner profiles and other information. PCOD’s Facebook page recently provided news about recent Senate hearings about police violence against people with disabilities, mother designs a shopping cart for daughter with special needs, home care workers to receive minimum wage/overtime, and New York City to require half of its taxi fleet be accessible within six years.

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 call 503-823-4432 by phone or email

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 created and distributed by the City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights and its Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Disability Program.