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Disability NEWS - May 20, 2015

Disability NEWS banner

May 20, 2015

  • City’s for-hire-transportation survey needs community input on TNCs
  • Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings
  • DRO announces sanctions against state for slow response for information
  • May TriMet board meeting is last for public comments on fare increase
  • Two free sessions for understanding MS relapses will be June 3 and 8
  • OLTC offering June 10 webinar about becoming a volunteer
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for news, event postings

City’s for-hire transportation survey needs community input on TNCs

Persons with disabilities are requested to participate in an online survey about Portland’s private for-hire transportation service requests made to taxicab companies, Uber and Lyft. Recent changes to city code have now included new vendors (known as Transportation Network Operators or TNC) in transportation services regulated by the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). The bureau needs feedback during the 120-day pilot program recently approved by City Council.

Each time a person with a disability requests services from the taxi companies, Uber or Lyft, PBOT requests they take the short survey. The data gathered will be used by the Private For-Hire Innovation Task Force and PBOT to write rules and regulations ensuring that all private for hire transport is accessible and responsive. The survey is being conducted on Survey Monkey to provide anonymity and is found at the survey company’s website.

This survey is not for medical transport through Medicaid or paratransit through TriMet. The survey should be taken anytime a person requests transport through a cab or a TNC company like Uber or Lyft, which are regulated by the city. Anyone who has questions about the survey or needs help to fill it out may contact Nickole Cheron, Disability Program Manager, at 503-823-9970.

Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings

PCoD Employment Subcommittee
Friday, May 26, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Executive Board Meeting (Exec) 
Thursday, June 4, 5 to 7 p.m. 
Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights 
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500  

Public Safety Committee (PSC) 
Friday, June 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights 
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500   

PCoD Accessibility in the Built Environment Subcommittee (ABE) 
Monday, June 8, 10 am to Noon 
1900 Building, 1900 SW Fourth Ave, Room 4A  

Portland Commission on Disability Meeting 
Friday, June 12, 10 am – 1:00 p.m. 
Bridge & Steele Rooms, Office of Equity & Human Rights  
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500 

PCoD Promoting Awareness and Livability Subcommittee (PAL) 
Friday, June 19, 3 to 5 p.m. 

Broadway Room, 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.
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.

DRO announces sanctions against state for slow response for info

Disability Rights of Oregon (DRO) announced that U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice M. Stewart has sanctioned Oregon officials for failing to produce the volume of email that DRO requested three years ago. The request was made in a lawsuit for Oregonians with disabilities who accused the state of failing to provide better work opportunities. The U.S. Department of Justice also joined the case in 2013.

Because a state information technology technician failed to use proper search terms while retrieving numerous emails by state officials and human services officials, many records were not turned over to the attorneys for the accusers. Stewart has ordered the state to release the documents before June 19. The state is also ordered to pay fees and costs of lawyers representing the accusers if they have to take new depositions or reopen older ones because of the state’s poorly handled response during the exchange of discovery.

The advocates for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities filed the class lawsuit in U.S. District Court on January 25, 2012, challenging Oregon’s failure to provide supported employment services to more than 2,300 state residents who have been segregated in sheltered workshops, performing mundane tasks. The lawsuit charges state officials with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act by confining individuals with disabilities to segregated settings where they have little – if any – interaction with non-disabled peers. Moreover, they are paid far below the state’s minimum wage of $8.80 for doing rote tasks that offer no training, no skills, and no advancement.

May TriMet board meeting is last for public comments on fare increase

The last opportunity to offer public comments on a proposed TriMet fare increase for Honored Citizens will be at the May 27 TriMet Board of Directors meeting. The board is meeting to consider an increase in the cost of Honored Citizen tickets from $1 to $1.25 and monthly passes from $26 to $28.

The May board meeting is on the second floor of the Portland Building in the Auditorium, 1150 SW 5th Avenue at 9 am. For further information, visit the TriMet webpage on the proposed fare increase.

Two free sessions for understanding MS relapses will be June 3 and 8

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Portland is offering two free educational sessions in June for adults looking to learn more about multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses. Know Your Options will be held in Salem on June 3 and in Corvallis on June 8 where an MS healthcare professional will provide information to participants.

The two events will address:

  • Common MS relapse symptoms and their potential impact
  • MS and MS relapses—what you need to know now for later
  • Understanding treatment options for MS relapses in adults

Adults and a guest are invited to attend the June 3 session at The Grand Hotel, 201 Liberty Street SE in Salem with check-in at 5:30 pm and the session beginning at 6 pm. The June 8th Corvallis session is at Del Alma Restaurant, 136 SW Washington Avenue, with check-in at 5:15 pm.

Space is limited. Please call 1-877-219-0410 or visit to register. All MS relapse therapy decisions should be made under the guidance of your healthcare professional.

OLTC offering June webinar about becoming an ombudsman volunteer

The Oregon Long Term Care Ombudsman office is offering a virtual open house for people to learn more about the Ombudsman program and how to become a volunteer. People may participate in the webinar from their computer or via phone. The webinar is June 10 from 11 am to noon.

This is an opportunity to learn what it is like to be an ombudsman and meet some of the office’s staff and volunteers. There will be plenty of time for questions, too. If anyone cannot participate in the June webinar, they may check back on the website for the next date, always the second Wednesday of the month at 11 am. Register for the webinar at the OLTC’s registration website.

Certified Ombudsman Volunteers are needed to advocate for residents in long-term care facilities by the Oregon Long Term Care Ombudsman (OLTC). For people who like to problem solve and work with others, this program may be a great fit for them. It’s a great opportunity for someone who needs an ADA accessible location to volunteer. Training and monthly support group meetings for volunteers provided. See the OLTC website at for more information.

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 at the Office of Neighborhood Involvement. The Portland Commission on Disability also collaborates and supports its publication.

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