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Disability NEWS – November 18, 2015

Banner for Portland's Disability NEWS

November 18, 2015

  •  HLAA-Portland and Suzanne Stahl accept Making A Difference Awards
  • Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings
  • City presents OPB documentary on emergency preparedness November 30
  • Multnomah County offering program for caregivers and families this month
  • City’s Disability Events Calendar features community events, meetings, presentations
  • When Support Means Hiring People workshop is December 1st
  • BIAOR invites community to two holiday events: Pizza Party and Holiday Fundraiser
  • Get Ready for the 2016 Oregon State Legislature at ONI’s Legislative Workshop
  • ASSIST offers Social Security disability benefits advocate workshop December 14
  • Social Security Administration asks for help in shaping policy
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings 

HLAA-Portland and Suzanne Stahl accept Making A Difference Awards

At Tuesday evening’s 2015 Spirit of Portland awards, the Portland Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA-Portland) and Suzanne Stahl were recipients of the Making A Difference awards. Stahl was noted as an individual and HLAA-Portland was the organization recipient.

Stahl is a tireless and passionate advocate for people with disabilities. She currently serves as a member of the Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD). She has also served on the City’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Private for Hire Transportation Innovation Task Force, representing concerns and issues for the disability community. She chairs PCOD’s Accessibility in the Built Environment Committee which works to improve accessibility for housing, buildings, transportation and other physical access issues.

HLAA-Portland meets monthly to provide assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families in learning how to adjust to living with hearing loss. Their work is to eradicate the stigma associated with the disability and raise public awareness for its treatment and accessibility needs. They are supporters of the “Portland: Turn on the Captions” ordinance that will benefit not only persons with hearing loss, but the general community. It will be before City Council for approval in the morning on Wednesday, November 18.

The Disability NEWS was in attendance at the awards and took photographs of the Making A Difference award recipients. The photos are posted on the City’s Disability Program Facebook page

Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings

Promoting Awareness and Livability Subcommittee (PAL)
Friday, November 20, 3 to 5pm
Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD)
Friday, December 11, 11 am to 1 pm
Bridge and Steele 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.
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. 

City presents OPB documentary on emergency preparedness November 30

The City of Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) and the Water Bureau (PWB) are presenting a showing of the Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) documentary “Unprepared” on Monday, November 30. The one-hour Oregon Field Guide documentary focuses on Oregon’s earthquake preparedness will be shown from noon to 1:30 pm in the Portland Building Auditorium, 1120 SW Fifth Avenue.

Oregon Field Guide spent a year-and-a-half probing into the state of Oregon’s preparedness, and found that when it comes to bridges, schools, hospitals, building codes and energy infrastructure, Oregon lags far behind many quake-prone regions of the country. The full documentary is a continuation of the ongoing OPB News series “Unprepared.”

Learning how to be prepared for an emergency is critical and the City’s Disability Program has information, including videos, on its website. The program’s video training and booklet provide tips on staying informed, creating a support group, assembling a kit, and having a plan.

Links to a printable version of the workbooks and the various accessible versions of the training can be found on the program's website. For a DVD of the training or a hard copy of the workbooks, email

Multnomah County offering program for caregivers and families this month

The Multnomah County Family Caregiver Support Program is sponsoring a program aimed at improving caregivers’ quality of life. The class is free and open to the public.

Participants in the “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” program will learn how to reduce stress, improve self-confidence, better communicate their feelings, and locate helpful resources. The program is beneficial whether taking care of a parent, spouse or friend.

This program is at the Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 NE 40th Avenue,. Classes are from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., every Tuesday from now through Nov. 24. To register, call 503-288-8303. Space is limited so participants are encouraged to register early.

For more information about all of these programs, please contact Loriann McNeill, Multnomah County Family Caregiver Support Program Coordinator, at 503-988-8210. 

Wonder what may be happening in Portland? Check out the Disability Events Calendar

The City’s Disability Events calendar offers listings for events, talks, workshops, presentations and other gatherings of interest to the Portland disability community. It is located on the Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s website in its Events webpages.

Individuals and organizations provide the information to the Disability NEWS which is then posted to the calendar. The calendar may be viewed in several views: calendar, month outline and week outline. There are also links to add the calendar to an RSS feed, one’s computer calendar and to download it as a spreadsheet for personal use.

Information for the calendar made be submitted by emailing Please include the date, time, location, event title and other information of interest for the posting. Should an event be cancelled or changed, the posting will be updated as soon as a follow up email is sent.

These postings also appear in the Daily Update, an email sent to subscribers of the City of Portland’s website who indicate they wish to receive announcements for meetings and events. 

When Support Means Hiring People workshop is December 1st

Family and Community Together (FACT) Oregon is conducting a workshop entitled “When Support Means Hiring People” on Tuesday, December 1, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Providence Cancer Center, 819 NE 47th Avenue. The workshop is the third in its series of Understanding and Navigating Developmental Disability Services.

In this training, participants will:

  • Understand when and why they might want to hire a personal support worker (PSW)
  • Learn who can be a PSW
  • Gain tips on finding a provider
  • Learn about the role and responsibilities of being an employer.

Refreshments will be provided. To register, call 503-786-6082 or 1-888-988-3228, or email with questions or assistance with registration. Further details are available at the event website.

FACT is a family leadership organization based in Oregon for individuals and their families experiencing disability, working collaboratively to facilitate positive change in policies, systems, and attitudes, through family support, advocacy, and partnerships. Visit the FACT website ( to learn more. 

BIAOR invites community to two holiday events: Pizza Party and Holiday Fundraiser

The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon (BIAOR) is extending an invitation to a Holiday Party on Friday, December 11, and its Annual Holiday Fundraiser, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” play on Saturday, December 19.

The Third Annual Pizza Party is at John’s Incredible Pizza, 9180 SE Hall Boulevard in Beaverton, from 6 to 8 pm. The party will celebrate the holiday season for individuals with brain injury, their family and friends, and the professionals who work with them. Raffles, Holiday Sticks and silent auctions are featured with 20 free game tokens provided to each attendee. The unlimited all-you-can eat buffet features pizza, pasta, soup, desserts and refreshments at a cost of $15 person.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever play will be from 2 to 6 pm at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S State Street in Lake Oswego. The play starts at 2 pm and will be followed by hors d’oeuvres, music and auctions, both silent and oral. This play portrays a Christmas pageant to remember. The price is $50 person.

The mission of the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon is to create a better future through brain injury prevention, advocacy, education, research, and support. To find out more about BIAOR or to sign up for the holiday events, visit online at or call 800-544-5243. 

Get Ready for the 2016 State Legislature at ONI’s Legislative Workshop

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) is offering Legislative Advocacy 101 on Wednesday, December 2, from 6 to 8 pm in the Portland Building’s Auditorium, 1120 SE 5th Avenue. The event will provide community members with tips on how to be an effective advocate for their community or neighborhood during this upcoming 2016 state legislative session and 115th Congress.

A panel of elected officials, congressional staff, and community advocates will share their advice and answer questions about how the community can make an impact on public policy at the state and federal levels. The panel consists of State Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward; Commissioner Amanda Fritz; U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley; Kayse Jama, the Center for Intercultural Organizing’s executive director; and moderator Martha Pellegrino, the City’s Office of Government Relations director.

Attendees will learn:

  • How to work effectively with legislators and their staff
  • Strategies for mobilizing your membership base or coalitions to maximize advocacy impact
  • Lobbying do’s and don’ts

For more information, visit the event’s website or contact Arolia McSwain by phone at 503-823-3093 or emailing

ASSIST offers Social Security disability benefits advocate workshop December 14

To help people applying for social security benefits, Assertive SSI Service Team (ASSIST) is conducting an advocate workshop on Monday, December 14, from 9 am to 4 pm. The workshop location will be at the Beaverton Round Executive Suites, 12725 SW Millikan Way in Beaverton. The course fee is $150 and registration is required by December 7.

Successfully obtaining disability benefits can be complex and difficult. After participating in the workshop, participants will be ready to advocate for their disabled clients immediately. The workshop will help make sense of the process and avoid common mistakes. Topics covered in the workshop are designed to provide a solid foundation and the capacity to start assisting others through the process. Participants will receive a certificate of participation after completing this one-day, comprehensive course.

Registration may be done at the event website or mailing a check to ASSIST-DBTC, 4412 SW Barbur Boulevard, Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97239. For further information or to direct questions, call 503-888-2690. 

Social Security Administration asks for help in shaping policy

Social Security needs your help. The Social Security Administration is asking for responses to an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on how the vocational rules, first published in 1978, should be modernized. These are the rules disability decision makers use to decide whether an adult with a severe disabling condition can do any job in the national economy.

The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition of disability. The agency pays benefits to eligible people who cannot work because of a disabling mental or physical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death. This medical condition must prevent the person from doing not only their previous work, but any other substantial work.

On Friday, November 20 in Washington DC, Social Security will host a National Disability Forum. The meeting will focus on the realities of employment for individuals with severe disabling conditions, especially for those who are older, have low skills, or low education levels. The purpose is to gather insight on circumstances such as age, education and work experience, helping us understand the effect these may have on an individual’s ability to work and to adjust to other work. The National Disability Forum looks to consider how these vocational factors can and should inform its evaluation of an applicant’s ability to work consistent with the Social Security Act’s definition of disability.

For further information about this forum, please visit the Social Security Matters website . For more information about the National Disability Forum series, please visit

Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more 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 Portland Commission on Disability also collaborates with and supports the publication.

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