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Disability NEWS – December 16, 2015

Banner for the Disability Program NEWS

December 16, 2015

  • Turn on the Captioning ordinance takes effect this Friday
  • December Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings
  • NW ADA Center’s Oregon Collaboration program to fund ADA-related activities
  • Multnomah County Disability Services Advisory Council Seeks New Members
  • HLAA-Portland December 21 Meeting is a Holiday Potluck & Gift Exchange 
  • MULTCO’s Aging and Disability Services provides guide for Medicaid transport info
  • PCC offering scholarship opportunity for students with spinal cord injuries
  • See Local Live Theater this season with captioning at three venues
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings


Portland’s Turn on the Captioning ordinance takes effect Friday, December 18

On Friday, December 18, a City of Portland ordinance goes into effect that requires all televisions in public places to have the captioning turned on during business hours. The ordinance was approved by City Council in November because of a grassroots effort led by concerned Portlanders known as Portland: Turn On The Captions Now!

The group had approached the city about having captioning turned on to help:

  • People who are not able to hear,
  • Everyone understand important information in noisy areas,
  • Enjoy television even if the sound is off or on mute,
  • Comprehension for people using English as a second language, and
  • Boost children’s reading skills while watching television.

The ordinance had been introduced in July by Commissioner Amanda Fritz after she met with the group. David Viers, Jim House, Steven Brown and Carol Studemund were the activists who approached the commissioner after efforts in asking establishments to turn on captions were met with resistance. The ordinance will address the issue by requiring businesses to keep captions on at all times. Businesses who fail to do so will risk paying a $500 fine.

Commissioner Fritz has thanked the activists and the community organizations who supported the ordinance: the Oregon Association of the Deaf, the Portland Chapter of the Hearing Association of America (HLAA), HLAA’s Oregon State Association and the Oregon Communications Access Project. 

Portland: Turn On The Captions Now! will continue its work with outreach to the public, government and businesses to have captioning provided. The members are planning to have an active website that will provide an explanation of the law, how businesses can comply, how captioning viewers may approach business, caption news/resources and contact information. Once the website is live, Disability NEWS will provide an update with a link.

December Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings

PCOD Promoting Awareness and Livability Subcommittee
Friday, December 18, 3 to 5 pm
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.

NW ADA Center’s Oregon Collaboration program to fund ADA-related activities

The Northwest ADA Center wants to partner with Oregon community members, disability-related service providers, employers and businesses to increase knowledge and understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The goal in this partnership is a greater implementation of the ADA. To accomplish this goal, the NW ADA Center has set aside funds to support technical assistance, training, professional development, and other ADA-related activities throughout Oregon. 

An organization can seek funding to support for: 

  • Training event for businesses, employers, stakeholders, etc., to improve ADA knowledge and accessibility. 
  • ADA technical assistance/consultation on a city/community project. 
  • Professional development opportunity for disability-related service providers to attend a conference or symposium that will increase knowledge and skills in addressing ADA issues. 
  • Stand-alone event to attract and support Oregon ADA activities/outreach efforts. 
  • The funding support is intended to augment the activity/event.The activity/event must have a significant ADA focus with information/materials disseminated to attendees/participants.

Requests for further details and proposals may be submitted by calling 800-949-4232 or emailing, Andrea Olson at or Michael Richardson at

The NW ADA Center is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and is part of the ADA National Network []. More information is available on the Center’s website.

Multnomah County Disability Services Advisory Council Seeks New Members

The Disability Services Advisory Council (DSAC) for Multnomah County Aging, Disability, and Veteran Services Division (ADVSD) is currently seeking new members. The DSAC meets on the fourth Monday of each month in the Lincoln Building, 421 SW Oak Street from 12:30 to 2:30pm.

The purpose of the Disability Services Advisory Council is to:

  • Advise Disability Services Offices on basic policy guidelines for those individuals inquiring about, applying for, or receiving services and to review and evaluate the effectiveness of the services provided by ADVSD and the Department of Human Services;
  • Advocate for issues that are pertinent to the life and welfare of people with disabilities in Multnomah County;
  • Educate the general public of the issues and concerns facing all people with disabilities living and working in Multnomah County;
  • Address other related topics. 

Interested parties should contact staff member Rebecca Miller, or 503-988-3769 for further information. 

HLAA-Portland December 21st Meeting is a Holiday Potluck & Gift Exchange

The Portland Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) will have its annual holiday potluck and gift exchange at its December 21 meeting. The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Wilcox Building, Room ACR 102 at Legacy Good Samaritan Main Hospital, NW 22nd Avenue and Marshall Street.

HLAA-Portland is a support group for people affected by hearing loss and newcomers are always welcome. There will not be a speaker this month since it is the annual holiday meeting to have fun and enjoy the company of other chapter members and guests. Participants are asked to bring a dish to serve at least six people. Plates, utensils, napkins and beverages will be provided. A wrapped gift worth less than $10, preferably less, is also requested. Further information is available by emailing the chapter at

Also, unlike other chapter member meetings, there will not be a sound system (induction loop and microphones) or a real-time captioning provider, since it's an informal get-together.

For a detailed look on the meeting location and available parking, please see the Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital Campus Map. The hospital information desk is in Bldg #1 on the map (Good Samaritan Main Hospital). The Wilcox Building is #7. Parking for meeting attendees is free in Legacy Good Samaritan parking structures, but a validation slip must be used upon exiting at the end of the evening. The chapter will provide validation slips at the meeting.

MULTCO’s Aging and Disability Services provides guide for Medicaid transport info

The Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services Division developed a guide with the local transportation brokerages and Community Care Organizations, to help consumers understand the Medicaid non-emergency medical ride program. 

The Tri-County guide covers services in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties. It lists the service providers and includes information about the organizations, when to call for scheduling a ride, the level of services, types of vehicles, days/times rides are available, and more facts of interest for users. The guide is currently featured on the City’s Disability Program website and on the County's Department of Human Services Transportation webpage.

PCC announces a new scholarship opportunity for students with spinal cord injuries

Portland Community College is proudly offering a new scholarship opportunity for students with spinal cord injuries. This is a great opportunity that offers financial assistance to students in the Portland area who are interested in pursuing their academic goals in a supportive college environment.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be enrolled as a PCC degree seeking student in Fall 2016 taking at least 6 credits per term
  • Experience a spinal cord injury that impacts daily living and academic engagement
  • Have a GPA of at least 2.5  
  • Have demonstrated financial need

Interested individuals should complete the brief form at the scholarship application website. Those who meet eligibility requirements will be invited to apply for the scholarship, which will provide for all tuition, books, and fees. Those who don’t meet eligibility requirements for this scholarship may be eligible to participate in other opportunities. Referrals will be offered where appropriate. Best consideration will be given to those who reply by March 1, 2016.

Please note that individuals who are selected for this scholarship will also have the opportunity to meet with representatives from Disability Rights Oregon for individual consultation regarding questions about SSI or SSDI benefits.

Questions should be directed to Kaela Parks, Director of Disability Services, Phone 971-722-4868 or email at

See Local Live Theater this season with captioning at three venues

Anne McLaughlin, president of the HLAA-Portland Chapter, reports that three local venues are offering open-captioned performances of productions on stage. Portland Center Stage, Artists’ Repertory Theatre and Broadway in Portland received funding assistance to provide captioning from the Theatre Development Fund (TDF).

She advises that people wishing to buy tickets for a captioned performance, should be sure to tell the box office that they want to attend the captioned performance. They should include that they need to be seated where the captions are easily visible and readable.

Portland Center Stage has a list of the 2015-16 open-captioned performances on its website. The theatre company performs at the Gerding Theater at NW 11th Avenue and Davis Street.

Artists' Repertory Theatre (ART) at SW Morrison Street and 16th Avenue is captioning each of its eight plays this season. ART provides captions at the 7:30 performance on the third Sunday of each play's run. See ART’s website for information on their season's plays and dates.

Touring Broadway shows are scheduled by Broadway in Portland and are performed in the Keller Auditorium at SW 2nd Avenue and Clay Street. Upcoming shows include The Book of Mormon, The Wizard of Oz, Newsies, Annie and Motown the Musical. The evening show on the final Sunday of each run is usually captioned. For dates, see Broadway’s website. To buy tickets, email or call 503-248-4335.

McLaughlin hopes others will spread the word about live theater captioning that is now available in Portland for the deaf and people with hearing loss.

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.