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Disability NEWS - March 2, 2016

Banner for Disability NEWS with graphics


March 2, 2016


  • Lawsuit filed against ODOT for failing to provide accessible curb cuts
  • Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings
  • FACT offers two Family Network events in March for families and professionals
  • Registration is currently open for NWDSA’s Bike First! Camp in June
  • 2016 Oregon Active Transportation Summit is March 14-16 in Portland
  • ONI’s Disability NEWS seeks input on e-publication format for accessibility
  • Meetings set for input on Portland Building Reconstruction 1 percent for the Community
  • Jan Campbell to receive an Oregon Woman of Achievement Award on March 9
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

Lawsuit filed against ODOT for failing to provide accessible curb cuts

Attorneys with Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) and Legal Aid Services of Oregon filed a lawsuit in late February that alleges that Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has failed to install and improve curb cuts on key state highways for more than 20 years. The case was filed on behalf of eight men and women who use wheelchairs. The plaintiffs come from cities including Roseburg, Bend, Lincoln City, Clatskanie and Portland. The Association of Oregon Centers for Independent Living is also a plaintiff.

Currently, people using wheelchairs are forced to navigate their chairs in traffic on busy highways because of lack of adequate curb ramps.  Blind people can only guess where and when it is safe to cross the street. The suit describes how missing and poorly maintained ramps and curb cuts have at times left people literally stuck in traffic.

Despite the Americans with Disabilities Act being in effect since 1990, more than 75 percent of the needed curb ramps on Oregon state roads are missing or in poor condition.

The suit also alleges Oregon has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by repaving streets without fixing or updating curb cuts and crosswalks. The intent of the lawsuit is to have ODOT speed up the repair and installation of curb cuts. The state claims that it has budgeted $18 million to address the curb cuts violations as money to be spent in three years between 2019 and 2021 as part of the next Statewide Transportation program.

To learn more and follow the progress of this lawsuit and other work being conducted by DRO, visit the organization’s website.

March Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Meetings

Portland Commission on Disability Full Commission Meeting
Friday, March 11 • 11 am to 1 pm
Bridge & Steel Rooms, Office of Equity & Human Rights
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 500

PCOD Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday, March 3 • 5 to 7 pm
Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights
Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

Accessibility in the Built Environment Subcommittee
Second Monday of the month, 10:00 a.m. to noon
Monday, March 7 • 10:00 a.m. to noon
1900 Building, 1900 SW Fourth Ave, Room 4A

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.

FACT offers two Family Network events in March

The FACT Family Network is providing two evening events during March in Portland for families with children receiving special education services. There is an IEP Tools Workshop on March 10 followed by a When Support Means hiring People series training being held on March 14.

IEP Tools Workshop is a hands-on workshop where FACT will share tips and tools for successful Individual Education Program (IEP) meetings. The FACT IEP workbook will be used with talk about an overview of the IEP, tips on sharing a child’s strengths and preparing a written parent input statement. The workshop is from 5 to 7:30 pm at the Meyers Boys and Girls Club, 7119 SE Milwaukie Avenue. Please register at the IEP Tools Workshop website. An informational flyer is available on this website.

Deciding When to Hire a Personal Support Worker (PSW) will provide information on deciding when to hire a PSW, who can be a PSW, resources to find a provider, being an employer, and a parent/provider panel that will provide real life examples of support in the home. The training is part of the When Support Means Hiring People series. It is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Multnomah Education Service District, 11611 NE Ainsworth Circle in Portland. Download the informational flyer for more details and register on the training’s 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. More information about FACT may be found on its website.

Registration is currently open for NWDSA’s Bike First! Camp in June

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) has announced that registration is now open for participants in the Bike First! Camp being held June 20 through 24. Bike First! promotes inclusion by teaching individuals with disabilities the skills needed to ride typical bicycles.

Bike Week at Concordia College in Portland is a magical experience for everyone. Children blossom and beam with pride over their new found skill, volunteers cheer and parents tear up to see their child take flight, alone, for the first time. Bike First! is open to children eight years and up; meaning there is no cap on the end age.

People who experience a variety of disabilities have had success at the clinics — some of these conditions include Down syndrome, mild to moderate autism, mild cerebral palsy, visual impairments, extreme fear of falling, fine motor skills, and other developmental delays.

More information on this year’s Bike First! Camp is available on NWDSA’s event website. The Bike First! website provides further information on the program including a link to register for the June 2016 Camp.

2016 Oregon Active Transportation Summit is March 14-16 in Portland

The 2016 Oregon Active Transportation Summit is two days of mobile workshops, plenaries, professional training and networking with innovators, leaders and professionals from the Pacific Northwest. The summit will be March 14- through 15 at the Sentinel Hotel, 614 SW 11th Avenue in Portland.

Sessions will be provided on:

  • Vision Zero, Safe Routes to School, and Age friendly Communities;
  • Innovations & Best Practices in Planning, Design, & Engineering;
  • New Developments in Performance Measures, Data, and Bike and Pedestrian Counting;
  • Nexus Between Active Transportation, Economic Development, Housing, and Tourism;
  • Community Engagement, Equity, Health, and Social Justice;
  • Marketing Travel Options and Active Transportation Messaging

Information about the summit and registration is available on the Healthy Street’s event website.

AICP and ASLA credits are available. Please see full agenda for approved sessions.

ONI’s Disability NEWS seeks input on e-publication format for accessibility

The Disability NEWS is providing an e-publication (e-pub) format as an alternative means to access the twice-monthly newsletter. Participants are being sought for input on the e-pub format to help best provide an edition that is accessible on computers and mobile computing devices, such as tablets and cell phones.

Given the ease of use and increasing number of people now with mobile computing devices, the new e-pub format provides enhanced accessibility. Using e-pubs, users are able to enlarge and change the font, change the background color and even have the document read to them on the device.

The HTML format and portable document format (PDF) can be problematic for some readers, so one goal of the NEWS has been exploring alternative methods of publishing that may provide improved access. This is especially important for the blind and persons with vision loss. Nearly all mobile devices offer the ability for users to open e-pubs and set its parameters for their use and access to information. 

Anyone who wishes to read the current issue of the Disability NEWS as an e-publication may download it by clicking this link to download the e-pub to their digital device. Please email any comments regarding problems, suggestions or other information to

Meetings set for input on Portland Building Reconstruction 1 percent for the Community

The public is invited to attend a meeting to provide input on how the City of Portland could spend one percent of hard construction dollars for the Portland Building Reconstruction project for community opportunities and enhancements. Two meetings are planned with one during the day on Monday, March 14 and the second meeting scheduled for the evening of March 16.

On October 21, 2015, City Council passed Resolution 37160 to allocate one percent of the hard construction costs, from the Portland Building Reconstruction, for community opportunities and enhancements. The City desires to use the funds to provide opportunities for people of color, women, economically disadvantaged individuals and communities, and local contractors and organizations through capacity building, technical assistance, workforce training and apprenticeship opportunities. 

The March 14 meeting is from 10:30 am to noon and the March 16 meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Both meetings are in Room C on the second floor of the Portland Building at 1120 SW 5th Avenue. The two meetings will be facilitated and begin with a short discussion, followed by an opportunity to brainstorm ideas and give input to City staff. The Office of Management and Finance has been directed by City Council to create a proposal, developed with stakeholder input. This proposal is anticipated to be brought before City Council in May 2016.

RSVP by March 9th to Mary Kapelczak at Participants are welcome to attend one or both of the meetings, please specify which meeting(s) you will attend. Both meetings will have the same format. Light refreshments will be served. For more information about the meetings or the one percent proposal, please contact Jamie Waltz at or 503-823-5253.

Jan Campbel| to receive one of four Women of Achievement Awards on March 9

The Oregon Commission has announced that Jan Campbell is one of four recipients of the 2015 Women of Achievement Awards. The awards will be presented in the Governor’s Ceremonial Room at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem on March 9 at 3 pm.

Campbell is being recognized for over 40 years of work at local, state and regional levels to expand opportunities for the elderly and people with disabilities. Jan has worked on several projects with OHSU by training persons with disabilities on improving their clinical care and co-facilitating a series of cognitive behavioral therapy groups for women with physical disabilities suffering depression. She has served on numerous governmental commissions and committees, including the Portland Commission on Disability, TriMet’s Committee on Accessible Transportation and others. Jan is recognized not only for her commitment to diversity and equity but also as a role model for women and persons with disabilities. 

Since 1985, the Oregon Commission for Women has presented the Woman of Achievement Award to women in Oregon for leadership and success in their area of expertise, promoting the status of women in society, reflecting a commitment to equity and diversity, and serving as exemplary role models. This state commission advocates for women in the community, provides information on women to the governor and state legislature, serves as a link for women to state agencies, and provides services to individual women in Oregon. More information is available on the commission’s website.

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 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 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.