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Disability NEWS – September 7, 2016

Banner - Logo for the Disability NEWS

September 7, 2016

In this issue…

  • Text to 911 is now available in Portland and Surrounding Counties
  • Making a Difference Awards nominations are open for 2016 Spirit of Portland event
  • Hearing Loss Community Needs Survey Closes September 15th
  • HLAA-Portland chapter meeting being held on September 19th in NW Portland
  • Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company has openings for dancers
  • 18th Annual Portland Metro & SW Washington Buddy Walk is September 15th
  • City of Portland hosting event for jobseekers with disabilities on October 12
  • Portland Commission on Disability meetings posted on PCOD website
  • FACT Oregon conducting a community building workshop on October 4 in Portland
  • OHSU’s IDD 2016 Harvest Hustle Festival and Races are set for October 22
  • 8th Annual Night for Networking is October 26th in South Waterfront
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

Text to 911 is now available in Portland and Surrounding Counties

A new way to communicate with 911 by texting is now available in Portland and other local communities. The Text to 911 system is for those who are deaf, have hearing loss, or find themselves in a situation in which speaking on the phone would put them in danger. The system is online in Portland and in Clackamas, Clark, Columbia, Marion, Multnomah, Washington counties.

A user’s wireless carrier sends the text messages to a “Text Control Center” which then forwards them to local 911 centers. The 911 centers receive the information via an internet-based application. If, for some reason, the internet is down, the user will receive a message telling them that text-to-911 is currently not available in their area.

To use text-to-911 in an emergency, simply open up the text messaging screen, enter
“911” (with no dashes or spaces) in the “TO” field, type the message, and hit “SEND”. Do NOT send the message to multiple people in a group text, because this will stop the message from reaching the 911 dispatcher. It’s very important that always include a location to provide to 911 dispatch. 

Further information about the new Text to 911 system that is available at website.

Making a Difference Award nominations are open for 2016 Spirit of Portland event

The Making a Difference Award is made to an individual or an organization who goes above and beyond the norm to make Portland more inclusive for persons with disabilities in the city. The award is in the Outstanding Individual or Organization of the Year category in the City Council’s 2016 Spirit of Portland Awards. Recipients will be honored at a ceremony to be held November 17 from 6 to 8 pm.

Anyone wishing to honor an individual or group needs to complete the nomination form and submit it with a one to two page narrative describing how the nominee exemplifies the category by Monday, September 26. The forms may be submitted to the Office of Neighborhood Involvement in City Hall or by emailing a digital copy to The documents may also be faxed to 503-823-2909.

For further information, visit the 2016 Spirit of Portland website where there are links to the nomination forms in several languages. Questions may be directed to Marco Mejia at 503-823-3093 or

Hearing Loss Community Needs Survey Closes September 15th

The Community Needs Assessment survey is still available until September 15. The Regional Resource Center on Deafness wants to hear from the community. It has been awarded a grant from the Department of Human Services to collect information from Oregonians who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind, or anyone who has any level of hearing loss. 

The center will report the survey results to the Oregon Legislature, identifying barriers and gaps in public services for Oregonians who have a hearing loss. The results will affect future Oregon legislation and programs for people with hearing loss. People with hearing loss are asked to fill out this survey to add their input for the legislature to consider. The deadline is Friday, September 15.

The survey is available in three different languages: English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. To find the survey, click here, or copy and paste this link: The second link will take participants to the Regional Resource Center on Deafness’ webpage where they can choose the language survey version that works best for them. 

Please note: The ASL version can be used only on a desktop or laptop with a strong internet connection due to high number of video clips. Please wait a few minutes for the videos to download before starting the ASL survey. Due to compatibility issue with videos, the ASL version is not viewable on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc. The English and Spanish version of the survey can be viewed on mobile devices. Anyone clicking the ASL version on a mobile device, will see English text and blank space for the videos but will not be able to see the videos.

HLAA-Portland chapter meeting being held on September 19th in NW Portland

The Hearing Loss Association of America Portland Chapter (HLAA-Portland) is conducting its regular monthly meeting on September 19 at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be in the second floor conference room of Good Samaritan Building 2, 1040 NW Marshall.

At its last meeting, on May 16th, the chapter held its annual election of HLAA-Portland Chapter board members. These are the people who plan the monthly meetings and arrange for speakers. There are three new at-large members: Tad Boxell, Judy Cirillo and Jocelyn Cox, bringing the board to a total of seven. The board will operate as a steering committee, sharing responsibility for planning the meeting programs and for leading the meetings. Anne McLaughlin is stepping down from her role as the meeting leader.

HLAA-Portland meets on the third Monday of the month, September through May. Anyone affected by hearing loss is welcome. More information about the organization is available on its website.

Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company has openings for dancers

The Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company (IAVDC) invites dancers ages 12 to 22 to join its dance company now for the 2016 - 2017 year. Inclusive Arts Vibe provides integrated dance classes and is inclusive of youth with and without disabilities. Dancers of all experience levels are welcome and the deadline to sign up is September 30.

Dancers have the opportunity to learn structured improvisation through DanceAbility Methodology, how to choreograph movement including creating their own solos or small ensembles, and expand their movement vocabulary through learning contemporary dance. IAVDC emphasizes individual expression of movement and building an equitable community through dance. 

Participating in Inclusive Arts Vibe is a way for young dancers to develop artistic expressions, positive identities, leadership skills, and experience a working model of social justice in the arts. 

For more information or to join the next rehearsal, contact the organization at or 503-358-9085. 

The Disability Art and Culture Project conducts the Inclusive Arts Vibe with a mission of fostering disability pride through the arts. More information is available on the organization’s website with videos available on Vimeo [].

18th Annual Portland Metro & SW Washington Buddy Walk is September 24

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) is hosting the 18th Annual Portland and SW Washington Buddy Walk® on Saturday, September 24, from 10 am to 1:30 pm, to promote acceptance and inclusion of all people with Down syndrome. The walk brings together many participants from the greater Portland metro area – family members, friends, professionals, community leaders and individuals with Down syndrome.

The Buddy Walk begins in the Rose Quarter Commons’ Main Amphitheater and Center Court. Join other participants for live music and family entertainment, games, bounce houses, auctions, raffles, tasty food and snacks. Hear from amazing self-advocates and connect with empowered families from across the Portland Metro region and beyond. 

Sign up at the 2016 Portland Metro/Southwest Washington Buddy Walk website. Those who can’t be there may register as a virtual walker or make a donation in honor of the people in their life who experience Down syndrome.

NWDSA creates and nurtures a loving and inclusive community celebrating every person with a disability, including Down syndrome. It empowers and supports families and self-advocates, increases education, promotes public understanding and acceptance, increases competence of parents and professionals, works toward full inclusion, and defends the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. Anyone who would like to learn more about NWDSA’s mission and opportunities to get involved, is encouraged to visit NWDSA’s website at

City of Portland hosting event for jobseekers with disabilities on October 12th

An informational and networking event introducing job seekers with disabilities to City of Portland career opportunities will be Wednesday, October 1, on the Portland Building’s second floor from 9 am to 1:30 pm. The City, in partnership with Incight and Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS), is providing panel discussions, workshops and presentations from over 20 of its bureaus.

Participants may network one on one with recruiting representatives, learn how to find jobs which suit their interests and how to be successful in the application process. The opening welcome and panel discussions will be from 9 to 11:30 am with booths open for networking with City bureau staff from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Job Application and Networking Tips (How to Network) workshops will be held from 11:35 am to 1:30 pm.

To register for the event, please go to the event’s website. Accommodation requests may be made by email Kali Giaritta at her email address or calling 971-244-0305.

Portland Commission on Disability meetings posted on PCOD website

The latest information for upcoming 2016 Portland Commission on Disability meetings is available on the Office of Equity and Human Rights website.

FACT Oregon conducting a community building workshop on October 4 in Portland

Families experiencing a disability may find out what it means to build community for their child at FACT Oregon’s “Community Building: Creating a Whole Life in Community” event on Tuesday October 4. The free training event is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the East Portland Precinct Bureau, 737 SE 106th Avenue. There is a $25 fee for professionals or others who require a certificate of attendance.

The event will discuss what a “whole life” in community looks like for a child – a life with friends, belonging, and active community participation. In the presentation, the group will explore key concepts and tools for building community, such as:

  • Circle of Friends
  • Community Mapping
  • Plan My Week

Registration is necessary to attend and participate in the event. Visit the FACT’s event registration website to sign up.

FACT Oregon’s mission is to empower Oregon families experiencing disability in their pursuit of a whole life by expanding awareness, growing community, and equipping families. More information is available on the FACT Oregon website.

OHSU’s IDD 2016 Harvest Hustle Festival and Races are set for October 22

The Institute on Development and Disability (IDD) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) invites the community to participate in the 2016 Harvest Hustle Festival 5K, 1K, and Kids' Dash on Sunday, October 22, in downtown Portland. Besides the races, there is the Harvest Hustle Festival with delicious food, live music, crafts and giveaways.

The route this year is new and completely completely accessible, located on public transportation lines, with the races ging across the Tilikum Crossing Bridge. All the work is in close conjunction with Child Development & Rehabilitation Center’s clinical operations. The Harvest Hustle is the annual fundraiser for IDD and all proceeds will support:

  • Camp Odakoda, a camp for adolescents with autism
  • Camp More: An overnight summer camp for teens who stutter 
  • Go Baby Go: Providing mobility devices (modified electric cars) for kids with mobility concerns
  • Hearing Aid Lending Library: Providing hearing aids as loaner items for families who need to test out new devices

Families throughout the region turn to the IDD for care, compassion, and resources for infants, children, and adults with developmental disabilities or special health needs. In addition to clinical service, the IDD actively participates in research, public health/community outreach, and education/training to continuously improve knowledge and practice while working with patients and families in the hospital, in outpatient clinics, or in the patient’s home.

Last year there were nearly 800 participants with event organizers hoping for a bigger turnout this year. It will be a great time for competitive athletes, families, advocates, and those who wish to participate in a community event that will have a lasting impact on thousands of adolescents with disabilities.

To learn more, visit the event website at or contact Melissa Mullineaux at or 503-494-6337.

8th Annual Night for Networking is October 26th in South Waterfront

The annual OHSU “Night for Networking” (N4N) is scheduled for October 26 from 6 to 9 pm in the Collaborative Life Sciences Building at 2730 SW Moody Avenue in Portland’s South Waterfront. Night for Networking is a comfortable yet focused event that brings job-seekers with disabilities together with employers for an evening of networking. This successful event provides a forum for talented job-seekers with disabilities to meet and network with employers who are dedicated to workplace diversity.

Participants include job-seekers, recruiters, sponsors, volunteers, community affiliates, job-coaches, interpreters and other supporters. Attendance at last year's event included over 400 attendees and 40 sponsors.

Additional Night for Networking information, including registration, is available on the event’s website. An event and sponsorship flyer is also available for downloading there, as well as sponsorship 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 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 is for downloading in an e-publication format.