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Disability NEWS – November 2, 2016

Banner/Logo for the Disability Program NEWS

November 2, 2016

 In this issue…

  • ONI offering Legislative Advocacy 101 session in December
  • Easy Voting Guide now available for people with disabilities
  • Blind Ambition PDX Dragon Boat Racing Team dinner and auction is November 14
  • Multnomah County and City leaders announce new winter shelter to be available
  • Dis/Representation Series to discuss Disability Culture and Justice on November 16
  • HLAA-Portland chapter meeting is November 21st in NW Portland
  • FACT-Oregon conducting survey for future planning and advocacy
  • Portland Commission on Disability November meeting to be November 18th
  • Text to 911 is available in Portland and Surrounding Counties
  • Multnomah County offering free counseling about upcoming Medicare coverage changes
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

ONI offering Legislative Advocacy 101 session on December 1st

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) is offering a Legislative Advocacy 101 session on Thursday, December 1, from 6 to 8:45 pm at Tabor Space, 5441 SE Belmont Street. The event will provide community members with tips on how to be an effective advocate for their community or neighborhood. There will be a legislative advocacy panel until 7:35 pm that will be followed by a legislative agenda community forum.

A panel of elected officials 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 will consist of: 

  • Karmen Fore, Transportation and Sustainable Communities & Transportation Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Brown 
  • State Representative Lew Frederick from House District 43 
  • Andrea Miller, Executive Director of Causa and Fair Shot Coalition member 
  • State Representative Carla Piluso from House District 50 

Attendees will learn:

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

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz will hold the legislative community forum where participants may provide their input for the City’s state legislative agenda. This interactive engagement with the commissioner is an opportunity to:

  • Hear an overview and explanation of the City’s draft legislative priorities 
  • Discuss the issues your community is facing and what issues would you like to 
  • see advanced by the legislature.

*Participate in a group exercise to identify community and neighborhood priorities.
ASL Interpretation will be provided at this event. The City of Portland will make reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities and people needing assistance with language interpretation and translation. Please notify ONI by Tuesday, November 22, concerning accommodation.
For more information, download the event flyer or contact Marco Mejia by phone at 503-823-3093 or emailing The ONI online calendar of events and the event’s page also offer information about this event.

 Easy Voting Guide now available for people with disabilities

Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) has made its Easy Voting Guide available online that people with disabilities may access for information about statewide candidates and ballot measures. It may be downloaded on DRO’s website or by requesting copies at 888-339-VOTE (8683).

The Easy Voting Guide is published by DRO and is designed to be accessible to people with disabilities. The guide does not contain any endorsements.

Candidates for all included offices were invited to submit their statements and priorities. Those who responded did not have their replies edited or changed. The candidates’ photos and lists are in random alphabetical order as provided by the Oregon Secretary of State.

DRO summarized costs and arguments for and against ballot measures. The estimates of financial impact, arguments in favor, and arguments in opposition were provided by the State of Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet.

Blind Ambition PDX Dragon Boat Racing Team dinner and auction is November 14

The Old Spaghetti Factory will be the site for the return of the Blindfold Dinner on November 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is both a dinner and auction for the Blind Ambition PDX Dragon Boat Racing Team and will be an evening of food, friendship and the opportunity to promote the abilities of the blind and persons with vision loss in a competitive environment through paddle sports.

Event organizers have spent several months gathering items for the auction which include donations from the Double Fifth, Curious Comedy Theatre, Bob’s Red Mill, Century 16 Theatre, La Hacienda Real, Olive Garden, Black Bear Diner, Buffalo Wild Wings, Rock Bottom Brewery, and Broadway Rose Theatre. Organizers have a growing collection of auction items for event attendees.

Originally formed in 2002 as part of the Oregon Commission For The Blind, Blind Ambition has participated in regattas throughout the country, making friends and mentoring others along the way. This team of blind and low-vision paddlers is made up of men and women from a variety of backgrounds. The one thing they have in common is their vision and love for paddling.

More information about the Blind Ambition and the dinner event is available on their Facebook page.

Multnomah County and City leaders announce new winter shelter to be available

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafrouy announced on October 28 that the county and the City of Portland reached an agreement with Project Development to use the Bushong & Company Building for six months as a temporary shelter for people experiencing homelessness.

The arrangement was made possible after developer Thomas Cody stepped forward, saying that he had realized that while people were sleeping outside, there were thousands of square feet of unused – but usable space. Cody said the Bushong is being renovated for the temporary shelter before being completed as office and retail space.

Operating costs will be covered by A Home For Everyone while the shelter will be operated by Transition Projects, said executive director George Devendorf. A Home For Everyone is a community-wide effort to house people experiencing homelessness through sound investments in housing, income, health, and emergency services.

The shelter is part of a three-pronged strategy to reduce homelessness by keeping people from losing their existing housing, moving people back into permanent housing, and providing emergency shelter to keep people safe while they search for permanent housing. Organizers plan to meet with neighboring businesses next week for further conversations around housing about 100 adults on a reservation-system.

Dis/Representation Series to discuss “Diversity versus Equity” on November 16

“Diversity versus Equity” is the scheduled topic for the November 16th Dis/Representation Series session. The session is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and will be at the Portland Community College Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth Street, in Cascade Hall Room 209. Dis/Representation is a collaborative offering presented by the Disability Arts and Culture Project (DACP), Portland Community College (PCC), and Portland State University.

The event is open to students, staff, and faculty, as well as community members at large. The discussion will look at what is not working about corporate trainings and will be facilitated by LeileaHaile. As the co-director for Sankofa Collective NW, Haile’s activism is far-reaching, from organizing with Black Lives Matter PDX to collaborating with ENLACE on prison divestment, to running several youth programs for the LGBTQIA community. They strive to build connections for the liberation of Queer folks of Color in Portland and globally.

The Dis/Representation program is a specific response to a need communicated by DACP members and as an answer to broader issues of ableism and community. A listening session and online survey were conducted to seek feedback from the community about DACP projects. Both Disabled and non-disabled people showed strong interest in an introduction to disability justice and in a reading group on Disability Studies, in particular. The first year was supported by a grant from Oregon Humanities and DACP’s partners.

Dis/Representation is offered as a space for individuals to come together and engage in conversation around disability. The hope is to encourage an active examination of the way disability is approached in society as well as the way disability is experienced in people’s lives.

Online participation will be available for this discussion. More information coming soon about how to participate online, so make sure to check our website or Facebook group page regularly. For accommodations, transit and parking info, online participation, discussion materials and more, visit, or contact us at provide accommodation requests one week in advance to ensure enough time for scheduling.

Please note that when attending PCC events, please refrain from parking on neighborhood streets. A permit is required for parking on PCC lots.

HLAA-Portland chapter meeting is November 21st in NW Portland

The Hearing Loss Association of America Portland Chapter (HLAA-Portland) is conducting its monthly meeting on November 21 at 6:30 p.m. and will feature local candidates competing in the November general election. The meeting will be in the second floor conference room of Good Samaritan Building 2, 1040 NW Marshall.

Besides reports and general discussion about hearing loss, there will be a demonstration by Glenn Johnson, CapTel representative and new HLAA-Portland board member. He'll show phones that caption incoming calls, also demonstrating them in actual use, making and captioning calls. (This November presentation is being offered instead of the originally-scheduled Dogs for the Deaf). More information about CapTel and its services is available on the organization’s website.

Oregon residents may be eligible to receive a CapTel phone free of charge through the Oregon Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP), which provides equipment to qualified individuals who have difficulty hearing over the phone. 

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. The Portland chapter is dedicated to providing a supportive atmosphere for persons with hearing loss to meet other hard of hearing people and learn about issues related to hearing loss. The chapter meetings are real-time captioned and are equipped with a loop system (usable by wearers of hearing devices equipped with telecoils).

FACT-Oregon conducting survey for future planning and advocacy

FACT-Oregon wants to hear from its families, friends and community partners by inviting them to participate in a survey about their interactions with FACT’s activities, information and support. The goal is to share this information with Oregon legislators and policymakers to inform them why FACT’s work is important to the community.

Families and friends are requested to participate in the family survey here and select “FACT” as the family network if they are residents in Lincoln, Tillamook, Clatsop, Columbia, Washington, Multnomah, or Clackamas Counties.

The Community Partner Survey is for partners who work in any of the aforementioned counties and have interacted with FACT. As in the family and friends survey, please be sure to select “FACT” in the network selection question.

Portland Commission on Disability November meeting to be November 18th

In observance of Veterans Day on November 11, the Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) will meet on Friday, November 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Bridge & Steel Rooms at the Office of Equity & Human Rights in the Commonwealth Building, 421 S.W. Sixth Avenue, Suite 500. Further information about PCOD may be found on the Office of Equity & Human Rights website [].

Text to 911 is 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.

Multnomah County offering free counseling about upcoming Medicare coverage changes

The Multnomah County Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program will provide one-on-one counseling to help citizens understand the upcoming changes in Medicare health and drug insurance coverage, to identify important issues and to compare their current coverage with the Medicare plans available for 2017. The “Plan Annual Notice of Change” packet contains specific information about changes in coverage, costs or participating providers that will be effective in January. 

The annual Medicare open enrollment period, during which a Medicare-eligible user can switch plans, begins October 15 and extends through December 7 of this year. 

Some costly changes may be hidden in this year’s document. For example, the drug deductible for 2017 that must be paid before prescription coverage begins has increased for many plans. Some health plans have higher premiums or out-of-pocket costs. Other plans have increased the amount that participants pay for doctor visits, ambulance services, or other benefits. 

Medicare enrollment assistance will be available at several Multnomah County libraries beginning in October. Participants must register in advance for the one-on-one counseling sessions. These sessions will provide individual one hour appointments with a trained, impartial SHIBA counselor to compare plans. Call 503-988-3646 to schedule an appointment. Please do not call the library. The following is a list of the enrollment events with times, locations and dates:

  • Tuesday, November, 8 at Hollywood Library, 4040 NE Tillamook Street
  • Monday, November, 14 at St.Johns Library, 7510 N. Charleston Street
  • Friday, November 18, at Hollywood Library, 4040 NE Tillamook Street
  • Monday, November 21, at Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Avenue
  • Monday, November 28, at Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Avenue
  • Monday, December 5, at Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Avenue

Medicare participants can find more information about Medicare plans at and in the “Medicare and You 2017” handbook mailed to households. For more information on all events, contact Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services Helpline at 503-988-3646.

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 available for downloading in an e-publication format for reading on a tablet, smart phone, digital reader or computer.