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Disability NEWS – February 15, 2017

Banner graphic for Disability Program NEWS

February 1, 2017

In this issue…

  • REAL D Community Meeting to gather feedback on data about health and economic justice
  • Contact Elders in Action for information about Portland Arts Tax exemptions
  • HLAA-Portland’s February meeting to feature navigating the medical system w/hearing loss
  • NWDSA now registering attendees for its All Born (In) Conference on March 18th
  • DRO seeking stories of inadequate in-home services
  • FACT’s Spring Dream Builders Alliance assists parents to plan for their child’s future
  • Oregon Deaf-Blind Services Task Force’s winter event is February 25
  • METRO wants input concerning disabilities in developing two new Portland area parks
  • Incight’s Meet Business event features Lowe’s Home Improvement on February 28
  • National Federation of the Blind of Oregon offering up to five scholarships for 2017
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

REAL D Community Meeting to gather feedback on data about health and economic justice

The Oregon Health Authority Office of Equity and Inclusion with REAL: Reject Economic Ableist Limits are collaborating to host a community meeting on Friday, February 17, from 3 to 5 p.m. in downtown Portland. Help is needed from persons with disabilities to plan the implementation of the Oregon House Bill 2134, for the collection of race, ethnicity, language and disability (REAL D) demographic data. The meeting will be in the Lincoln Building’s Transformation Training Room on the fifth floor at 421 S.W. Oak Street.

The Oregon Health Authority and REAL want to learn about data collection and analysis needs related to social and health indicators for disability and intersecting communities. Some may ask about REAL and health and economics? Economic justice does impact people’s health. When we talk about health in these meetings, we are also considering the social determinants of health such as employment, insurance, income, poverty, transportation, etc. 

Feedback is needed to prioritize the type of data implemented with the REAL D standards so that information from the Oregon Health Authority can be used to promote the health of people in the disability and intersecting communities. 

Please RSVP on the EventBrite webpage if you are going to attend. ASL interpretation and CART will be provided. Anyone who would like to participate remotely, may contact For other inquiries, contact OHA’s Marjorie McGee at

Contact Elders in Action for information about Portland Arts Tax exemptions

Portland residents who are 70 years of age or older, or have a permanent disability may be eligible for an Arts Tax exemption, if they meet specific income requirements.

Elders in Action can explain the rules for the exemption and even help in filling out the required paperwork. Contact Elders in Action at 503-235-5474 for more information.

The Arts Tax for 2016 is due by April 18, 2017. More information about the Portland Art Tax is also available on the City’s Revenue Division website.

Elders in Action is a nonprofit organization that advocates for older adults, provides meaningful volunteer opportunities and works to build an age-friendly community. They provide services in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties in the Portland metro area.

HLAA-Portland's February meeting to feature navigating the medical system with hearing loss

The Portland Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA-Portland) will hold its February 2017 meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 20, at Good Samaritan Hospital. The meeting is in Wistar Morris Conference Room in the Main Hospital Building (please note building and room change) at Good Samaritan Hospital, 1015 NW 22nd Ave at Marshall Street.

The meeting's feature topic will be a roundtable discussion of "Navigating Your Way Through the Medical System with Hearing Loss." The chapter's vice president, Pat Krishnamurthy, will moderate a discussion and provide copies of the hospital kit available online from the HLAA Washington State Association.

HLAA-Portland meets on the third Monday of the month, September through May. 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).

 NWDSA now registering attendees for its All Born (In) Conference on March 18th

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) is registering attendees for its 12th annual All Born (In) Cross-Disability Best Practices Inclusion Conference on Saturday, February 28, at the Holiday Inn Portland Airport. The conference is from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and offers an exciting day for parents, caregivers, and professionals working to end segregation in neighborhood schools and the community.

Come to celebrate and learn how Universal Design for Learning and Best Practices can be used to reach and teach every child. Share, learn and make connections so that participants can all go forth to open the eyes of the wider community to the fact that their children are all born “in”.

There will be over 30 presentations for ages from birth through adulthood available to attendees. The conference also features four sessions, keynote speakers, musical entertainment, an art sale and much more. 

More information about the cross-disability conference is available on the event website. NWDSA is accepting registrations online. For more information, contact Angela Frome by emailing or calling 503-238-0522. Limited scholarships may be available.

 Disability Rights Oregon is seeking stories of inadequate in-home services

Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) wants to learn more about how in-home services are determined for children and adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. To further their work in promoting and defending the rights of individuals with disabilities, DRO is looking for people’s experiences with having home services provided.

Persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities or someone who has a family member with an intellectual or developmental disabilities is asked to provide their experience. To participate in DRO’s work, contact the organization at 503-243-2081 or 800-452-1694. Information may also be provided by using DRO’’s online intake form.

Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) is a non-profit law office that provides advocacy and legal services to people with disabilities who have an issue related to their disability and that falls within DRO’s goals and priorities. Each year DRO sets its goals and priorities, with help from the disability community, to guide the work being done and to further its mission and vision.

FACT’s Spring Dream Builders Alliance assists parents to plan for their child’s future

FACT Oregon is providing parents of a child with a disability a collaborative program to provide empowerment, eduation, community, and transition opportunities for the child’s transition into adulthood. The Spring 2017 Dream Builders Alliance is a free collaborative program provided by Community Vision and FACT Oregon to serve youth aged 16 to 21 and their families. 

Each young adult is matched 1-on-1 with a mentor, focusing on community inclusion, empowerment, and goal exploration. The mentor commitment includes meeting once a week for six months. The youth can build valuable skills and relationships with mentors.

Parents and family members are enrolled in education sessions that cover available resources/services and when/how to access them. Limited spaces are available. 

More information is available by contacting Rachel Eaton, program coordinator, at by email or calling 503-292-4964, extension 125. Registration may also be done online.

Oregon Deaf-Blind Services Task Force’s winter event is February 25

The Oregon Deaf-Blind Services Task Force is presenting its 2017 Deaf-Blind Winter Event at the Oregon Commission for the Blind on Saturday, February 25, from noon to 3:30 p.m. The Commission’s office is at 535 S.E. 12th Avenue in Portland. 

There will a social time to meet and share with Deaf-Blind peers with light refreshments to be provided. Dr. Denise Hacket, assistant professor at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, will discuss the report to the state goverment about the service needs of Deaf-Blind, Deaf and hard of hearing persons. Discussion is planned to focus on where do we Deaf-Blind go from here?

An RSVP is requested by February 11 to determine who will attend and what accommodation needs are necessary, i.e. visual or tactile ASL, FM, sighted guide, etc. 

To register or obtain more information, contact: Mitch Turbin at 503-618-0207 (voice only), 503-679-9303 (text only) or use 711 (relay) Other contacts are Terry Blosser at 1-503-405-4620 (VP) and Heather Schoenwald by email at

METRO wants input concerning disabilities in developing two new Portland area parks

Community input is needed by Metro for the development of two new Portland metro-area parks. FACT Oregon reports the agency is seeking input from families with loved ones who experience disability.

To participate in the survey that will help gauge how Oregon families are currently using parks and how Metro can improve their park experience in the future, go to the survey at SurveyMonkey.

Email Karen Houston, FACT Oregon program coordinator, with questions and/or with a nature story that you want to share. She may also be reached by phoning 503-786-6082.

Incight’s Meet Business event features Lowe’s Home Improvement on February 28

Incight is offering job seekers with disabilities an opportunity to learn about career opportunities at its “Meet Business: Lowe’s Home Improvement” event on Tuesday, February 28, in Tigard. Lowe's is inviting job seekers with disabilities to come and learn more about career opportunities in the Portland Metro Area. 

Lowe’s is currently hiring for several positions and looking for candidates with an interest in retail/customer service, stocking, warehouse, or delivery work and, of course, they love meeting candidates who enjoy home improvement projects. Any job seeker who feels they would be good in one of these types of positions, is invited to attend the event.

After meeting at 10 a.m., Lowe’s will share a tour of the business and conduct a round-table discussion where job seekers can:

  • Learn more about career opportunities with Lowe's
  • Find out what hiring managers are looking for
  • Get tips on how to create a strong application
  • Have questions answered by an HR Manager

This free event is open to job seekers and their employment support staff, but space is limited so sign up today. To sign up or ask any questions, please contact Kali at 971-244-0305 or email her at Also contact her to request accommodation. Registration is also available on the Eventbrite website.

 National Federation of the Blind of Oregon offering up to five scholarships for 2017

Up to five scholarships will be awarded by the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon (NFB-Oregon) this year to qualified applicants. At its fall state convention, the NFB-Oregon awards the scholarships to recognize achievement by blind scholars.

There may be two scholarships awarded in the amount of $2,000; two in the amount of $3,000; and one in the amount of $5,000. The Len Hannon Scholarship (named for a former leader in the Oregon State Legislature and friend of the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon) may be awarded to an individual who has been a winner in the past and continues to make a difference in the lives of blind people. The Len Hannon Scholarship, if awarded, may be for any of the monetary denominations deemed appropriate by the Scholarship Committee.

In addition to a scholarship, each winner will be brought to the NFB of Oregon State Convention at NFB of Oregon expense. This will provide an excellent opportunity for high level networking with active blind persons in many different professions and occupations.

Information about the NFB of Oregon College Scholarship Program, applicant qualifications and the application process are available on the scholarship program webpage. The NFB of Oregon 2017 Scholarship application deadline is June 30, 2017.

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.