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Disability NEWS – April 19, 2017

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April 19, 2017

In this issue…

  • Disability Rights Oregon files lawsuit about state cuts in home care for persons with disabilities
  • 3rd Annual Breaking Barriers Conference’s theme is “Life Beyond Barriers”
  • PBOT’s Adaptive Bicycle Workgroup sets Open House for April 25th
  • MULTCO’s Disability Services Advisory Council seeking new members
  • Two Portland employment events being held by Incight for job seekers w/disabilities
  • DACP Announces May Performances of the Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company
  • FACT Oregon offering several May training events in Portland Metro area
  • May 11th Career Expo offers chance to meet employers, talk about skills at PSU
  • National Federation of the Blind of Oregon offering up to five scholarships for 2017
  • NWDSA’s Bike First! week provides bicycle training for individuals with disabilities
  • Association of People Supporting Employment First national conference to be held in Portland
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings 

Disability Rights Oregon files lawsuit about state cuts in home care for persons with disabilities

On April 10th, a group of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) claiming that the state agency arbitrarily cut the number of in-home care hours that they rely on to meet their basic medical and social needs. Last September, without explanation, DHS implemented across-the-board reductions to in-home care services, eliminating hundreds of hours of critical supports.

People with disabilities who have substantial needs can receive in-home care assistance from personal services workers for a wide array of activities of daily living, including help with eating, food preparation, toileting, communication, behavioral assistance, medication administration, and bathing. Nearly 8,000 adults and more than 3,000 children in Oregon accessed in-home care services between 2015 and 2017. The services are primarily funded by federal Medicaid dollars through Oregon’s Office of Developmental Disabilities, a division of DHS, and its contractors. 

In representing the plaintiffs, Disability Rights Oregon argued the benefit cuts conflict with a fundamental principle of the Americans with Disabilities Act: People with disabilities who can live in and mix with the community should not be unnecessarily isolated.

Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) has served as Oregon’s Protection & Advocacy System for 40 years, upholding the legal rights of people with disabilities. A statewide non-profit organization based in Portland, DRO’s mission is to promote and defend the rights of individuals with disabilities, including the rights of people with disabilities in jails and prisons. The organization envisions a society in which persons with disabilities have equality of opportunity, full participation and the ability to exercise meaningful choice. More information about the lawsuit and DRO's services are available on the organization's website.

3rd Annual Breaking Barriers Conference’s theme is “Life Beyond Barriers” 

On Tuesday, April 25th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., people with disabilities, families, teachers, and service providers from throughout Oregon will gather at Central Oregon’s Deschutes County Expo Center to participate in the third annual Breaking Barriers Conference. The conference, guided by a vision for an inclusive community where barriers don’t exist and labels such as disability have no meaning, will be held in the Deschutes County Expo Center’s Sisters Conference Center on 3800 SW Airport Way in Redmond, Oregon. It’s theme is “Life Beyond Labels.”

The conference is open to the public and scholarships are available for individuals with disabilities and their family members. Registration is required. For more information and to register, visit:

This year’s keynote speakers are: Sue Swenson, who most recently served the Obama administration as acting assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. She is the president-elect of Inclusion International, the United Nations-recognized disabled people’s organization for children with disabilities, their parents, and adults with intellectual disabilities. Cristina Sanz, who broke ground in high school when she was the first student with a disability to make the school’s drill team, will be the other keynote speaker. As an adult, she works at a school and volunteers in a senior center. Sanz who is recently engaged, is also living her dream of becoming an actor as a cast member in the A&E show Born This Way.

The Breaking Barriers conference is made possible through a collaborative effort of: Autism Society of Oregon; Central Oregon Disability Support Network; Deschutes County; FACT Oregon; Full Access High Desert ; High Desert Education Service District; High Desert Self Advocates; Opportunity Foundation; Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities; Oregon Department of Education; Oregon Department of Human Services – Employment First Initiative; Redmond School District; United Cerebral Palsy; and Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

PBOT’s Adaptive Bicycle Workgroup sets Open House for April 25th

A pilot project by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is underway to increase access to bicycling, especially for persons with disabilities. PBOT has created an Adaptive Bicycle Workgroup that is holding an open house on Tuesday, April 25, from 4:30 to 7 pm on the second floor of the Portland Building, 1120 S.W. Fifth Avenue. The workgroup is to advise PBOT on the pilot project’s development.

PBOT has received two requests for physical accommodation with its BIKETOWN bike share system. PBOT staff have interviewed bike share systems in other cities, City program staff, companies and organizations serving people with disabilities, and most importantly Portlanders with disabilities.

In summer 2016, PBOT attended the Adaptive Bicycle Clinic, Wheel Connect (an event sponsored by Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection), and Incight's Summer HandCycling Series. Staff interviewed a number of people with disabilities about an adaptive bicycling rental service.

At this time, the intent is to focus on adaptive cycle rentals through existing bike rental businesses located on or in close proximity to non-motorized trails. PBOT is considering providing both hand bicycles and three wheeled bicycles. The project is planned to open launch in June 2017. 

More information about the city’s Adaptive Bicycle Rental Pilot Project, go to its website. There are links to take a survey, learn more about upcoming meetings, the workgroup, the open house, and how to contact PBOT with questions or comments.

MULTCO’s Disability Services Advisory Council seeking new members

The Disability Services Advisory Council (DSAC) for Multnomah County Aging, Disability, and Veteran Services Division (ADVSD) is currently seeking ten new members. DSAC meets on the 4th Monday of each month in the Lincoln Building, 421 SW Oak Street from 12:30-2:30pm. 

Interested parties should visit or contact staff member Rebecca Miller, or (503) 988-3769. 

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
  • To advocate for issues that are pertinent to the life and welfare of people with disabilities in Multnomah County
  • To educate the general public of the issues and concerns facing all people with disabilities living and working in Multnomah County

Two Portland employment events being held by Incight for job seekers w/disabilities

To help job seekers with disabilities, Incight is hosting two job events in the Portland area in April. Jobseekers with disabilities may participate in a Meet Business - Package Handler Hiring event on April 26 and the “Networking + Creating Your Elevator Pitch” event on April 27.

  • "Meet Business - Package Handler Positions” will be Wednesday, April 26, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the FedEx Shipping Center in Troutdale. FedEx is seeking Package Handlers for their Portland location and will be opening their doors to job seekers with disabilities. The event will include a quick breakdown of the job and the company, a short video/presentation, a physical tour of the facility, and an opportunity to apply at the FedEx HR facility. Click the web link to learn more about what the job entails and see if it could be a good fit. Space is limited, so sign up today.
  • “Networking and Creating Your Elevator Pitch” is Thursday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This workshop is good preparation for the May 11th Career Expo. This training is to enhance participants networking skills and polish up their elevator pitch. Participants will learn how to build their network, and leave with tools to draft their own elevator pitch to use at the Career Expo and other networking events.This training is open to Job Seekers with Disabilities, Employment Specialists, Counselors, Teachers, Transition Students, and anyone supporting a job seeker with a disability. The event website will offer further information about the workshop and how to register. 

DACP Announces May Performances of the Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company

The Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company (IAVDC) invites everyone to their 5th annual performances, “Chickens and Cheese Pizza,” that will run from May 5th through 7th. The performances will take place at New Expressive Works, 810 SE Belmont Street.

IAVDC is a unique cross disability and integrated youth/young adult dance company. The performances will delve into a myriad of emotions of raw truths, sassiness, hope and humor expressing the full human experience in the Company’s innovative choreography.

Chickens and Cheese Pizza will feature an intriguing new repertoire that consists of:

  • “Moving Abstract” featuring musicians from Divergent Opera.
  • “Chicken Delight”.
  • “Generosity” choreographed by Arrow Bless.
  • “Wings” Choreographed by Rachel Esteve.
  • “Listless Frost” a trio about lost love.

Company dancers include Daric Anderson, Eleanor Baily, Arrow Bless, Ryan Blumhardt, Rachel Esteve, Peter Heiken, Addie Nelson, Monique Peloquin and Scott Selby. The artistic director is Cathy Coleman.

Performances are accessible and include ASL interpretation, audio description (please check specific dates), and wheelchair access.

More information about these performances is available on the Disability Arts and Culture Project’s website

FACT-Oregon offering several May training events in Portland Metro area

FACT is providing training opportunities for individuals and families experiencing disability in May. Training topics being offered are “Person-centered Planning and the One-page Profile” on May 3rd and “Planning for Your Child’s Future” on May 6. The following is a list with dates, times, locations, and registration information:

  • Person-centered Planning and the One-page Profile, Wednesday, May 3, at the Gresham Library from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Learn more and register at this link.
  • Planning for Your Child’s Future” will be Saturday, May 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Philip Neri Church in southeast Portland. More information and registration is available at this link.

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. Further information about webinars and FACT Oregon is available on the organization’s website

May 11th Career Expo offers chance to meet employers, talk about skills at PSU

Job seekers of all levels, employment specialists, transition students & teachers are invited to Incight’s Career Expo on Thursday, May 11. This free event is in the Smith Memorial Union at Portland State University, 1825 S.W. Broadway.

The Career Fair is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will provide an opportunity to network with employers from a wide range of industries. Attendees may also meet with local resources.

Attendees may have their resume reviewed by real employers during the fair. When arriving at the expo, sign up for a time slot and bring an up-to-date resume that can be marked on. There is also a Student Central workshop for transition students and teachers.

To find out more, go to the EventBrite website for information, how to request accommodation and how to register. Incight, a non-pro­fit 501(c)(3), was founded in 2004 to unlock the potential of people with disabilities by providing programs and resources in education, employment, and independence. For more information visit

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.

NWDSA’s Bike First! week provides bicycle training for individuals with disabilities

Bike First! is a Northwest Down Syndrome Association week-long project that promotes inclusion by teaching individuals with disabilities the skills necessary to ride typical bicycles. This year, Bike First! will be from June 19-23 and is open to children eight years and up. Registration is now open.

People who experience a variety of disabilities have had success at Bike Week. 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.

If a child can already ride but needs a boost in skills or confidence, the Quick Start / Refresher Course might be just what they need to cruise all summer long. 

To see a video of a news broadcast featuring Bike First! and to read more about Bike Week 2017, visit its section on the NWDSA website.

Association of People Supporting Employment First national conference to be held in Portland

The Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) is holding its 2017 APSE National Conference in Portland from June 19th through the 20th at the Marriott Downtown Waterfront. The National APSE Conference is the only national conference focused solely on the advancement of Employment First.

The Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) National Conference brings together more than 1,000 community leaders, businesses, and individuals with disabilities from across the country and around the world to network and discuss state-of-the-art strategies to ensure equitable employment for all citizens with disabilities.

The keynote speaker is Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser who currently chairs the Senate Human Services Committee. In 2010, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Council on Disability. Her appointment confirmed by a unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate.

There are educational and networking opportunities, dozens of exhibitors, national awards, two onsite CESP exam opportunities, and pre-conference sessions that are followed by two and one-half days of more than 100 high-quality, interactive breakout sessions by national experts.

For further information about the conference, please visit the 2017 APSE National Conference website.

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.