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Disability NEWS – May 3, 2017

Graphic of Disability NEWS banner

May 3, 2017


In this issue…

  • Disability Leadership Academy participants pass halfway point of the program
  • May 11th Career Expo offers chance to meet employers, talk about skills at PSU
  • Bond-funded construction for accessibility is ramping up at the Rose Garden
  • DACP Announces May Performances of the Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company
  • Portfolio for Inclusion Workshop presented by NWDSA on May 13th
  • HLAA-Portland meeting to have board election and hear about cochlear implants
  • Women with disabilities asked to participate in focus group about birth control
  • 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
  • MULTCO’s Disability Services Advisory Council seeking new members
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

Disability Leadership Academy participants pass halfway point of the program

Disability rights and justice movements, disability identity, and conflict resolution have been some of the topics that 14 people with disabilities have been engaged in, during the City’s 2017 Disability Leadership Academy. The Academy opened February 18 with the group beginning the first of 10 sessions that conclude with graduation on June 17th. 

The Disability Leadership Academy is providing interactive training and practical experience for people with disabilities who want to affect public policy and create social change within communities. Read more about the progress being made by the participants by going to the feature article on the Academy 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. It is hosted by Incight and Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation.

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

Bond-funded construction for accessibility is ramping up at the Rose Garden

Funded by the 2014 Parks Improvement Bond, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) had a ground-breaking ceremony on February 24th to commence the project designed on removing ADA accessibility barriers. The work began soon after in early March and is moving along with construction personnel, equipment and vehicles working in the Washington Park International Rose Test Garden. The majority of the Garden will continue to be open to visitors, but access will be very limited for at least the next two months.

PP&R is urging visitors to use caution as Garden paths are being shared with construction crews. For visitors’ safety, PP&R is asking people to not intrude into any areas closed off. Access may change often as the work moves around the site and there will be noise and construction debris.

The work will include excavating the existing pathway and stairs, removing the pathway and sub-grade materials, regrading the pathway to improve slopes and drainage, pouring concrete pavement, and installing new fixtures such as handrails. Construction vehicles will use the same hauling routes used by other Washington Park construction vehicles (SW Tichner Drive and SW Sacajawea). Due to the Water Bureau construction, the main access to the Rose Garden from downtown Portland is via West Burnside to SW Tichner Dr. The access into Washington Park at SW Park Place is closed.

Project work will also include work in the pathway by the Rose Garden Store leading up to the parking area by the tennis courts, including improvements to the pathway, pedestrian crossings, and ADA parking spaces. Pedestrian impacts will occur and will be of a limited duration.

For further information about the accessibility construction at Washington Park, please visit the PP&R webpage. There will be detailed information on the impact to visitors, the Parks Replacement Bond, contact information regarding any questions, the Master Plan Update, and more.

The 4.5 acre garden is the oldest official continuously-operated public rose test garden in the United States, with over 10,220 rose bushes and 607 varieties of roses. It serves as a testing ground for new rose varieties. The Garden is free and open to the public year-round. Led by the Garden’s curator, many dedicated volunteers help care for the roses and lead daily free tours during the summer. Over half a million people visit every year.

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.

Portfolio for Inclusion Workshop presented by NWDSA on May 13th

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) is presenting its “Portfolio for Inclusion Workshop” on Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to noon. Parents will learn how to create a practical tool to use in their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). The workshop is at the Multnomah Education Service District (MESD) auditorium at 11611 NE Ainsworth Circle in Portland.

Participants will explore the values of person-centered thinking. They can learn skills to assemble a person-centered portfolio that illustrates their child’s strength and gifts that define the family’s mission and dreams.

Attendees will learn from both professionals and veteran parents who are Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort graduates. The parents have created and used portfolios for their children based on these resources. To find out more and register, visit the Portfolio for Inclusion Workshop webpage on the NWDSA’s website.

The NWDSA has been a parent-driven family support network since 1997. The NWDSA’s mission is to create and nurture a loving and inclusive community celebrating every person with a disability including Down syndrome. Visit the website to learn about the organization and its other programs, workshops, events, and more.

HLAA-Portland meeting to have board election and hear about cochlear implants

The Portland Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA-Portland) will hold its May 2017 meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 15, at Good Samaritan Hospital, 1015 NW 22nd Ave. The meeting is in Building 2, across 22nd Avenue from the Main Hospital

There will be chapter business conducted with a Board Election and a presentation from Nicole Brent from Cochlear® speaking about cochlear implants. A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain. More information about cocklear implants is available on the Cochlear® website.

HLAA-Portland meets on the third Monday of the month, September through May. There will be no meetings after the May meeting until September during the chapter’s summer break.

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).

Women with disabilities asked to participate in focus group about birth control

Willi Horner-Johnson PhD, research assistant professor at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is conducting a focus group for women with physical disabilities about their birth control preferences and experiences. The focus group will meet in OHSU’s Institute on Development and Disability (IDD) in the South Waterfront.

Women who are 18 to 44 years of age and consider themselves as having a physical disability may participate in the focus group. Participants will receive a $40 Target gift card. The focus group meetings will be two hours on either May 24, 25 or 31. Video conferencing is an option for those who wish to participate, but cannot attend in person.

To sign up or ask questions, please email Jan Campbell at or call and leave a message for Jan at 503-504-1254. Please note that reasonable accommodations will be provided with advance notice.

The Disability Research Group (DRG) at the IDD provides support for a team of researchers. By developing  a team, the DRG is working to improve access to health care, find strategies to address the educational needs of children and adults with severe disabilities, and is leading outreach efforts to improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families. More information about the OHSU’s IDD in available on the institute’s website.

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 webpages 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.

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.

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.