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Disability NEWS – July 5, 2017

Graphic of Disability NEWS Banner

July 5, 2017

In this issue…

  • MULTCO invites public input at meeting for new courthouse accessibility and ADA features
  • An activist's action leads to improved access for power wheelchair users at State Capitol
  • Families can enjoy the outdoors at the July 10th Nature Mobile summer event in Aloha
  • How to apply for City of Portland Jobs Course being held on July 11 and August 15
  • FACT’s Friends and Family Access Play is July 18 at the Portland Children’s Museum
  • NWHF currently accepting applications for the Disability Leaders Learning Collaborative
  • Social Justice Youth Camp to be August 4-6 at Portland State University
  • Multnomah County delivers library materials through its Words on Wheels program
  • The First Annual All Ability Tri4Youth is August 12th in Beaverton
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

MULTCO invites public input at meeting for new courthouse accessibility and ADA features

In 2020, Multnomah County will open a new downtown courthouse. The county is inviting the community to join the project and design team for a presentation with a question and answer session about accessible design and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The event will be Monday, July 10, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Multnomah County Building Board Room, first floor, 501 S.E. Hawthorne Boulevard.

Disability activists and advocates are calling for the public to attend and voice their concerns for all the disabilities community. Besides physical access, accommodation must be addressed for the blind, people with vision loss, the deaf, persons with hearing loss, and other hidden disabilities.

The board room is accessible for persons in wheelchairs. Assisted listening devices will be available upon request. Anyone requiring reasonable accommodation to participate in the event may contact Mike Pullen by July 5th at or by called 503-209-4111.

For more information about the new Multnomah County Central Courthouse, visit the project’s website.

An activist's action leads to improved access for power wheelchair users at State Capitol

A power wheelchair user’s concerns about being stranded if his batteries lost power led to action that not only helped to have charging stations installed in the City of Pendleton parks, but Oregon becoming the first state to install a mobility device charging station in the Statehouse. The charging station was created by Darrin Umbarger after experiencing the challenges of powering his own mobility device. The installation was recently featured in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 5th on the second floor of the Oregon Senate.

Umbarger, a disability activist and member of Disability Rights Oregon’s (DRO) board of directors, had developed a mobility device charging station. He approached the Umatilla County Special Transportation Fund (STF) committee in 2015 with his idea of putting 8 to 10 wheelchair charging units around Pendleton as a pilot project for the city to see how it works. His request for funding was granted and the work began to locate charging stations around Pendleton.

He later became involved in another disability inclusion grant through Oregon Office on Disability and Health at Oregon Health and Science University and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and shared the idea with them. The result was further support and Umbarger moved forward with outreach to other cities, counties and states.

Having worked previously with his local state senator, Bill Hansell of Pendleton, he shared his story with Hansell and Senate President Peter Courtney. They led the charge which has led to the successful installation of a charging station in the Statehouse.

Hansell is crediting Umbarger “for inventing a powerful device to help better the quality of life for people across the nation experiencing the significant challenge of powering mobility devices.” He added this is a removal of a significant barrier for Oregonians to better access their Statehouse to connect with lawmakers and participate in the democratic process.

Further information about the charging stations and Umbarger’s continuing work to help provide access for persons with disabilities is available on the DRO website. The NACDD also has a story about the state’s charging station on its website.

Families can enjoy the outdoors at the July 10th Nature Mobile summer event in Aloha

FACT Oregon is conducting a summer family-friendly event with a Nature Mobile at Hazeldale Park that is just to the north of S.W. Farmington Road and accessible through 196th Avenue. It will be open from 9 to 11 a.m. on Monday, July 10.

Nature Mobile! will feature Tualatin Hill Park and Recreation District’s mobile classroom. Natural resources staff will provide nature and science learning opportunities, fun activities and games to capture the childrens’ imaginations and help them understand the role that the environment plays in their lives. There are accessible and paved trails available and snacks will be provided. The event’s webpage has further information and also provides a downloadable flyer.

Located Just off of SW Farmington Road, in Aloha, Hazeldale Park is an 11-acre neighborhood park that features three baseball fields, a soccer field, basketball courts, and a playground. A paved loop trail encircles the park and can be easily accessed from nearby neighborhoods. For more information about the event, call (503) 786-6082 or 1(888) 988-3228, or email

How to apply for City of Portland Jobs Course being held in July and August

The City’s Bureau of Human Resources is conducting a course entitled “How to Apply for City of Portland Jobs” on Tuesday, July 11, in Room HR-1, on the Portland Building’s second floor, 1120 S.W. 5th Avenue. The class being held from noon to 1 p.m. is for the public and all city employees who are interested in gaining a better understanding of the City’s job application process.

Course participants will learn about differences between employment with the City versus private sector, the steps of how to apply by creating an account with the NEOGOV website, reviewing job announcements, submitting application materials, application communication, and interviewing types.

For more information, email or Anyone needing an ADA accommodation to participate in City-sponsored training, should contact the Bureau of Human Resources no less than five (5) days prior to the date of the event by contacting 503-823-6846 or TTY 503-823-6868; or emailing BHR Training and Workforce Development with ADA Accommodation Request noted in the subject line. This course will be offered again on Tuesday, August 15.

FACT’s Friends and Family Access Play is July 18 at the Portland Children’s Museum

Friends and Family Access Play is a free access play event being held on July 18th at the Portland Children’s Museum from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The museum is at 4015 S.W. Canyon Road, across from the entrance to the Oregon Zoo.

This calmer, low-sensory play time is open exclusively for families with children experiencing disabilities, including friends and families of FACT Oregon’s partner organizations. Anyone thinking of making it a play date is welcome to bring friends.

FACT notes that the onsite Museum Cafe will not be open to sell food during the event. The group says attendees should feel free to bring a snack or dinner to eat at the cafe tables in the lobby. The Friends and Family Access Play event is featured on FACT’s online event pages.

NWHF currently accepting applications for the Disability Leaders Learning Collaborative

The Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF) is seeking ten leaders with disabilities from Oregon and Southwest Washington to participate in a Disability Justice Leaders Collaborative. The Collaborative will meet four times over the span of a year to further their understanding of disability justice; build relationships with funders; and discuss leadership and civic engagement, among other topics. 

This Collaborative is being convened because Oregon and Southwest Washington’s decision-makers don’t fully represent the disability communities. Although 22 percent of Oregonians are people of color, only eight percent of our elected officials are people of color. One out of ten Oregonians are immigrants, yet very few of decision-makers are immigrants. And even though one-fifth of Americans have a disability, it is largely unknown if any elected officials in Oregon or Southwest Washington identify as having a disability.

The Disability Justice Leaders Collaborative will discuss how to make sure the voices and experiences of people with disabilities are represented by decision-makers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. They’ll consider disability justice as a means to achieving this goal.

Applications for the Disability Leaders Learning Collaborative are being accepted now through August 31, 2017. Applicants of all ages, from youth to elders, are welcome to apply. NWHF intends to select leaders with disabilities who come from across the region and reflect our equity priorities of race/ethnicity, including immigrant and refugee status, and geography. A facilitator is also being sought for the Disability Leaders Learning Collaborative. Further information about the collaborative, including the online application and request for proposals is available on the NWHF website

Social Justice Youth Camp to be August 4-6 at Portland State University

Individuals aged 14 to 25 years old can learn to find their unique artistic voice and message to use for change at the Northwest Down Syndrome Association’s (NWDSA) Social Justice Youth Camp being held August 4 through 6 at Portland State University (PSU). The Social Justice Youth Program is seeking nine participants with a disability and nine without to become engaged in the movement towards an inclusive civil society for all individuals. This is an opportunity for young adults with and without disabilities to learn how their art can be a meaningful tool for change.

This is a year-long program that kicks off with the Social Justice Youth Summer Camp, followed by monthly meet-ups (which may include a visit to City Hall or an art gallery, meeting with a social activist or presenting participants’ art at an event). The location includes not only the university at 1825 S.W. Broadway in Portland, but also the surrounding downtown area.

The camp is designed to be interactive and accessible to all. Campers will be required to actively participate in workshops led by experienced social activists and artists. Activities will range from writing and drawing to movement and music. To ensure campers' engagement throughout the camp, accommodations and/or supports will be made according to each individual’s needs. In addition to attending workshops, youth will have opportunities to explore and enjoy some of PSU’s resources, including the recreation center.

More information is available on the camp event webpage and the Social Justice Youth Program webpage. The program is a group of self-advocates, siblings and friends who envision a better tomorrow for everyone. The group was created as a platform to bring individuals with and without disabilities together to discuss social issues. It is important to note that the focus of the program is to not just generate conversation around disability, but to address issues the youth are most interested in. This includes topics of race, sexuality, and even environmentalism.

Multnomah County delivers library materials through its Words on Wheels program

Multnomah County residents who are unable to go to the library because of a disability or health issue may have library materials delivered to their home for free. Multnomah County Library’s Words on Wheels volunteers will deliver books (including large print), audiobooks, music cds and dvds upon request.

A volunteer selects the materials that meet a person’s interests and needs, then schedules regular delivery and pickup. Delivery is made to adult care homes, retirement facilities, hospices, hospitals and private residences.

For more information about the Words on Wheels program and other delivery options, please call Library Outreach Services at 503-988-5404.

The First Annual All Ability Tri4Youth is August 12th in Beaverton

The Howard M. Terpenning Recreation Complex will be the site for the First Annual All Ability Tri4Youth on Saturday, August 12th. The Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Districts facility is at 15707 S.W. Walker Road in the Beaverton area.

FACT Oregon and Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District are excited to announce this all ability triathlon to provide youth experiencing a disability, their siblings, and peers an opportunity to participate, as well as meeting community partners that support families experiencing disability. Families and friends are invited to celebrate their athlete as participants swim, bike, and run on a fully accessible course, or serve as captain on a team with friends. Participants receive a Tri4Youth t-shirt and medal, and everyone’s invited to enjoy a great after-party with music and food.

The All Ability Tri4Youth is a fun, safe, accessible event with an emphasis on inclusion and community building. From a triathlon course that has been successfully tested by youth to fully accessible facilities, great music, food, and lots to celebrate, participants will create lifelong memories on this special day.

Training sessions at Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District are now open for registration. Click for more information and to register. (Note: You will be redirected to Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District’s website. For registration assistance, call (503) 645-6433.)

For more information about the 2017 All Ability Tri4Youth event, visit FACT’s event website.

The All Ability Tri4Youth is modeled after a very successful Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania triathlon. Learn more about its success and watch an overview of the event here:

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.