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Disability NEWS – July 19, 2017

Graphic of Disability NEWS banner

July 19, 2017 

In this issue…

  • PDX Summer Handcycling Series is underway every Tuesday evening at PIR
  • REAL announces Disability Culture and Justice Leadership Institute in the fall
  • PBOT extends invite to participate in BIKETOWN Adaptive Kick-off Event on July 21st
  • NWDSA Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort program helps parents to plan for 2018 school year
  • 2018 Portland ReelAbilities Film Festival needs volunteers to join the event’s planning committee
  • NWHF currently accepting applications for the Disability Leaders Learning Collaborative
  • Social Justice Youth Camp to be August 4-6 at PSU
  • TriMet to use additional state revenue to start low-income fare discount program
  • MS JUMPSTART Program coming to Portland on August 12th
  • The First Annual All Ability Tri4Youth is August 12th in Beaverton UPDATE
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings 

PDX Summer Handcycling Series is underway every Tuesday evening at PIR

The 2017 PDX Summer Handcycling series is being held every Tuesday evening at Portland International Raceway, 1940 N. Victory Boulevard, by Delta Park. The summer series provides a great opportunity for first-time handcyclers or seasoned riders to experience the fun firsthand.

The sixth season for the series kicked off on July 11 and will be held through September 26. The event starts at 4:30 p.m. with set-up to be followed by track time for participants from 5 to 6 p.m.

Each summer, Adaptive Sports NW hosts the annual Summer Handcycling Series at Portland International Raceway. Every Tuesday, handcyclists of all abilities are invited to ride on the track at PIR. Helmets are required to ride and a limited number of handcycles will be available for novice riders. Contact Jennifer Wilde at if anyone has any questions. The series website provides information and photos of participants at the raceway.

Adaptive Sports Northwest exists, not only to provide adaptive sports and recreation opportunities to those in Oregon & SW Washington, but to tap the potential of possibility in each individual who participates. In partnership with United States Paralympic Committee, Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports, USA and Disabled Sports USA, the organization works to provide as many sports and recreational opportunities as possible to those seeking them. To learn more about Adaptive Sports Northwest and all its activities for persons with disabilities, visit its website.

REAL announces Disability Culture and Justice Leadership Institute in the fall

The Disability Art & Culture Project’s (DACP) Reject Economic Ableist Limits (REAL) group has announced that the Disability Culture and Justice Leadership Institute will be held this fall and applications are now being taken. Applications may be downloaded from the DACP website and need to be submitted by the deadline of midnight, August 7, 2017.

The intent of the Institute is to build power in disability communities by bringing together disability leaders and creating a collective home where disability voices come first. The cross disability and intersectional Institute will be based on the principles of Disability Justice. It is envisioned that through this training, leaders will gain skills and knowledge in accessible organizing while everyone learns from each other. REAL is prioritizing the following identities to make up its cohort of leaders: 50 percent BIPOC, 50 percent Queer and 100 percent Disabled. Leaders will participate in interactive training sessions featuring:

  • disability culture and art
  • race, racism
  • intersectionality
  • using relational access and engagement of our bodies for liberation
  • capitalism
  • policy change
  • internalized oppression and truth-telling

Leaders will utilize these concepts to tackle real-world issues through action oriented community building and activism. The vision is to build a statewide Disability Justice Coalition to address institutional ableism and demand change. More information about the institute is available on its website.

PBOT extends invite to participate in BIKETOWN Adaptive Kick-off Event on July 21st

The Kick-off Party for the BIKETOWN Adaptive Bicycle Rental Project will be Friday, July 21, from 11 a.m. to noon, starting near the east side’s Esplanade. City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Director Leah Treat, Jeff Carr from the Albertina Kerr Center, and Jeremy Robbins, a community member of the PBOT Adaptive Bike Work Group, will speak at the starting location Kerr Bikes, 1945 SE Water Avenue, Building B at OMSI, for the program’s official launch.

The opening celebration will be followed by a ride to Different Spokes at 423 S.E. Ivon Street where light refreshments will be served.

For more information about this event, contact the community event organizers: by email or by calling 503-823-7073. Information about the BIKETOWN Adaptive Pilot Project is available on the PBOT website. Keer Bikes’ website [] provides further information about its services.

NWDSA Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort program helps parents to plan for 2018 school year

The Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort (KIC) program is being offered by Northwest Down Syndrome Association’s All Born (In) to help parents prepare and advocate for inclusive kindergarten transition placements for their children. The KIC program is a series of eight monthly interactive and best practices-driven trainings that offer robust foundational skills, tools, and mentorships which are useful throughout the school year. Parents may apply online by July 28th with the trainings kicking-off on September 14 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

More than preparing families, KIC builds a community of parents to support each other through their child’s transition and beyond. The facilitators all have “walked in those shoes” and understand that parents are the experts on their children. professionals and speakers in the field also partner in this program.

Designed for parents whose child will be starting kindergarten the following September, the cohort features training sessions over the school year. Session topics include information about the law and a child’s rights, tools and supports to use in the classroom, Individual Educational Program goal writing to help support inclusion, communication and behavior strategies, tips from parents and teachers and more.  The 2018 program will conclude with a graduation in May 2018.

The Cohort is currently in its third year, and parents who graduated in the first two years reported that the skills learned in the cohort were instrumental to helping their children gain access to the general education classroom and receiving teachers reported that Cohort graduates are empowered advocates who come prepared to partner effectively with schools to help meet the needs of their children.

Information about the program, including membership requirements and how to apply, may be found on the All Born (In) website.

2018 Portland ReelAbilities Film Festival needs volunteers to join the event’s planning committee

The Disability Art and Culture Project's (DACP) biannual Portland ReelAbilities Disability Film Festival will be held in the spring of 2018. Founded in 2007, ReelAbilities is a national organization dedicated to sharing the stories, lives and art of people with disabilities. DACP is seeking volunteers for its planning committee to be part of this important event.

The festival brings together the community to promote awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. It consists of award-winning films of the highest cinematic and artistic quality and is hosted in cities across the country including Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Boston, Houston and many more. 

  • Committee member responsibilities: 
  • Screen and rate films, make recommendations for inclusion in the festival
  • Attend planning / production meetings
  • Follow up with individual tasks and report back to the committee in a timely manner.
  • Commit to participation through the event date in May 2018

Active committee members are essential to the success of the event. The committee will be expected to actively contribute 

DACP is looking for volunteers who:

  • Are familiar with the proud disability culture or are willing to learn about it
  • Understand disability justice as part of civil rights and intersectional social justice. Be willing to accommodate access needs 

For more information or to let DACP know of interest in the planning committee, contact DACP at To learn more about the ReelAbilities Film Festival, visit its website

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.

TriMet to use additional state revenue to start low-income fare discount program

Some good news for persons with disabilities came from the 2017 Oregon Legislature when it funded a new transportation measure. TriMet will initiate a low income fare discount program with a portion of the additional revenue it expects to receive.

The measure has a statewide .01 percent payroll tax that is expected to raise $1 billion per year for transit improvements. Up to $40 million per year is expected by TriMet which is anticipating to spend up to $12 million a year of the revenue to reduce fares for low-income riders. The plan is to reduce fare by half for anyone who earns 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level.

The transportation package will also be used to provide better access by expanding the frequency of bus service to communities with high concentrations of low-income households.

TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane told the Portland Tribune, “Access to public transit is access to economic opportunity. This package represents an investment in Oregon, its economy and its people.” To read more about the additional funding, please visit the Portland Tribune website.

MS JUMPSTART Program coming to Portland on August 12th

Can Do Multiple Sclerosis is holding a free, one-day JUMPSTART® Program on Saturday, August 12, in Portland, OR. This educational and interactive program enables people with MS and their support partners learn the knowledge, skills, and tools to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors and actively co-manage their MS. This program is being held in collaboration with the National MS Society – Oregon Chapter.

“Traditional medical models for managing a chronic disease tend to overlook many important aspects of living with MS, including the emotional, interpersonal, mental, and social health of a patient,” said Anne Gilbert, Director of Programs. “We offer a comprehensive, personalized, and interdisciplinary approach to enable people to become active co-managers of their health and well-being.”

Can Do MS connects the expertise of industry professionals from across the field of MS care management including neurologists, psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, registered nurses, physicians, and nutritionists. Further information about JUMPSTART is available on the program website.

Scheduled Presentations and Workshops:

  • Tools for Building Your Inner Strength – Ken Nowack, Ph.D.
  • Strength Training – Kathy San Martino, PT, NCS, MSCS, CLT, ATP
  • GPS for Your MS – Laura Kingston, OTR/L
  • Support Partner Sessions – Ken Nowack, Ph.D.

The support partner workshop allows family members and/or friends to be acknowledged, understood, accepted, and respected by a community of peers and health professionals.

The JUMPSTART Program is limited to 100 participants and will fill quickly. Registration is now open. Please register online at, or call Rachel Lahti at 800-367-3101 ext.1279. The program will take place at the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.

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:

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.