Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View Less

Disability NEWS – August 2, 2017

Graphic of Disability NEWS banner

August 2, 2017

 In this issue…

  • MULTCO posts July 10 Courthouse Accessibility meeting materials online
  • Portland’s Disability Program & Office of Equity and Human Rights present 
    “Lives Worth Living: Film and Discussion”
  • NWDSA's Buddy Fest NW will be September 19, registration is open now
  • Adaptive BIKETOWN is open now live to provide bicycles for persons with disabilities
  • REAL announces Disability Culture and Justice Leadership Institute for fall
  • Help Plan DACP's Biannual Portland ReelAbilities Film Festival
  • Portland Housing Bureau Seeks Members for Two Public Advisory Bodies
  • MS JUMPSTART Program coming to Portland on August 12th
  • PDX Summer Handcycling Series through August
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

MULTCO posts July 10 Courthouse Accessibility meeting materials online

Multnomah County thanks the public for attending the July 10 meeting that discussed accessibility features at the new Multnomah County Central Courthouse. The comments and questions provided by attendees are very appreciated. The project team is reviewing the comments and will look to attendees’ suggestions as it works to design a public building that is accessible to everyone. 

The following information presented at the meeting is now available online: 

Please feel free to contact Mike Pullen in the Multnomah County Communications Office (503-209-4111, with additional questions about the project. More information about construction and design can be found on the project website.

Portland’s Disability Program & Office of Equity and Human Rights
present “Lives Worth Living: Film and Discussion”

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and it is being celebrated on Thursday, August 17, from 1 to 3 p.m., with a showing of “Lives Worth Living.” The anniversary event is being held by the City of Portland Disability Program and the Office of Equity and Human Rights. It will be held in the Steele Room on the fifth floor of the Commonwealth Building, 421 S.W. 6th Avenue, and will include refreshments and open discussion.

Often called the only documentary on the rise of the disability rights movement, this 60-minute documentary covers the successful efforts by people with disabilities to make legislation change for access and eventually achieve passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. 

People with disabilities are one of the largest minorities in the United States. But for most of American history, they occupied a sub-class of millions without access to everyday things most citizens take for granted: schools, apartment buildings, public transportation, and more. Some were forcibly sterilized under state laws. Others were committed to horrifying institutions where they were left and forgotten. 

After World War II, however, things began to change, thanks to a small group of determined people with an unwavering determination to live their lives like anyone else, and to liberate all disabled Americans of the limitations their government refused to accommodate.

Lives Worth Living traces the development of consciousness of these pioneers who realized that in order to change the world they needed to work together. Through demonstrations and inside legislative battles, the disability rights community secured equal civil rights for all people with disabilities. Thanks to their efforts, tens of millions of people's lives have been changed. Information about Lives Worth Living is available on Story Line Motion Pictures website.

Any questions about the event or accommodations needs may be directed to Joanne Johnson, Disability Program Coordinator, at 503-823-9970 or The film will be shown with open captions and descriptive audio. The venue is wheelchair accessible. It is a scent-free event, so please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes and other scented products.

NWDSA’s Annual Buddy Fest NW will be September 19
and registration is open now

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) is hosting the 19th Annual Buddy Fest NW on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, to promote acceptance and inclusion of all people with Down syndrome. The walk brings together participants from Portland metro and Southwest Washington – family members, friends, professionals, community leaders and individuals with Down syndrome.

The 19th Buddy Fest NW promises to be bigger and better than ever and will be at Rose Quarter Commons Main Amphitheater and Center Court in Northeast Portland. This is an opportunity to hear self-advocates and connect with empowered families from across the Portland Metro region and beyond. 

The event features special guest speaker, Brandon Gruber, whose motto is “Work Hard, Chooser Kindness and Be Yourself.” Emcee Tony Starlight will emcee the entertainment which has the Nu Wavers performing eighties favorites and Newel Briggs and friends providing energetic and uplifting reggae.

This year’s Buddy Fest NW has a brand-new online registration platform. Event organizers hope that it’s much easier for people to sign up this year. There are also new social sharing features. Anyone who has issues with registration, may contact NWDSA by phone at 503-238-0522 or email

Adaptive BIKETOWN is open now to provide bicycles for persons with disabilities

Portland’s Adaptive BIKETOWN is now in operation to provide a bike rental service for people with varying abilities. Hand cycles, foot-powered trikes, multi-person bikes, and more are available at BIKETOWN’s bike shop partner Kerr Bikes, 1945 SE Water Ave., Building B (near OMSI, on the Eastbank Esplanade). Adaptive BIKETOWN is an extension of Portland’s bike share system.

To ride Adaptive BIKETOWN, there are three steps: make a reservation at, get fitted, and bike! Services included with a bike rental are:

  • Fitting for the available adaptive bikes
  • Bike Helmet (included with bike rental)
  • Mobility device storage during rental time
  • Crate storage of service animal during rental time period

For further information about renting a bike, hours of operation, pricing and making reservations, visit the Adaptive BIKETOWN website. Questions may also be directed to Steve Hoyt-McBeth, program manager. Call Steve at 503-823-7191 or email Adaptive BIKETOWN is sponsored by Kerr Bikes, Different Spokes and Nike.

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.

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

Portland Housing Bureau Seeks Members for Two Public Advisory Bodies

The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) is seeking between seven and 11 volunteers to form a Renter-Owner Services Advisory Commission (ROSAC), announced on July 12th by Mayor Wheeler.

“Public input is essential to ensure we create a system that is functional, equitable and affordable, said Mayor Wheeler. “The Renter-Owner Services Advisory Commission will serve as the primary public forum for discussion of rental housing law and regulation, and renter-owner programs and services in the City of Portland.”

ROSAC members are expected to have expertise in fair housing, rent-regulated and market-rate rental housing, landlord/tenant law, property management, renter-owner advocacy, rental housing access, and or rental housing health & safety. The ROSAC will meet every other month beginning this fall. Click here to access the ROSAC application or find it online at

The existing Portland Housing Advisory Commission (PHAC) is also seeking new members. The PHAC advises PHB’s Director, the Housing Commissioner, and Portland City Council on a range of housing policy and program issues to promote improvements within PHB and the larger housing system, advise on issues of equity in access and outcomes for Portlanders in PHB programs, and assist in aligning PHB’s resources and mission during the annual budget process.

The PHAC meets monthly. Members are expected to have expertise in housing policy and planning, affordable housing financing and development, budget oversight and analysis, resource development to maintain and expand the supply and availability of affordable housing, program development and evaluation, public-private partnership development, and community and intergovernmental relations.

Click here to access the PHAC application or find it online at Applications for both commissions will be accepted on a rolling basis. For more information, contact Victoria James at or (503) 823-3403.

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.

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.

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.