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 16, 2017

Graphic of Disability NEWS banner

Above: Banner for the Twice-monthly Disability Program NEWS

August 16, 2017

Inside this issue…

  • Tools & Strategies for Using Assistive Technology in Education event is August 17
  • “Lives Worth Living: Film and Discussion” event is August 17th at OEHR
  • DRO’s annual Community Insights Survey is open until August 30 for community input
  • NAMI-Multnomah offering two classes directed for peers and for family members
  • NWDSA's Buddy Fest NW will be September 19th at the Rose Quarter
  • NWHF currently accepting applications for Disability Leaders Learning Collaborative
  • OPHA offering two annual scholarships for membership and conference registration
  • Portland Housing Bureau Seeks Members for Two Public Advisory Bodies
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

Tools & Strategies for Using Assistive Technology in Education event is August 17

Parents can learn how assistive technology changes lives at Fact Oregon’s “Tools and Strategies for Using Assistive Technology in Education” event on Thursday, August 17. This free training for parents is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Shriners Hospital Auditorium, 3101 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road.

Carrie Luse and Ken Elliott, co-directors for the new Community Vision AT Lab, will explore the tools and strategies to support meaningful interaction, access and participation in education. Parents are invited to socialize and exchange ideas in a fun and creative environment.

To attend, just register on the FACT Oregon website. There is free parking in the Shriner’s parking lot available for those who register. For any questions regarding this event, please call 1(888) 988-3228 or email

FACT’s mission is to empower Oregon families experiencing disability in their pursuit of a whole life by expanding awareness, growing community, and equipping families.

“Lives Worth Living: Film and Discussion” event is August 17th at OEHR

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 legislative 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.

DRO’s annual Community Insights Survey is open until August 30 for community input

Every year, Disability Rights Oregon gathers feedback from Oregonians about the needs of people with disabilities. The commmunity’s insights and ideas shape DRO’s decisions about how to best focus its resources in the coming year.

DRO is requesting participants take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete the survey. Participants can fill out the survey on the Survey Monkey [], download a Word document or by downloading a PDF version. There is also a Spanish-language survey [] to share input in Spanish. Contact DRO at 503-243-2081 or 1-800-452-1694, or email with questions or for assistance.

Disability Rights Oregon's mission is to promote and defend the rights of individuals with disabilities. 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 is available on DRO’s website at

NAMI-Multnomah offering two classes directed for peers and for family members

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Multnomah affiliate is conducting two free classes in September designed to improve the quality of life for people with mental illness and their families. All classes are free but will require pre-registration. Please call the NAMI-Multnomah HelpLine at 503-228-5692 to register.

“Peer-to-Peer”  is a 10-week class promoting stability and recovery, taught by trained peer mentors. It is taught by a team of trained “Mentors” and a volunteer support person who are all personally experienced at living well with mental illness. This class will start on September 9th from 10 a.m. to noon. This is a unique, experiential learning program for people with serious mental illness who are interested in establishing and maintaining their wellness and recovery.

“Family-to-Family” is a 12-week class for family members of adult loved ones, taught by family members. The course teaches the knowledge and skills family members and loved ones need to cope more effectively. There will be two separate Family-to-Family class sessions with the first beginning on Saturday, September 9, and held from 9:30 a.m. to noon. A second session will be in the evening and starts Tuesday, September 12, and will be 13 sessions with additional Veteran-specific content, including PTSD.

More details provided upon registration, including locations. For more information about these classes and NAMI’s work, please visit the NAMI-Multnomah website

 NWDSA's Buddy Fest NW will be September 19th at the Rose Quarter

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. Anyone needing assistance with registration, may contact NWDSA by phone at 503-238-0522 or email

NWHF currently accepting applications for 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 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

 OPHA offering two annual scholarships for membership and conference registration

The Oregon Public Health Association’s (OPHA) Disability Section is offering annual scholarships to two individuals who demonstrate commitment to disability issues, leadership, and interest in active involvement in Disability Section activities. The scholarship covers membership dues for one year and registration to the 2017 OPHA Annual Conference in Corvallis on October 9 to 10, 2017.

To apply, submit a one-page essay describing experience and interests within disability and public health fields to Jana Peterson-Besse at by September 5, 2017.

OPHA is a professional group that works to end health disparities and promote access to health care for all Oregonians. Its Disability Section is an interest group within OPHA that aims to raise awareness of health disparities experienced by people with disabilities and to advocate for policies that decrease health disparities they experience. Learn more about OPHA on 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.

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.