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Disability NEWS – September 6, 2017

Graphic of Disability NEWS Banner

Above: Disability NEWS Banner

September 6, 2017

Inside this issue… 

  • DRO provides Parent Tool Kit concerning Short School Days for children with disabilities
  • HLAA-Portland membership meeting September 18th at Good Samaritan Hospital
  • Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection recruiting volunteers to be board members
  • Incight Career Expo will be September 20th at Lane Community College
  • FACT offering an Introduction to Supported Decision-Making on September 28
  • Portland Commission on Disability monthly meeting is this Friday, September 8
  • NWDSA's Buddy Fest NW will be September 19th at the Rose Quarter
  • Oregon Association of the Deaf elects new board members
  • Disability Rights Oregon reports on 2017 Legislative Accomplishments
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

DRO provides Parent Tool Kit concerning Short School Days for children with disabilities

Access to education is a cornerstone of preparing young people for life. But students with disabilities may face challenges in accessing the learning hours that they need to grow and develop.

In recent years, Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) has received a growing number of complaints from parents about their children being excluded from the classroom and school. In some districts, rather than working to return students with disabilities to school, the school substitutes just one hour of tutoring per day.

To address this concern, DRO introduced legislation to limit a school district's ability to shorten a child’s school day. It also supported a bill that requires that service providers be involved in the development and implementation of behavioral intervention plans. 

In June, Governor Brown signed the bills, SB 263 and HB 3318, into law. Hundreds, if not thousands, of students across the state will benefit from these new legal protections. 

The organizations has created a tool kit to help parents demand the full school day that each child deserves. The Short School Day Parent Tool Kit contains: 

  • A step-by-step explanation of how to use the materials in it, 
  • An explanation of the new law, 
  • A model or template parent letter that parents can use by cutting and pasting in their own facts to request a full day of school and needed behavioral supports, 
  • **Three guidance documents from the Oregon Department of Education and the U.S Department of Education that can be attached or enclosed in support of the letter’s request for a full school day and needed behavioral supports.

If the District continues to insist on a shortened school day, parents may contact DRO’s Intake staff at 503 243 2081.

HLAA-Portland members to meet September 18th at Good Samaritan Hospital

The Hearing Loss Association of America – Portland Chapter, will hold its first meeting of the 2017-18 year at 6:30 on Monday, Sept 18th, in the Wistar Morris Room on the ground floor of the main Good Samaritan Hospital building, 1015 NW 22nd at Marshall Street.

Instead of a speaker this month, the group will conduct a round-table discussion about what everyone wants to get out of the organization and its monthly meetings, including potential future meeting speakers and topics.

Monthly chapter meetings are real-time captioned (CART) and there is an induction loop amplification system (usable by wearers of hearing devices equipped with telecoils). Meetings are accessible by Tri-Met lines 15 and 77 and the Portland Streetcar, which all stop within two blocks. The membership meetings are on the third Monday, September through May, at Good Samaritan, and are open to all. See for more info about HLAA-Portland. 

Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection recruiting volunteers to be board members

Oregon Spinal Cord Injury Connection (SCI) is recruiting talented and conscientious volunteer board members to lead and strengthen the organization. It is Oregon SCI’s mission to support the full potential of people with spinal cord injuries and their families.

The search has a special interest in recruiting members with experience in non-profit management, communications and marketing, development, finance, legal, or volunteer engagement, but other unique skills are welcome. Individuals generally spend between six to 10 hrs. per month.

Anyone interested in serving, may reach out to any current board member, or email Oregon SCI at

Oregon SCI’s vision is to build a vibrant community-based support network in which people living with SCI/D can thrive. It consists of a group for all those affected by spinal cord injury - new and veteran, family and friends.

Incight Career Expo will be September 20th at Lane Community College

Job seekers of all levels, employment specialists, transition students and teachers are invited to join Incight at a free Career Expo at Lane Community College in Eugene. This is an opportunity for job seekers with disabilities to meet dozens of employers, have their resume reviewed by professionals, and connect with local resources. Accommodation may be requested by emailing at least a week before the event.

The career fair opens at 10 a.m. and continues until 1 pm. There is time to network with employers from a wide range of industries and meet with local organizations. The resume review will start at 10:30 a.m. and be open until the closing. Bring a resume for review and just sign up for a time slot when arriving at the expo. Please have the resume up to date and able to be marked with input from professionals.

Student Central is a fantastic workshop for transition students and teachers. More information is available by email.

The job fair will be in Rooms 103/104 in the Center for Meeting and Learning, 4000 E. 30th Avenue, Eugene. Sign up and get more information about parking, a campus map, public transportation, etc., on the EventBrite webpage.

FACT offering an “Introduction to Supported Decision-Making” on September 28

FACT Oregon is conducting “Supported Decision Making and Alternatives to Guardianship: From Justice for Jenny to Justice for All!” on September 28 that features Jonathan Martinis. Participants may learn how supported decision-making can be used with friends, family members, and professionals to help individuals experiencing disability make their own decisions.

Martinis is Senior Director for Law and Policy with Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. BBI Chairman and University Professor Peter Blanck notes that “Martinis has devoted his career to representing people across the spectrum of disabilities, and their families and supporters, to protect their human and legal civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other civil rights laws.” He served as lead counsel in Brinn v. Tidewater Transportation District Commission, the first case to hold that people with disabilities have a right to paratransit transportation on a next-day basis and he was lead counsel in Winborne v. Virginia Lottery, in which the court held that the Lottery must ensure that all private businesses selling Lottery tickets are accessible to people with disabilities.

In 2013, Martinis represented Jenny Hatch in the nationally acclaimed "Justice for Jenny" case, helping Ms. Hatch secure her right to live where and how she wants, to make her own decisions, and direct her own life. Jenny’s case was the first trial to hold that a person with disabilities has a right to engage in “Supported-Decision Making,” where people work with trusted friends, family members, and professionals to help them understand the situations and choices they face, so they may make their own decisions – rather than be subjected to a unnecessary permanent, plenary or full guardianship. The “Justice for Jenny” decision is hailed nationally and internationally for the principle that “an individual's right to choose how to live and the government’s progress in providing the help needed to integrate even those with the most profound need’s into the community” is a right guaranteed under law. Martinis writes about this case on his blog [] at the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making.

The training is at The Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Avenue. More information, including registration, is available on FACT Oregon’s website.

Portland Commission on Disability monthly meeting is this Friday, September 8

The Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) monthly meeting is this Friday, September 8, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public at the Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR), located in the Commonwealth Building’s on the 5th floor, 421 S.W. 6th Avenue in downtown Portland.

There will be a report from OEHR Director Dante James, committee updates, liaison reports, other program updates, and other commission work. There is also time set aside for public comment and announcements. 

ASL interpretation and real-time captioning will be provided. Other accommodations are available on request. Please notify the commission in advance of scheduled events if accommodations or translations are needed. Because some accommodations take time to arrange, it is suggested to provide at least three business days’ notice. To make requests, file complaints, or request additional information, please contact Nickole Cheron by emailing or calling 503.823.4938. Use City TTY 503-823-6868, or use Oregon Relay Service: 711.

The mission of PCOD is to guide the City in ensuring that it is a more universally accessible city for all. The commission was established by City Council resolution in 2008. To learn more about PCOD and its work, visit its web pages on the OEHR 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

Oregon Association of the Deaf elects new board members

The Oregon Association of the Deaf (OAD) elected new officials to lead the 96-year-old organization. The two-year terms of the newly elected board members began at the 46th OAD biennial conference that was held on July 30, 2017, in Portland.

The eight newly elected officials are:

  • Logan A. Poynor, President 
  • Gerald “Jerry” Fleming, Jr.,
  • Connie Olson, Secretary 
  • Scot Pearce, Treasurer 
  • Donna Nicklin, Director 
  • Renwick Dayton, Director 
  • Bill Drobkiewicz, Director 
  • Chad A. Ludwig, National Association of the Deaf Delegate 

“OAD has been doing very valuable work in advancing the rights of the Deaf population in Oregon, and as newly elected President, I will strive to continue the high quality standard that OAD has been bringing to the Deaf community,” explained Logan. “Our Deaf community includes the Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened and those with any additional disabilities. The OAD board and I look forward to any challenge that may appear, and look forward to a better future, together.”

Founded in 1921 and with more than 210 members, OAD’s mission is to promote, protect and preserve the civil rights of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing individuals. Visit and

Disability Rights Oregon reports on 2017 Legislative Accomplishments

Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) reports that good progress was made in this year’s legislative session toward giving Oregonians with disabilities the opportunity to live better lives. Executive Director Bob Joondeph wants to thank the many Oregonians who testified before the legislature in support of its agenda. He adds that these people took time to engage directly in the democratic process and their heartfelt stories made a difference.

Joondeph noted that five of the organization’s priority bills passed, and have been signed into law by the Governor: 

  • Limiting Short School Days for Students with Disabilities: A new state law limits Oregon school
  • districts’ ability to shorten students’ school day because of behaviors caused by a disability. 
  • Stronger Protections to Keep Students Safe. A new law will improve reporting and investigation of allegations of abuse in school settings. 
  • Life-Sustaining Procedures: A new law protects people who have a terminal illness or injury and are incapable of making their own medical decisions. 
  • Protecting Individuals’ Right to Self-Determination: A new law puts safeguards in place to ensure peoples’ right to self-determination is adequately protected.
  • Ending Wage Discrimination: A new law prohibits wage and benefit discrimination against people with disabilities, among other groups.

More about these laws may be found here. Many other bills that DRO tracked became law. Here's the list.

DRO reports that they managed to avoid the deep cuts to human service programs that were proposed in the Governor’s opening budget and early legislative budget frameworks. More information on the state budget is on DRO’s 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.