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Disability NEWS – September 20, 2017

Graphic of Disability NEWS Banner

Disability NEWS Banner above.

September 20, 2017

Inside this issue:

  • NWDSA's Buddy Fest NW is September 23rd at the Rose Quarter
  • Free smoke alarms are available for the deaf and people with hearing loss
  • FACT offering an Introduction to Supported Decision-Making on September 28
  • Disability Rights Oregon urges people with disabilities to protect their privacy as voters
  • How to apply for City of Portland Jobs course being held on Ocrtober 17th
  • Kenny Fries to speak October 10 on his work, “In the Province of the Gods”
  • PBOT asking for public input on PedPDX: Portland's Citywide Pedestrian Plan
  • IDEA Business Forum to connect businesses with government agencies to hire PWD
  • DACP presenting Nina G’s “An Evening of Comedy” on October 18th
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

NWDSA's Buddy Fest NW is September 23rd at the Rose Quarter

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA) is hosting the 19th Annual Buddy Fest NW on Saturday, September 23rd, 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.

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

PLEASE NOTE: Previous article in September 6 Disability NEWS had the event date incorrect in the headline. The Buddy Fest NW is Saturday, September 23rd.

Free smoke alarms are available for the deaf and people with hearing loss

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) received a grant last year from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to install 250 free specialized smoke alarms in the homes of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These smoke alarms that flash, shake and wake work with standard smoke alarms to alert individuals to the presence of fire or carbon monoxide. This program is only for persons living in the City of Portland.

The grant has run out but PF&R still has 60 of these specialized smoke alarms available which will be provided on a first come, first served basis given in order to those qualified individuals who submit an application with all appropriate paperwork. Special installation priority may be given to people with multiple risk factors.

To apply, fill out the online application available at Flash Shake Awake website. The website also offers additional information about how the program works, a guide to the program and a press release. For questions regarding the program or to have help filling out an application, contact PF&R by calling 503-823-3752.

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.

Disability Rights Oregon urges people with disabilities to protect their privacy

Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) reports that the Oregon Secretary of State has announced that state voter information was shared with the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. There are concerns that this controversial federal commission may release the data that it gathers — putting voter privacy at risk.

DRO advises that people with disabilities apply for a privacy exemption. People may prevent their addresses from appearing in these publicly available voter rolls.

Anyone who believes that their safety or the safety of a family member would be at risk, can apply for a privacy exemption from their county clerk. More information is available at the Secretary of State’s website.

Privacy exemptions protect people who have experienced abuse or neglect from having a publicly available address. More than seven in 10 people with disabilities report that they have experienced abuse.

DRO recently joined the Bus Project, Family Forward Action, and former Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins in Salem, to advocate for improved voter registration education. They are working to make sure that every new voter registered through the Oregon Motor Voter program is given information about the privacy exemption.

How to apply for City of Portland Jobs course being held on October 17

The City’s Bureau of Human Resources is conducting a course entitled “How to Apply for City of Portland Jobs” on Tuesday, October 17, 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.

Kenny Fries to speak October 10 on his work, “In the Province of the Gods”

Kenny Fries will read from and talk about his work “In The Province of the Gods,” on Tuesday, October 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the World Affairs Council of Oregon, 1200 SW Park Avenue, third floor in the Hatfield Room. Fries is well-known for his teaching, writing, and activism in the area of disability rights.

The author embarks on a journey of profound self-discovery as a disabled foreigner in Japan, a society historically hostile to difference. As he visits gardens, experiences Noh and butoh, and meets artists and scholars, he also discovers disabled gods, one-eyed samurai, blind chanting priests, and A-bomb survivors. When he is diagnosed as HIV positive, all his assumptions about Japan, the body, and mortality are shaken, and he must find a way to reenter life on new terms.

He received the prestigious Creative Capital literature grant for In the Province of the Gods. He is the author of Body, Remember: A Memoir and The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory, winner of the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. Fries teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College.

To register for this event, please register on the World Affairs Council website.

PBOT asking for public input on PedPDX: Portland's Citywide Pedestrian Plan

PedPDX will prioritize sidewalks, crossing improvements, and other investments that will make walking safer, more comfortable, and more accessible in Portland. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) wants to ensure that funding is being directed to locations with the greatest needs first. To help with this, it is calling for public input. The responses to this survey will help PBOT understand the types of walking improvements that are most important and the general locations where they are needed most.

The survey should take no more than 3 minutes. At the end, participants will have an opportunity to enter for a chance to win one of several prizes, including a Fitbit Charge 2. More information about PedPDX is available on PBOT’s website. The deadline for taking the survey is September 30, 2017.

IDEA Business Forum to connect businesses with government agencies to hire PWD

The Inter-State Disability Employment Alliance (IDEA) is inviting companies to an “Invitation Only” Inter-State Business Forum. The invitation is for two representatives from a company to attend a free forum that is the first of its kind designed to connect local business colleagues and their best hiring practices and multiple Government Agencies that offer free services and programs designed to help companies fulfill their mission in hiring and retaining staff. This is an event for employers and is being held by employers and their community partners.

The event begins at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 11, at the Vancouver Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver. This is an opportunity to hear from local businesses who have hired workers with disabilities as they will share strategies and success stories. Local agency providers in Washington and Oregon will offer guidance and support to successfully hire an employee with a disability. Many questions will be answered with resources provided to help build and strengthen hiring teams.

It’ll be a great opportunity for some networking time too. To attend, please follow the link below to register and print tickets. There is limited seating and a limit of only two per company.

Register at the EventBrite website. Please retain tickets to present at registration to be eligible for receiving one of many door prizes. There will be complimentary beverages, and luncheon.

For more information, please contact Darlene Terry at 360-397-9976 or Lynne Carter at 503-277-2526.

DACP presenting Nina G’s “An Evening of Comedy” on October 18th

The Disability Art and Culture Project (DACP) invites everyone to attend “An Evening of Comedy” featuring Nina G on October 18 at 7:30 p.m. DACP is bringing Nina G, The San Francisco Bay Area's favorite female stuttering stand up comedian (granted she is the only one) to perform at the Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Nina G is America’s only female stuttering stand up comedian and an author, speaker, and educator. She has made countless audiences laugh while educating them about disability issues and equality. Nina breaks down stigma, raises awareness and helps people reach their potential as allies to the Disability community. Nina works solo as a public speaker and educator and also tours with the comedy troupes The Comedians with Disabilities Act and Feminist Tendencies (an all-female comedy troupe aimed to empower diverse young women).

This event will support the second biennial Portland ReelAbilities Disability Film Festival. Founded in 2007, ReelAbilities is dedicated to sharing the stories, lives and art of people with disabilities. It consists of award-winning films of the highest cinematic and artistic quality and is hosted in cities across the country. DACP is excited to bring these films back to Portland in the spring of 2018. Learn more about Nina on her website,

More information, including a link for tickets, is available on DACP’s website.

Visit Disability Program Website and Facebook page for more 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.