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Disability NEWS – January 3, 2018

Graphic of Disability NEWS Banner

Above: Disability Program NEWS Banner.

January 3, 2018

 Inside This Issue…

  • Portland’s Cast Iron Studios will conduct an open casting call for performers with disabilities
  • Adaptive Bike Rental Program wraps up its first season
  • Incight’s 2018 Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for students with disabilities
  • The History of Disabilities, a Free Four-Part Webinar Series, begins January 11th
  • Hearing Loss Association of America’s Portland Chapter monthly meeting to be January 15
  • Oregon Health Authority is recruiting for an ADA Coordinator/Civil Rights Investigator
  • NWDSA’s “Getting Ready for the Big Day” Kindergarten Transition Training is January 20
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society Scholarship applications open until January 31st
  • NAMI Multnomah offering three free classes to start in January for vets, families and peers
  • MULTCO Elections Division to help voters with disabilities vote in January 23 Special Election
  • State Advisory Council for Special Education meets January 25th, public comment welcome
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

 Portland’s Cast Iron Studios is conducting an open casting call for performers with disabilities

On Sunday, January 7, Casting Society of America members across the country will be opening their offices to union and non-union performers with disabilities. In Portland, Cast Iron Studios is heading up the charge. This is the casting company behind Oregon productions such as HBO’s Here and Now, TNT’s The Librarians, NBC’s Grimm, and the Oscar-nominated Wild.

Artists who are professionally trained, as well as those actively pursuing professional careers as performers, are welcome to attend. Artists will be given an opportunity to do a prepared scene in front of a panel of professional casting directors.

The event is part of CSA’s commitment to challenge unconscious bias, empower casting directors to lead the inclusion conversation, and discover, educate, and promote the next generation of “bankable” talent within a wide range of diverse communities.

The open call will offer underrepresented actors the opportunity to audition in a professional environment, while introducing casting directors to undiscovered gems, and a pool of talent who, with the right training, could become the next generation of diverse film and television stars.

“It’s very exciting for us at Cast Iron Studios to be participating in this nationwide casting call,” said Casting Director Lana Veenker. “We are eager to discover new talent whom we can put forward for the projects we cast."

Those interested in participating at the Portland location should go to Cast Iron Studios’ blog for more information, and to link to the sign-up page. Limited spaces are available.

For other locations across the U.S., please visit the CSA Inclusion and Diversity Facebook page.

Cast Iron Studios is committed to diverse, inclusive casting. There is no charge to create a basic profile in the company’s database, nor to audition for, or book any role. For more information, visit

Adaptive Bike Rental Program wraps up its first season, first of its kind in the nation

The innovative adaptive bike rental program, Adaptive BIKETOWN, began in July 2017 and has completed a successful first season, operating for 14 weeks and receiving popular support from its users. It is the first City-sponsored program of its kind in the nation.

An extension of BIKETOWN, Portland’s bike share program, Adaptive BIKETOWN is a bike rental service for people with varying abilities and offers a mix of tandem, hand cycles, and three-wheeled bicycles for rent by the hour with the goal of increasing access to cycling.

Based on the community response and usage, Adaptive BIKETOWN will reopen at Kerr Bikes on May 1, 2018, just in time for National Bike Month. Test-ride bikes will also be available from Adaptive BIKETOWN at all five 2018 Summer Parkway events. The program managers and staff thank everyone who made Adaptive BIKETOWN’s pilot season successful.

Here is Adaptive BIKETOWN's pilot season by the numbers:

  • 14 weeks: July 21 – October 31, 2017
  • 59 rentals
  • 68 percent of participants qualified for a discounted rate (people with disabilities, Medicare recipients, seniors, or self-identified as unable to ride a traditional two-wheeled bicycle)
  • 53 percent of riders surveyed said it was their first time riding an adaptive bike
  • Two-thirds of riders surveyed said they rode in a group
  • 76 percent of riders surveyed said they live or work in the Portland region

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. It plans, builds, manages and maintains an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Read more about Adaptive BIKETOWN’s program, including participant’s “firsts.” in PBOT’s blog.

The Adaptive BIKETOWN rental service is operated by Kerr Bikes, which is owned by the non-profit organization Albertina Kerr. Nike provides sponsorship support to increase awareness of the program. Different Spokes is also a program partner.

Incight’s 2018 Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for students with disabilities

Are you a student with a disability who is going to higher education in Oregon or Southwest Washington? The Incight 2018 Scholarship Application is now open through April 1, 2018. 

Since 2004, Incight has awarded more than 850 scholarships to students with disabilities pursuing higher education. These scholars are enrolled in Community College, University, Vocational School and Graduate Programs. Up to 100 students who demonstrate outstanding service to their community and overcome personal obstacles are awarded scholarships from Incight.

A new requirement for applicants is they must be attending a college in Oregon or Southwest Washington. Applicants must have a documented disability and be attending higher education following their application year. Full-time enrollment must also be maintained.

More information, including the scholarship application, for the 2018-19 Incight Scholarship program is available on the website. Incight also provides an application guide.

Incight was founded in 2004, by Vail Horton, who is a congenital amputee from Palm Desert, and Scott Hatley from Portland, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The name Incight comes from a hybrid of the word Incite – to spark a passion, and Insight – to possess intimate knowledge. This hybrid describes the founders original intention – to destroy the stigma that surrounds disability and fill in the gaps of other support services. The mission is to unlock the potential of people with disabilities.

The History of Disabilities, a Free Four-Part Webinar Series, begins January 11th

The Southeast ADA Center and The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University is extending an invitation to participate in a free four-part series that begins on Thursday, January 11, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Education credits are available with a certificate of completion if registered and verified attendance live or by archive.

The dates and topics of the four webinars are:

  1. January 11, 2018 - The Tangled Roots of Disability Policy
  2. January 25, 2018 - World War I and Rehabilitation
  3. February 8, 2018 - Mid-20th Century Ferment in Disability Rights
  4. February 22, 2018 - Civil Rights to Disability Rights 

The quest for social equality for people who have disabilities is a story that begins in the earliest years of the American experience. Marked by both great achievement as well as some of the darkest policies imaginable, the struggle to remove physical, institutional, and attitudinal barriers faced by people who have disabilities is a dynamic story of disappointment and perseverance that continues to today.

This webinar series provides an educational framework for students, social service professionals, family members, and most of all, people who experience disability. Participants will explore the roots of the disability rights movement and the historical turning points that shape contemporary policy. Dr. Larry Logue’s conversational style and deep knowledge of the subject matter make for an intriguing and thought-provoking webinar experience.

Join author and educator Dr. Logue as he tells the story of the disability rights movement in this four-part webinar series, “History of Disability Rights”. Dr. Logue will provide a fascinating journey; exploring the policies, legislation, movements, and personalities that have left their mark on this civil rights movement.

For more information about the webinar, go to this link which will provide web conferencing information, a registration form, and other details related to the sessions. There is also a phone number and email address to contact the Southeast ADA Center with any questions.

The Southeast ADA Center is one of ten regional ADA Centers in the ADA National Network — sponsored by grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA, including information about the rights of people with disabilities and the responsibilities of businesses, as well as state and helpful resources.

Hearing Loss Association of America’s Portland Chapter monthly meeting to be January 15

The Hearing Loss Association of America – Portland Chapter, will hold its January meeting in Good Samaritan Building 2, 1040 N.W. 22nd Avenue at Marshall Street, in the second floor Conference Room. The meeting is Monday, January 15, and starts at 6:30 p.m.

The group will gather to conduct the chapter’s business and provide a supportive atmosphere for participants to meet other hard of hearing people and learn about issues related to hearing loss. A meeting subject has yet to be determined.

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). ASL is not provided. 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 Health Authority is recruiting for an ADA Coordinator/Civil Rights Investigator

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) has a unique opportunity for an experienced, policy driven professional with a passion for social justice, equity and inclusion to fill the position of ADA Coordinator/Civil Rights Investigator. This position follows the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to coordinate processes regarding modifications/accessibility and to perform audits and evaluations of OHA facilities and programs, including OHA contractors and subcontractors for compliance.This recruitment closes on January 14, 2018.

Additionally, the incumbent will develop policies to address disparities and to promote equity and inclusion agency wide. Finally, the incumbent will advise OHA regarding systemic issues relating to civil rights (including conducting civil rights investigations), diversity, inclusion and cultural competence needs around the ADA. 

This position will monitor, manage and facilitate processes regarding modifications and access for the public under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), including coordinating ADA requirements agency wide. It will involve developing and completing audits and evaluations for Oregon Health Authority (OHA) facilities and programs, including OHA service providers, contractors and subcontractors for accessibility and making recommendations to improve the physical, electronic and programmatic access to OHA and its services including advising on the accessibility of web and other technologies, facilities, programs and services.

It will also include advising on the development and implementation of agency-wide training based upon relevant requirements for employees, managers, contractors and subcontractors through assessing organizational needs, as well as providing proactive consultation and technical assistance related to ADA guidelines, Oregon state standards and other relevant statutes, rules, and policies. Work will also be done closely with the ADA Senior Human Resource Analyst in OHA Human Resources and conduct civil rights investigations for the agency as necessary. 

The full job description and application requirements are available on the job position's website.

NWDSA’s “Getting Ready for the Big Day” Kindergarten Transition Training is January 20

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association is holding its “Getting Ready for the Big Day” training on Saturday, January 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The training will be held in 11611 N.E. Ainsworth Circle.

Moving from early childhood to the school years is exciting and can be confusing without tools and mentors to help navigate this transition. Participants can bring their parental expertise and dreams to join with coordinators and guest speakers who want to help parents along the path of this exciting adventure. This interactive and best practices driven training covers information about the law and your child’s rights, classroom tools and supports, IEP goal writing to support inclusion, communication tips from parents and more.

Designed for families of young children with developmental disabilities

  • Free of charge, donation accepted
  • Lunch provided
  • No childcare provided
  • RSVP required

“Getting Ready for the Big Day” is presented by All Born In (ABI), Northwest Down Syndrome Association, Disability Rights Oregon, and the Parent Coalition of Clark County. More information about the training, including the RSVP process, is available on the All Born In website.

NAMI Multnomah offering three free classes to start in January for vets, families and peers

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Multnomah affiliate is offering three classes that will begin in mid-January 2018. NAMI Homefront, Nami Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education and NAMI Family to Family are free classes, but pre-registration is required. Registration is now open for all three courses.

  • NAMI Homefront is a free educational program for families, caregivers and friends of military service members and vets with mental health conditions. The NAMI Homefront class will meet for 6 consecutive Tuesdays, January 16th – February 20th from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the VA Portland Medical Center.
  • NAMI Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education is a free educational program for adults with mental illness who are looking to better understand their condition and journey toward recovery. The Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education class will meet for 10 consecutive Saturdays, January 13th – March 17th from 10 a.m. to Noon in Northeast Portland.
  • NAMI Family-to-Family is a free educational program for family, significant others and friends of people living with mental illness. It is a designated evidenced-based program. Research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to an individual living with a mental health condition. The Family-to-Family class will meet for 12 consecutive Saturdays, January 13th – March 31st from 9:30 a.m. to Noon in Northeast Portland.

To register in one of the classes, just register with NAMI Multnomah’s HelpLine by calling 503-228-5692.

NAMI Multnomah is the Portland metro affiliate and one of 1,100 nationwide affiliates of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization. NAMI’s mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals and families living with mental illness through support, education, and advocacy. NAMI Multnomah helps educate people in the Portland metro area about mental health issues. It holds regular educational events, weekly support groups, and quarterly classes to help individuals and families better understand how to live with mental illness, begin the process of recovery, and sustain wellness. 

MULTCO Elections Division to help voters with disabilities vote in January 23 Special Election

State Measure 101 is the focus of a January 23 Special Election to approve temporary assessments to fund health care for low-income individuals and families, and to stabilize health insurance premiums. The Multnomah County Elections Division will assist voters with disabilities or voters who need help in their native language.

Voters with disabilities can request help with voting from a friend, family member or someone else they know. If needed, voters can also call and request voting and elections related help from Multnomah County Elections.

Elections Voter AssistanceTeams can help a voter in their home, at the facility they live in, or at an elections service location in Southeast Portland or Gresham. This help is always free of charge. Legally, employers or union representatives cannot provide assistance. 

Voters with limited English proficiency can also request assistance. Multnomah County Elections provides an interpreter, free of charge to anyone who needs help in voting or elections processes in a language other than English. Telephone interpretation is available in any language and there are bilingual elections staff. 

Further information is available on the Elections Voter Assistance is available on the county’s website. Multnomah County Elections Division provides also information about the January 23 Special Election and other elections scheduled during 2018 on its website.

State Advisory Council for Special Education meets January 25th, public comment welcome

The Oregon Department of Education will be holding a State Advisory Council for Special Education meeting on Thursday, January 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Public Service Building, Room 251A/B, at 255 Capitol Street N.E. in Salem.

During this meeting, the Department of Education will seek advisement from the councils in regards to Special Education in the State of Oregon.

Public Comment is welcome from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. A GoToMeeting call in option is available. Please email for additional information or to request a draft agenda.

All meetings of the State Advisory Council for Special Education are open to the public and conform to Oregon public meeting laws. Staff respectfully requests that people wishing to testify submit 50 collated copies of written materials at the time of their testimony. Persons sharing video or using audio presentations are asked to contact Khansaa Bakri at 24 hours prior to the meeting. ADA accommodation requests should be made by calling 503-947-5823 7-10 days prior to January 25, 2018.

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.

The Disability NEWS is created and distributed twice monthly on the first and third Wednesdays 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.