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Disability NEWS -- July 2, 2012

JULY 2, 2012

  • Portland City Council passes Open Captioning Resolution
  • Portland Commission on Disability July meetings
  • Portland Veteran’s Administration Med Center improving accessibility
  • Connecting Communities Employment Subcommittee meets July 9
  • Margaret Mann to have book signing on July 14
  • Nominations are open for the Making a Difference awards
  • Connecting Communities asks for help to preserve WIPA
  • PHAME announces an incredible Summer 2012 Season of performances
  • Visit the City’s and PCOD’s Facebook pages for current postings and news

Open Captioning Resolution
passes City Council unanimously

Portland City Council approved an Open Captioning Resolution unanimously on June 28 that will develop an implementation plan for opening captioning of all media produced by the City and presented on its websites or Public Access channels. Commissioner Amanda Fritz brought the resolution before Council in an afternoon session.

Several members of the Portland Commission on Disability were joined by members of the public at the meeting. All testimony offered was in favor of the resolution to remove a barrier to communication on the web, increasing inclusion and access for people with disabilities.

The Office of Equity and Human Rights will work in collaboration with the Bureau of Technology Services and City public information officers and webmasters to develop an implementation plan for captioning media produced by the City and determine the costs associated with the implementation. A report will be made to Council by September 1, 2012, about the captioning implementation plan and cost.

More information on the resolution is available on the City Auditor’s website at

Portland Commission on Disability
July 2012 Meetings

PCoD Accessibility in the Built Environment Subcommittee
Second Monday of the month
Monday, July 9, 10 am to 1 pm
1900 Building, 1900 SW Fourth Ave, Room 4A


PCoD Livability and Wellness Subcommittee
Second Tuesday of the month
Tuesday, July 10, 3 to 5 pm
Pettygrove Room, Second floor/City Hall
1221 SW 4th Avenue


PCoD Executive Board Meeting
Meeting rescheduled due to conflict with 4th of July
Wednesday, July 11, 6 to 8 p.m.
Office of Equity & Human Rights
The Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 4th Ave, Suite 500


PCoD Public Outreach and Awareness Subcommittee
Fourth Thursday of the month
Wednesday, July 26, 4 to 6 p.m.
Office of Equity & Human Rights
The Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 4th Ave, Suite 500


PCoD Employment Subcommittee
Fourth Friday of the month
Friday, July 27, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Pettygrove Room, Second floor, City Hall
1221 SW 4th Avenue


Portland Commission on Disability Meeting
Friday, August 10, 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Mayoral Candidates’ Forum 12:30 to 2 p.m.
1900 Building, 1900 SW Fourth Ave, Room 2500A

Portland VA Medical Center improving accessibility

The Portland VA Medical Center is adding signs with raised lettering to its elevators, reworking some counters and insulating some under-sink hot water lines to make the hospital easier to navigate for disabled veterans.

Charles Keen, executive director of Accessible Organization in Salem, a disability rights advocacy group, said the improvements will be helpful for veterans who are visually impaired or use wheelchairs.

Connecting Communities Coalition
Employment Subcommittee will meet July 9

The July meeting of the Connecting Communities Employment Subcommittee will be held on Monday, July 9, from 6 to 7:30 pm. The meeting location will be at Inclusion, Inc., which is located at 50 SE 18th Avenue in Portland. More information about the meeting is available on the ONI Online Neighborhood Calendar at


Author Margaret Mann to be at booksigning July 14

Margaret Mann will be reading and signing her book, “A Dramatically Different Direction,” at In Other Words bookstore, Saturday July 14, from 5 to 7 pm. In Other Words bookstore is located at 14 NE Killingsworth St. “A Dramatically Different Direction” is a poignant, funny and heart-rending autobiographical commentary by an old, bi-racial, lesbian, Buddhist in a wheelchair. Disabled in 1997 by a small blood vessel bursting in her spinal cord she has rebuilt her life with an amazing good humor and a dash of sarcastic wit.

Several of Margaret's articles have appeared in New Mobility Magazine in the past few years. Before moving back home to Hawaii Margaret was the assistant director of the Disability Rights Council in Washington, DC, and worked for a time at the Endependence Center (CIL) in Arlington, Va.

Nominations are now open for
the fall’s Making A Difference Awards

Nominations are open for the Making A Difference Awards 2012 which will be presented October 23 at Connecting Communities’ fall event, “Branch Out.” The City honors individuals and groups making a difference in the Portland disability community every year at this event.

Anyone who knows a business, organization, individual or youth  who deserves recognition for work that promotes equity; breaks down barriers, both physical and social; encourages the elevation of the disability community through employment, art, access or health, or other examples that may deserve recognition is encouraged to submit a nomination.

Nominations may be made on the form available at: The form includes specifics about the nominating criteria and requires some basic information to be submitted, including an additional sheet that tells how the nominee exemplifies the criteria areas. The form also has information for submitting in person, by regular mail or email. The deadline for nominations is September 1, 2012.

Connecting Communities asks

for help to preserve WIPA

The Connecting Communities Coalition (CCC) needs more and immediate help from the community to save the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) benefits planning program, which assists individuals with disabilities in using their benefits to obtain and continue to work and live more independent and self-sufficient lives. WIPA is a critical employment support for people with disabilities in a grueling economy and job market. Oregon's WIPA is part of Disability Rights Oregon (DRO).

CCC requests that supporters please e-mail or telephone Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue's office today and urge that he immediately act to continue the WIPA programs by releasing appropriated funds to the existing WIPA programs. Supports are aksed to stress the importance of WIPA in helping people with disabiliities get work and continue working. Note that in recent days, Commissioner Astrue's unwillingness to continue the WIPA programs has become the primary obstacle to saving these programs. Commissioner Astrue's e-mail address is:

Please also send brief e-mails to Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy and Associate Director of the Office of Communications, and Gene B. Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, reiterating your support for continuing the WIPA program and asking for the White House's help in supporting Commissioner Astrue in doing the right thing. E-mails to Dale may sent through the Office of Communications comment line at Sperling may be contacted by email at

PHAME announces an incredible

Summer 2012 Season of Performances
With summer’s start, PHAME has announced an incredible list of performances and special appearances that will culminate in a major debut August 18-19 when the PHAME Vocal + Instrumental Combo will open for and collaborate with Portland’s Pink Martini.

PHAME will also be debuting at the Waterfront Blues Festival, July 5-8, and the Mississipi Street Fair, July 14. On August 1, PHAME will debut a new documentary film about PHAME entitled “the H is for Honored Tour.” The feature-length documentary will be shown at the Hollywood Theatre and will take viewers on an unforgettable journey of the heart. Also, “PHAME is a Cabaret” will be performed August 16 at 7 pm at Artiists Repertory Theatre.

For more information concerning the performances and to purchase tickets, visit PHAME’s website at

Visit Disability Program Facebook

page for news, event postings

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement 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.

Get more news/information at the Commission’s website
You can access more information on resources, events and the Portland Commission on Disability at the program’s website:

The Commission has begun development of its own website, which is found at There are links for meeting calendars, the Commission’s Facebook page, commissioner profiles and other information. The site will be adding more content as the Commission has moved to the Office of Equity & Human Rights. Please visit and watch its development.

To update your contact information, if you know someone who would like to receive the newsletter or if you wish to submit information for the newsletter, please contact Patrick Philpott, Portland Commission on Disability program specialist, at:

Phone: 503-823-4432  -  TTY:503-823-6868


Please note: This information may also provided in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF formats. Please use the contact information above to make your request for an alternative format.

The Disability NEWS is distributed by the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Disability Program and the Portland Commission on Disability.