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Disability NEWS -- December 10, 2012


DECEMBER 10, 2012

  • SSA adds more CAL decisions to speed up decisions on disability applications

  • Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability meetings

  • Users of television captioning urged to participate in TDI survey

  • Oregon Health Policy Board meeting seeks input on December 10

  • Connecting Communities Coalition has openings on ADA Subcommittee

  • DOL launches database of ready-for-hire candidates with disabilities

  • Housing Forum to benefit community members with disabilities set for January 29

  • Federal Benefit Paper Checks to Stop in 2013, Sign Up for Direct Deposit

  • PCOD subcommittee making more partners with info sharing project

  • Visit the City’s and PCOD’s Facebook pages for current postings and news

SSA adds more CAL decisions, 
speeding up disability application process

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has added 35 new Compassionate Allowances Conditions (CALs), bringing the total number of conditions in the expedited disability process to 200. CALs expedite the processing of Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income disability claims for applicants whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet Social Security's definition of disability.

Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. Compassionate Allowances is not a separate program from the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs. Visit for more information about Social Security disability and other benefits programs.

Upcoming Portland
Commission on Disability Meetings

Portland Commission on Disability Meeting

Friday, December 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Steele and Bridge Rooms,

Office of Equity & Human Rights

The Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500


PCoD Livability and Wellness Subcommittee

Friday, December 14, 1 to 3 pm

Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights
The Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Public Outreach and Awareness Subcommittee

Thursday, December 20, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Broadway Conference Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights

The Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PLEASE NOTE: All Portland Commission on Disability
meetings and events are open to the public.

Users of television captioning
urged to participate in TDI survey

Computer users who view programming online, are invited to take an important survey at this link and provide feedback regarding the current state of captioning for TV programs and other programming shown on the internet. Participants may fill out a survey for each show they view online.

For people with hearing loss who use the internet to watch TV programs, captioned programs can be a real help.  Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Inc. (TDI), a consumer advocacy organization for Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing, has established an online survey to get this valuable user feedback.

The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) now requires that many captioned TV shows are now required to be captioned when they are shown online.  Results of this survey will be provided to the FCC and the TV industry to help in the development and maintenance of quality captioning standards. This will also help the equipment manufacturers and TV program producers know whether their devices and/or software applications are meeting user needs and expectations.

Oregon Health Policy Board seeks
input at its December meeting

At its December 11th meeting, the Oregon Health Policy Board is soliciting public input concerning health system transformation:  how it has worked from the perspective of the clients and people who serve them; how it could work better; examples of best practice; anything that participants want to share!

The meeting starts at 1 pm and ends at 4:45 pm.  The Board will be meeting in Portland in the Multnomah County Commissioner’s office at 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., but there will be satellite sites set up in Medford, Bend, LaGrande, Tillamook and Eugene. Consider attending in Portland or one of the other locations and offer your input. This link to the agenda will provide further information.

Connecting Communities Coalition
has openings on ADA Subcommittee

Connecting Communities Coalition (CCC) is seeking people who want to have a voice in creating substantive change for the future regarding inclusion and accessibility in Portland. Its ADA Subcommittee is seeking members to join and develop a forum where citizens can bring their accessibility concerns to spur advocacy and action for change.

CCC asks anyone to consider joining the ADA Subcommittee who wants to see change and hasn’t had the opportunity to act, is interested in Univeral Design for inclusive access, loves and is interested in work on the ADA, and/or is concerned about access issues they encounter. The subcommittee meets every second Tuesday of the month in the evening. Email Allison Falleur or Stan Postlethwait for more information by clicking on their name.

DOL launches database of ready-for-hire
candidates with disabilities for employers

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy has launched the 2013 Workforce Recruitment Program database, a recruitment resource for employers seeking a diverse workforce that includes employees with disabilities.

The database contains profiles of postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities, including veterans, representing a wide variety of academic backgrounds and degree levels. Candidates who are seeking summer employment as well as recent graduates looking for regular full-time positions have been interviewed and pre-screened by federal recruiters.

Private sector employers can access the WRP through ODEP's national Employer Assistance and Resource Network by making a toll-free call to 855-275-3276 or visiting

Initial housing forum to benefit
people with disabilities is January 29

A community forum in Multnomah County is being held to discuss housing and services for individuals with disabilities. Set in a World Cafe style, the first forum is slated for Tuesday, January 29, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at Independent Living Resources, 1839 NE Couch St. Two additional forums are scheduled for February 4 and February 14.

The purpose of the forum is to gather input and identify state as well as local strategies and action steps as part of a federal planning grant for housing for individuals with disabilities. Information gathered at the Forum will aid in establishing state policy recommendations and the role of HUD 811 resources in Oregon.

Housing providers, service providers, housing and services consumers, advocates, private and community partners, and community leaders are invited to attend. To find out more and to register, contact Margaret McConnell through email at or by calling 503-232-7411, extension 334.

Federal Benefit Paper Checks to
Stop in 2013, Sign Up for Direct Deposit

The U.S. Treasury Department is phasing out paper check payments and requiring federal benefit recipients to receive their benefit money electronically by March 1, 2013. Anyone receiving Social Security, veterans’ or other federal benefits by paper check should act now to receive their money safely, quickly and on time. People may choose to receive payment by direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or to a Direct Express Debit card account.

Visit the Go Direct website link to learn how to make your choice and avoid any interruption in payment next spring. Please note, anyone already receiving their federal benefit payments electronically will not be affected by the change and does not have to indicate a change for payment.

PCOD subcommittee creating
more partners with info sharing project

The Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) is finding more community partners through its outreach program that shares information related to Portland disability community. This is a step to expand the Commission’s outreach to individuals and other organizations in the Portland disability community. The Commission’s Public Outreach & Awareness Committee is now providing an information materials table at its meetings with a variety of event and meeting information for people with disabilities.

Responses to inquiries from the committee’s members has been very favorable as organiza­tions are supplying flyers, brochures and newsletters to distribute to Commission meeting attendees. The Commission’s goal is to work with other organizations to help provide more information about services, meetings and events of interest to people with disabilities in Portland. Organizations who wish to find out more about sharing information resources with the Commission may call 503-823-4432.

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 is adding more content now that the Commission has moved to the Office of Equity & Human Rights. Please visit and follow 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


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 Portland Commission on Disability and the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Disability Program.