Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Neighborhood Involvement

Building inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.

ONI Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

Disability NEWS - 3/22/2013


March 22, 2013

  • Blind advocates protest internal hiring of head for state blind commission
  • Connecting Communities featuring speakers at March 27 membership meeting
  • Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability meetings in April
  • Portland Commission on Disability has active agenda ahead for 2013
  • Participate in Housing Opportunity Lobby Day on April 4th at the State Capitol
  • PHAME’s Spring 2013 Term Registration is open for enrollment
  • Disability Committee for Home Forward will meet on April 4
  • The Portland Safety Net Campaign returns to mobilize on budget cut concerns
  • Incight’s “Tapping Fresh Talent” Career Expo will be April 11 at Expo Center
  • Qualified taxpayers may receive brand name tax software for free
  • Visit the City’s and PCOD’s Facebook pages for current postings and news

Advocates for the blind protest
hiring of head for state commission

Members of the community and organizations that represent the Blind will rally and protest on Tuesday, May 26, about the recent promotion of an existing staff person to be executive director of the Oregon Commission for the Blind. The action will take place at the Commission’s Portland headquarters, 535 SE 12th Avenue, at noon.

The group of advocates says that the protest is that a more-qualified candidate, Joe Cordova, was passed over to merely promote an existing supervisor, Dacia Johnson, to run the troubled agency. Stakeholder surveys show overwhelming support for Cordova. Their concerns arise from poor agency audits that the current management has received. They claim that Cordova has experience and proven ability in rehabilitative services to make improvements in an agency that has shown a poor level of service to its constituents. The advocates are urging people call Governor Kitzhaber’s hotline, 503-378-4582 and implore him to not accept the recent hiring decision.


CCC March membership meeting
features speakers on equality & equity

Connecting Communities Coalition (CCC) has announced that two speakers will be providing information at its membership meeting on March 27. The meeting is from 5:30 to 7 pm at Independent Living Resources, 1839 NE Couch Street, in Portland. Dean Westwood, a disability trainer and community outreach specialist at OHSU, and Shoshanah Oppenheim, City of Portland project manager, are scheduled to speak to the membership.

Westwood will discuss how to be a stronger self-advocate in the community and how he is working to help OHSU’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion create university-wide initiatives that promote equality for all. Oppenheim will speak on advancing equity and diversity in Portland and discuss the development and implementation of a city civil rights plan and its effect on various communities.

To RSVP, contact Laura Lundberg at or call 503-261-1266, excention 187.


April Portland Commission
on Disability Meetings

PCoD Executive Board Meeting

Wednesday, April 3, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

St. Johns Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights

Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Accessibility in the Built Environment Subcommittee

Monday, April 8, 10 am to 1 pm

1900 Building, 1900 SW Fourth Ave, Room 4A

Portland Commission on Disability Meeting

Friday, April 12, 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Steele/Bridge Rooms, Office of Equity & Human Rights

Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Livability and Wellness Subcommittee

Friday, April 12, 1 to 3 pm

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

PCoD Public Outreach and Awareness Subcommittee

Thursday, April 18, 4 to 6 p.m.

Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights

Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

PCoD Employment Subcommittee

Friday, April 26, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Broadway Room, Office of Equity & Human Rights

Commonwealth Building, 421 SW 6th Ave, Suite 500

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


Portland Commission on Disability
has active agenda ahead for 2013

The first quarter of 2013 has the Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD ) already very busy with work regarding its City government duties and other concerns for people with disabilities. The Commission has issued several formal letters on proposed City zoning code amendments for apartments and reduced parking and opposition to proposed budgets that will make substantial reductions to the City’s curb cut program. Letters were also sent with comments about two proposed bills in the State legislature, one in support of the repeal of the ban on Inclusionary Zoning and the other in support of a bill regarding access rights for the training of service animals for people with psychiatric disabilities.

PCOD’s new chair, Joe VanderVeer, recently met with Dante James, Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR) director, to discuss PCOD work plans and working with OEHR to further the Commission’s goals. They exchanged ideas and plans to address data needs, subcommittee work, further collaboration and specialized support needs.

The subcommittees are refining their work plans following the February PCOD meeting and are moving forward with initial work on the Model Employer Plan, executive committee liaisons to City Council, addressing next year’s budget, outreach/networking efforts, internal communications and other concerns. A new subcommittee on public safety is also being formed and will be seeking community participation.


Housing Opportunity Lobby Day
is April 4th at the State Capitol

The Oregon Opportunity Network reports that registration for Housing Opportunity Lobby Day  on April 4th is now open. They encourage others who believe that hard-working people in Oregon should be able to afford housing and have money left for food and basic necessities to join them from 8 am to 4:30 pm in Room 50 at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

This is an opportunity to speak with legislators about ways to build a better Oregon and help to take significant steps towards meeting housing needs in the state. The organizers will handle all the logistics, including making appointments with legislators and providing a hearty lunch. Anyone with questions or wants to participate and needs a ride to Salem may contact Omar at Further details about Housing Opportunity Lobby Day are available on this website link.


PHAME’s Spring 2013 Term
Registration is now open for enrollment

PHAME’s Spring 2013 Term registration is now open and available at its website. The spring term runs from April 1 through June 6 with even more opportunities for new and returning students to get their PHAME on. PHAME urges people to register now for their favorite classes or to branch out and try something new with the support of  great friends and teachers. Thanks to the support of the BP, Lester and Regina John Foundation, Larry Holzman and other generous individuals, tuition assistance is always available. For more information, email Jessica Dart, artistic director, at


Disability Committee for Home Forward
will meet in the afternoon on April 4th

The Disability Committee (504 Committee) for Home Forward meets on Thursday, April 4, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, in the sixth floor Columbia Room at 135 SW Ash Street in downtown Portland. The group reports that near the end of 2012, Home Forward dissolved its connections to its disability committee that was formed to advise the board on disability rights matters. These are basically matters which apply due to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This status is being questioned and will be investigated.

The committee will continue looking into activities and research to benefit people with disabilities in public housing. For accommodations, please contact the Home Forward Building at 503—802-8300.


Portland Safety Net Campaign returns
to mobilize on local budget concerns

The Portland Safety Net Campaign is back to address safety net programs that are facing budget cuts. “We are the Safety Net” is the slogan and a webpage is online at The campaign organizers are calling for people to visit and like the webpage, post their picture on the Facebook page, share and build momentum to provide a community safety net that provides a level of security that everyone needs.

When people have a safe, stable, affordable place to live they’re better able to invest in themselves, their children and help maintain a better community for us all. This campaign believes that by investing the public’s resources in the safety net, local government supports this community’s values. The safety net consists of critical investments in: rent assistance, homebuyer/foreclosure prevention support, shelter/emergency service, self-sufficiency services, and housing and service access. Organizers say that together a creative, caring campaign is being created which is worthy of the people who need a voice the most.


Incight’s "Tapping Fresh Talent"
Career Expo is April 11 in Portland

The 2013 Tapping Fresh Talent Career Expo will be on April 11 from 10 am to 2 pm in the Oregon Convention Center's large exhibit hall. Incight and Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services are hosting the sixth Tapping Fresh Talent event to link employers with the skills and talents of Oregonians with disabilities and to grow inclusion with businesses needing those talents.

The career inclusion expo is the place for businesses to expand their diversity, interact with the fastest growing minority, improve their retention, recruit job seekers with disabilities, find interns and more. Workshops are scheduled for job seekers in self empowerment to help reduce limiting beliefs which inhibit success, networking to make a difference for employment and starting one's own business. More information for business and attendees is at the Tapping Fresh Talent website.


Qualified taxpayers may receive
brand name tax software for free

A taxpayer, whose Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $57,000 or less, may qualify to use a brand name tax software to prepare and e-file their taxes for FREE. By answering a few questions on, people can determine if they are eligible to use Free File tax software.

Even if a person's AGI is more than $57,000, they can still use Free File fillable forms for their federal tax return. Learn more about Free File for all taxpayers.


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, Program Specialist for the Portland Commission on Disability, at 503-823-4432 by phone or email

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.