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Disability NEWS - November 22, 2013


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November 22, 2013

  • The U.N. 2013 International Day of Persons with Disabilities is December 3rd

  • Upcoming Portland Commission on Disability meetings schedule

  • Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon schedules two events during the holidays

  • Oregon Communication Access Project reports success with Trailblazers

  • Common Core State Standards is topic at FACT’s forum on December 10

  • Disability Rights Oregon announces openings for two I&R assistants

  • OODH conducting survey for public input on health assessment for PWD

  • Washington State hearing loss group has hospital kit for hard of hearing

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

UN observes 2013’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3rd will be observed as an "International Day of Persons with Disabilities" by the United Nations. Observances are being planned to raise awareness of disability and accessibility as a cross-cutting development issue and to further global efforts with promoting accessibility, removing all types of barriers, and realizing the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society.

This annual day has its origins back to 1981 when the U.N. General Assembly proclaimed that year as the International Year of Disabled Persons. Over time, December 3rd became identified as international day for persons with disabilities with an emphasis on a unique them every year. 2013's theme is "Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all." A major focus is practical and concrete action to include disability in all aspects of development, as well to further the participation of persons with disabilities in social life and development on the basis of equality.

December Portland Commission on Disability Meetings

PCoD Executive Board Meeting
Wednesday, December 4, 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, December 9, 10 am to 1 pm
1900 Building, 1900 SW Fourth Ave, Room 4A
Portland Commission on Disability Meeting
Friday, December 13, 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 Public Outreach and Awareness Subcommittee
Thursday, December 19, 4 to 6 p.m.

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

PCoD Employment Subcommittee
No December meeting, Currently meeting every other month.
See PCOD calendar at

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

Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon schedules two events during holidays

The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon (BIAOR) has scheduled two events in December: A holiday party for December 6 and its second annual Ice Cream Awareness Event on December 14. The party will be at John’s Incredible Pizza, 9180 SE Hall Boulevard in Beaverton, from 6 to 8 pm with a cost of $15 person. The Ice Cream Awareness Event is slated to be at Goody’s of Beaverton, 14700 SW Murray Scholls Drive, Suite 102, in Beaverton from 2:30 to 10:30 pm, with 10 percent of the sales donated to BIAOR.

The mission of the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon is to create a better future through brain injury prevention, advocacy, education, research, and support. To find out more about BIAOR or to sign up for the holiday party, visit online at or call 800-544-5243.

USS Oregon Memorial reopens Veterans Day with improved accessibility

Despite a blustery autumn weather day, members of the public, veterans, Office of Equity and Human Rights staff, Portland Commission on Disability and Human Rights Commission members, Commissioner Amanda Fritz and her staff celebrated a ribbon-cutting for the newly-accessible USS Oregon Memorial in Waterfront Park on Veterans Day. The November 11th event was the culmination of a project begun this summer to enhance access at the site that commemorates those who served during World War II.

Commissioner Fritz spoke about the partnership of the Commission on Disability, veterans’ organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Portland Parks and Recreation to address concerns over the previous inaccessibility at the location. The Commissioner expressed her joy at seeing the success of the partnership and shared ribbon-cutting tasks with several members of the groups present. A video about the project and ribbon-cutting is available on the OEHR YouTube Channel.

The project work included an ADA-accessible ramp and walkways on the north and south sides of the memorial, as well as some new landscaping features. Additional signage to improve accessibility for people experiencing visual disabilities will be added before the project is deemed complete. The USS Oregon Memorial is located in Portland Parks & Recreation Waterfront Park between SW Pine and Oak.

Oregon Communication Access Project reports success with Blazers

The mission of the Oregon Communication Access Project (OR-CAP) is to improve communication access for persons with hearing loss around Oregon by advocating with various venues to provide event captioning. OR-CAP reports that the Portland Trailblazers basketball games are now being captioned on an overhead display, visible to all spectators. The captioning will also be provided for other events at the arena in the Moda Center.

The group had ongoing discussions with team management and worked through three management changes to reach an agreement on the need for captioning. In earlier discussion, the team management had been leaning towards using hand-held captioning devices. In the end, as in the beginning, the Trailblazers were supportive and cooperative in moving forward to provide captions on the central scoreboard for everyone to see and use.

OR-CAP has similar projects underway for the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene's Hult Center for the Performing Art, Corvallis' Carmike Cinemas and both University of Oregon and Oregon State University Athletics. More information about OR-CAP is available at

Common Core State Standards is FACT’s forum topic on December 10

Family and Community Together (FACT), in collaboration with Portland Public Schools (PPS), is conducting a forum to learn about the complex and often misunderstood topic of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and what it looks like for students receiving special education. The forum will be Tuesday, December 10, from 7 to 9 pm, at the PPS's Blanchard Education Center, 501 N Dixon.

The intent of this forum is to provide information and give parents and professionals a better understanding of implementation of CCSS, an introduction to standards-based Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals, and the new Smarter Balance assessment. Understanding these changes is preparation to support a student with his/her IEP next and in preparation for future assessments. Read more about the forum on the event’s webpage.

Formed in 2002, FACT (formerly the Family Action Coalition Team) is a family leadership organization for individuals and their families experiencing disabilities, working collaboratively to facilitate positive change in policies, systems, and attitudes, through family support, advocacy, and partnerships.

Disability Rights Oregon announces openings for two I&R assistants

Disability Rights Oregon (DRO) has recently posted a position announcement for two openings as Information and Referral (I&R) Assistants. An I&R Assistant plays a critical role in providing services to individuals and family members seeking assistance from DRO.

The I&R Assistants are the first contact for the thousands of people served by DRO each year. An I&R Assistant's responsibilities range from screening callers and directing them to the appropriate staff person to providing information and referral resources based on each caller's unique needs. In addition, the I&R Assistants help to maintain DRO's professional office by managing the equipment and supplies, filing case files for DRO attorneys and providing overall office clerical support. For more information, click the DRO employment link at the organization’s website.

OODH conducting survey for public input on health assessment for PWD

The Oregon Office on Disability & Health (OODH) is asking for input to help improve the health of Oregonians with disabilities. By completing a short and anonymous survey, important information will be gathered to assist OODH and its state partners in learning about the health of people with disabilities in Oregon.

OODH is requesting the public to help by taking the survey at this link and for participants to share it with their friends, family and others. A report on the survey results will be available on the OODH website in 2014.

The organization’s mission is to prevent secondary conditions and improve the health and quality of life for Oregonians with disabilities through improved access to health care facilities, public health programs, and effective health promotion and wellness programs. More information about OODH is available on the OODH website.

Washington State hearing loss group has hospital kit for hard of hearing

The Hearing Loss Association of America - Washington Chapter (HLAA-WA) has developed a kit to help people with hearing loss when they are in the hospital for treatment. An easy-to-use $10 kit includes a variety of materials and literature to help ensure that a person with hearing loss will still be able to effectively communicate with doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

The kit is to inform staff of two things: the person is hard of hearing and how to best communicate with them. For more information, including a list of the kit's contents, visit the HLAA-WA 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 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 created and distributed by the City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights and its Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Disability Program.