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Neighborhood Involvement

Building inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.

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Disability NEWS – November 15, 2017

Graphic of Disability NEWS Banner

Above: Graphic of Disability NEWS Banner.

November 15, 2017

In this issue…

  • City of Portland’s Disability Power PDX accepting Applications for 2018 session
  • “Including Disability in the Equity Conversation” is topic of YWCA Social Justice Training
  • Help the Portland Disability Program reach and exceed 1,000 Likes on its Facebook page
  • Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library provides Braille and audio books and magazines
  • HLAA-Portland November Meeting will discuss assistive listening devices
  • FACT Friends & Family Access Play at Children’s Museum on November 21
  • December 3rd is the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • ASAN announces the release of its Autism & Safety Toolkit for downloading
  • FACT Oregon’s Holiday Party is December 2nd at the Portland Children’s Museum
  • NWDSA Open Arms Play Group is opportunity for parents to connect with each other
  • Visit Disability Program Facebook page for more news, event postings

City of Portland’s Disability Power PDX accepting Applications for 2018 session

The City of Portland’s Disability Program is accepting applications for the 2018 Disability Power PDX. This is Portland’s only disability-centered opportunity focused on Portland’s civic and community engagement.

Disability Power PDX offers training, skill building, and practical experience for people with disabilities who want to affect public policy and become more engaged in Portland’s communities. 

Members of Disability Power PDX will participate in a series of workshops, individual learning opportunities, and meetings with local organizations to deepen their knowledge of local engagement opportunities and the ability to effectively engage in Portland civic life. Members will learn about disability identity and culture, accessing community resources, and navigating local and national government. Any skill or experience level is welcome.

To support equitable participation, Disability Power PDX members will receive a stipend to recognize their time and contribution to the City of Portland, and all sessions will include lunch. Childcare and transportation support will be provided upon request.

To apply, individuals should complete the Disability Power PDX Application available online or by phone. Applications will be accepted through Monday, December 4th 2017.

More information about Disability Power PDX, including ways to apply, can be found at or by contacting Joanne Johnson at 503-823-9970.

“Including Disability in the Equity Conversation” is topic of YWCA Social Justice Training

The YWCA of Greater Portland is conducting a social justice training on “Including Disability in the Equity Conversation” on Friday, November 17, from 1 to 4 p.m. The training will be at the Multicultural Service Center, 4610 S.E. Belmont Street. Accommodation requests may be made by contacting Aila Hauru at or (503) 294-7480.

Allison Falleur Barber, Samrawit Biyazin and Jennifer Knapp will presenting at the training and helping engage participants in learning from the life experience of people with disabilities. It will cover a range of topics from concrete tips for increasing accessibility from increased risk of abuse to social justice and disability. This conversation is to equip participants in increasing their community consciousness, inclusive thinking and actions.

Further information, including registration, is provided on the Including Disability in the Equity Conversation event webpage []. This workshop fulfills a requirement for 40-hour Domestic Violence Advocate Training.

The YWCA of Greater Portland is the local affiliate of one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation. Its services extend from Multnomah County to clients from all over Oregon. Their programs span five key areas: Domestic Violence Services, Family Preservation Project, Senior Service, Social Justice and Youth Services.

Help the Portland Disability Program reach and exceed 1,000 Likes on its Facebook page

Like to help the Disability Program Facebook page reach 1,000 Likes from the community? Currently, the Facebook page is less than 10 Likes away from 1,000. Readers/friends of the NEWS can help with reaching 1,000 and, hopefully, even more likes.

The Facebook page has been providing Portland’s disabilities community with a source of social media information related to persons with disabilities. This often helps provides very time-sensitive information to the community. It has seen a significant rise in views and likes during 2017, along with a similar increase in outreach numbers for the Disability NEWS and the program’s website.

If you have a moment or have never checked out the Facebook page, now is an opportunity to see what is being posted. Post a like and help others find information that is timely and of interest to the disabilities community.

Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library provides Braille and audio books and magazines

The Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library, a division of the State Library, is a free library for any Oregonian with a print disability, which includes visual, physical, and reading impairments. Though physically located in Salem, Talking Books loans Braille and audio books and magazines to eligible readers across the entire state. All lending is done free through the mail or via download.  Talking Books is the regional library in the state for the Library of Congress’ National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped network.

Talking Books has leisure reading books and magazines like those found in local public libraries. However, reference books, textbooks, and academic journals are not available. Listening to music is also not available from Talking Books, but instructional music materials and musical scores can be obtained directly from the National Library Service.

The Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library is truly free and provides every reader with the free audio book player which is necessary to play the specially-formatted audio books. Books are mailed for free, have no late fees, and are returned using pre-paid mailing cards. Users may also download as many books and magazines as they want and gain access to NFB-Newsline for free. The library is free to any Oregonian with a print disability, which includes visual, physical, and reading disabilities.

More information about Oregon’s Talking Book and Braille Library is available on the website. Find out more at the program’s website about how it works, how to sign up, services for institutions, related resources, and more.

HLAA-Portland November Meeting topic is assistive listening devices and methods

The Hearing Loss Association of America – Portland Chapter, will hold its November meeting at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center’s Wistar Morris Room on the ground floor, 1015 NW 22nd at Marshall Street. The meeting is Monday, November 20th, and starts at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting topic is Assistive Listening Devices and Methods. Attendees are invited to bring a device or talk about a system they find helpful in listening to or communicating with others. Examples: a neckloop and MP3 player combo; Roger Pen; pocket talker; a smartphone app; or whatever system helps them. The group will also be joined by Erik Iverson of Rose City Sound who will help everyone better understand the technology involved in sound systems.

The Portland chapter is dedicated to providing a supportive atmosphere for persons with hearing loss to meet other hard of hearing people and learn about issues related to hearing loss. The chapter meetings are real-time captioned and are equipped with a loop system (usable by wearers of hearing devices equipped with telecoils).

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.

Please note that after November 20, the HLAA-Portland meeting location will change to a different building and room on the Good Samaritan Campus. On December 18 and in 2018, the meeting will be in the second floor conference room of Building 2, 1040 N.W. 22nd Avenue. It is directly across NW 22nd Avenue from the Main Hospital Building.

FACT Friends & Family Access Play at Children’s Museum is November 21

Join FACT Oregon at its monthly free Friends and Family Access Play event at the Portland Children’s Museum on Tuesday, November 21. The event is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 4015 S.W. Canyon Road.

This is a calmer, low-sensory playtime open exclusively for families with children experiencing disabilities. This includes friends and families of FACT’s partner organizations. 

Please note that the onsite Museum Cafe will not be open to sell food during this event. Participants may bring their own snack or dinner to eat at the cafe tables in the lobby.

This event is in partnership with the Autism Society of Oregon, Albertina Kerr, Oregon Disabled Project and Providence Children’s Health.

The Red and Blue MAX Lines may be taken to the Washington Park Station stop. The museum is located across from the Oregon Zoo. See the event announcement on FACT Oregon’s website.

December 3rd is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on December 3rd around the world. The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”. This theme focuses on the enabling conditions for the transformative changes envisaged in the 2030 Development Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 2030 Agenda is a plan of action which seeks to transform our world and to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner. The transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society provides an opportunity for persons with disabilities to address their challenges through collective efforts with other stakeholders to design, develop and implement affordable and innovative solutions.

This annual day of observance 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 theme every year. For further information about the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, please visit the United Nations’ website.

ASAN announces the release of its Autism & Safety Toolkit for downloading

An Autism & Safety Toolkit, developed by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), has been released to help autistic people be safe in their communities. This is the first toolkit made by autistic self-advocates, focusing on safety issues that affect them and has tools to deal with their safety concerns.

Autistic people have the right to be safe and live independently in their communities. We also face significant threats to their safety, including higher rates of abuse, institutionalization, suicide, and police violence. Too often, autistic voices have been erased from conversations about autism and safety.

This toolkit provides information about:

  • Abuse and neglect
  • Bullying
  • Interactions with police
  • Mental health
  • Safely navigating the community

Many people think that persons with developmental disabilities must give up their autonomy, or be separated from the broader community, in order to be safe. In reality, they are safest when being included in the community and empowered to take control of their own lives. 

The toolkit describes safety risks which autistic persons face, discusses different ways to address them, and debunks myths about safety that are sometimes used to curtail independence and access to the community. The Autism & Safety Toolkit comes in three sections and may be downloaded on the ASAN website.

ASAN seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. The organization believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which autistic people enjoy equal access, rights, and opportunities. See ASAN’s home page at to learn more about the organization, its resources, policy, projects, and how to be involved.

FACT Oregon’s Holiday Party is December 2nd at the Portland Children’s Museum

Goodies, coffee and hot chocolate are being provided at FACT Oregon’s Holiday Party. It is being held at the Children’s Museum on Saturday, December 2. From 8 to 10 a.m., the museum is open especially for FACT Oregon families who may stay and play as long as the museum is open.

The exhibits will be sensory friendly, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting with families and taking photos, and there will be milk, cookies and other goodies! The event is free and open to FACT Oregon families and friends.

To learn more about the event and to sign up, please visit the FACT Oregon Holiday Party website.

Please note that people who drive will have to pay for meter parking at the children's Museum. Parking is $1.60 an hour or $4.00/ for all day. The MAX Red and Blue lines provide service at the Zoo/Washington Park stop.

NWDSA Open Arms Play Group is an opportunity for parents to connect with each other

Northwest Down Syndrome Association’s Open Arms Play Group will be Monday, December 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Earl Boyles Elementary School, 10822 S.E. Bush Street in Portland. Open Arms is a parent-driven play group for children birth through five with disabilities, and their family.

The play group is organized to give parents opportunities to connect with each other on a personal level by asking questions, sharing ideas, and learning from others experience. Open Arms is a fun place where children can play, snack, learn and grow together. The play group instills the belief that parents are the experts and number one advocate of their children. There is no charge and welcome all families with kiddos with disabilities age 0 to 5 are welcome, including siblings. Snacks are provided and Spanish interpretation is available. (Para comunicarse en español: Maria Rangel, 503-238-0522.)

For more information, contact Angela Frome by email at or call 503-238-0522.

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.