Disabled parking proposal

Title: Disabled parking proposal
Location: 1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Portland
Description: A proposal to accept recommendations for a Disabled Parking Program and direct Portland Bureau of Transportation to complete development of the program and implement new regulations effective July 1, 2014, will be presented to the Portland City Council at 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 19 in 1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Portland
Start Time: 14:00
Date: 2013-12-19
End Time: 15:00

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Seasons Greetings

It’s holiday season and with it comes all the trimmings:  shopping, decorating and great cooking. While we all want to step out into the season also with arms full of good cheer and generous giving to those less fortunate among us, it’s often hard to find the time to do so. But, we know you find the time to do it at this time of the year – and all year round – and we admire you for that!

We know you are among the most caring people in our community.  You give tremendously of your time, energy and talent to persons with disabilities all year round and that means you more than others are on the cutting edge of knowing where the need is, what that need is and how it is being remedied.

Since the Connecting Communities Coalition was designed to serve as a bridge among all you selfless servants to persons with disabilities, you are invited – encouraged – to use this website to advertise your events, let the rest of the community know what you’re doing.

This can be a valuable tool for you and that’s what it was always meant to be – a tool to pool talents, advertise events, brainstorm solutions and come together for a shared vision and common cause to lighten the burden.

THANK  YOU for what you are doing.  And, remember we’re here for you and want to support you in all you are doing for persons with disabilities.

Warmest wishes for a great holiday season,

Connecting Communities Coalition


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PHAME Choir at The Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights

Title: PHAME Choir at The Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights
Location: The Grotto (8840 NE Skidmore St Portland, OR)
Link out: Click here
Description: PHAME Choir at The Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights
One of our most PHAMEous annual holiday traditions! Join us at The Grotto for a heart-filled performance of holiday music featuring our full PHAME Choir under Music Director Matthew Gailey.
Monday December 16, 2013 – 7:00pm onward
The Grotto (8840 NE Skidmore St Portland, OR)
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2013-12-16

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PHAME Choir at The Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights

Title: PHAME Choir at The Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights
Location: The Grotto, 8840 NE Skidmore St, Portland, OR 97220
Description: PHAME Choir at The Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights
One of our most PHAMEous annual holiday traditions! Join us at The Grotto for a heart-filled performance of holiday music featuring our full PHAME Choir under Music Director Matthew Gailey. For ticket info, see: http://www.thegrotto.org/christmas/
Start Time: 19:00
Date: 2013-12-16

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Location: Tabor Space – Dining Hall, 5441 SE Belmont Venue is in the bottom level of the church and is accessible with a ramp in the parking lot feeding into the dining hall. On the #15 bus route
with live entertainment
Art, CD’s, Cards, Jewelery, Calendars, Carvings and other creative products brought to you by local entrepreneurs with disabilities
Saturday December 14th 11:30 am to 2:30 pm at Tabor Space – Dining Hall, 5441 SE Belmont
Venue is in the bottom level of the church and is accessible with a ramp in the parking lot feeding into the dining hall. On the #15 bus route.
If you would like to be a vendor, to volunteer to help with set up or clean up or just have question contact Lavaun.

Start Time: 11:30
Date: 2013-12-14
End Time: 14:30

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Portland Commission on Disability, Public Outreach and Awareness subcommittee

Title: Portland Commission on Disability, Public Outreach and Awareness subcommittee
Location: 421 SW 6th Ave., 5th floor Steel Bridge Room, Portland
Description: YOU ARE INVITED!
WHAT: All communities, Roguish Individuals and
Activist Gathering and Potluck, celebrating some great
equity work in 2013!
Hosted by Portland Commission on Disability, Public
Outreach and Awareness subcommittee
WHEN: 1-3pm Friday, December 13, 2013
WHERE: 421 SW 6th Ave. 5th floor Steel Bridge Room
Bring food or drink (non alcoholic beverages only) to
share, come eat and/or just come to be around
diverse networks of disability and equity organizers in
Portland and beyond.
If contributing to potluck,
so that we know who’s bringing what.
Thanks! Hope to see you there!
Start Time: 13:00
Date: 2013-12-13
End Time: 15:00

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Looking back at 2012, and forward to 2013.

Once again we have reached the end of a year. 2012 was a year marked by growth, renewed commitment, and community collaboration that will set the tone for future growth. The Connecting Communities Coalition has been fortunate to gain several new partners who contribute a great deal to our work. Organizations like Performance Mobility, L’Arche Portland, and PHAME Academy have added to the diversity of our organization and moved us that much closer to being a true cross-disability coalition.

As we reflect on the year coming to an end, we are so thrilled to be able to highlight a few triumphs that have marked 2012 as a year of incredible success:

- We provided nearly 20 people from the disability community with free professional advice on starting their own business. Our Small Business Development Panel was a rich mix of financing experts, business developers, and successful business people with disabilities that showed the audience what can be achieved when you advocate for yourself and use your resources.

- We celebrated the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act by hosting a community celebration. Guests reflected on America before the ADA, what they see now, and what they as future standards of inclusion and accessibility.

- We reinvigorated our ADA Subcommittee by recruiting new members that bring in new perspectives. This newly reformed group is set to tackle the growth of the BluePath program in the Portland Metro area, uniting the business and disability communities to promote accessibility and educate business owners about the spending power of the disability community.

- We collaborated with the U.S. Business Leadership Network to create a checklist for employers to use. The purpose of the checklist is to help business owners and leaders ensure that they are taking all possible measures to recruit, retain, and develop talent with disabilities.

- We announced the creation of the Connecting Communities Leadership Academy, a team effort across the business, academic, and nonprofit spheres that aims to create an accessible opportunity for budding leaders with disabilities to develop leadership skills to be used as advocates, on nonprofit boards, or in the workplace.

Though we are proud of how far we’ve come in 2012, we know that there is still much work to be done in 2013. The disability community is still experiencing disturbingly high unemployment, there are many opportunities still inaccessible, and there are still many goals we haven’t reached.

We need your help.

We are asking for your support. We need your time, your energy, and your voice. Please consider joining the Connecting Communities Coalition today and adding your name to the list of volunteers who are willing to help with the various projects that are taking top priority in 2013. We hope you will come grow alongside us as we do our part to strengthen the cross-disability community.

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by Lavaun Heaster, artist at Inclusive Accessible Art and Chair of the CCC Employment Subcommittee.

This piece by Lavaun Heaster depicts three angels, two women and one child, all of different ethnic backgrounds. They are clad in blue and white robes and carry candles. Surrounded by greenery, they are situated on a dark background.

“Winter Holidays”, by Lavaun Heaster, 2012.

Those people who know me well know that I usually have some strategic thinking going on when I make a decision. When I made the decision to put my time into the Connecting Communities Coalition I was thinking about ROI – return on investment. As many people with disabilities know, it is easy to get caught up in volunteer work when you are out of work. I believe the key is to choose your volunteer commitments wisely. I chose the CC Coalition because I thought it would help me expand my community contacts. What I did not know was all the other things it would provide when I decided to start my own business.

I wanted to begin a facilitation consulting business but was finding getting clients for this very challenging. Through Portland Commission on Disability work (which was in its own way born out of my CC Coalition work) I met Polo who is very well connected in the multicultural and advocacy community. I call Polo mi tío (uncle) because he offers me solace, wisdom and encouragement, which I need sometimes. Polo encouraged me to share my voice as a member of the disability community at a Colored Pencils event. We eventually partnered the Connecting Communities Coalition, Portland Commission on Disability and the Disability Art and Culture Project to co-host a Colored Pencils celebration in June 2012. I asked if I could be one of the artists for this event and started creating large versions of the paper craft cut outs I had been doing to make calendars. I discovered that I did not have a clear message about my art and I really started thinking about what my art is about.

I have come up with the tag line of “Inclusive Accessible Art from Personal Inspiration” and my quote is “Images are powerful and create as well as reflect reality, so Lavaun uses her images to plant seeds for new expansive realities.” Now that I have started making my art public people are asking about certain pieces and I share the stories when people ask.

I went to the CC Coalition General Membership Meeting in November to see a presentation by Kylie Foster giving us Social Media 101 for people with disabilities. I went in thinking, “It will be nice to learn about all this new fangled craziness for the youngsters.” Low and behold there was a real ROI for me in attending this meeting! I walked away still not wanting to have anything to do with Twitter but thinking about how a blog could help my art business. I could start writing about the stories behind my art which are all about making visible the under represented images. I have not blogged yet about disability because my focus at the moment is about finding an identity through art. I know the post on disability is coming because I just completed a Kwanzaa piece with a man holding a white cane and I already have a piece with a youngster using a wheelchair. In both pieces the disability is not the subject just part of a larger story. When Kylie said blogs can be an opportunity to tell a story, I knew this could be part of my path to being the artist I want to be.

The CC Coalition has figured into so much of how I ended up on my current path and I am thankful I invested wisely with my time and energy.

Interested in becoming a part of the Connecting Communities Coalition? The Membership tab allows you to fill out an online form and join our community of advocates, activists, business people, nonprofit organizations, and other members. Membership is free and will connect you with projects that benefit the cross-disability community.

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Guest Blogger: “If we can’t be allies then we can’t be friends.” by Caitlin Wood of Where’s Lulu

The following post appears as part of a guest blogger series beginning today with Caitlin Wood of Where’s Lulu fame. You can view the original post plus many more on her blog.

If we can’t be allies then we can’t be friends.

by Caitlin Wood

“The weight of inaccessibility is not logistical. It is not just about ramps, ASL interpreters, straws and elevators. It is a shifting, changing wall—an ocean—between you and I. It is just as much feeling and trauma as it is material and concrete. It is something felt, not just talked about. It is made up of isolation from another night at home while everyone else goes to the party. The fear of being left by the people you love and who are supposed to love you. The pain of staring or passing, the sting of disappointment, the exhaustion of having the same conversations over and over again. The throbbing foolishness of getting your hopes up and the shrinking of yourself in order to maintain. ” -Mia Mingus, Feeling the Weight: Some Beginning Notes on Disability, Access and Love.

I have been rereading Mia’s beautiful piece today, trying unsuccessfully to ignore the lump in my throat and keep the tears at bay. Newsflash! I’m a crier. It’s kind of my specialty, and something I’ve gotten very, very good at. It’s how I process and purge essentially all of my emotions and/or keep from engaging in drastic behaviors like assault and battery. At one point in my life, say my volatile early twenties, I likely would’ve thrown a shit-fit if provoked. Now I’m 30. Instead I just go home, drink too much club soda and torture my boyfriend with my endless, unmitigated emotions. I just have all these feeeeeeeeeeellllings, you know?

But I’m not writing this to beat myself up for my sensitive nature. I have many reasons for being the way I am. And my emotional responses are perfectly valid, legitimate and well-suited to the circumstances and situations I regularly encounter as a disabled woman in an ableist world. Like Mia mentioned, I’m doing what I can ‘in order to maintain.’ And it’s hard out there for a gimp.

Recently I had two separate instances where I experienced ableism at the hands of friends. Not acquaintances, but people who have known me for years and whom I have great affection for. The circumstances and persons involved on each occasion were different, but essentially both situations boiled down to me being the ONE PERSON left out of a group outing because of my disability. In each context, my friend(s) had planned an event that was inaccessible, made zero effort to ask me about potential accommodations and then talked about the event in front of me afterwards like it was no big deal. There seemed to be an implicit understanding on their part that I’d be okay with this.

I was not okay with this.

It was deeply upsetting. Instantly I felt isolated, alienated and disrespected. Why was I being excluded? Why didn’t they think to talk to me about it? That was by far the most distressing part for me. Had there been an acknowledgement of ‘hey this sucks, sorry you can’t come,’ I actually would’ve felt fine about it. I recognize there will be things I simply cannot take part in and despite being a diva I know it’s not always about me, yadda yadda yadda. But there was no such acknowledgement and so I just felt dissed. I expect this kind of carelessness from people who are new to the crip-friend world, but both of these cases were people who have known me for a LONG TIME.

After crying yet again to my boyfriend (annoying I know) out of frustration and confusion, I wondered: what exactly are my roles and responsibilities in these delicate situations? How do I respectfully confront a loved one about their hurtful behavior without risking ruining the friendship? Also: what is it about ableism that makes kind, usually-thoughtful people still engage in these overtly oppressive social-dynamics they don’t even realize they’re perpetrating? Even when you are literally staring them in the face?

I know that whether I like it or not (I don’t like it), the onus of educating nondisabled people about ableism is on me. It’s unfair and a lot of additional stress and pressure I don’t need. And I also have to do it with a smile on my face lest I get dismissed as the stereotypical ‘angry cripple.’ In a perfect world nondisabled people would take it upon themselves to read about the disability rights movement or analyze their own unchecked ableism. But it’s just not on the radar, and (in my skeptical opinion) unfortunately unrealistic to hope for that. All I have to do is read nasty comments from nondisabled people on this s.e. smith article to remind me how far disabled people have to go for equality. Cause those TABs are NOT getting it. I would like to believe there’s a possibility of progress for the disability community in my lifetime and I need to speak up- particularly when it’s affecting my personal relationships. It took these recent events to illuminate how truly difficult it is for me to address these issues with loved ones, because it is and probably will always be an incredibly sensitive spot for me.

I realize that by staying quiet out of fear of creating an awkward situation I’m not only adding to the problem, but also (very weirdly) extending a courtesy to people who aren’t extending the same courtesy back to me. They’ve already made me feel terrible by excluding me and by not confronting them out of a desire to avoid making them uncomfortable, I’m actually getting punished twice over. Because I’m not only nursing my own pain, but expending energy worrying about how THEY will feel once I tell them they’ve upset me. It’s nonsensical, but lucky for me I found a new Gemini therapist (who does Skype sessions with me cause her office is inaccessible! Ha ha?) who can hopefully help me get better at this.

I’m lucky to have several people in my life I consider true allies (shoutout to my bff Toshio and mi hermana amongst others). They’re nondisabled but they’re ‘down.’ I make huge distinctions between Friends and Allies. Friends can be allies but not always or even often. I thank the few, the proud, the allies in my life profusely!

Here are some tips to being a good ally. If our dear readers have any tips on how to navigate these tricky, gimpy waters of personal relationships and ableism, lay ‘em on me! I still have a lot to learn.

About the Author Caitlin, a.k.a Lulu, a dirty South transplant and current Portland, OR resident, is a disabled woman, a disability advocate, a foodie, and a drinkie. Caitlin sees Where’s Lulu as an opportunity to raise the standards of accessibility in everyday mainstream culture. She’s propelled by the fact that, despite being the world’s largest minority group, the disabled community continues to face marginalization and barriers at many levels.

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Home Forward will open Section-8 voucher waiting list

By Casey Parks, The Oregonian The Oregonian
on October 29, 2012 at 11:54 AM, updated October 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Home Forward will open its Section-8 rent assistance waiting list Thursday for the first time in six years. Low-income people can apply to be on the waiting list anytime between Nov. 1 and 10.

Section-8 Application Computer Locations:

Home Forward
135 SW Ash Street
M – F: 8 am to 4:30 pm

Home Forward – Humboldt Gardens office
5033 N. Vancouver Ave.
M – F: 8 am to 4:30 pm

Human Solutions – Powell office
12350 SE Powell Blvd.
M – F: 8 am to 4:45 pm

Human Solutions – Rockwood
124 NE 181st Ave.
M – F: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm

Mt. Hood Community College library
26000 SE Stark St.
M – Th: 7:30 am to 9 pm
Friday: 7:30 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 11 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 1 pm to 7 pm

Portland Metro Workforce Training Center
5600 NE 42nd Ave
M – F: 8 am to 5 pm

WorkSource Portland Metro Central
30 N. Webster Street, Suite E
M – F: 8 am to 5 pm

WorkSource Metro East
19421 SE Stark Street
M – F: 8 am to 5 pm

WorkSource New Columbia Express Center
4610 N. Trenton
M – F: 9 am to 5 pm

WorkSource Southeast
7916 SE Foster Rd. Suite 104
M – F: 8 am to 5 pm

This year, Home Forward will accept online applications for the first time. The agency administers the Section-8 voucher program for Multnomah County. Home Forward will not prioritize applications by date. Instead, officials will randomly choose 3,000 households from the applicants. Once a household is on the list, priority selection is provided for seniors, persons with disabilities, and people who are working or engaged in education or training programs.

Applicants must earn less than 50 percent of the area median income for their household size — $25,550 for a single individual and $36,500 for a family of four — to qualify for the program. Applicants must also pass a criminal background check, and at least one member of the household must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States. Multiple applications from people in the same household will be screened out and disqualified.

About 8,700 households receive Section-8 assistance through Home Forward now. When the agency opened the list in 2006, about 10,000 people applied.

Home Forward has partnered with several library branches and other organizations to provide Internet access to applicants. You can not fill out the application on a tablet or cell phone.

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