David Pitonyak Presentation: “The Importance of Belonging”

The Oregon DD Coalition has recently posted a training by disability advocate David Pitonyak on their website.  The training is called  “The Importance of Belonging” and it is from June of 2008. Check it out here.

The largest part of David Pitonyak’s work involves meeting individuals who are said to exhibit “difficult behaviors.”  Most of these individuals exhibit difficult behaviors because they are misunderstood and/or because they are living lives that don’t make sense.  Often they are lonely, or powerless, or without joy.  Often they are devalued by others, or they lack the kinds of educational experiences that most of us take for granted.  Too often their troubling behaviors are the result of an illness, or even a delayed response to traumatic events.

Another part of David’s practice involves training. He provide’s workshops and seminars on a variety of topics, including supporting people with difficult behaviors and supporting the needs of a person’s friends, family, and caregivers.

In the recent past, he has provided consultation and training for individuals, families and professionals throughout the United States,  Canada, Puerto Rico, England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  He has worked with people in a variety of settings, including:  home and professionally-staffed residential settings, schools,  supported competitive job sites, sheltered workshops, and day activity programs.

“The Importance of Belonging” Part 1

“The Importance of Belonging” Part 2

David Pitonyak’s Website

Thanks to Cynthia Owens for the tip.

Clackamas County: PGE Energy Assistance for People Who Have Never Received Energy Assistance

An important announcement from Clackamas County Social Services:


This state program operates year-round for low-income Clackamas County residents who have power bills from Portland General Electric.  During the OEAP Summer Outreach, June 1 to September 30, 2010, households that have not received energy assistance are a priority group for this program.

HOW IS ELIGIBILITY DETERMINED? To be eligible, a household’s income must be at or below 60% of Oregon’s median income. The following guidelines are based on total gross household income for all adult members, 18 and older, living in the home and the household size. The household must have an active Portland General Electric account in the name of an adult living in the home.  Both homeowner and renter households are eligible.

Size of Household / Gross Monthly Income (before taxes and deductions)

# of people: 1 Income cannot exceed $1757

# of people: 2 Income cannot exceed$2298

# of people: 3 Income cannot exceed $2839

# of people: 4 Income cannot exceed$3380

# of people: 5 Income cannot exceed$3921

# of people: 6 Income cannot exceed $4461

# of people: 7 Income cannot exceed $4563

# of people: 8 Income cannot exceed $4664

Each additional member add $101

HOW TO APPLY Applications are made through Clackamas County Social Services Division. For more information or to apply for energy assistance, call the Energy Assistance Line, 503-650-5640, select English and option 3.  Funds are limited, so there may be times when assistance is not available.  If you have never received energy assistance before, be sure to say “this is my first time requesting energy assistance” when you call to apply for Energy Assistance.

ENERGY EDUCATION Clackamas County Social Services and Clackamas County Weatherization offer Energy Savings Tips Workshops to help eligible households learn how to reduce their energy usage and improve their economic stability.  Be sure to ask about the workshops when calling for energy assistance.

Emergency Board Votes to Restore Some DD Budget Cuts

From the DD Coalition:

This morning, the Emergency Board voted to restore some of the reductions scheduled to occur in the Developmental Disabilities Program. The restoration is coming from funding currently being held in the Emergency Board Fund. Many self advocates, families, service providers, and others wrote letters, sent emails and talked with legislators and the press about the devastating impact the reductions would have on people with developmental disabilities and their families.   Thank you!!! Your voices were heard!!!

In a press release from the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate:
“Some of the restorations will protect services through the remainder of the biennium, ending June 30, 2011. Others will be protected until March 1, 2011. For the latter, restoring these services into next year will allow the Legislature to get at least three more revenue forecasts, determine the level of federal aid that may be available, and immediately ensure the safety of thousands of Oregonians receiving assistance.
“By restoring these cuts now, we’re avoiding higher costs down the road and retaining federal dollars. As we move ahead, we’ll continue to look at these factors along with our priority of protecting the most vulnerable amongst us,” said President Courtney.
“From the moment we received the last forecast and learned of the $577 million deficit, we said we would approach these cuts thoughtfully and carefully; that we would act when we had plans in place to protect Oregonians and that we would be guided by a set of principles that protected the most vulnerable Oregonians and protected our long term investments in the future of Oregon. Thursday’s E-board action is the next step along that path,” said Speaker Hunt.
Restorations specific to developmental disabilities include:
  • Medicaid Personal Care 20 through June 2011
  • In-Home Supports for Children / Long Term Care through June 2011
  • Case Management for Children through February 2011
  • Targeted Case Management in counties and brokerages through February 2011
  • DD Family Support Program through February 2011
Reductions that were not restored include:
  • Reduce county DD Program and brokerage administration by 10%
  • Eliminate county and brokerage quality assurance staff
  • Reduce comprehensive services rates by 6%
  • Reduce DD special projects and training
  • Reduce DD crisis diversion
  • Reduce county Regional Programs by 10%
  • Reduce housing extended maintenance
For a full listing of the reductions and restorations please go to the DD Coalition website at www.oregonddcoalition.org

Fairview Housing Trust Focus of Latest Oregon Perspectives Issue

The latest edition of Oregon Perspectives, a publication of the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities, is out now. This season’s issue focuses on The Fairview Housing Trust and what important home improvements have been brought to people as a result of this very important resource. This valued program is now being eyed as a potential budget cut. Read more here.

Bill Lynch’s spot-on opening letter from the issue:

Trust is built on promises kept. The Fairview Community Housing Trust Fund was built on a promise by state policymakers that Oregon would have a sustainable resource to enhance the safety and independence of individuals with developmental disabilities living in their own homes or their family homes. But now the state is openly talking about breaking that promise.

The idea of the trust fund was simple. Take the proceeds from the sale of the Fairview Training Center property and create a fund that would generate interest. Turn the interest into small grants to modify private homes so those homes are more accessible and safe for the people with developmental disabilities who live there. This is not charity; it’s a wise investment that helps keep people in their own homes so they do not have to enter much costlier state services.

They say desperate times call for desperate measures. There’s no question the state budget is facing desperate times, but some of the desperate measures being considered to fill the budget hole are indeed questionable. Even if the entire amount in the Fairview Community Housing Trust Fund were used to balance the state budget, that amount wouldn’t even begin to tip the scales. In the meantime, we would wipe out a self sustaining resource that costs the state nothing but has the potential to make a big difference in the lives of thousands of Oregon households. In fact, it already has for more than 1,000 households.

In this issue of Oregon Perspectives, you will hear from trust fund grant recipients from all over the state who say the small amount of money they received to modify their homes has had a huge impact on the quality of their lives.

We have no reason to doubt they are telling the truth, and they should have no reason to doubt we will
keep our promises.

Self Advocates Needed for SAAL Connection

A request from the Self Advocates as Leaders:

Hello, My name is Judy Cunio. I am the Self Advocacy Coordinator for the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities. As part of my job, I am the editor of The SAAL Connection (formerly known as The People First Connection), a publication of Self Advocates as Leaders. The SAAL Connection features stories written by and for self advocates.

I am writing this message because, as many of you know, the state does not have enough money to continue doing everything that it’s currently doing. So that means each agency needs to cut back on the money they spend on services.

But you can help us get policymakers’ attention by sharing your personal story!

We are looking for stories from self advocates about the type of support you get, what it means to you, and what life would be like without it. People can write their own stories or get help from someone to write it. The people who have to make the hard budget decisions don’t always understand the real harm that budget cuts will do to the people who need the services most.

If you would like to help, I invite you to share your story with The SAAL Connection, which is read by many people, including some legislators and other policymakers.  We plan to put together collections of stories and the more stories we collect from around the state, the greater impact we will have.

We would like to have stories in by August 1, 2010.

Please e –mail your stories to me:   Judy.a.cunio@state.or.us

Or postal mail:   540 24th Place NE, Salem, OR, 97301

Or you can call Marcie Tedlow at 503-725-8129