Multnomah County Transition Resource Fair – April 9th in Portland

Reynolds School District in collaboration with Multnomah County School Districts presents the 2010 Multnomah County Transition Resource Fair.

Time – 10am – 6pm on April 9th, 2010

Place: Four Corners, Reynolds School District
14513 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR  97233

Independence Northwest will be sharing a table with several other metro area brokerages.

The fair will include resources on jobs, self-determination, health care, housing and training available to individuals living in Multnomah County and receiving (or preparing to receive) high school transition services.

For questions, please contact Shirley Burns (503.328.0428) or Shannon Selby (503.328.0423), the co-chairs of the 2010 Transition Resource Fair.

National Disability News Resource

Disability Scoop is the first and only nationally focused online news organization serving the developmental disability community including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fragile X and intellectual disability, among others.

Five days each week Disability Scoop sifts through the clutter to provide a central, reliable source of news, information and resources. Plus, Disability Scoop is the only place to find original content and series like “Scoop Essentials” that take an in-depth look at what lies beyond the day’s headlines.

iPhone Applications as Communication Devices

Via USA Today

Leslie Clark and her husband have been trying to communicate with their autistic 7-year-old son, JW, for years, but until last month, the closest they got was rudimentary sign language.

He’s “a little bit of a mini-genius,” Clark says, but like many autistic children, JW doesn’t speak at all.

Desperate to communicate with him, she considered buying a specialized device like the ones at his elementary school in Lincoln, Neb. But the text-to-speech machines are huge, heavy and expensive; a few go for $8,000 to $10,000.

Then a teacher told her about a new application that a researcher had developed for, of all things, the iPhone and iPod Touch. Clark drove to the local Best Buy and picked up a Touch, then downloaded the “app” from iTunes.

Total cost: about $500.

A month later, JW goes everywhere with the slick touch-screen mp3 player strapped to his arm. It lets him touch icons that voice basic comments or questions, such as, “I want Grandma’s cookies” or “I’m angry — here’s why.” He uses his “talker” to communicate with everyone — including his service dog, Roscoe, who listens to voice commands through the tiny speakers.

It’s a largely untold story of Apple’s popular audio devices.

It is not known how many specialized apps are out there, but Apple touts a handful on iTunes, among them ones that help users do American Sign Language and others like Proloquo2Go, which helps JW speak.

The app also aids children and adults with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS — even stroke patients who have lost the ability to speak, says its co-developer, Penn State doctoral student Samuel Sennott.

Using the iPhone and Touch allows developers to democratize a system that has relied on devices that were too expensive or difficult to customize, Sennott says. “I love people being able to get it at Best Buy,” he says. “That’s just a dream.”

He also says that for an autistic child, the ability to whip out an iPhone and talk to friends brings “this very hard-to-quantify cool factor.”

Sennott won’t give out sales figures for the $149.99 app but says they’re “extremely brisk.”

Ronald Leaf, director of Autism Partnership, a private California-based agency, says he prefers to help autistic children such as JW learn how to navigate their world without gadgets. “If we could get children to talk without using technology, that would be our preference,” he says.

Clark says the app has changed her son’s life.

“He’s actually communicating,” she says. “It’s nice to see what’s going on in his head.”

Among the revelations of the past month: She now knows JW’s favorite restaurant. “I get to spend at least every other day at the Chinese buffet.”

2009 Metro Area Brokerage Resource Fair Vendors

DSC02063Last Friday, the metro area brokerages (Independence Northwest, Inclusion, Mentor Oregon and The Arc Brokerage Services) held the 2009 Resource Fair. The fair was an enormous success. We’re still tallying the attendee count, but it will likely surpass 400! Special thanks to all the vendors who came and presented their resources to metro area brokerage customers. You can check out their services below.

211

Autism Society of Oregon

Bridges to Independence

Child Development and Rehab Center

DePaul Industries

Disability Accomodation Registry and Safety Zone

Disability Compass

Disability Rights Oregon Work Incentives Program

Disabilty Rights Oregon Help America Vote Act Project

Eastco

Edwards Center

Families Supporting Independent LivingGenerations X and Y

Good Shepherd Communities

Goodwill Industries

Happy Trails Riding Center

Independent Police Review

Making Magic Tours

Mentored Learning

Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services

NAMI  Multnomah

Off The Couch Activity Night

On the Move

Oregon Office on Disability and Health

PASS

Port City/Project Grow

Portland Community College, Culinary Assistant Program

Quiet Waters Outreach

Ridewise

SDRI

Self Advocates As Leaders

Special Olympics Oregon

The Companion Program/Adventures Without Limits

TNT Management Resources

Trips Inc

*NOTE: Not all vendors listed above provide services that can be paid for through Support Services funding. Some are natural resources and others are available through private pay.  Check with your Personal Agent if you have questions.

Independence Northwest Demographics

Some quick stats on Independence Northwest’s current customer base. Independence Northwest serves 450 adults with disabilities across Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties.

Multnomah – 61% of our customer base
Clackamas – 23% of our customer base
Washington – 16% of our customer base

  • 65% of our customer base is under the age of 30
  • 35% of our customers are between 18 and 21
  • 57% of our customers are male; 43% are female
  • Over 20% of our customers fall on the Autism Spectrum
  • 6% of our customers experience Down Syndrome; another 6% experience Cerebral Palsy;
  • 5% of our customers experience Epilepsy; another 5% experience FAS or Drug-Affected Disorders
  • 7% of our customers are exclusively non-English speaking

2009 Walk ‘n Roll

It’s time for the annual Walk ‘n Roll to benefit United Cerebral Palsy.

Join this year’s Honorary Event Chair, Art Edwards of KOIN Local 6 and many of the KOIN crew as they help us celebrate our 5th Annual Walk ‘n’ Roll for UCP!

This year’s event features an 8k fun-run along with the traditional route of past years.

Adult entrance fee has been lowered to $15! There will be plenty of activities for the kids, Pizza Schmizza and a host of other sponsors are turning out to help us celebrate this milestone.

It will be held at the Eastside Esplanade on the east bank of the Willamette River. Our goal this year is to raise enough money to cover the critical but under-funded UCP Family Support Program. Therefore, our goal this year is to raise $80,000 – WE CAN DO IT, YOU CAN HELP!

Come and bring the family for an awesome summer day highlighting A Community for Everyone!

Visit the official Walk ‘n Roll site.

%d bloggers like this: