Brokerage services are at serious risk, topping the Department of Human Services’ proposed cut list for the upcoming legislative session. Over the last year and a half, Oregonians with developmental disabilities have experienced serious  cuts to services. In the brokerage system alone, the following cuts have occurred in just the past eighteen months:

In addition to these cuts, there have been discussions about cutting 15% of customer plan dollars. Brokerages statewide have already increased caseloads, reduced positions, reduced/frozen wages and benefits, reduced mileage reimbursement, added furlough days, reorganized and eliminated positions, reduced or eliminated training dollars and cut levels of service and supplies. Where does this next set of cuts take the brokerage system?

How You Can Help

The short legislative session is upon us, lasting just 35 days. During this critical period, legislators will make decisions about which proposed cuts occur.  Let your voice be heard by telling your legislator that the DD community fought for years to create these services and will fight hard to keep them!

Starting Tuesday January 17th, 2012 through Friday January 27th, 2012, stop by the Independence Northwest office and we will assist you with:

  • Determining who your legislators are
  • Writing a letter to your legislators, including a photo of you and your story
  • Writing and sending emails to your legislators
  • Making phone calls to your legislators
  • If you like, we will post your stories and your letters on our website and on Facebook! Check out The Dear Legislator Project website for sample letters and templates, links to contacting your legislators and more. Just one hour of your day can and will make a difference. The more participants, the louder our voice.We will have staff available to you from 9 to 5 each working day. We are located at 541 NE 20th Avenue Suite 103 in Portland.

Who Should Participate?

  • People with developmental disabilities
  • Family members of people with developmental disabilities
  • Support staff
  • Professionals (case managers, personal agents, teachers, administrators, independent contractors)
  • Advocates
  • Anyone who is concerned about Oregonians with developmental disabilities and their services!

Email Larry Deal or Erin Graff at Independence Northwest at larry(at) or erin(at) You can send your video links, personal stories, pictures, etc. to these email addresses as well. Thanks for participating. Your efforts will make a big difference.

Learn more at The Dear Legislator Project: