OPB’s “In The Shadow of Fairview” Documentary

“In the Shadow of Fairview,” a one-hour documentary examining the history of Oregon’s largest institution, premiered on OPB Monday, December 14th, 2020.

Independence Northwest’s Board of Directors President Linda Gheer is among several high profile self-advocates and former Fairview residents featured in the film. OPB has done an extraordinary job capturing a very difficult chapter in our state’s history while also illuminating the exceptional efforts and vision of Oregonians with disabilities, their family members, and community advocates.

From OPB: “Twenty years ago, the last resident left Fairview Training Center. For nearly 100 years, Fairview was Oregon’s primary institution for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Oregon is considered a leader at in-home and community-based services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). But it wasn’t always that way. For nearly 100 years, the Fairview Training Center housed thousands of Oregonians with disabilities. The facility opened in 1908 as the State Institution for the Feeble-Minded. Most of the first patients were transferred from the Oregon State Hospital for the Insane. For decades, residents were officially referred to as ‘inmates.’”


Governor Brown’s Two-Week Pause Affects Residents in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties (November 11th through 25th, 2020)

The Oregon Office of Developmental Disabilities Director Lilia Teninty released the following notice on Monday November 9, 2020:

“As Oregon continues to have record-setting cases of COVID-19, Gov. Kate Brown announced a two-week pause on social activities in nine Oregon counties where community transmission is on the rise. The counties are: Baker, Clackamas, Jackson, Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, Umatilla, Union, and Washington. These pause measures will be in effect for two weeks, from Nov. 11 through Nov. 25. Details of the pause are in the Governor’s press release and include limiting social gatherings to your household, or no more than six people if the gathering includes anyone from outside your household.

For ODDS, this also means going back to baseline status temporarily for people who receive services in these counties. Effective Nov. 11, ODDS is implementing visitor restrictions of only essential personnel in group homes and I/DD foster homes. More detail is in the Residential/Foster Care Worker Guide.

All group employment and Day Support Activities (DSA) are also paused, unless they take place at an essential business or are provided to individuals who reside together in the same household. More detail is available in the Employment/DSA Worker Guide. If you are an employment or DSA provider who delivers group or facility-based services, please notify those you serve in those settings as soon as possible to tell them the service is paused for two weeks. Case Management Entities should also connect with providers in these counties and ensure providers are aware of this new guidance.

We realize how difficult this situation is for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and friends, as well as for providers and case management entities. Ultimately, we must take precautions to keep the health and safety of the people we serve at the forefront.

Providers and case management entities should also be aware that Oregonians with I/DD always have the choice to leave their home. ODDS guidance emphasizes that residential providers may not prohibit a resident of a home from leaving the home, nor can they deny re-entry to the home. Providers and case managers should help people to understand any risks of leaving the home, including offering alternative options. For instance, if a person who uses ODDS services chooses to go out (for work, essential services, recreation etc.), providers should help people understand any risks and support the person to make a plan. The provider can encourage the person to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing, and to thoroughly wash their hands when they return. The individual’s case management entity can get masks for them.

Thank you for your efforts to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.”

2020 Wildfire Supports and Resources

The events of the week of September 7th, 2020 have been devastating. Independence Northwest is here as a support for the communities of Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties.

We have just added a new resource page to our website: https://independencenw.org/fires/ This list of resources is by no means comprehensive, but we will continue to add to it as we get more information. If you would like to share resources with us or if you have updates to existing resources, please email larry@independencenw.org. Thank you!


Black Disabled Lives Matter

This July, Starkloff Disability Institute presented an extraordinary two part presentation, Black Disabled Lives Matter.

The two-part series, out of St. Louis, challenges audiences to develop an understanding of how multiple identities – such as disability, race and gender expression – intersect to shape a person’s experience within the structures and systems of our society as well as within each of these communities.

Audience members were offered an opportunity to identify the power they hold in the workplace and community as well as actions they can take to be in solidarity with others. Participants will find resources for developing skills around identifying and challenging their own implicit biases.

The series is divided into two parts:

  • Part One: A National Outlook from Thought Leaders – Dr. Donna Walton and Janet LaBreck, leaders in the Disability Community, discuss the experiences of Black Disabled Americans and the impact multiple prejudices have on their lives.
  • Part Two: An Intimate View from Self-Advocates in Our Community – In part two, members of the Disability community  – including Aaron Owens, Brandon Morris, Rose Gelin, and Sharon Lyons – discuss their experiences as Black Disabled Americans and the impact multiple prejudices have on their lives.

Check out the newly-posted videos below:


Personal Protective Equipment for Personal Support Workers

As of April 27th, 2020, the Oregon Department of Human Services announced access to additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Personal Support Workers. Here is the new process for PSWs to obtain gloves and masks:

Personal Support Workers should submit a request to the Oregon Home Care Commission by completing an electronic form via SEIU’s website https://seiu503.tfaforms.net/622 or by emailing OHCC.CustomerRelations@dhsoha.state.or.us.

If you are sending an email request, you must include all of the following:

  • First and Last Name
  • Provider Number
  • Provider Type (Personal Support Worker)
  • Name of Case Management Entity (Independence Northwest Brokerage)
  • Number of customers you support in a week
  • Number of hours worked per pay period per customer (this is what they will use to determine how many gloves or masks they will provide you)
  • Type of PPE requested (masks or gloves)
  • Whether you would prefer to have the PPE mailed or if you would like to pick it up

Once you complete the process, the OHCC will notify you of available pick up times and locations or how the materials will be sent.

Read the full transmittal by clicking here.

From all of us at Independence Northwest, we’d like to thank you for the essential services you are providing our community at this time.

If you have any questions, please contact the Personal Agent(s) you work with at INW by calling 503-546-2950.