This website is intended to increase awareness and access to the many services and supports provided by ODDS.
ODDS strives to support choices of individuals with disabilities and their families within communities by promoting and providing services that are person-centered and directed, flexible, community inclusive, and supportive of the discovery and development of each individual's unique gifts, talents and abilities. We are committed to work toward service options to assure that people with developmental disabilities have the opportunity to have lives that are fulfilling and meaningful.
Please browse the website to find more detailed and specific information about developmental disabilities programs and services offered by the department.
ODDS Community Stories
Living rich, full lives. Making personal choices. Meaningful employment in integrated community jobs. Support to families. Those are among the key goals of Oregon’s system for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Here we share occasional stories illustrating those efforts, the people and families we support. and the professionals who help them be successful.
Black History Month profile: Donna Stoney, first Black case manager in Multnomah County's I/DD system
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Donna Stoney remembers her first day on the job as a case manager at Multnomah County Developmental Disabilities on Halloween 1988: “I was so nervous, because, to me, that was a big job." She'd been working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) for six years and had done “just about everything" in the realm of direct care. Case management was new territory.
“I was scared to death. I'll never forget," Donna said. One of just seven case managers, her office had at least six four-drawer cases with more than 400 case files. “Back then we did everything: intake, kids, adults, protective service, group homes, foster care. I had it all." At the time, she didn't know that she was the first Black case manager in Multnomah County's I/DD system.
Donna quickly found her place in social work. The staff and clients became family. She gained a reputation for loving and listening to people, diffusing challenging situations and taking on difficult cases. Eighteen years ago, one such case involved a young lady with Prader-Willi Syndrome who had been shuffled through 11 homes. Donna asked for the case and remembers thinking, “I can talk to people and treat them as my own family. Eleven homes – that's ridiculous! We have to stop this cycle. I want to stop the cycle; that takes time."
She founded the adult group home StoneyBrooke with her sister, Multnomah County DD Service Coordinator Val Stoney, to care for the young woman. In the decades that followed, StoneyBrooke Residential Services grew into six homes in Multnomah and Clackamas counties.
“I never look at myself as a trailblazer," Donna said. “This is my purpose. I'm just enjoying what I like to do and doing what I can to the best of my knowledge. I want to be sure the people I work with are being treated fairly. In the whole system, we all just need to be treated fairly."
For Donna and Val, who together have nearly 80 years of experience in the I/DD field, it's all about family, fairness and kindness. At StoneyBrooke, they work with Donna's life partner Cory, her daughter Dominique, son Mikal and nephew Carl.
“These 16 people in my homes are my family and I'm not going to let anyone mess with them. I'm going to make sure they're OK," Donna said.
Over the years, Donna saved money to support her other passion in life: winemaking. While continuing to manage StoneyBrooke, she returned to school to become a winemaker and a sommelier, which is a wine steward who specializes in judging and pairing wines. She is likely the first Black Oregonian to accomplish both in an industry where, “They aren't open to someone who is a woman and then Black," she said. “But they met Donna Stoney and she ain't gonna stop. No matter how hard this is, I'm going to do this. I'm going to break down some barriers. I want to see people of color in wineries."
To achieve this goal, Donna recently founded the International Association of BIPOC Winemakers. The commonality between her two passions: “Both careers are about problem solving. Trying to bring togetherness and love. Enjoying all the I/DD folks and wine. It's all about love," she said.
“It's a blessing and it's my calling. When you have that kind of spirit. You just have to follow it. It's my purpose."
Upper photo: Donna Stoney. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Elsesser Photography
Bottom photo: From left: Val Stoney and Donna Stoney. Photo courtesy of Donna Stoney