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ADA Celebration Events

""Celebrating the 34th anniversary of the ADA

The Oregon Disabilities Commission, Northwest ADA Center and Disability Rights Oregon are hosting a Lunch and Learn webinar series in July 2024 to recognize and celebrate the 34th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Sessions are from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesdays in July.

Save-the-date flyers

EnglishEspañolاللغة العربية简体中文РусскийAf SoomaaliTiếng Việt Please register in advance (Zoom)

Sessions will be accessible to people with disabilities. Captioning, American Sign Language interpretation and spoken language interpretation will be provided. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation,

Session topics by date

July 9, 2024 - History and Success of the Olmstead Case

Session materials
  • Coming soon

Presenters and panelists

Photo of Hannah, a woman with long blonde hair wearing a blue v-neck shirt.​Hannah Baker has supported youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in self-advocacy for the past 13 years. She is currently the Advocacy and Leadership Development Coordinator for the Oregon Council on​ Developmental Disabilities (OCDD). Previously, she managed projects for nonprofit organizations in the US, England, and Africa. She enjoys spending time with her family gardening, cooking, and exploring the world.​

Photo of Justin, a man with a mustache, black ball cap  holding a microphone in his right handJustin is a strong advocate for community inclusion and self-determination. He has served as the OSAC Board Chair for the past two years and as a key member on the Employment First Stakeholder Policy Group through the State of Oregon since 2013. He currently works at an athletic club in Corvallis as a fitness cleaner and enjoys being a part of Special Olympics.​

Photo of Gabby, a woman with long brown hair wearing a purple sweater​Gabrielle (Gabby) Guedon is the Executive Director of the Oregon Self Advocacy Coalition (OSAC) where she has worked for the past seven years. She is a powerful advocate for people with disabilities in her local community and across the state. Through her work with OSAC, Gabby has presented at various conferen​ces, classrooms, and organizations about the importance of employment and self-advocacy. Prior to her time with OSAC, Gabby worked at Community Vision, Inc. as an Employment Outreach Specialist and with OSAC as a paid peer mentor for employment. She has first-hand experience working in a sheltered workshop prior to finding a community-based job.​

​​Phil has been an advocate since 2012. He was one of the original founders of the Oregon Self Advocacy Coalition. He is the Vice Chair of the Integrated Services Network (ISN) Policy Oversight Group and Chair of the ISN Executive Board. In his free time, Phil enjoys landscaping and community events on the Oregon Coast.​

Photo of Eddie, a man with short grey hair, grey beard, and he is looking at the camera. He is wearing a black and blue striped pattern shirt. The background is a black wall.

Eddie is the Vice Cha​ir of the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) and is one of the founding members of the Oregon Self Advocates Coalition (OSAC). He has been involved in self-advocacy for 20 years and is currently involved in projects about improving mental health for people with developmental disabilities. He likes making a difference in Oregon and encourages respect and good communica​tion among everyone.​

July 16, 2024 - Spotlighting Diverse Talents in our Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Communities

Session materials
  • Coming soon

Presenters and panelists

Photo of Krista, a woman with long black hair, dark sunglasses, wearing a zip up collar jacket in front of a nature scene​Krista has worked with various Deaf programs including assisting with setting up a non-profit organization in Istanbul, Turkey where she resided for more than a decade, focused on improving educational and linguistic needs for Deaf children in Turkey. She has also been involved with non-profit organizations in Turkey focused on resettlement efforts and access to services for Syrian refugees with disabilities. In addition to her work in the Disability community and background in History, Ottoman and Middle Eastern studies combining a cultural, anthropological and disability justice lens to inform her work, she has held various board and commission positions, including the role of Vice Chair for the city of Salem's Human Rights Commission, Co-Chair for the Oregon Health Equity Commission, and as a board member of DACP, a Disability Justice organization based in Portland.

In her free time, Krista is passionate about the great outdoors, hiking or backpacking as often as possible, Muay Thai boxing and Latin dance, traveling and reading good books.

Photo of Dre, a man with short black hair under a blue cabbie cap, glasses and black and grey beard wearing blue shirt and denim​Andre Gray is an experienced filmmaker and Deaf advocate. He is the Founder of Beyondtone, an American Sign Language-based streaming video content platform, Co-Artistic Director of CymaSpace, a nonprofit organization that makes arts, cultural and media events accessible and inclusive to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing through technology, and Co-Board Chair of Open Signal, a media arts center nurturing the change-making power of community media in service of a just and equitable world. He is expanding creative communication access for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community with an emphasis on advocating for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ representation, increasing access in documentary, podcasts, and virtual reality. He is developing a Deaf artist film camp in Portland involving American Signers from all over the country and is creating an inclusive space for Deaf Community through arts and dining at the new CymaSpace Sign Language Cafe. Andre also serves as a member of organizations like the Portland Deaf Film Festival.​

Photo of Cara, a woman with long blonde hair in braided pigtails under a ball cap wearing a gray pullover sweatshirt​Cara Frank holds a degree in Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies from Western Washington University and brings over a decade of experience in adaptive sports through Washington, Utah, and Colorado, to her current role as the Development Director for Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS). In this position, she is dedicated to expanding the organization's capacity and resources, working to build access in outdoor recreation to people with disabilities. 

Cara has worn many hats, including that of Team Leader for the USA Deaf Ski Snowboard Team at the International Deaflympics, where the team proudly placed 5th out of 34 participating countries in the high Alps of Europe. She also created the nation's only annual Deaf-led weekend snow camp for Deaf Youth, known as CamPAH! For 11 years, CamPAH has been facilitated under OAS' umbrella where young adventurers have learned to ski and snowboard under the enthusiastic guidance of trained deaf coaches who serve as positive role models. Cara has also been recognized for her recent advocacy efforts and testimonies to legislation, helping advance the signing of Oregon Sign Language Interpreter Licensure Bill into law. 

In her free time, Cara can be found skiing down the slopes, gliding across the water on her stand-up paddleboard (SUP), pedaling on country roads, indulging in DIY projects, and exploring the delightful world of plant-based cuisine.

Photo of Rhiannon, a woman with long light brown curly hair wearing a black jacket with red scarf.​Rhiannon is Deaf, bilingual in English and American Sign Language (ASL). She attended Gallaudet University in Washington, DC where she majored in philosophy and minored in sociology. After her degree, Rhiannon returned to her hometown of Eugene where she spent the rest of her 20s supporting Deaf individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Rhiannon wanted to learn how to empower more people to find ease and comfort in their own bodies, so she attended the LCC Massage Program to pursue a career change. Now licensed in massage therapy, Rhiannon established a private practice called “Talking Hands Massage Therapy" that includes bilingual communication access. She is also currently working toward certification in providing aquatic therapy to people with and without disabilities.​

July 23, 2024 - History of the ADA, Current Wins and Ongoing Efforts

Session materials
  • Coming soon

Presenters and panelists

Photo of Emily, a woman with short light brown hair smiling at the camera. She is wearing a peach top.​Emily leads a team of attorneys and advocates who work to uphold the rights of Oregonians with disabilities. She spearheads DRO's class-action litigation, including the Wyatt v. Kotek lawsuit that recently resulted in a settlement agreement aimed at seeking a safer foster care system that provides children the services they need to thrive. 

In addition to working on class-action litigation, Emily monitored facilities that serve people with disabilities, investigated abuse and neglect, and testified in front of the legislature. 

Emily was also an Adjunct Law Professor at Seattle University School of Law from 2014 to 2017, served on the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU") of Washington's Board of Directors from 2011 to 2017, and served as the Director of Advocacy for the Washington Attorneys with Disabilities Association (“WADA") from 2013 to 2016. Emily graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2003.

Photo of Justice, a man with short black hair, black hat, short black beard, dark sunglasses.​Prior to his job at Northwest ADA Center, Justice worked as an advocate at Disability Rights Oregon, where he assisted crime survivors with disabilities in navigating the criminal justice system. Justice received his law degree from the University of Nigeria and a Master's in Global Affairs from the University of Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, Justice tackled accessibility challenges and cultural adjustments as an international blind student. His MGA in International Peace Studies focused on the inclusion of people with disabilities in peacebuilding efforts. His interests include Disability Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DDEI), accessible education, and mentorship for individuals with disabilities. Justice loves music and nature. He spends a great deal of his personal time singing and dancing.​

Photo of John, a man with short brown hair and beard wearing a dark suit with light blue dress shirt and dark tie.​John joined the Northwest ADA Center after relocating to Seattle from Orlando, Florida, where he primarily practiced corporate law and family mediation for nearly fifteen years. John helped clients navigate federal and state laws to overcome their conflicts and obstacles so that parties could reach amicable solutions to move forward in life with renewed purpose. During his time in Orlando, John was an active volunteer with various organizations including the Citizen's Dispute and Family Law Mediation Program, the Florida Bar Grievance Mediation & Fee Arbitration Program, the Middle District of Florida Bankruptcy Pro Se Clinic, and Cornerstone Hospice.

John continues his love of indoor and outdoor team sports by connecting with Seattle's LGBTQIA sports community where he's enjoying cornhole, dodgeball, kickball, volleyball, bowling, and softball in the various queer club organizations in the city. Being a Florida native, he's also excited to explore the winter sports and the beautiful hiking opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. 

John attended Florida State University College of Law where he earned his Juris Doctorate. John also attended graduate school at the University of Houston and Central Michigan University and attended Purdue University for his undergraduate work.

July 30, 2024 - Boards/Commissions: Information, Awareness and Impacts

Session materials
  • Coming soon

Presenters and panelists

Photo of Missy, a woman with jaw length brown hair. She is smiling at the camera and wearing a black and gray sweater Missy gra​​duate​d from Loyola University Chicago with her Bachelor and Master's in Social Work with a minor in sociology. She currently works as a Service Equity Manager partnering with Shared S​ervices in the Office of Equity and Multicultural Services (OEMS) through the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS). Their passion is ensuring that each and all person's life outcomes are not defined by their identities and eliminating systemic oppression and barriers that lead challenges with access or navigating of support. Her work uses technical skills, as well as human to human relationship building, to partner with programs to address how we see challenges and barriers in service delivery systems so that people can find the success they define for themselves. She has facilitated and led conversations about disability, intersectionality, and a variety of other equity topics across programs like the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS), SACU and Shared Services offices. They are also an avid crocheter and loves to be in community with diverse groups of people who are open to authentic conversations. ​​​

Photo of Jenny, a woman with shoulder length light brown and silver streaks hair that is pulled back. She is smiling ​Jenny is the Interim Executive Director of the Oregon Home Care Commission (OHCC). Jenny originally joined OHCC as a commissioner representing the Office of Aging and Disability Services with the Oregon Department of Human Services. She later joined OHCC as an operations and policy analyst creating new programs and implementing required training for the homecare workforce. Jenny joined the Office of Aging and Disability Services as an operations and policy analyst in 2008 as the statewide coordinator of the Consumer-Employed Provider Program implementing policies for homecare workers and consumer-employers who hire homecare workers.

Jenny has dedicated her 30-year career to serving older adults and people with disabilities. Her goal is to ensure quality in-home services and supports are provided by a committed and well-trained workforce.

Photo of Susan, a woman with light silver hair almost to the top of her shoulders, glasses, and smiling at the camera. ​Susan currently serves on the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). She has more than 20 years of experience working directly with students and Master's in Education with an endorsement in Special Ed. Susan recently she joined Vocational Rehabilitation Youth Services Team after a decade of providing career readiness services in partnership with VR through her role as Youth Transition Specialist. Susan is passionate about helping students find their voice and create a path to a meaningful and productive future. 

Outside of work, Susan enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, board games and volunteering in her community with friends and family.

Photo of Donna, a woman with short sandy brown and silver hair. She is smiling at the camera ​Donna graduated in 1979 with an Associate of Science in Nursing from Lane Community College. In 1988 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Human Services from the University of Oregon. Currently Donna works as a RN consultant, with Case Management Consulting. Following her graduation from the University of Oregon she became an RN case Manager with PacificSource Health Plan. Then she joined Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon as an Exceptional Needs Case Manager with the startup of the Oregon Health Plan. In 2013 she founded Patient Care Advisors, LLC. A private case management organization that assisted individuals and families with catastrophic medical conditions and services for seniors. Volunteering and a heart for seniors has always been an important of part of Donna's life. She became certified as an instructor for 'Powerful Tools for Caregivers.' teaching this program for several years. 

Currently, Donna has been a Commissioner on the Governor's Commission for Senior Services (GCSS) for two terms. She also serves on the Medicaid Long Term Care Quality and Reimbursement Committee. Locally, she is a Board Member for Lane Senior Support Coalition, which raises money to meet the unmet needs of Medicaid residents in partnership with Senior and Disabled SVS. She is part of the team for Hearts for Hospice that evaluates and cleans used medical equipment for resale. 

Donna has a passion for U of O Oregon sports. She has been with an Oregon Booster Club Daisy Ducks, raising money for scholarships. She and her husband Allen have horses and mules that they enjoy riding.

Photo of John, a man with short white hair and silver framed glasses. He is looking and smiling at the camera ​John was born and raised in southern Oregon. He had a spinal cord injury (diving) in 1969 at age 14. He attended the University of Oregon, Southern Oregon State College (now SOU) and Willamette University College of Law. John worked as an attorney in Central Point, Oregon for 23 years practicing civil law. He took disability retirement in 2012. 

Prior to, during and after retirement, John has been/is an avid advocate for those who have struggled with systemic barriers. His extensive past and present volunteer work includes many state and local advisory councils and nonprofit boards which, for the most part, focus on programs and services for older adults and people with disabilities. 

John enjoys playing on the computer word and card games, teaching caregivers how to cook favorite meals, organizing events and watching crime and period dramas.

Photo of Jim, a man with short and curly red hair and beard with silver blended in, with glasses, smiling at the camera​Dr. Jim Davis is a gerontologist, psychologist, educator, and advocate. He retired in 2016 after serving for 11 years as an associate professor in the Human Sciences Department at Marylhurst University, where he coordinated the Psychology and Social Sciences Programs and taught psychology, gerontology, and social policy. He won the 2013 MU Award for Faculty Excellence in Academic Service and Teaching. He is also the chair of the state Older Adult-PwD Behavioral Health Advisory Council, after serving as the Co-Chair of the Oregon Legislative Work Group on Senior/Disability Mental Health and Addictions. 

Dr. Davis is the current chair of the Oregon State Insurance Advisory Committee, where he has served for 30 years. He is the long-time executive director of the Oregon State Council of Retired Citizens and United Seniors of Oregon, both of whom he has served since the 1970s. He is the President of the Oregon Consumer League Action Fund. He also was President of James A. Davis and Associates, coordinator of the SDSD Senior Mental Health Projects, Mental Health Gerontologist for the Oregon Mental Health Division, and a professor/administrator at the University of Maryland. Dr. Davis is a past Chair of the Oregon Disabilities Commission. He received his bachelor's in Political Science, masters in Gerontology/Administration, and doctorate in Educational Psychology/Gerontology, all from the University of Oregon.

​Donna is currently a Commissioner with the Oregon Disabilities Commission (ODC). She became a subject matter expert fifty years ago when she became disabled and has been advocating for herself and other people with disabilities from the day, she experienced her first incident of bias and discrimination in the hospital. Donna has served in multiple roles in various organizations and workgroups advocating for women with disabilities and cross-disability issues.

As a person with a disability, Donna noticed that most emergency preparedness trainings did not include information for people with disabilities, she started creating trainings and started volunteering to teach inclusive emergency preparedness to people with disabilities and those with access and functional needs. Donna has three bachelor's degrees, a graduate certificate in Neurobiology, and a masters in Conflict Resolution with a certificate in Mediation from Portland State University.

Donna has two sons, Brandon, age 37 and Jacob, age 23 and two grandchildren Arlo, age 6 and Luca, age 3. She also has a wonderful dog named Phoebe. Donna enjoys traveling and was recently in Costa Rica and Japan with her family and look forward to traveling again in the future. She also loves gardening.

Photo of Eileen, a woman with light short silver hair and smiling at the camera. She is wearing a blue shirt. Eileen's focus on advocacy is for the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing. She is a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America—Oregon; Appointed to the Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Advisory Committee (ODHHSAC) in 2019, she currently chairs the committee which works to promote inclusivity and accessibility. She also chairs the Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee which partners with Oregon emergency managers to assure best communication with the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing during emergencies. 

She attended Marquette University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Certificate as Women's Health Specialist Nurse Practitioner, Planned Parenthood and University of Washington program completed in 1995, a Certificate as Peer Mentor, Gallaudet University, 2017. During her career, Eileen practiced in public health nursing. She led health promotion projects and advocacy for families in remote Alaskan communities. At Benton County Health Department, she worked as a Communicable Disease Nurse until 2016.

In her retirement, Eileen continues advocacy work; In addition to the ODHHSAC, she is active in the Linn Benton NAACP Branch Housing Committee and her church's Race Matters Committee.

Photo of Ruth, a woman with shoulder length light brown hair and glasses. She is smiling at the camera​Ruth is the current Chair of the Oregon Home Care Commission (OHCC). Ruth is an active and well-respected advocate in Oregon. She began her advocacy work more than 40 years ago when the Oregon Disabilities Commission (ODC) was created. Ruth worked with the Oregon State Legislature in 1989 to pass legislation that created the Disability Services Advisory Councils (DSACs). She also worked on the transition team that brought people with disabilities from several agencies under one roof. Ruth worked alongside Dick Ladd, the first administrator of the Senior Services Division (now Aging and People with Disabilities) to help Oregon become one of the first states in the nation to offer community-based services. Ruth holds a master's degree in special education and counseling.​

Photo of Roman, a man with short grey and black hair, mustache, brown eyes, and he is smiling at the camera. ​Roman's mission is to provide educational leadership in rural, K-12 and higher education institutions. Work for excellence in accessible education, and development of diverse and innovative programs and initiatives through respectful communication. Personal values include integrity, honesty, professionalism, collaboration, and regard for the importance of diversity in the decision-making aspects of the educational process. Strong passion for helping students and community members meet their needs in difficult situations. As a member of the Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Committee (ODHHSAC), committed to making positive changes.​

​Eddie is the Vice Chair of the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) and is one of the founding members of the Oregon Self Advocacy Coalition (OSAC). He has been involved in self-advocacy for 20 years and is currently involved in projects about improving mental health for people with developmental disabilities. He likes making a difference in Oregon and encourages respect and good communication among everyone.​

Photo of Barb, a woman with shoulder length gray hair and glasses. She is smiling at the camera and wearing black shirt ​Barb has been involved in various aspects of disability since the late 1960s. She volunteered and was later a summer employee at Wyoming's State Training School. She attended the University of Wyoming and holds a bachelor's degree in Special Education, and she taught for four years in Wyoming before moving to Oregon, where Barb obtained a Master's of Special Education from the University of Oregon.

She has held several positions during her 23 years at Umpqua Community College, including Life Skills instructor, Learning Skills instructor, Disability Services Coordinator, and Cognitive Evaluation Specialist until her retirement in 2011. She is currently serving on the board of Umpqua Valley disAbilities Network (UVdN) independent living center, where she has served since 1994. While at Umpqua Community College and UVdN, she has participated in numerous community outreach/disability awareness activities. During these years, she was active in ORAHEAD (Oregon Association of Higher Education and Disability), Douglas County Hearing Loss Association, Project Literacy, Special Olympics, and a work group comprised of community college disability coordinators, Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Commission for the Blind. She was recently appointed to the SILC. Barb is a grandmother who loves spending time with family, gardening, quilting, and creating fiber art.

​Leslie believes that Oregon is strongest when all people have opportunities to live and work in their communities. As the Executive Director for the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities (OCDD), Leslie works alongside people with developmental disabilities and their families to ensure that Oregon has policies and services that allow them to live full lives as members of their communities. Leslie has over 15 years of experience in disability, legislative, budget, civil rights, and health policy development at the national, state and local levels.​

Photo of Todd, a man with short brown hair, brown beard with silver, and black framed glasses. Todd is an autistic, ADHD (AuDHD), dyslexic and dyscalculia professional, and passionate advocate for inclusion, diversity, equity, access, accountability, and belonging in healthcare and education. Todd brings decades of experience working with leading multinational technology companies. For the past 15 years, he has dedicated himself to serving his community, focusing on neurodiversity and disability justice. 

As "The Autivist" (the Autistic Advocate), Todd is a recognized voice on relational and educational neuroscience, neuroequitable practices, and disability history. He shares his insights through writing and video, advocating for strength-based education, co-regulation, neurodivergent parenting, and neurodivergent culture. 

Todd's commitment to his community is further evidenced by his service on various Oregon Health Authority (OHA) committees and his leadership in pandemic-response health outreach initiatives. He is a newly appointed Commissioner on the Oregon Disabilities Commission (ODC).

Prior ADA Celebration materials



Presenters and panelists

  • Sherry Stock - Executive Director of the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon (BIAOR), Co-Owner of Brain Logistics, LLC
  • Nina Perard - Diversity Liaison, OHA Equity and Inclusion Division
  • Sarah Johnson - e-Learning Training and Accessibility Specialist, ODHS Human Resources
  • Maria Horn - Operations and Policy Analyst, ODHS|OHA Office of Information Services
  • Shawn Sullivan - Training and Development Specialist, ODHS Oregon Eligibility Partnership and ABLEnet Employee Resource Group Mentorship Coordinator​​

Watch the session recording on YouTube​​



Presenters and panelists​

  • Missy O'Bryant - Service Equity Manager for ODDS and Shared Services, ODHS Office of Equity and Multicultural Services
  • Erin Taylor - AIM-4-Access
  • Theresa Pruett - Data and Financial Analyst and Contract Administrator, ODHS District 15
  • Frank Tagore Sardina Miles - Manager and Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Administrator, ODHS and OHA Security and Privacy Services​

Watch the session recording on YouTube​


Presenters and panelists

  • Denys Austin - Counselor, ODHS Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Jeanne (pronounces Zhahn) Barter -  Lane Independent Living Alliance (LILA)
  • Allison Enriquez - Interim Manager, Employment Services and Workforce Engagement Team, ODHS Office of Developmental Disabilities Services
  • Janell White - Medicaid Policy Analyst, ODHS Aging and People with Disabilities
  • Rose Pabon - Counselor, ODHS Vocational Rehabilitation and State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) Member​​


Intersections and Conflicts - The ADA and Impacts of COVID-19 Protocols

  • Material
  • Speakers
    • Emily Cooper, Disability Rights Oregon Legal Director
    • Joannie Tang, Advocate
    • Tina Pinedo, Disability Rights Oregon Communications Director

Caregiver Workforce Shortages - Consumers Scramble for In-Home Service

​Dangerous Assumptions - Understanding Audism and Changing Perspectives About Communication​

  • Presenters
    • Chris Mortenson, Partnerships in Community Living Employment Specialist
    • Joanna Wilson, Advocate
    • Korian "Koko" DeMont Thomas, OHA COVID-19 Response and Recovery Equity and Accessibility Policy Analyst

  • ​Presenters 
    • Dr. James "Jim" Davis, Advocate
    • Max Brown, APD Policy Analyst
    • Ray Petty, National Advocate