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Lleve la vacuna COVID-19 a la comunidad con esta lista de verificación de eventos accesible.

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After a two year hiatus, we are thrilled to announce that our 15th year of ABI Bike First! will take place in June.

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The past two years have been disruptive to all of our lives on so many levels. NW Disability Support (NWDSA/ABI) were fortunate to have secured temporary funding to keep our staff employed during the pandemic. The focus on COVID-19 vaccination education and advocacy gave us opportunities as well as challenges.

NW Disability Support (NWDSA/ABI) has lost vital sources of funding and the board determined that all staff will be laid off as of June 30, 2022 as the board considers the next steps. Due to this we are suspending all services, supports and events as of June 30th. (ABI: Bike First! Bike Camp will still happen as scheduled the week of June 20th, and Vaccine Clinic event on June 15th).

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our staff, partners and the families we have served. The board is working to identify priority needs in the community, and will consider a restructure to meet those needs

If you have questions or concerns we invite you to reach out to our Board Chair Mike Rosen at or Board Member Molly Hulett at We will be updating our community as things become more clear.

NW Disability Support Board

What a journey it has been. I want to send my deepest gratitude to all the amazing children, families, and colleagues that I have had the pleasure of walking alongside over the last 20+ years. This year is a season of changes; my kids are all grown up and launching into their new lives and this offers me the space to pursue new opportunities and challenges in my life. I will be leaving NWDSA/ABI the end of June. I will always hold in a special place the opportunities I had to be of service. Maybe I will see you again in the future. Warmest regards and, as my dear mother always said, every day look for something beautiful!

Angela Frome
Director of Operations & Programs NWDSA/ABI

Diez meses después, les compartimos con orgullo que hemos llevado a cabo Diez eventos mensuales de vacunación, con un total de 375 personas vacunadas.

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People who get vaccinated at our community events are of all ages and abilities, including a number of children and youth who have already tried unsuccessfully to get vaccinated elsewhere.

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It had been 641 days since my daughters had last been inside a school—when they were sent home for an early spring break, not knowing when they would return.

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As we move into spring, it’s a good time to reflect back on the amazing journey we have experienced as a family over the last two decades.

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I am grateful for a chance to say goodbye to you all. Twenty years have gone by so quickly and in that time my work has connected me with so many amazing and beautiful people.

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NWDSA/ABI gave us hope after Wynn was born, and I want to pay it forward and give that special feeling to other families.

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This year, we held our second live virtual event to mark the important day, share the pride of our community, and have some fun.

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The pandemic took a small toll on the focus of our work, but our mission and values as an organization remain strong, and we continue to work to create and nurture a loving and inclusive community celebrating each person who experiences a disability.

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La pandemia dio un pequeño jiro al enfoque de nuestro trabajo, pero nuestra misión y valores como organización permanecen firmes y continuamos trabajando para crear y nutrir una comunidad amorosa e inclusiva celebrando a cada persona que experimenta una discapacidad.

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The NWDSA/ABI Resourcefulness Center is a place where one phone call can spark change, not just in the lives of the families who call, but in ways that spread light across the entire community.

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Theo’s parents Vanessa and Andrew share that they’ve come to realize Down syndrome is about community and love, and I couldn’t agree more!

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Thanks to the support of NWDSA/ABI, and to our vision for her to belong and be part of inclusion this new school year, Violeta is part of one of the first inclusive programs in our district.

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Este nuevo año escolar Violetta ha logrado entrar a uno de los primeros programas, inlclusivos de nuestro distrito.

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The Kindergarten readiness program offers facilitators who have walked in your shoes and understand that parents are the experts on their children, partnering with professionals and speakers in the field of special education.

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When Covid-19 rocked the world we found solace in our small back yard, our dog and poetry.

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The latest news in inclusive higher learning.

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Una persona con discapacidad tiene derecho a una persona de apoyo si está en un departamento de emergencias o ingresada en un hospital.

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A person with a disability has a right to a support person if they are in an emergency department or admitted to a hospital.

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This last year has been many things for us including isolation, fear, disability discrimination, information, ableism, challenges, lack of disability access, creativity, dissemination, outreach, growth, and successes. The pandemic has further revealed how important it is that disability is included in every equity conversation, including transition and higher education conversations about students with intellectual developmental disabilities accessing college.

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After many years of passionate advocacy, and with the support of their families and educators, youth with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) finally realized their dream of attending college. PSU also took a phenomenal step forward in its commitment to equity and access to a marginalized population that had been segregated and excluded.

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As of March 9, 2021, the discriminatory, expanded Public Charge rule is permanently BLOCKED, and is no longer in effect anywhere in the United States. Now, immigrants can safely get public benefits that support their health, nutrition, and housing without fear of impact on their immigration status.

A partir del 9 de marzo del 2021, la regla discriminatoria y ampliada sobre la Carga Pública está permanentemente BLOQUEADA, y ya no está en vigor en ninguna parte de los Estados Unidos.

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Will, one of the first students to complete the College and Community Studies program at PSU, and staff member at NWDSA/ABI reflects on his transition and college experience.

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NW Disability Support supports House Bill 2590 in Oregon and is pleased to see effort around identifying root causes of underrepresentation in higher education and steps toward remedies occurring. To be sure HB 2590 is inclusive, a wording amendment to the bill is requested.

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Our WA families are heavy on hearts right now. We are working with The Arc of WA State, WA DD Council, and other advocacy organizations to support advocacy efforts to prioritize COVID vaccination for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities in Washington state.

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It’s been almost a year since students across Oregon started online learning. It has been difficult and, in some cases impossible, to translate special education services to virtual platforms. Students with disabilities have missed out on things such as physical therapy and speech therapy, as well as the accommodations that ensure they receive a free, appropriate public education.

We hear from Tom Stenson, deputy legal director for Disability Rights Oregon and Maria Rangel, a mother of three school-aged children, including a daughter who experiences Down Syndrome. Rangel is also the bilingual program coordinator for NW Disability Support.

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¡Hemos estado inmersos en la educación y el alcance de COVID-19!

Ha sido un área importante de nuestro trabajo en los últimos meses. Estamos agradecidos por nuestra asociación con la Autoridad de Salud de Oregon (OHA) y el trabajo que hemos realizado al colaborar con nuestros socios. Queremos que sepa que estamos aquí con ustedes. La pandemia ha sido difícil y queremos saber de usted sobre su experiencia con el acceso a la información de COVID-19 y la vacuna.

Esperamos que la información que proporcione sea de ayuda en Oregón y Washington.

Esta rápida encuesta solo debería tomar de 3 a 5 minutos y ayudará a nuestro trabajo para impulsar a que mejore, el acceso y la capacidad de respuesta a nuestras necesidades reales. ¡Sus comentarios y opiniones son importantes! Es un placer para nosotros apoyar a las familias y brindar información sobre las mejores prácticas a nuestra comunidad.

We have been immersed in COVID-19 education and outreach! It’s been a big area of our work the last few months. We are grateful for our partnership with Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the work we’ve done collaborating with partners. We want you to know we are right here with you. The pandemic has been hard and we want to hear from you about your experience with access to COVID-19 information and the vaccine. Your voice matters to us!

We are hoping the information you provide will be useful in Oregon and Washington. This quick survey should only take about 3 to 5 minutes and will help inform our work to push for improvement, access, and responsiveness to our very real needs. Your feedback and comments are important! It's our pleasure to support families and bring best practice information to our community.

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Hot off the press! Our new comic book Fighting COVID features a superhero with a disability that goes on a journey to fight coronavirus.

Our Social Justice Youth Group identified a need for accessible resources around COVID-19 prevention. Local comic artist Shannon Wheeler turned the idea into an amazing accessible resource in English and Spanish. Bridgetown Printers stepped in to help us get the books printed. So much work and heart went into this and we are thankful for all the creative forces that came together to make it happen.

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When you think about your child’s future do you think about them going to college? More than ever, college is an option for students with an intellectual disability. However, options in the western United States are limited. Until four years ago, there wasn’t even one inclusive college option in Oregon.

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Hunter is our oldest, so when his little sister came around it was shocking to me that I didn’t have to fight for her in the same way I do for Hunter, who has Down syndrome. Even as a small baby, his first daycare told us that he would be kept in the “baby room” rather than moving up alongside his peers of the same age, when he turned one. Because of these experiences, inclusion has been on the forefront of our minds, and at times have been quite consuming, since the day he was born. We’ve been very fortunate over the last few years to have support from people in our community and organizations such as Northwest Down Syndrome Association to help us prepare for kindergarten and what is to come in the public school system. 

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Estamos muy contentos de poder compartir este video que realizamos con mucho esfuerzo, en colaboración con otros líderes comunitarios que al igual que nuestra organización trabajan muy duro para brindar apoyo, información y abogacía a nuestra comunidad Hispana/Latina que experimenta discapacidades intelectuales/desarrollo y con el patrocinio a través de fondos que nos fueron otorgados de la Autoridad de Salud de Oregón.

Measure 26-215 calls for a landmark commitment of funds to support a vital inflection point at Portland Public Schools and creates a thoughtful investment in both physical buildings that are more accessible and safer as well as equipped for the 21st century needs of all students.

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This testimony is a contribution to the Equity in Education meeting discussions. It recognizes people with disabilities are an underrepresented group and the equity of their education needs to be elevated and included in equity discussions.

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Board members, Michael Bailey and Mike Rosen, recognize the unanimous decision by the Portland Public School Board to earmark funds in the November bond and the years of advocacy by Angela Jarvis-Holland, Executive Director. This is a good step towards equity and improving education for all students. NW Disability Support (All Born (in) and Northwest Down Syndrome Association) are supporting this bond and will be sharing more information.

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We are reaching out as we are pleased to share an update with you. Although COVID cancelled our April 2020 College and Career Success for All Transition Summit in Portland, Oregon there is still a lot of work that has been taking place at institutions of higher education, our organization, and beyond in effort to open doors to college for students with intellectual disability (ID).

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We want to congratulate the first graduating class from Portland State University’s four year Think College Inclusion Oregon program.

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A little over three years ago, I found out that the baby I was expecting had Down Syndrome. At first it was hard for me to understand and accept this. I’d never had any contact with someone who had Down Syndrome, and I had very little information. But, happily, I got a lot of support from my family who encouraged me, saying that everything was going to be fine.

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Hace tres años me enteré que la bebé que esperaba tenía Síndrome de Down. Al principio fue difícil para mi entenderlo y aceptar. Nunca había tenido contacto con alguien con Síndrome de Down y tenía muy poca información. Pero felizmente tuve mucho apoyo de mi familia, que me animaban diciendo que todo iba a estar bien.

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Rachel, one of the first students to complete the College and Community Studies Program at PSU, and staff member at NWDSA/ABI reflects on her experience. Congratulations, Rachel! We are so proud of you!!!

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We understand there are many other pressing needs and challenges outside of education that impact even the possibility of concentrating on education for some families and we hope to share more partner resources related those needs to help. We need your input to help us better understand some of the needs related to online learning.

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Our staff and organization have been working hard and shifting how we can best be of service in these times and what we can lean into and rely on. Our core values remain our guide and we know that our skills, values, relationships, partnerships, and resources are more important than ever.

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I can assert that my volunteering at Bike First! is one of the most salient reasons behind my continued development as a human being.

Find out more about Portland State University's Career and Community Studies certificate.

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We need zero judgment of families and to meet them where they are and encourage high expectations and increase their confidence and knowledge as advocates. We need to help support their next steps and empower them to reach their child’s dreams and maximize their inclusion.

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Five years ago, we asked our children what they wanted for their future, encouraging them to envision no limits. A shared dream was college. Emma had choices and options; there was no college option for Dan in Oregon.

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Randy Anderson noticed that, while the Seaside promenade is accessible for wheelchairs, individuals with mobility challenges weren't able to experience the sand and surf up close.

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Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort provides an additional vital resource—a community of other parents to lean into for support.

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Teachers work together on lesson plans, ensuring that all children are offered rigorous instruction in developmentally-appropriate content and that any child with a disability is supported in fully participating in the activities with their peers.

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Pasaron diecisiete años y mi hijo estaba a punto de terminar la escuela secundaria. Comencé a preguntarme: “¿Qué habrá para mi hijo después de la secundaria?”

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Getting a pedicure can be tricky for me. Sometimes having my feet touched is a little uncomfortable. My mom says the technical term is Sensory Defensiveness.

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Uno de nuestros mayores logros este año fue poder ofrecer nuestro taller de entrenamiento de transición de kínder y más! en español por primera vez.

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The 14th Annual All Born (in) Cross-Disability Best Practices Educational Inclusion Conference on April 6th was a Success!

130 friends of inclusive college share a full day of information, networking, and advocacy to create powerful, positive change to open more doors to inclusive college options for students with intellectual disability.

The pink and purple dune buggy that Alexis, a 7-year-old from Washougal, received for her birthday became one of her favorite toys

Emma Frome and Dan Jarvis-Holland attended their first advocacy rally with us as small children 18 years ago in Salem as we protested cuts to Early Intervention.

Parents and professionals learned how to amplify the youth voice, work together to advocate for more post-secondary programs, and support the dream to make inclusive college a reality.

It’s amazing to see the friendships that inclusion have developed for Parker, and how much his friends and peers value and respect him.

Como la nueva Coordinadora de alcance bilingüe, estoy trabajando para que los entrenamientos, eventos, recursos, apoyo para padres y conferencias sean más accesibles para nuestra comunidad de habla hispana.

This will be our ninth walk this year and each year Nickel grows more eager to attend.

I’m proud of the tone I set—checking every detail, speaking my mind, and building working relationships. I do wish the percentage of inclusion for my child was higher. I wasn’t prepared for feeling so mixed, but truly it is a preview of the next 15 years.

Mi experiencia en el último taller fue de muchísima ayuda, me enseñó que ser paciente es la mejor clave para obtener los mejores resultados y que siempre existen mas de una forma de ayudar a nuestros pequeños a aprender.

Supporting the Down syndrome community has always been important to Donald and Mary Prescott.

Angela mentioned that she happened to have a bucket of chalk in the trunk of the car. They stopped, got out, and drew in giant letters the words “Free Our People” where Fairview's sign used to be. Dan wrote “kind”, “love”, and “never again”.

College options are more of a reality for students with intellectual disability than ever before, but there's still much work to be done.

“We wanted to raise awareness ... and we thought a walk in our small town would be a great way to bring everyone together to educate about the reality of living with Down syndrome."

Patrick is a young man from California who is helping lead the charge for college options along the west coast.

Educational staff and parents benefit from shared resources.

It’s not rocket science, it’s education. Separate will NEVER be equal…. I will never believe that isolation is an equal trade for education.

I am 24 years old. I go to college. The program I am in is called TCIOC or Think College Inclusion Oregon.

Angela Jarvis-Holland and Angela Frome receive community awards.

It seems impossible to see how one person can make a difference. But thankfully, there are many knowledgeable and passionate people and organizations willing to help us learn how to advocate.

Building inclusive classrooms is hard work, but easier together.

Newlyweds make generous gift

For their April wedding, Angela and Tony Vu asked friends and family to make donations to NWDSA / ABI in lieu of wedding gifts. Their nephew Oliver and his parents are members of our Kindergarten Cohort community. We are honored by the generosity of the bride and groom. Their wonderful gift helps us continue to support their nephew and other families who work towards an inclusive world for all children.

Congratulations, Angela and Tony and thank you!

Think College Inclusion Oregon Coalition (TCIOC) is incredibly honored and excited to be leading the effort to increase post-secondary education opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

You do not have to be grateful to your school for “allowing” your child to go there.

The camp broke new ground in creating a powerful alliance with a strong belief in the importance of belonging.

Are you or someone close to you interested in bicycling, but due to ability or preference find you are unable to use a conventional bicycle?

On March 6th the American Health Care Act was proposed in the House of Representatives to replace the ACA. This legislation will cut Medicaid and repeal important protections of the ACA.

“I’ll tell you this. Your daughter will grow up, graduate from high school, go to at least some college, get a job and move out.” He looks at us over the top of his grandpa glasses: “And that’s more than you can say for a lot of people.”

In December of 2016, the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan became available to individuals in Oregon.

I felt like I had been caught tearing the wings off a butterfly, and I shrunk away, no clever words slipping off my tongue now.

You couldn’t pick a better group to fight with. This isn’t our first rodeo. We do this every day. Our muscles are primed and ready for this work of resistance.

Does everyone see my responsible, competent child? Do you see her making it in typical preschool with two hundred of Portland’s most organic children? Do you see her here in the main stream, not off in some side stream, some trickle going nowhere?

In the history books the revolutions seem so organized. It seems like every leader has their assignment which they execute flawlessly without complication and the gears turn perfectly and the world is changed forever. While I hunt for the car keys.

There were many false starts as she remembered the tricks she’d learned, and remembered to trust her mother, but in time we made it to the park. And let me tell you, that was one proud little girl.

“Going into this camp, I thought social justice was only about helping people who can’t help themselves…but I learned that it is so much more. In order to create social justice, we have to start with ourselves.” – James, 2016 Social Justice Youth Summer Camp Participant

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association kicked off its annual Bike First camp Monday, giving children with disabilities another way to have fun this summer.

We are excited to welcome Susan Hiler as our new 2016 Portland Metro & SW Washington Buddy Walk Chair!

NWDSA Executive Director Angela Jarvis-Holland and her son Daniel recently presented testimony at PPS Board of Education meeting. Angela discussed the Think College program, and Daniel shared his college goals and asked members of the Board to be on his team.

Edie realized that in 1976, society didn’t have much space for a child with Down syndrome, and she was appalled to realize how poorly her son and his peers could be treated, how low expectations were, and how few opportunities there were for him to learn and thrive. Things were going to be different in the Brown family, and so began a long life of advocacy.

ABI is not just about schools, about Special Ed, about getting my kid through school and helping other parents do the same. It’s about the long haul, and about building communities that understand that All Means All, that when we take the time to truly embrace and celebrate our differences, we will be the best world

For the first time in Oregon, individuals with intellectual disabilities will have access to an inclusive postsecondary education at a four-year university, thanks to the efforts of Think College Inclusion Oregon, Northwest Down Syndrome Association/All Born (in), and Portland State University.

Pienso que el programa de alcance para familias Hispanas/Latinas es muy importante, ya que así las nuevas familias se conectan a servicios, participan en grupos de apoyo, conocen a otras familias, crean una red de amigos/as, y reciben información mediante entrenamientos y conferencias.

In January 2012, attorneys from DRO filed a class-action lawsuit against the state of Oregon, contending that its use of “sheltered workshops” violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by segregating people with disabilities from the workforce.

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