Spetember 2013

Hello! My name is Rhonda Eppelsheimer, and I wanted to share a little about my work with the OHSU UCEDD, and with the CPC!


As Assistant Director for the UCEDD I work with members of the CPC a lot. I am very thankful for the voice the council brings to our daily work here at the UCEDD. The work of the CPC keeps the UCEDD firmly grounded in the communities and concerns of people who have disabilities across Oregon.


Working with the CPC has helped guide my work in a variety of ways. I work most closely with a CPC group that focuses on spirituality and disability. They have a deep passion for making sure people who live with a disability have access to, and are included in, their communities of faith and/or spiritual practices. The group members share from their own lives and the lives of others they know.  This group wants to make resources for people with disabilities, their families and supporters, and communities of faith.


This group’s passion helps to shape the UCEDD’s long and short term goals and projects.  The group focuses on education, community service and training, research and information dissemination. With their help, we are making a website resource page and creating mini grants that will support the larger community and increase their ability to respond to the spiritual needs and practices of Oregonians with disabilities.


I enjoy my work with each member of the Council and see our work together as a strong partnership. This provides us direction and connection to carry out the work that helps make a difference in the lives of people here in Oregon.


October 2012, CPC Blog Post, Joe Basey

Advocacy Never Ends

As I get older, I ‘m reminded that we has individuals can’t change the whole world.this being said,this makes it even more important for us to join together as colitions to do everything we can to do to make as many changes in our little part of the world.

I’m an life long aadvocate for people with disabilities. I have a passion for connecting people with disabilities and people with disabilities. I have always been part of both worlds. I have found it both rewarding and challenging. It can be so overwhelming. I try not to let it bother me. I have heard the saying,,” If you’re not part of the problem, you need to be part of the solution.”.  I make every attempt to live my life by this shis school of thought! I want to encourag you all, who readingthis to do the same!!

October 2012, CPC Blog Post Clidia Gibson

In your Own Voice

About now, we are all probably tired of the campaign speeches!  But, did you know that 100 years ago women in Oregon were campaigning for the right to vote?? The issue was on the ballot for about the 6th time in 1912.  Of course, only men could vote, but luckily they finally realized women weren’t going to stop trying. Oregon women were able to vote before the national women’s suffrage passed in 1920.   In recent weeks, I’ve heard several people say they don’t “like” anyone running, so they aren’t going to vote.  Well, friends, many people across the globe do not have the right to vote.  We need to use ours! We can now register online (by October 16) and we vote by mail!  How easy can it get? And, we can read up on the candidates and issues.  The Oregon League of Women Voters has an excellent website-LWVOR.org-where we can download or order Voter Guides in lots of versions!  In a few weeks, we can get a voter guide in standard or large print, Easy Voter (meaning it’s in everyday language), Spanish, video, audio, and screen reader accessible.  You can also order a Braille version by calling 1-800-452-0292.

July 2012 CPC Blog Post Rob Wiesenthal

I feel strongly passionate about, and in favor of, personally, Washington, the District of Columbia Statehood; animal rights, environmentalism, Liberal/Progressive Democratic Party causes, peace, pacifism, equal rights for the disenfranchised (down-and-out,) equal rights, human rights, basic rights, animal welfare, animal liberation, hugging trees, and very strict gun-control. 

I am a hugely-avid, and enthusiastic supporter of Dennis (J.) John Kucinich, Luis (V.) Vicente Gutiérrez, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Sheila Jackson Lee, James (E.) Enos “Jim” Clyburn, Gwen S. Moore (Gwendolynne Sophia Moore,) Bill Bradley, Tom Barrett, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Marcia L. Fudge, Virgil “Virg” Bernero, Vincent C. Gray, Elijah Cummings, Ed Towns, Carolyn B. Maloney, Barney Frank, Niki Tsongas, Paul Simon, Michael (S.) Stanley Dukakis, Walter Frederick “Fritz” Mondale, Carol Moseley Braun, Shirley Chisholm, Mike Richter, Julian Bond, John Robert Lewis, all Democrats.  It is important for me to advocate for the use of, and increased funding for, Public Transportation.  Personally, I use it; linking various transit, bus, van, para-transit, train systems (and agency/agencies,) etc. to one-another; each other, together.  I am an animal-lover and a tree-hugger.  Plants and animals are keen.  Also, I like and am very fond of Ken Dryden (Kenneth Wayne Dryden, P.C.,) Liberal political party (Canada.)  In Canada,

I admire the following political parties:  Liberals, Greens, the New Democrats (the New Democratic Party,) Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada,.  I support voting rights, affirmative action, welfare, homeless individuals’ rights, first nations peoples’ rights, immigrants’ rights, and serious consideration of statehood for each-and-every territory, holding, district of the United States of America that-of-which is not already a state.  I am fluent in English language.  I know some Spanish language and some American Sign Language language.  I am eager to enhance all of my language skills.  I enjoy studying all cultures, languages, geography, geology, ecology, environments, linguistics, sociology, political science.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Hope College, in Holland, Michigan, U.S.A..  Hope College is a private liberal arts institution of higher learning.  I am from Glen Ellyn, Illinois; Wheaton, Illinois; & Wilsonville, Oregon.  Also, I have spent a considerable amount of time in Holland, Michigan and Lake Oswego, Oregon.

May 2012 CPC Blog Post –Jerry Pattee

This year has been a busy one for me.  Along with fellow  CPC member, Josiah Barber, I attended the Partners In Policymaking seminar.  It was held one Friday/Saturday per month from January through June inSalem.  Conducted every two years, and funded by the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities through The ARC Oregon, the coursework trained participants in the areas of: Disability History, Person Centered Planning, Negotiating, Challenging Behavior Strategies, Grassroots Organizing, and State Legislative Testimony.  24 parents of children experiencing developmental disabilities, along with five adults experiencing developmental disabilities, were chosen from 80 applicants.  The education I received will enhance the volunteer work I do with through both United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and the Community Partners Council.  I believe families and adults in the disability community need each others’ support and need to connect more through the broader community.

Occupying much of my volunteer time, this spring, has been working on the steering committee for  Oregon’s new coalition of advocacy groups for people with developmental disabilities.  Its first statewide meeting has occurred and the mission statement is completed.  Tasks remaining include bylaw revision and election of officers.

Effective July 1, I will be rotating off the CPC’s Executive Committee, but will continue my work on various committees.  Congratulations to continuing EC members, Joe Basey and Emily Holmes, and newly-elected members Heather Brooks, Beth Brownhill, and Rob Wiesenthal!

April 2012 CPC Blog Post – Eli Ettinger

Growing up with a disability I was always aware of the different services that are available in the community but now that I am done with school I am trying to learn things more from an advocacy perspective. I have always been very passionate about the idea of reaching out and trying to help other people with disabilities achieve their goals.

I have been part of the CPC for about a year and a half and I have truly enjoyed my experience working with others on the council to ensure that Oregonians with disabilities have all of their needs and concerns addressed in order to be active and successful members of society. I believe wholeheartedly in the councils mission that, “The CPC serves as a primary mechanism for the voices and needs of Oregonians with disabilities, health issues and their families, friends and supporters”.

CPC Member – Clidia Gibson

Accessibility is a subject no one thinks about until they have to!  That certainly applied to my family until about 1986.  My husband had been diagnosed as having Multiple Sclerosis around 1983, and a few years later began using a scooter. We then acquired a used van with a wheelchair lift.  Then, we had to find a “handicapped parking” spot, find a place to get on to the sidewalk, (probably a spot where a driveway crossed it) and then find a place of business or restaurant we could enter.  We considered ourselves lucky if it all worked out.  When he wanted to open an IRA, the broker came out to our van parked in a city parking lot to conduct business.  This went on for a few years until the company moved to an accessible location.  Trips were fairly stressful and many times, we simply went to the drive-thru of a fast food place because it was the easiest thing to do.  We joined a local support group of people who were mobility impaired.  During our monthly meetings, we would regularly share information about accessible businesses and restaurants. The support group, SPOKES, became anIndependentLivingCenterin 1988, serving people with all disabilities. With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, things gradually began to change.


Today, with universal access in place, most people no longer have to think about accessibility.  There are plenty of accessible, code compliant parking spaces available.  Curb cuts are the norm. Rarely is a business inaccessible.  At the end of the 2009 road construction season, the City of Klamath Falls reported approximately 185 newly installed ADA compliant ramp corners.  The City ADA Committee is now considering the idea of recommending the implementation of “Senior Zones” in areas of senior housing.  This means that traffic signals would be longer, allowing a slower walking person to cross the street before the signal changes. Just think of the all the new technology that has become available to people with vision and hearing impairments in the last 20 years!  I’m sure the next 20 years will see even more amazing inventions!


Granted, there are still some barriers such as attitudinal ones (which can’t be legislated!)  We just need to keep educating people-adults and children- in order to make changes.  Currently, I participate on the City ADA Committtee, Klamath County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Community Partners Council (OHSU), and Access Technologies Inc Advisory Council.  By working with others over the years, I feel that I have helped to make a difference in my corner of the world.  I hope that you, too, will continue your advocacy or perhaps become inspired to get started making a difference where you live!




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