please join us this Thursday April 12 2007 after the
Options for Success convention at Southern Oregon University

for a reception for convention goers at
La Casa Del Pueblo restaurant

1209 Siskiyou Boulevard, Ashland Oregon
across the street from the SOU Britt building


dude celebrate ability invite cover

celebrateability n. 1. The degree to which a festivity can be attended.
2. The level of access and inclusion.

Example:  “DUDE, the celebrateability of this party is at an all-time high.
Thanks for holding it somewhere I can get into. This sure is fun.


Disabled United in Direct Empowerment





Finally, a festival everyone can attend!


Thanks to everyone who attended, donated, bidded on and bought silent auction items, and simply came to support our work. We hope to see you here next year!


Donors in no particular order:


Science Works

Paddington Station


Cucina Biazzi

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Allyson’s of Ashland

Heart & Hands

Quick Silver Productions

Bloomsbury Books

Apple Cellar

Flower Tyme

Video Explorer

Land of Paws

Inti Imports


American Trails


Mt. Shasta Artists

Salon Jewel by Sunny Steward

Dkor Hair

Gathering Glass Studio

Mori Ink

Judy Stanley

Tree House Books

Pyramid Band

Rivers' Invitation

Bill Belew

Ax Prince

Bill Lawson

Cozmik Pizza


We're working on the narrative of this great First Friday event,
but the coolest thing we can say right now was
Bill Belew giving his 50/50 winnings back to the org after he won the raffle.
Thanks, Bill, that was a great move and thanks again to all our supporters!!!


Many events are unattendable by Oregonians with disabilities,
but we would like to invite you to one where everyone will be fully included.
We are participating in November 3 First Friday at the A Street Marketplace
from 3-8 pm. Please join us for music, graphic and plastic media,
crafts, munchies and interactive engagement by and for
Oregonians with disabilities; silent auction and 50-50 raffle
fundraisers will benefit nonprofit advocacy group
Disabled United in Direct Empowerment (DUDE),
a tax-exempt 501c(3) Oregon nonprofit.


Please join us as we celebrate all our accomplishments,
from HB 3268 to our fight for public transportation,
and share the creativity of local studio and performing artists
with disabilities. River’s Invitation, featuring Bill Hahey,
an art installation by Studio Sfumato, letter- and beadwork by
Judy and Kelly Stanley, graphic art by Michael Koester
and Chuck Cheatum, and donated work by local artists,
studios and merchants will be on display for appreciation or silent auction.
Light refreshments will be provided or have a delicious and
affordable meal from co-sponsors Cozmik Pizza and Pancho’s.

First Friday everyone can attend: who knew?



First Friday

November 3, 2006

A Street Marketplace

340 Oak St. Ashland

3-8 pm

Self-expression is something no one else can do for you.
Help celebrate the many ways we choose to express ourselves.

                    Convention Reports

                                  23rd Annual Pac Rim Conference on Disabilities, Honolulu, Hawaii
                                  22nd Annual Pac Rim Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii

                                  Legislative Work Session to craft VSA-Medicaid Program
                                     for Art and Culture workers with disabilities



Getting to Ridgeview sure is difficult without Route 4, we haven't been able to visit our friends for months.

Convention Reports


DUDE goes to Honolulu and influences legislation

Investing in disabled artists reduces the tax burden


Hire Abilities—Hawai’i Employment Summit March 15-16, 2006

Expanding Workforce Pathways For People with Disabilities

by Steve Ryan

            The State of Hawaii has accepted a $3 million Medicaid infrastructure grant to explore ways to employ persons with disabilities in the arts and culture industries. We attended a legislative work session mandated by Senate Concurrent Resolution 199 at the Sheraton on Wednesday and met again Thursday night at the State Capitol to present the recommendations to the Hawaiian Legislature.

            Susan Miller from the University of Hawaii Center on Disability Studies kicked off the “Mini-Summit at the State Capitol” on Senate Concurrent Resolution 199, which is the State’s legal commitment to administering the 6-year, $500,000 per-year grant issued by Medicaid. The project started as a small NEA grant administered through VSA Arts and the UH Center on Disability Studies, explained Miller. The innovation began when Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and the Center for Medicaid Services negotiated a way for Medicaid to partner on the project: put disability folks back to work. Disabled Hawaiians suffer 74-80% unemployment “in modest numbers,” Miller told the crowd of 50+ lawmakers, administrators, and consumers.

            Leolinda Parlin, State Coordinator for Family Voices Hawai’i, explained that the Medicaid infrastructure grant was earmarked to expand opportunity for the disabled with personal assistants, enhance disabled arts and culture workers’ earning power through education, and to increase employment opportunity by offering Medicaid as a low-cost health care plan for qualified workers. Workers could purchase their Medicaid benefits at a lower cost than private coverage after they crossed the Medicaid income ceiling, and still keep the options private coverage will probably never deliver, most specifically personal assistants. Personal assistants will help disabled artists earn more. Who would have ever thought: An investment in disabled artists reduces dependence on the State and lowers transfer payments from the taxpayer. Revolutionary.

            Senator Norman Sakamoto, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, and Senator Clarence Nishihara, both of whom also sit on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, accepted the recommendations from the public work session the day before. “Nobody wants wasted resources,” explained Sakamoto, asking how the Senate could help invest the Medicaid money for the most return, in this case by putting disabled artists to work.

            “What started with a grant to artists with disabilities turned into an incredible project,” said Soula Antounio, National President of VSA Arts, the nonprofit that administers NEA grants with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. “In order to influence employment, you have to influence education and all other areas of life.” The project started out as an NEA award. We worked with Antounio at length during a Pac Rim Conference seminar on disability arts employment the day before.

            “We know there’s no shortage of talent,” explained Dr. Olivia Raynor, from the Tarjan National Arts & Disability Center at UCLA. The NADC has been able to help 18 states “dig deep into their local communities” to explore ways to stimulate arts employment. The problems they encounter most, said Raynor, were the ones we encounter as service consumers: transportation and the array of difficulties applying to the various multiple agencies. Ironically, this was the administrators complaining about extra travel time, different application languages, duplicate application processes and expiration dates, etc. that arise from our system of competing bureaucracies. Expanding employment for disabled Hawai’ians will require strong arts programs in education and including occupations not traditionally included in the arts industry like culinary arts and graphic design, for example. “Hawaii has such a good idea, I want everybody else to hear about it,” said Raynor of the Medicaid partnership.

            “Why would you not want to tap into a workforce that is ready, willing and able?” asked Tammie McNaughton, chair of the Business Leadership Network for the State of Pennsylvania. The work session group recommended formation of a BLN, to advocate for disabled employment in the private sector as in many other states. DUDE joined the Oregon BLN the day after we got back, joining a growing list of employers who have committed to employing disabled Oregonians. Check out our partners at www.obln.org.

            “I know of only one group in society that wants to pay taxes: the disabled,” said Hon. Tony Coelho, former California Congressman, House Majority Whip (first ever elected), Epilepsy Foundation Chair and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Coelho told the last 4 presidents the same thing, that “we want to pay taxes because that means we have a job.” Coelho spoke about the opposition he had to overcome and the challenges he has faced as the first epileptic legislator. Robert Stodden, Ph.D., Director of the Center on Disability Studies and the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Education Supports, President of the Association of University Centers on Disability, and Professor of Special Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa closed the session as the host of the entire Pac Rim Conference, thanking all the participants at the work session. DUDE was recognized by name in the Wednesday session by the Medicaid administration team from D.C. and here were our recommendations being handed to Congress a day later. Now that we have seen the process from the inside, however, the real work of bringing the Medicaid/ NEA/ VSA Arts-Kennedy Center arts employment project to Oregon has just begun. We’ll get back to you on this one, it might take a year or two so stick with us, we need your help. But we have a growing list of administrators who will be waiting for us when we get to D.C. whom we wouldn’t know if we hadn’t gone to the Pac Rim Conference on Disabilities 2006.

Project partners include: University of Hawai’i Center on Disability Studies, Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, Department of Human Services Department of Health, Hawai’i Workforce Development Council, National Arts and Disability Center at UCLA, National Technical Assistance Center for Employment of Asian American and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities, and VSA Arts of Hawai’i-Pacific.

updated April 2007