Oregon Topics: Disabled Citizens

Oregonians with disabilities are served by several local, state, and federal programs. Many of these programs originated in the 1800s when attitudes were different from today. For example, the history of the Fairview Training Center reflects the changing strategies over the decades. Fairview first opened in 1908 as the State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and closed in 2000 after relocating most of its residents to small, neighborhood facilities. The Fairview experience typifies a philosophical evolution toward societal integration that also applies to services for other disabilities.
Nationally, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 has enhanced access to thousands of government and business locations but, as advocates point out, work remains to be done.

This guide focuses on Oregon government resources, federal agencies and private organizations related to Americans with disabilities.

Oregon Human Services Department

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

People with Physical Disabilities

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Oregon Blue Book

(includes contact information, agency history, records retention schedules, budgets, and records held by the Oregon State Archives)

Oregon Education Department information (special education and the School for the Deaf)

Oregon Health Authority

Oregon Commission for the Blind

(vocational rehabilitation; employer, senior, and youth services; independent living; and career services)

Special education

Students with disabilities (includes related education topics)

Oregon Office on Disability and Health (a collaboration of the Oregon Health & Science University and other entities to promote understanding of secondary conditions related to disabilities)

​Federal Resources

U.S. Social Security Administration

Disability programs (application and planning resources)

Employment support programs (resources for youths, employers, advocates, beneficiaries, and service providers

Social Security forms

Americans with Disabilities Act (U.S. Justice Department)
U.S. Access Board (disability guidelines, training, and enforcement information)
U.S. Rehabilitation Services Administration (U.S. Department of Education)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (U.S. Health and Human Services Department)

General Resources​

Arc of Oregon (resources related to mental retardation and developmental disabilities)


Wheelchair Foundation (provides free wheelchairs to people who can't afford one)
​ ​
disabled skier
A disabled skier uses a sit-ski to race down a slope.