Salem, Oregon – Bridges Oregon Receives $75,000 Grant to Pioneer Self-Advocacy Initiative for Deaf I/DD Community

Bridges Oregon, Oregon’s premier statewide nonprofit serving Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing individuals, is thrilled to announce the receipt of a $75,000 grant from the State of Oregon, facilitated by the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and its Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS). This grant, awarded under ORS 279B.060, aims to support innovative Self-Advocacy Projects for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD).

Bridges Oregon’s groundbreaking initiative seeks to establish the state’s first self-advocacy group within the Deaf I/DD community. This pioneering effort will create a collaborative platform where individuals can develop essential skills for effective self-advocacy, navigate complex resource systems, and understand their rights in both work and life contexts.

“The receipt of this grant marks a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to empower the Deaf I/DD community in Oregon,” said Chad A. Ludwig, Executive Director of Bridges Oregon. “Our aim is to establish a space where individuals can collectively challenge stereotypes, dismantle systemic barriers, and actively contribute to shaping policies that directly impact their lives.”

The Self-Advocacy Project addresses the unique challenges faced by the Deaf I/DD community, including language disparities, limited representation, and systemic exclusion. By providing a pathway to thriving and integrated participation in Oregon’s social and resource systems, Bridges Oregon aims to foster a community where every individual’s voice is heard and valued.

Under the RFP guidelines, Bridges Oregon will utilize the grant funding to expand access to self-advocacy activities, including the development of written materials, digital resources, and website enhancements tailored to the Deaf I/DD community’s needs. Additionally, the initiative will offer self-advocacy trainings and peer-to-peer mentoring opportunities to further empower individuals to advocate for themselves and others.

“We are deeply honored to be entrusted with this grant, and we are committed to leveraging these resources to create lasting change within the Deaf I/DD community,” added Chad. “Through collaboration and innovation, we will work tirelessly to ensure that every individual has the tools and support they need to thrive.”

About Bridges Oregon:

Bridges Oregon is a linguistically and culturally specific and responsive statewide nonprofit organization for Oregonians who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing or face other communication barriers. It is in our mission to facilitate equity, inclusiveness, and to provide a bridge to opportunities through advocacy, education, and communication.