Our History

In the late 1970s, a group of local Deaf leaders created an endowment fund with the Oregon Association of the Deaf (OAD) to one day establish an entity providing services to Oregonians that are Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing, and those with additional disabilities.

Since that time, the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community have lobbied the Oregon legislature to fund these much-needed community services. The legislation was introduced in 2007, 2009, 2015, 2017(1), 2017(2), 2019, 2021(1), and 2021(2).

In 2015, legislators funded a community-based needs assessment, conducted by Western Oregon University and published in December 2016. Despite the assessment’s findings, legislators did not pass proposed legislation in 2017 that would have met critical community needs, prompting the establishment of Bridges Oregon.

This community will not continue to wait on a legislature that meets it with inaction. Bridges Oregon will promote equality, accessibility, and opportunity for individuals who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing in Oregon.

Name & Logo

“Bridges” came with an idea that the City of Portland is also known as “Bridge City” or “BridgeTown;” the city has 12 bridges that cross the Willamette River. A Bridge is a structure that connects over an obstacle. Finally, Bridges also symbolizes a transition.

“Oregon” is to affirm that we provide service statewide.

The hand image was conceptualized by the Founder of Bridges Oregon in honor of the implementation of the organization. The hands and fingers represent the language, communication, and culture. The open palm represents hospitality. The sign for Bridges Oregon is similar to “implementation” where all fingers meet together and this represents the individual, community, and intersectionality that this organization provides to the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community. The fingers touch each other in the form of tactile language used by DeafBlind individuals who rely on protactile language. The thumb reaches out toward the organization’s name, like a bridge.

The primary color of the logo is purple and represents several core values. First and foremost it represents anti-violence (e.g., domestic violence, intimate relationship violence, and victims of homophobia). Secondly, it represents the Oregon School for the Deaf (OSD), whose school colors are purple and yellow. OSD is the state residential school for the Deaf and was established in November 1870. Residential schools were the crucibles in which Deaf culture was forged and were a focal point for the community for decades. Bridges Oregon also uses Russian Violet, Rhythm Purple, Davys Grey, Mikado Yellow, and Isabelline White.

The font style of the logo is Raleway.

Bridges Oregon Logo Purple Hand