Equity and Civil Rights

This page contains information about Civil Rights protections specific to Portland Parks & Recreation.
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Civil Rights and Nondiscrimination

The City of Portland (“the City”) is committed to advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, environmental justice, equal opportunity, and nondiscrimination in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and statutes including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice, Executive Order 13166 on Language Access, Executive Order 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Oregon Revised Statutes chapter 659A, and Portland City Code Chapter 23. It is the policy of the City to eliminate discrimination based on protected classes of race, religion, color, sex, marital status, familial status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or source of income.  Such discrimination poses a threat to the health, safety, and general welfare of Portland community members and menaces the institutions and foundation of our community.

It is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of the above listed protected classes in programs, activities, services, benefits, and employment, whether carried out by the City directly or through a contractor or any other entity with whom the City of Portland arranges to carry out its programs and activities except as allowed by federal law, rules, and regulations.

Americans with Disabilities Act Title II

In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its activities, programs, and services.

Effective Communication

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that people with disabilities are able to receive and communicate information as effectively as people without disabilities. One of the ways PP&R ensures it is effectively communicating with people with disabilities is by providing at no charge appropriate communication aids and services. Examples of appropriate aids and services PP&R could provide include:

  • Accessible electronic documents
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Braille documents
  • Captions
  • A reader/transcriber
  • Sign language

In addition to the above examples of appropriate aids and services, PP&R can also facilitate other ways of making communications and information accessible to people who have cognitive, speech, hearing, and/or visual disabilities.

Modifications to Policies and Procedures

Introduction of Reasonable Modification

PP&R will reasonably modify its policies, practices, and procedures so people with disabilities can access PP&R activities, facilities, programs, and services. Furthermore, PP&R will provide reasonable modifications quickly, easily, and without requiring proof of disability.

Defining Reasonable Modification

A reasonable modification is a change or exception to policy, practice, or procedure that allows people with disabilities to have equal access to the activities, facilities, programs, and services offered by PP&R. Reasonable modifications must always be related to an existing disability. For example, a modification to allow electric wheelchairs in an area where electric vehicles are not normally allowed will not be granted unless someone using an electric wheelchair plans to access the area in question.

When requesting a reasonable modification to a policy, practice, or procedure, an individual with a disability is not required to provide medical documentation or information about a diagnosis, but they must be able to explain how their disability relates to the requested modification.

Examples of Reasonable Modifications

  • PP&R modifies its “no pets” policy to allow service animals to enter areas open to the public but closed to pets
  • Allowing the user of an electric wheelchair to use their chair in locations where electric vehicles are banned
  • Assisting someone with a cognitive disability in understanding and completing a PP&R form

Denying Requests

Although circumstances where PP&R would deny a requested aid or service or a modification are rare, two possibilities could lead to a denial:

  • Granting the request would fundamentally alter the essential nature of the activity, program, or service
  • Granting the request would result in undue administrative and financial burdens

If PP&R must deny a requested aid, service, or a requested modification, every effort will be made to ensure accessibility and inclusivity.

Getting Help

To get help with an appropriate method of communication, request a modification, or to request any accommodation related to your disability, call 311 or complete the City of Portland’s online ADA Title II request form.

To file a complaint under Title II about the accessibility of a PP&R activity, facility, program, or service, call 311 or complete the City of Portland’s Report Discrimination form.

Whether you call 311 or complete one of the online forms, your information will be forwarded to the PP&R staff best able to assist you.