Portland Information and Resources

Local Conference Chairs Welcome

By Jen Dugger Spalding & Jewls Griesmeyer Krentz

Welcome to Portlandia! Portland is known for our microbrews, coffee, tattoo shops, and keeping it weird! Nestled in the beautiful natural landscape of the Pacific Northwest, Portland also boasts a wealth of cultural opportunities and offbeat urban spaces. We have something for everyone!

Our accessible and convenient public transit, Trimet, will give you many options to get around town. Visit Alberta Street, Mississippi Ave, and SE Hawthorne for shopping and people watching. Find local fare, arts, and crafts at the Saturday Market near the waterfront or at the Farmer’s Market in the Park Blocks near Portland State University. The Portland Art Museum offers world-class exhibits such as the Guillermo del Toro or Black Excellence showing now. Portland is also home to the famous Powell’s Books with 68,000 sq ft of new and used books. 

Portland is a foodie paradise! There is fine dining with gorgeous city views, such as the Metropolitan Tavern right next door to the conference. If pub fare is more your speed, challenge your colleagues to a game of hoops or watch live sports at the Spirit of 77 right next to the Convention Center. It is also a great place to charge your laptop and use the wifi during break times. Oh, and don’t miss the food carts–some say they have the best food in Portland!  

If you would like to take advantage of our gorgeous natural surroundings, consider wandering through the International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden in beautiful Washington Park or the Lan Su Chinese Garden just one mile from the convention center. Extend your visit and travel east to the breathtaking waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge or head west toward the scenic Oregon Coast. Maybe head south to the Willamette Valley for a day of wine tasting. There is something magnificent to be found in every direction!

For those seeking live entertainment, we have an incredible opportunity on Wednesday, July 19th. iTunes chart-topping comedian, Nina G, will be at the Curious Comedy Theater as part of the Comedians with Disabilities Act comedy night! Get your tickets early so you don’t miss this fantastic way to kick off your time at the 2023 AHEAD Annual Conference!

We sincerely hope that this year’s AHEAD Annual Conference is a professionally rewarding and personally enriching time to reconnect with colleagues and friends. And that your time in Portland is fun and, yes—just a little bit weird.

Local Chairs

Jewls Griesmeyer-Krentz Jewls Griesmeyer-Krentz 

Jewls Griesmeyer-Krentz is the new Assistant Director of Accessible Education Services at Willamette University / Pacific Northwest College of Art. Previously, she led disability services, academic coaching, and tutoring at Linfield University School of Nursing. Before joining Linfield in 2022, she had been a Senior Access Counselor and Consultant at the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at Portland State University since 2013. At the DRC, Jewls specialized in working with blind and low vision students and supervised classroom assistants and graduate-level interns at the DRC. Jewls is the President of the Board of Directors of the Oregon Affiliate of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (ORAHEAD) and serves as a mentor for the AHEAD Start Academy for new(er) disability services professionals. Jewls has presented multiple times at regional and national conferences, including AHEAD, ORAHEAD, and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and is actively engaged in ongoing research projects. Jewls is a PhD candidate in Adult and Higher Education at Oregon State University, where her doctoral work focuses on international and immigrant students with disabilities, disability identity, and intersectionality. 

Jen Dugger SpaldingJen Dugger Spalding

Jen Dugger Spalding is the new ADA Coordinator for the City of Vancouver, WA (just over the Columbia River - 25 minutes north of the Convention Center). Jen spent nearly 20 years in Disability Services in higher education. Most recently, she was the Director of the Disability Resource Center at Portland State University (2012-2023) and before that, she was the Director of Disability Resources at Drexel University in Philadelphia (2006-2012). Jen served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and then served as the Board’s inaugural Equity Officer. Jen has also served as the Program Chair for the AHEAD Conference (2013) and the co-chair of the LGBTQA Knowledge and Practice Community for AHEAD (2012-2020). Jen says that one of the most fulfilling parts of her job is working with disability services professionals in illuminating and addressing the latent ableism and racism within our work. “Do no more harm” has always been her motto, and she believes that requires beginning with a deep reckoning of the power and privilege we carry in our positions. “The people who experience more barriers deserve more from us”, she says.

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Awesome Things to Do in Portland

Sightseeing and Fun

       Comedians with Disabilities Act comedy night at the Curious Comedy Theater (featuring iTunes chart-topping comedian, Nina G!)

       Visit Alberta Street, Mississippi Ave, and SE Hawthorne for shopping, dining and (honestly) people watching

       Eat, drink, and do way more at McMenamin’s Kennedy School, a former elementary school turned hotel, restaurants, bars, soaking pool, and movie theater!

       Stroll through the International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden or go for a hike in Washington Park

       Visit the legendary 68,000 sq ft independent bookstore, Powell’s Books

       Cross the Willamette River using the Steel Bridge to the Lan Su Chinese Garden (just one mile from the Convention Center)

       Enjoy the Portland Art Museum and the Guillermo del Toro or Black Excellence exhibitions

       Spend your Saturday buying souvenirs from the Saturday Market or from the Farmer’s Market at Portland State University

       Rent Bikes from BikeTown (find adaptive bikes here) and ride around the city

       Visit Pittock Mansion for an incredible view of the city

       Spirit of 77 - eat, drink, and shoot hoops across the street from the Convention Center

Check out Travel Portland’s helpful guide to accessible travel in and around Portland!

Restaurants with Beautiful Views

       The Noble Rot - Panoramic views of the entire city and an organic rooftop garden

       Departure - On the 15th floor of The Nines Hotel downtown

       Portland City Grill - Dine while enjoying a 30th floor view

       Metropolitan Tavern - At the Eastlund Hotel adjacent to the Convention Center

Food Carts

207 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214

Piedmont Carts
625 NE Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97211 

Here’s a guide to the best food carts in Portland! 

Disability-Supporting Establishments

Happy Cup Coffee Company - focuses on employing adults with disabilities
Location 1: 
555 NE Couch
Portland, OR 97232

Location 2:
3494 North Williams
Portland, OR 97227

Pah! - Deaf owned restaurant
5716 SE 92nd Ave
Portland, OR 97266



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Legacy Emanuel
2801 N Gantenbein Ave
Portland, OR 97227

OHSU - Oregon Health and Science University (Marquam Hill Campus)
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Portland, OR 97239

Kaiser Permanente 
3550 N Interstate Ave
Portland, OR 97227

Urgent Care Clinics

ZoomCare Lloyd District Super
607 NE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97232

Legacy Go Health
3505 N Williams
Portland, OR 97227


1620 NE Grand Ave
Portland, OR 97232

Rite Aid 
600 NW 10th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

1100 NE Broadway Ave
Portland, OR 97232

Animal Care - Veterinary Care 

Banfield Irvington
1615 NE 21st Ave
Portland, OR 97232

DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency 
1945 NW Pettygrove Ave
Portland, OR 97209


Wheelchair Repair/Rental & Medical Equipment

2600 SE 182nd Ave
Portland, OR 97030

1915 NE 7th Ave
Portland, OR 9212

11975 Herman Road
Tualatin, OR 97062

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