“I really appreciate all the time and dedication each staff puts in when they work with someone. They continue to follow the PBC mission statement and are always person-centered, and are always encouraging our individuals to continue to live an independent life. They are fierce advocates and we are so appreciative of our SLP team and all of their work they do.”

~ Supporting Living Program (SLP) Manager

What we love best about working in the LEAP program:

  • Seeing so much happiness and a smile on their face when they head out the door each day
  • The ah-ha moments: that one thing that staff has been working on that finally falls into place
  • Making someone’s day brighter and hanging out with genuine people

​~LEAP Staff

“Supporting a person’s growth and being a part of their life is a privilege. Every day as a DSP is so different but the one thing that is always constant is the appreciation I have for our students.”

~ Vocational Academy staff

“My favorite part about job coaching is the process of getting to know our individuals. I learn their goals and what they want out of life, and I’m lucky enough to be a part of helping them reach those goals and live their best life. It’s one of the most gratifying things I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of.”

~ Community Employment staff

“I have been a teacher at Pearl Buck Preschool for 10 years, and I still love every single day I get to teach in my Tip-Top Turtle Toddler classroom. At Pearl Buck Preschool, the child is the curriculum and the overall most important concept we work on with our children and families is instilling felt safety and trust through a relationship focused foundation.”

~ Preschool teacher


“The growth that a Project SEARCH intern experiences during our nine-month program is incredible. It’s a joy to watch them plant their roots as they learn essential job skills while working in their assigned hospital departments. Once they finish Project SEARCH and find their dream job in the community they can really begin to blossom.”

~ Project SEARCH staff

Happy DSP Recognition Week! Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the employees who provide direct support to our clients, students, families, and interns. They make up the heart and soul of everything we do here at Pearl Buck Center and organizations like ours! Please join us in honoring and thanking DSPs everywhere for the important and essential work they do to support people with disabilities!

The Eugene Garden Club has been faithfully supporting Pearl Buck Center for many years. In particular, its members have always kept our planter box in the preschool parking lot beautiful. These past two weeks, members Terrye Eames and Mary Bromley prepared and planted the box with new additions to launch us into fall. Special thanks to Dorothy Cruickshank, and all Club members, for years of volunteerism and gracious contributions ensuring we welcome and bring joy to our preschoolers and their families each day with a planter filled with colorful plants

Did you miss the recent news of the Register-Guard Readers’ Choice Award winners? We are proud to share it with you!

Congratulations to Matt Templeman, KEZI TV news director and anchor, for winning the 2022 Readers’ Choice TV Personality Award. Well-deserved! Matt has been a long-time PBC supporter, sharing precious time to support our fundraising events, most recently serving as emcee at our recent Summer Garden Party, July 10.

As well, kudos are in order to Sarah Dooley of Marley Monsters for winning the Eco-Friendly Green Business Award. Marley’s Monsters is a faithful community employment partner with Pearl Buck Center helping our clients restore livelihood and dignity! If you haven’t visited them recently at their 5th Street Market Alle y location, plan a trip today!

We thank you Matt and Sarah for all you do and for your continued support of our agency to enrich the lives those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community.

Employment First: Settlement dismissed after a decade of work in Lane v. Brown case

Today marked the end of Lane v. Brown as the class action lawsuit settlement was dismissed by the federal court after finding that Oregon had reached substantial compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement. This is a tremendous milestone following more than 10 years of work since this landmark case was filed to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in community employment.

An important outcome of this work was the September 2020 closure of ODDS-funded sheltered workshop services in Oregon. In 2016, there were 143 people with I/DD in community employment. That number grew to over 1,500 people in 2021. We have also witnessed a culture shift in Oregon with employers recognizing the value of people with I/DD in the workforce. This report details those successes.

The Lane v. Brown lawsuit was filed in Federal court in 2012, claiming that Oregon violated the law by segregating people with I/DD in sheltered workshops. The plaintiffs also claimed the state denied supported employment services that would allow people with I/DD the opportunity to work alongside people without disabilities in the community. In 2016the Lane v. Brown settlement was approved by the court, which outlined the work to be done.

Even before Lane v. Brown was filed, Oregon had adopted the Employment First policy in 2008, with the goal that every person with I/DD who wanted to, could work in the community with access to appropriate supports. This effort continued with the Governor’s first Executive Order on Employment First in 2013 and another in 2015, the Lane v. Brown settlement agreement, and more. As a result, Oregon employment services for people with I/DD have been transformed for the better.

We are deeply grateful to self-advocates, families, providers, case management entities, state workers and others who put in tremendous effort toward these employment initiatives. We know that this work has been difficult, particularly during the pandemic. Your contributions are valued and important.

The impact of these efforts

As detailed in the final report to the court by independent reviewer Nicole Jorwic, J.D., Oregon has made “substantial progress in expanding access to competitive integrated employment (CIE).” All numerical goals for the Lane v. Brown settlement agreement have been met. There has also been substantial compliance with other settlement goals, including changes in policies, establishment of new training and grants. As a result, Jorwic found Oregon in substantial compliance with the agreement.

An important outcome of this work was the September 2020 closure of ODDS-funded sheltered workshop services in Oregon. In 2016, there were 143 people with I/DD in community employment. That number grew to over 1,500 people in 2021. We have also witnessed a culture shift in Oregon with employers recognizing the value of people with I/DD in the workforce. This report details those successes.

Another outcome has been creation of the Impact Oregon job board website. This website was built to help increase services capacity by helping people find careers in Oregon’s developmental disabilities services.

Though the expectations outlined in the settlement agreement have been met, our work continues. The final report to the court includes specific recommendations for the state, the Statewide Employment First Work Group, ODDS, Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Oregon Department of Education. These recommendations build on the achievements of the settlement agreement to continue improvements in providing employment services resulting in meaningful employment of individuals with I/DD.

To recognize this milestone, we will be posting success stories on the Employment First Facebook page. If you have an experience to share about your involvement with these efforts, we encourage you to share on the Facebook page. We would love to read about your contributions.

Thank you for supporting employment services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Your efforts have made Oregon a leader in employment supports and services.