Disability Support Services

Access for all abilities

Our clients are individuals, families and the greater community. To all of them we offer social-connections programs, support-network creation and maintenance and the provision of resources, referrals and education that soon will include leadership training.

Our definition of disability is broad. It includes physical, intellectual/developmental and mental health disabilities. We recognize that disability can be both visible and invisible.

For individuals with all types of disabilities, we:

  • assist them in the difficult process of applying to receive and renew government support like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI);
  • ensure vital services like financial aid;
  • find resources for and referrals to housing, legal and medical assistance, including finding those who accept our clients’ insurance; and
  • We plan, organize and create online and in-person programming through TIKVAH, our social group for adults 18 years old and up. 

For our families, we:

  • provide them crucial guidance navigating programs like Individualized Educational (IEP) and 504 plans in the public schools that offer academic and social support for their children; 
  • help parents and guardians plan for the future; and 
  • through our support group for families, we provide a space to connect and share resources.

And for the greater Portland community, we:

  • educate providers about accessibility in their institutions, thus growing our partnerships; and 
  • collaborate for special occasions like holiday celebrations. 


Coming Together: A bi-monthly virtual get together for caregivers and parents of children and adults with disabilities to share their thoughts and feelings during this unprecedented time. Email Shayna Sigman at ssigman@jfcs-portland.org for more information or to register.

TIKVAH Social Group: A bi-monthly social group for people with Disabilities ages 18 and up. Email ssigman@jfcs-portland.org to register.

Modified Services in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Currently, JFCS is unable to offer its regular in-person events for community members, but we’re still available to help. If you need financial resources or mental health assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Janet Menashe at janetmenashe@jfcs-portland.com.

Community Resources

Click here for a comprehensive list of community resources.


Click here to read our DSS Spring 2022 Newsletter.

Click here for a plain-text version of the DSS Spring 2022 Newsletter.

JFCS DSS Spring 2022 Calendar of Events

To download a printable PDF of our upcoming events, click here.


Shayna Sigman, MSW, CSWA (she/her) is the Disability Support Services Manager. She received her Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis in 2016. She has a decade of experience working in camp and after-school programs. In her most recent work she focused on creating accommodations for children with disabilities and training staff on inclusive practices. In her free time, Shayna loves the outdoors, reading, diving into art and music, and exploring new cultures through food.

Janet Menashe (she/her), the Senior Disability Case Manager, was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Janet graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Institutional Management and Dietetics and a minor in Business Administration. Janet joined Jewish Family and Child Services in April of 2015 as a skills trainer with the Partners for Independence Program. In her previous line of work she worked with people with disabilities to build skills that would help them become independent. She has also been a member of The TASK Advisory Board since it was created and helped with the Kehillah Housing project. Janet enjoys spending time with family and friends, along with traveling, knitting, and reading.

The Disability Support Services’ tagline says it all: Access for all abilities.

But what does that actually mean? 

Access means that all spaces in which one dwells are available to the person using, engaging with and existing in them.

Physical, technology and social spaces all must be accessible to everyone. And that includes our clients, who are adults with physical or developmental disabilities and parents and guardians who care for a child or children with disabilities.

Further, “access” means more than removing barriers to entry (like a ramp to a front door). Access means making everything we do actively welcoming and approachable, usable, accessible. 

Shayna Sigman, Disability Support Services Manager, says, “And we use the word ‘abilities’ because we take a strength-based approach to our work and we focus on all that our clients can do.” 

Importantly, our DSS program advocates, via partnerships and referrals, for access for all abilities in other Jewish institutions, too. Accessibility for all means exactly that. 

Disability Support Services

“I’m 75, and my son is 50. Help from JFCS is indispensable as we plan for the years ahead.”

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