Effective Collaboration with Community Partners


Thursday, November 3


9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.


Jewls Harris, Morgan Oliveira-Rincon, Samantha Smith, and Earlee Kerekes-Mishra


In order to establish effective and efficient processes for collaboration and serving post-secondary students with disabilities in the state of Oregon, Vocational Rehabilitation offices, The Oregon Commission for the Blind and public institutions of higher education endorse written Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s). These MOU’s are effective for a four-year period.
This session will be an informational session followed by discussion/workgroups focusing on some of the following:

  • The process and policy implications of the MOU’s on an institutional level.
    • Importance of consultation with disability services on campus
    • Content of MOU’s and impact on services on campus
    • Previous challenges with MOU’s
  • The practical implementation of the MOU’s and effectively partner with state agencies:
    • The kinds of support available through OVRS/OCB
    • Process for service provision, requesting support, IPE, etc.
    • Communication channels and challenges between campus and OVRS/OCB.

Some questions that we will use to facilitate a structured discussion will be: What do these MOU’s mean regarding how you provide services on your campus? Who signs these MOU’s on your campus? What have these MOU’s looked like for your campus in the past? What office holds these MOU’s on your campus? What are concerns that may need to be addressed from the MOU? How can you effectively partner with other state agencies? How do you strengthen the partnership that you already have? How do you build or strengthen the partnership with involved agencies on your campus? What does effective communication with involved agencies look like for your campus?
Join us for an engaging and timely session as we initiate a dialogue that will enable you to convey information to your campus leaders.

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will understand the history and background of MOU’s.
  • Participants will be able to analyze and examine MOU’s specific to their campus.
  • Participants will be able to develop and adapt a plan of collaboration with agencies specific to their campus.

Presenter Bio(s)

Jewls Harris, MA, CRC, NCC: Jewls is an Access Counselor and Consultant for the Disability Resource Center at Portland State University. She is one of the ORAHEAD CORE Liaisons representing 4-year public institutions.

Morgan Oliveira-Rincon, MS CRC: Morgan has an MS in Rehabilitation Counseling for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind from WOU 2005. Has worked in both general VR and Blind agency. Currently works at the Oregon Commission for the Blind providing Business relations coordination; connecting clients to employers and providing education to employers on working with individuals who experience vision loss.

Samantha Smith, CRC, LPC: Sam works with the Oregon Commission for the Blind as the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for adults and transition students covering the Central and Eastern regions of the state. In addition, she is one of the OCB representatives serving on the ORAHEAD CORE group.

Earlee Kerekes-Mishra: Earlee is the Manager of Intake, Retention and Transition Services for Disability Access Services at Oregon State University and is one of the ORAHEAD CORE Liaisons representing 4-year public institutions.

Presentation Materials