Our Story

With the major state changes in services for people with developmental disabilities (DD) and intellectual disabilities (ID), Oregon is pushing provider organizations* to fully integrate people that they serve into the community and are reducing funding for programs that provide facilities just for people with ID/DD. These changes are positive for many, but comes with many challenges. A population that has lived much of their lives segregated, are now struggling to find spaces and opportunities within a society that is not used to accommodating people with ID/DD. Having segregated, institutionalized day-programs shut down is a huge step forward but since the greater community has not changed to welcome this historically segregated population, many people are left with no community and little opportunity to engage in safe and productive daily activity.  

We are artists, agriculturists, and activists concerned about accessibility issues which people with developmental disabilities encounter, be it physical, social or economic. These concerns specifically inform our individual practices as artists and advocates and directly fuels our collective desire to dismantle current barriers that prevent all people from achieving their goals. The arts provides a unique access point for those with and without disability to collaborate, create and grow, which we see as a necessary step in creating a truly integrated society.

We desire to fully integrate our programming into the greater Portland community and help artists with developmental disabilities to pursue urban farming and their artistic practice alongside other artists and farmers without disabilities. We formed Public Annex to pursue this mission at the beginning of 2016 and launched full programming at the beginning of 2017.

The Story Behind Our Identity

We care deeply and strongly believe in making the world more accessible to people of all abilities. We want every portion of our organization to be accessible, including our visual identity. This means we want our visual language to have many access points; ex- points for visual and non visual learners or for people of different neuro-abilities. 

The base of our identity is GT Pressura by Grilli Type, a very readable, flexible typeface that resembles utilitarian type used on marquees or type stamped on shipping boxes. The type is often paired with an image which sits upon an underscore which represents a physical space. The icons are constantly changing to represent the many things that Public Annex offers. Each Public Annex event/program/project/person is assigned a specific icon that then become a trackable visual language that can be accessed by those who don't read, or are visual learners. We recognize that we have definitely not yet created something that is accessible to all, but we plan to dedicate ourselves to continually investigating how we can make our identity more and more inclusive. We would love to hear your comments and suggestions

The Public Annex identity was designed by Portland designer Brian Walbergh (www.brianwalbergh.com). 


*Provider Organizations are non-profits that go through a state-regulated licensure process in order to receive state and federal payments for providing supports to people with ID/DD (Group Homes, Day Programs, Employment Supports).