DRW seeks to host a sponsored fellowship


Notice to all Third Year Law Students and Recent Law School Graduates:  Disability Rights Washington Seeks to Host a Sponsored Fellowship Addressing the Special Education Rights of Native American Students with Disabilities

Disability Rights Washington (DRW) is seeking to host a sponsored fellowship, such as a Skadden, Equal Justice Works, Ford Foundation, or law school-funded fellowship, that would start in fall 2015.

DRW is a private non-profit organization designated by the governor and mandated by the federal government to protect the rights of people with disabilities in Washington State. Our mission is to advance the dignity, equality, and self-determination of people with disabilities. We work to pursue justice on matters related to human and legal rights. DRW provides free services to people with disabilities.

This video describes DRW and gives examples of what we do, where we started, and how we serve those with disabilities in Washington State.

Project Description

DRW seeks to host a fellowship focused on improving graduation rates of Native American youth with disabilities attending Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools and public high schools.

Washington State Native American students who receive special education services have very low high school graduation rates. They had the lowest graduation rate of all racial and ethnic groups in the 2012-2013 school year – a little over 50% graduate from high school in four years.  Graduation rates for students in special education at Washington State BIE schools ranged from 0% to 60%. This problem affects many youth because Washington is one of the states with the highest population of Native American students and those students are nearly twice as likely to be identified as having a disability as the general student population.

The fellow will investigate the causes of these low graduation rates, collaborate with interested stakeholders, educate Native American students and families about special education rights and self-advocacy steps they can take, and provide advocacy in individual and systemic cases to enforce special education rights of Native American students in order for them to more successfully transition to employment and post-secondary education.



  •  J.D. degree or anticipated law school graduation by fall 2015.
  •  Knowledge of legal issues related to disability rights and special education.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law.
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral communication skills.
  • Proven ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Selfmotivation and ability to manage a variety of tasks.
  • Experience working with people with disabilities and other diverse populations.


DRW reviews all requests to act as a host organization and interviews a select number of people before determining which fellowship proposals to support. DRW supports only one application per funding opportunity.

To request DRW support your fellowship proposal as a host organization, please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, transcript, a list of three professional references, and a one page description of what you want to do with your fellowship to DRW Executive Assistant, Jodi Rose jodir (at) dr-wa.org no later than July 13, 2014.