Investigator role confronts disability abuse, discrimination

2/15/2010
DRW updates
Emily Cooper
DRW Investigator

Agency ‘eyes and ears’ build cases, litigation strategy

Many of you may remember Craig Awmiller, the DRW investigator for 12 years.  At the end of last summer, Craig left DRW to pursue his writing career in sunny California.  I was given the opportunity to take his place as DRW investigator.

While I had been at DRW several years as a resource advocate, I was looking forward to the position of investigator, based in large part, on Craig’s fantastic work.  Thankfully, I had many months to follow Craig around and observe how he met with people and made them feel comfortable sharing their story with him.  I also fully realized the shoes I would have to fill.       

I have now been at the job for six months and have really enjoyed meeting with individuals and providers who are concerned with the care and services available to people with disabilities.  My job as investigator at DRW takes me out into many different Washington State communities.

I have spent time on families’ couches who are seeking care and treatment for their children as well as time in facilities that provide treatment for adults with disabilities.  My job has also sent me out to rural areas where it could be harder for people with disabilities to access services or gather information about their rights. 

A big part of the job is being the eyes and ears of the agency.  My reports from the community help the other DRW attorneys build their cases and develop litigation strategies. 

Together we hope to make a difference in the lives of our constituents.

Issues: 
Freedom from abuse and neglect