The 1970's



Washington enacts first mandatory special education act

Katie Dolan, Janet Taggart, Cecile Lindquist, Evelyn Chapman and William Dussault among others secure the enactment of the nation’s first mandatory special education act.  Governor Dan Evans signs it into law.


Troubleshooters founded

Katie Dolan and Janet Taggart found Troubleshooters for the Handicapped – the original name of Disability Rights Washington.


Law against discrimination protected classes expanded to include 'handicap'

Some 17 years before Congress would enact the Americans with Disabilities Act, Washington State expands its Law Against Discrimination to include ‘handicap’, as a protected class.


Troubleshooters incorporates

The Troubleshooters file papers to incorporate in the State of Washington.


Incorporation approved

The Washington Office of Secretary of State approves the incorporation of the Troubleshooters.

Special education spreads nationwide

DRW founders participate in a San Francisco meeting to help in the drafting of a federal mandatory special education act which is modeled after Washington’s act and passes Congress and is signed by President Gerald Ford.

Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act passes U.S. Congress

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act is passed by U.S. Congress and signed into law.  Among other things, it creates a national protection and advocacy system and governors are given a one-time opportunity to choose the entity within their state or territory to provide federally-funded protection and advocacy services.  Protection and advocacy services are limited to people who meet the federal definition of developmental disability under the act.


Troubleshooters designated Washington's protection and advocacy entity

Washington State’s Governor Dixy Lee Ray designates DRW (Troubleshooters) as Washington’s protection and advocacy entity.


Protection and advocacy begins work nationwide

Protection and advocacy agencies throughout the country including Washington begin their federally funded operations.