Developmental disabilities institutions are very expensive. People can be served well in the community at much lower cost. Institutions have vacancies, and it makes economic sense to close and consolidate them to more efficiently use State resources. In her budget, the Governor proposed closing Yakima Valley School, a developmental disabilities institution.
On Friday, June 5, 2009, Judge Hirsch, a Thurston County Superior Court judge, declared invalid a DSHS regulation reducing Medicaid Personal Care hours for children under the age of 18. Represented by Disability Rights Washington and Ele Hamburger from Sirianni Youtz Meier and Spoonemore, a teenage girl with a developmental disability challenged the rule that automatically reduced the number of personal care hours she could receive.
The United States Supreme Court ruled last week that under special education law, schools must reimburse parents for private education services sought when a public school fails to provide a free and appropriate public education and the private school placement is appropriate. Disability Rights Washington signed on to a brief in support of the parents, whom the Court favored in its 6-3 ruling, with Souter, Scalia and Thomas dissenting.
I know people often turn to the Envoy to find out what Disability Rights Washington is doing and what new big projects are in the works. I suspect, however, that many of you would also like to know how you can get in on the action and start advocating along with Disability Rights Washington. The first, and easiest, way to help is to fill out a survey to help Disability Rights Washington decide what it will spend its time and money advocating for in the next few years. You can fill out that form here*.
Disability Rights Washington continually collects information from persons with disabilities so that its work appropriately reflects the needs and interests of the disability community in Washington State. Every few years, this information is compiled by our joint planning and evaluation committee, which determines the 'priorities' of DRW. To see a list of the priorities for 2007-2010, you can click here.
We have entire cultures, generations and countries that refuse to self-identify with disability. So why are we so hard on our youth when they won’t?
The lanky high school junior writhed under the weight of his response. His eyes never left the floor. We had set the stage so all student responses were accepted and supported; but I was not prepared for what I was about to hear.
The following presentation is a followup to "the Ashley Treatment," for which DRW released its investigative report in May 2007. For more information, go to Ashley Treatment Investigation. DRW did not organize the following forum, but advocates and the public are welcome to attend.
Recently, there has been a ground swell of attention focused on youth mental health needs.
Disability Rights Washington talks with advocates of people with mental illness daily and is keenly aware of the dire need for improvement in the mental health services in Washington State.
Traumatic Brain Injury in Washington State has reached epidemic proportions. A fact sheet soon to be released by Washington's Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), in cooperation with the Washington Traumatic Brain Injury Strategic Partnership Advisory Council (TBI Council), offers this, as well as the following: