Saga continues in downsizing developmental disabilities institutions


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.

State's blanket personal care reduction based on assumption of parent support found invalid


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.

Supreme Court finds school district denied special education services, must pay for appropriate private placement


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.

Advance the rights of people with disabilities: volunteer at DRW


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*. 

Your turn: let us know what issues are important


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.

Youth, identity and disAbility: come as you are


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.