DRW asks State to re-evaluate abuse and neglect response system


The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), the Deparment of Health (DOH), and the Attorney General's office recently met with Disability Rights Washington (DRW) and representatives from People First of Washington, Self-Advocates of Washington, Self-Advocates in Leadership, the Developmental Disabilities Council, the Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, and the Long Term Care Ombudsman. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways to improve our state's system for responding to allegations of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities.

Settlement ends segregation of institutionalized youth


A settlement reached on behalf of a number of Bremerton School District students moves their classroom placement to the local high school, as opposed to institutional grounds.

At issue was whether or not students with developmental disabilities would be schooled in community schools, or at state-run institutions for people with developmental disabilities known as residential habilitation centers, or RHCs.

DRW joins forces to combat domestic violence, sexual assault


Disability Rights Washington, the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Abused Deaf Women's Services, and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence have formed a coalition to improve domestic violence and sexual assault services for people with disabilities. The name of this coalition, which began in 1999, is the disAbility Advocacy Project.

Youth have place in government workings


What a great legislative session!  One of the highlights for me was watching the disability awareness bill get passed.

This bill is important to me as a person with a disability; but most importantly, it was a youth-driven initiative.

Youth from schools got together to advocate for this bill.  They spoke to legislators and even made a video about why they wanted to see this bill get passed.

These youth took this project on and made it their own.  It just goes to show that youth do have a place in the workings of our government.

Youth test accessible voting machines and leadership skills at conference


Youth from across the state attended the annual Self Advocacy in Motion Youth Leadership Retreat in Ellensburg in June.  Youth danced, learned about civic engagement, practiced voting on accessible machines, and met movie producer Kathleen Jo Ryan, who introduced her acclaimed "Right to Risk", a movie about individuals with disabilities who go whitewater rafting through the Grand Canyon.  Youth were also introduced to Ms. Wheelchair Washington, and presented on various community leadership projects they'd undertaken throughout the school year.