DRW successfully advocated for individualized admission and discharge of dementia patients at Western State Hospital, and a prior policy that resulted in discrimination against dementia patients has been abandoned.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's time to follow the lead of a progressive state that is championing the rights of parents with disabilities. The name of that state is Idaho.
That's right: Idaho.
A few years back, in 2002 and 2003, Idaho enacted changes in their laws that protect the rights of parents with disabilities.
The Washington State Legislature established an 'access coordinator' for Washington's Courts. This person will be appointed by the legislature to assess courts, and determine whether training or other assistance is needed to make sure court services are accessible to people with disabilities.
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.