Breaking Barriers

6th Annual Fundraiser Supporting Disability Rights Washington

October 21, 2021

Breaking barriers to improve the lives of people with disabilities in Washington State.

Disabled leaders are at the center of DRW’s work to create systemic change and build a more inclusive, equitable community.
Above are photos of disabled leaders from our year of advocacy. Top Left to Right: Merritt and Abby. Bottom Left to Right: John and Syren.

Evening Schedule

  • 5:45 PM – Pre-event trivia with music by disabled artists
  • 6:00 PM – Program Begins
  • Video: Disability Mobility Initiative “Transportation Access for Everyone” Video
  • Welcome by Hosts, Mickey Rowe and Helen Marion-Rowe
  • What is DRW?
    • Video featuring DRW staff
  • Advocacy Video
    • Video featuring Shawn Latham, Executive Director of Allies in Advocacy and DRW staff, David Carlson, Director of Advocacy, and Kim Mosolf, Director of The Treatment Facilities Program.
  • Message from DRW Board Members
    • Video featuring Anthony Nash II, Camesha Little, Eric Matthes, Grace Wang, and Joshua Cooper
  • 5 Minute Break
  • Mickey and Helen announce opportunity drawing winners
  • Presentation of Breaking Barriers Awards
    • Advocacy Award
      • Recipients: Christine Lew and Protest Access
      • Presented by Allexa Laycock, Creative Director, Rooted in Rights
  • Closing Video- Mark Stroh, Executive Director
  • 7:00 PM – Thank you and goodnight!

Hosts: Mickey and Helen Marion-Rowe

Photo of Helen in grey top.
Helen Marion
Photo of Mickey smiling with arms folded on top of a table.
Mickey Rowe
Photo of Helen and Mickey embracing and smiling at camera.
Mickey (left) and Helen (right)

Helen Marion-Rowe (she/her) began her professional career as an actor, model, and TV host. As an immigrant woman of color she experienced first hand many of the persistent injustices and inequities in those industries. This discontent teamed with her drive to enact change led her to becoming a highly sought after Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility consultant. She has spoken on these topics for T-Mobile, Nordstrom and more. She has extensive experience working in schools as a teaching artist, and has key insights into how to reach and support students typically underserved by the typical classroom environment. After their marriage, the immigrant woman of color and disabled man joined forces to create Marion-Rowe Consulting, which guides organizations tackling issues of diversity, equipping their clients to feel brave and at ease on each client’s journey of dynamic empowerment.

Mickey Marion-Rowe (he/him) is the author of Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Journey to Broadway’s Biggest Stage. He was the first autistic actor to play Christopher Boone, the lead role in the Tony Award-winning play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. He has also appeared as the title role in the Tony Award-winning play Amadeus and more. Mickey has been featured in a myriad of household name publications such as the New York Times, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, and more! He has keynoted at organizations including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Kennedy Center, The Gershwin Theatre on Broadway, and more. Mickey was also the founding Artistic Director of National Disability Theatre.

Mickey and Helen have written their first book coming out soon with Stimola Literary Studio. “Our Differences Are Our Strengths: An Autistic Journey From Special Education to Broadway’s Biggest Stage” is Mickey’s memoir, explaining his experiences of autism, disability culture, adventure, dreams, growing up, exploration, social justice, and life. Follow Mickey on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

DRW Board of Directors

Nick Allen

Joshua Cooper

Kim Olander Mayer

Camesha Little

Todd Couture

Rocio Lopez

Angela Mika Holton

Vicky Foster

Eric Matthes

Ryan Nabors

Anthony Nash II

Ray Parker

Grace Wang

DRW Development & Awareness Committee

Alexandra Deas

Aria Wilson

Arielle Inveen

Jennifer McAuliffe

Jodi Rose

Julia Mitsch

Mary Stevenson

Mike Hudson

Madison Moreno

Rachel Saimons

Stacie Siebrecht

Susan Moriarty

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Partner Level Sponsors

Advocate Level Sponsor

Ally Level Sponsors

Alaska airlines logo with white background and blue text.

Friend Level Sponsors

Frank Freed Subit & Thomas

The Law Office of Andrew Biviano, PLLC 

Pacific Office Automation 

Peter Korn and Anneli Meyer Korn

Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho

Host Level Sponsors

Accessibility Oz

Anderson Ellis

OneDigital Health & Benefits

Pam Crone

Mike Hudson

Washington Alarm

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation

Breaking Barriers Award Recipients

Christine Lew

Christine Lew (She/her) has spent the past four years working as a disability justice advocate. Christine’s advocacy work has focused primarily on expanding access to post-secondary education for students with disabilities at the University of Washington, from which she recently graduated. She served as the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) Student Disability Commission’s (SDC) first-ever Assistant Director, and for two years as the Director from 2019-2021. Over the course of her career, she managed around 30 interns, and organized more than 15 different events centered around disability pride, allyship education, and disability studies.

Christine is a mad/disabled identifying Asian American woman. Both of Christine’s parents are Deaf, so she grew up with American Sign Language (ASL) as her first language. As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), she was raised within the Deaf community and surrounded by Deaf culture, and therefore, had a front-row seat to the ableism and discrimination that Deaf people face from the hearing world. Watching those experiences drove her to create inclusive, accessible spaces for Deaf/disabled students during her time at the University of Washington.

During her time as the Assistant Director, Christine and her team began to notice that many disabled students had a difficult time attending student-led events. She led and drafted the 50 page proposal for the ASUW Office of Inclusive Design (OID); the first of its kind in the nation. As of the 2021 – 2022 academic year, this entity will provide funding and guidance to student clubs and programs that want to make their programming inclusively designed.

Her advocacy work also influenced her academic research. In her senior year, she completed an independent research project about ‘Disability Gain’, which explores the ways in which different bodies/minds can become advantageous within certain contexts. She interviewed many Deaf/disabled people about their thoughts and experiences, and presented her findings at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium in May 2021.

Christine graduated from the University of Washington in Spring 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Disability Studies with interdisciplinary honors, and a minor in ASL. Her research and activist work has been recognized through various awards including recognition as a member of the 2021 Husky 100, as a recipient of the Dennis Lang Award in Disability Studies, and the two-time recipient of the Harlan Hahn Endowment Fund for research in Disability Studies.

Christine continues her career in service of the disability community, serving as a member of the Seattle Disability Commission. She is also one of the founders of Crip Riot: a disabled-owned and led company committed to bringing expressions of disability pride to the world, through unapologetic media, clothing, education and activism and of Myers Fork Consulting: providing HR support, ADA coordinator services and equity workshops to businesses and organizations across the Puget Sound. Their expected launch in Summer 2021, is a continuation of Christine’s commitment to positive identity development, equity and access for the disability community.

Protest Access

ProtestAccess provides post-production accessibility for social justice content. In doing this work, ProtestAccess is committed to centering disabled Black/Indigenous/People of Color and removing barriers to participation in social justice conversations. Ultimately, ProtestAccess “strives for a world in which we need not exist because accessible media is the standard.”

The volunteer-run collective was established June 1, 2020, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests that followed the murder of George Floyd, and formed by a small group of Children and Siblings of Deaf Adults, communication access service providers, & others involved in Deaf communities. ProtestAccess has grown into a community of 300+ remote volunteers from all over the world who have processed nearly 1,000 pieces of content for d/Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Blind/Visually Impaired, and English Language Learners. There is a multilingual component to the work as well, with services offered in African American Vernacular English (AAVE), English, Spanish, French, and more! 

In addition to the organizing body, ProtestAccess’ praxis and vision are guided by the Advisory Board. Members of the Advisory Board come from the communities that our mission inherently serves and works alongside (specifically, people with disabilities and BIPOC), to inform the work that ProtestAccess does, and help ensure the organization continues to grow in a critical and inclusive manner. 

Above Image Description: White horizontal banner. To the left is a horizontal logo with bold, black text enclosed by a teal quote mark. The text reads, “Protest Access,” in all caps. Below the organization’s name, an oft-centered black banner with small, white text reads “Social Justice For All” also in all caps. Top right: Bold, black text reads, “The revolution will be accessible.” Centered under the text are a mixed group of protestors of various genders and races, some with visible disabilities, carrying signs. To the left, a protester using a wheelchair puts up their fist and waves a teal flag that reads, “Join us!” in bold white text. Link to JustPasteIt ID:

Thanks to our supporters, DRW impacted the lives of people with disabilities in 2020.

764,000+Facebook views of Rooted in Rights videos.
1,107,610+People benefitted from DRW’s public policy advocacy.
225,350+People impacted by DRW’s litigation.
5,800+People impacted by DRW’s monitoring of at least 13 treatment settings, many of which are locked.
2,410+People trained through more than 34 DRW presentations and trainings.
1,270+People with disabilities and their family members gained rights information and tools to advocate for their own rights. DRW provided these services more than 2,200 times.
89Stories were shared by 64 disabled writers through Rooted in Rights.

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Livestreaming and event production provided by Kirkland Performing Center Studios

Logo with the word "KPC Studios" in brown.

ASL Interpretation Brought to You By:

Logo with the word "That!" and images of hands signing on top. Text below reads, "Interpreting Services of Deaf & Deaf-Blind, Inc.
THAT! Interpreting Services of Deaf & Deaf-Blind, Inc.

THAT! Interpreting Services of Deaf & Deaf-Blind, Inc. is a Deaf owned business. The interpreter on the screen is a Deaf interpreter, Terry Dockter, and the 2nd interpreter who is not on the screen is Colleen Jones who gives him the information from the host/speakers.