is archive

Final 2022 Legislative Newsletter

April 15, 2022Many of the bills of interest to disability advocates that passed this year were at least somewhat bi-partisan. In the “wrap-up” that follows, this newsletter will focus on the legislative accomplishments and additional funding that are important to disability advocates.

Press Release: State Agrees to Pay $1.25 Million in Rainier School Wrongful Death Lawsuit

March 16, 2022The family of JoHanna Pratt, a former resident at the state-run Rainier School in Buckley, has settled their medical neglect and wrongful death lawsuit against Rainier School and the State of Washington for $1.25 million.  

Now Hiring: Investigator

March 11, 2022Disability Rights Washington (DRW) seeks an Investigator to uncover and stop possible financial exploitation and other forms of abuse. Learn more and apply today!

New Report: ALL OR NOTHING Ending Washington’s Dependence On Involuntary Civil Commitment

December 14, 2021DRW's newest report examines the gaps in Washington’s behavioral health treatment and crisis response systems, and the systemic failures in the involuntary civil commitment system that has resulted in the increased use of harmful Single Bed Certifications and No Bed Reports. ALL OR NOTHING provides clear, sensible action steps Washington can take to deliver the right care at the right time.

First Annual #WeekWithoutDriving Changes the Conversation

November 11, 2021We are thrilled to share that our first Week Without Driving was a great success! More than 100 elected leaders and transportation professionals joined us, and we are loving reading about their experiences and what they’ve learned.

$22,000,000 in grant funds awarded to create housing for Trueblood class members across Washington State

November 1, 2021As part of the ongoing Trueblood contempt-fine funded diversion programs, DRW is pleased to announce that we have awarded over $22,000,000 in grant funds to five service providers.  These funds will be used over the next four years to generate housing for class members under the Trueblood lawsuit, ranging from rental subsidies to dedicated leases, renovated houses to newly-constructed permanent supportive housing. 

Health Care Authority commits to remove Medicaid restriction on WISe for all youth with Apple Health

October 29, 2021The Health Care Authority has committed to changing its rules and provider billing guides over the next few months to remove the Medicaid restriction so that Wraparound with Intensive Services can be a treatment resource for all children and youth covered by the State’s Apple Health program, including undocumented immigrant and refugee children and youth who are not eligible for federal Medicaid funding.

Breaking Barriers was a huge success!

October 22, 2021Yesterday, DRW held its annual fundraiser, Breaking Barriers. We are thrilled to share that we raised over $98,000 and had over 347 views so far. We are so grateful for the support we received from our community.

Week Without Driving 2022: September 19-25

October 14, 2021We want to challenge our elected leaders and transportation and transit agency staff to join us and take the #MobilizeWA Week Without Driving, October 22-29, 2021.

Petition to Improve Accessibility and Maintain Remote Testimony in the State Legislature

September 15, 2021We are thrilled to share that 203 organizations and 1,020 individuals signed onto our petition! The petition was sent to Governor Jay Inslee, Representative Jinkins, Senator Billig, Representative Wilcox, and Senator Braun. With so many signatories, the petition is a powerful statement of constituent support for permanent remote access.

Summer 2021: AVID Update

September 10, 2021In the summer of 2021, DRW’s AVID program staff and legal interns conducted monitoring in five of the Washington State Department of Corrections’ main prison facilities. During our trips we focused on solitary confinement units and missioned housing such as the residential treatment unit, the assisted living unit, the senior unit, and the unit for people with cognitive disabilities.

Transportation Access for Everyone: Research Paper Release

August 26, 2021At Disability Rights Washington, access to transportation is consistently listed as one of the top concerns for our constituents, and we know that more than a quarter of the people in our state don’t have a driver license. For the last 10 months, the Disability Mobility Initiative has interviewed over 125 disabled nondrivers from every legislative district in our state about our transportation needs.

Attorney General tells law makers that no statute limits people with disabilities from living in their communities

July 28, 2021In its July 27, 2021 opinion, the Attorney General’s Office smacked down the notion that there might be some legally permissible way to draft zoning or other local laws that would create categorical limits or exclusions of people with disabilities from certain communities in our state. The opinion is a long awaited response to a request made by a state legislator and a letter sent by DRW and other organizations in 2019.

New Law Demands De-escalation, Not Abandoning People in Crisis

July 20, 2021During the 2021 legislative session, Washington law makers passed HB 1310, a new law governing when and how police can use force against members of the public. The law creates an expectation for officers to de-escalate and requires police to exercise care in the use of any force, in order to reduce violence and prioritize the sanctity of life. However, some law enforcement agencies in Washington are dangerously misinterpreting the new law.