It is difficult to think about Disability Rights Washington without thinking about David Lord. For over 27 years, David Lord has been a force in our state’s protection and advocacy work, and in local, state, and national disability policy. David has been a witness to and drive behind so many milestones in our disability rights movement.
David Lord speaks with the same careful and thoughtful consideration whether one is an elected official or an individual with multiple disabilities. Policy wonks, attorneys, advocacy groups, and colleagues all looked to David to explain statutes, budgets, policy proposals, rules, and case law. Never intimidating, only kind and clear, if David had to correct or educate someone, he would do so in a way that never left one feeling ashamed or wrong. He was always careful to criticize the position and not the person. What David did best, however, was listen. David is known as an extremely generous listener.
David has always loved supporting people with disabilities to be effective advocates. David routinely provided car rides to Olympia so people could meet with their legislators. He supported people with disabilities to do presentations and regularly supported panels of people with disabilities to train guardians. David not only made sure people with disabilities had a place at the table in critical meetings, he also made sure they were heard. David would educate and support and teach without criticizing, respectfully, whether before a room full of hundreds or at a small table or phone call. He uses his legal skills to explain the law in a way that people found understandable and accessible, so that they could move through the world with an understanding of their rights, and strategies to enforce them.
We wish David Lord well as he begins his retirement from full-time work at Disability Rights Washington. It is impossible to adequately express the gratitude we feel for the time we have been able to work alongside him every day. And while we cannot imagine saying goodbye, we look forward to his continued brilliance in his new consulting role with Disability Rights Washington and wish him the best as he begins this new chapter.