is archive

Now Hiring: Legal Advocacy Director

November 9, 2023Disability Rights Washington (DRW) seeks a full-time Legal Advocacy Director to lead our legal program’s efforts, which range from power-building with communities to class action litigation. The Legal Advocacy Director reports to the Executive Director and serves on the executive leadership team. Learn more here!

Max Kauffman

November 1, 2023Max Kauffman joined Disability Rights Washington in October 2023, bringing his experience of disability rights litigation and advocacy from his

Now Hiring: Impact Litigation Attorney

March 16, 2023DRW’s Legal Advocacy Team seeks a litigation attorney with a demonstrated interest in conducting impact litigation and other systemic advocacy to enforce the legal rights of individuals suffering from abuse, neglect, or other human and civil rights violations. This position will require a licensed attorney, or an individual who will soon become a licensed attorney, with the ability to conduct systemic investigations, develop complex advocacy strategies, and represent both classes and individuals. Learn more now.

New report on restraint and isolation

February 9, 2023A new report from DRW and ACLU-WA investigates the use of isolation and restraint in schools across Washington state. Report findings show that restraint and isolation have no educational or therapeutic benefits but have profound disabling effects and result in lifelong harm. Read more here.

Coming Into the Light: An Examination of Restraint and Isolation Practices in Washington Schools

In 2018 DRW began monitoring the use of isolation and restraint in schools across Washington state. Seeing disparity and overuse, in 2019, DRW and the ACLU-WA began collaborating on this report. DRW conducted over 140 interviews with students, teachers, principals, parents and other school personnel, reviewed school documents, research, state laws, and did an extensive data analysis of Washington data. Report findings show that restraint and isolation have no educational or therapeutic benefits but have profound disabling effects and result in lifelong harm, especially for students with disabilities who are low-income, live in foster care or are homeless, are Black or multiracial, and are in Kindergarten or elementary school. Read more here.

G.G. et al. v Meneses et al. (Rainier School)

On September 2, 2022, two individuals and Disability Rights Washington filed a systemic lawsuit against several state officials for the harm they do to people with developmental disabilities at Rainier School. The Rainier School is a large state-run, residential institution in rural Pierce County. It is a dangerous place to live. It has a long history of failing to provide a healthy and safe environment for residents. The mistreatment and neglect within its walls have maimed, hospitalized, and killed residents.

Read Notice & Motion for Class Action Settlement for Youth in Foster Care

August 5, 2022Read Notice for Class Action Settlement for Youth in Foster Care and Plaintiffs’ Unopposed Motion for Order Approving Attorneys’ Fees and Costs Following Mediation.

Sahira Barajas

July 18, 2022Sahira (she/her/ella) joined Disability Rights Washington as an Office Assistant in the summer of 2022. Most of her professional experience

Washington State Reaches Groundbreaking Federal Class-Action Settlement for Youth in Foster Care

June 7, 2022Washington’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) settled a federal class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of hundreds of youth in the state’s foster care system. Learn more here.

Carina Tong

February 1, 2022Carina Tong is an attorney with the Community Inclusion and Services Team at Disability Rights Washington. She joins the team

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.

Renters’ Rights Training with LGBTQ Allyship & Disability Rights Washington

September 20, 2021On August 11, 2021, DRW partnered with LGBTQ Allyship for a virtual Renters’ Rights Workshop, where we discussed modifications, service

Judge Orders Washington State to End Car and Hotel Stays for Foster Youth

June 29, 2021Today, Federal Judge Barbara Rothstein of the Western District of Washington ruled that the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families must end its practice of forcing youth in foster care to sleep in unlicensed and unsafe settings, including hotels, child welfare agency offices, and even cars.

D.S. v. DCYF

In January 2021, Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit on behalf of three named plaintiffs, hundreds of similarly situated foster children, and Disability Rights Washington, the state Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) is shuttling children with behavioral health and developmental disabilities from hotels to state offices to other one-night stays, “essentially rendering them homeless for extended periods of time.” Other youth end up in institutions, some of them hundreds of miles from their families in non-therapeutic facilities that further traumatize them.