is archive

COVID-19 Advocacy and Resources

July 9, 2020This page will be updated regularly with DRW COVID related advocacy and external resources useful to people with disabilities. DRW is here to advocate for our community. DRW recognizes that COVID has impacted the disability community in various ways.

New Report: From Hospitals to Handcuffs

May 26, 2020In From Hospitals to Handcuffs, DRW found that hospital calls to police resulted in at least two patients per week being arrested, removed from treatment, and booked into jail. In most of these cases, there was no visible injury to a victim. These arrests lead to sick people stuck in jail for weeks or months, decompensating, with decreased access to needed health care.

DRW and Advocates’ Send Governor Letter RE Protecting Marginalized Students

May 21, 2020In a letter sent to Governor Inslee on May 18th, DRW and advocates’ raised concerns about the disparate impact and potential non-compensable harm to marginalized students during the COVID-19 school facility closures.

Disability Rights Washington’s Breaking Barriers Awards

May 13, 2020Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations! Disability Rights Washington currently is soliciting nominations for the Breaking Barriers Awards. These prestigious awards honor a business, an elected official or public servant, and an advocate with a disability for breaking barriers to advance the rights of and improve the lives of people with disabilities in Washington State.

AVID Program Calls for Action to Stop the Spread of COVID19 in WA Prisons/Jails

April 22, 2020DRW urges the Governor to continue releasing people who are at risk of COVID-19, focusing on those most vulnerable to infection due to age and disability. These release decisions should be holistic, and not solely based on an individual’s prior offenses.

DRW Asks DCYF to Change How it Treats Parents with Disabilities

April 6, 2020In the letter, DRW talks about complaints DRW has made to the U.S. Department of Justice and includes three more examples of how DCYF’s discriminatory practices are separating families, possibly forever.

Urge Gov. Inslee to Use His Executive Powers to Save Lives in WA Prisons

April 6, 2020This weekend, the first incarcerated individual in a Washington prison tested positive for COVID-19. As this pandemic continues to spread across Washington and the nation, Tell the Governor to protect individuals in our prisons and jails and keep all Washingtonians safe.

Request to Reduce Patient Populations at ESH & WSH

April 3, 2020On April 2, DRW, the ACLU, WDA, and WACDL sent a letter to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), requesting that DSHS immediately undertake efforts to reduce the patient population at both WSH and ESH.

Loss of essential education services for students with disabilities

March 24, 2020DRW, the Northwest Justice Project, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington sent a letter requesting the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Governor address the sudden loss of essential education services for students with disabilities.

Disability discrimination complaint filed over COVID-19 treatment rationing plan in Washington State

March 23, 2020As COVID-19 cases increase, the experience in other countries and predictions of U.S. health officials is that there will not be enough acute care services or equipment, such as ventilators, to meet the demand of patients with the virus who require intensive treatment.

DRW Releases a New Guide for NGRI Patients

March 20, 2020This guide provides information about the rights of patients who are at the adult psychiatric hospitals (Western State Hospital (WSH) and Eastern State Hospital (ESH)) run by the State of Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) following a finding of “not guilty by reason of insanity” (NGRI). These individuals have been charged with a crime, but due to their mental illness are acquitted of their charges.

2019 Trueblood Diversion Summit

March 10, 2020In September of 2019, stakeholders and service providers from around Washington came together to discuss the diversion of people with mental illness from the criminal legal system. These diversion service providers are funded through A.B. v. D.S.H.S. (Trueblood), a class action lawsuit that enforces a person’s constitutional right to timely competency evaluation and restoration services in a criminal case.

DRW files a Motion for Summary Judgment in Murinko v. Strange

March 6, 2020Disability Rights Washington has filed a motion for summary judgment in the Murinko v. Strange lawsuit against the Department of Social and Health Services and Health Care Authority. The motion asks the Court to order the State to stop allowing long service gaps that leave DRW’s constituents at risk of harm or unnecessary institutionalization.

Rooted in Rights & Mental Voices Africa Teach Advocacy Storytelling in Nairobi

December 3, 2019Rooted in Rights has partnered with Mental Voices Africa to promote international advocacy for those of us with mental health disabilities. This workshop trained these advocates to script, film, and edit their own self-advocacy stories on mobile phones.