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Chaotic and Dangerous: How the state’s poor management of Rainier harms residents with developmental disabilities

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May 2019

Photograph of Rainier School walkway

In Chaotic and Dangerous, Disability Rights Washington’s latest report on the state-run Rainier School, DRW has found that Washington continues to put people with developmental disabilities at serious risk of harm.  The report shows that Rainier is still a dangerous place even after three similar reports showing a trend year after year of choking incidents, sexual assault, and other dangers. This latest report makes clear that Rainier continues to fail its vulnerable residents.   Despite losing federal certification and funding, the state continues to prop up an outdated institution that fails all of us.


But, this report is not just a repeat of the same problems detailed in past reports. This report details new concerns about Rainier’s plans to move dozens of residents for questionable reasons not related to their needs or wishes.  This is only one example of the systemic failures at Rainier School, making clear its problems are not caused by a few bad apples, but rather grow from organizational structures that require drastic transformation.  It is far past time for Washington State to invest in smarter and safer supports for people with developmental disabilities.


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