Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds
Regional Developmental Disabilities Ombuds
Leigh Walters (they/them/theirs) is a disabled, queer advocate who is fully committed to advocating with other disabled people in pursuit of their dignity, boundaries, humanity, and self-determination. Leigh joined Disability Rights Washington in 2021 as the Region 2 Developmental Disabilities Ombuds.
Leigh graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2018 with a B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology, and a Double-Minor in Ethnic & Gender Studies. While in college, they were part of a group that began the school’s first Disabled Student Union which provided a space for disabled students to find kinship while advocating for on-campus rights. Their Senior Thesis, “She’s not here right now”: Graphic Representations of Queerness and Neurodiversity, explored intersections of queer identity, mental illness, and Autism through academic research and artistic expression. Due to its unique nature, Leigh’s thesis was chosen to be presented at the yearly Gender Studies Symposium. Leigh also has a background as a theater kid and served as an access consultant and script-advisor for numerous projects, namely Do Not Pet, which featured issues effecting service-animal users on-campus.
Since graduating college, Leigh has been an active community-organizer, most notably as the Access Coordinator for a recent political campaign. Leigh still regularly researches and presents on issues affecting the disability-community, namely their ongoing research on disability-representation in the horror genre, Freaks: Disability Representation in Horror-Media. In their spare time, they like drinking tea and watching horror movies with their cat, Mikey.