The Arc of Washington State is a non-profit organization that has advocated on behalf of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families since 1936. Washington State defines a developmental disability as:
“a disability attributable to Intellectual Disability, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Autism, or another neurological or other condition closely related to intellectual disability or that requires treatment similar to that required for individuals with intellectual disabilities, which originated before the individual attained age eighteen, continued or can be expected to continue indefinitely, and results in substantial limitations to an individual’s intellectual and/or adaptive functioning.” (RCW71A.10.020(3))
The Arc does not endorse any candidates, but is committed to educating individuals with I/DD, their families and other community members about the issues that affect the lives of people with I/DD to help enable them to make informed decisions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on people with disabilities. States have said they would move people with disabilities to the back of the list for critical equipment such as ventilators. Others have refused to allow a support person in the hospital. We cannot allow discrimination of people simply because they were born with a disability.
“This is an acute crisis for people with disabilities, their families, and support staff across the country. And this response legislation (HR 6800) finally addresses many of our critical problems and dangers due to the pandemic. Now, we need the Senate to act quickly. Until they do, the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and support staff will continue to be precariously on the edge of disaster,” said Peter Berns, CEO, The Arc.
HR 6800 (HEROES Act – Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act) as passed the House included:
- expanding home and community-based services;
- paid time off for family caregivers, including grandparents and siblings of people with disabilities;
- ensuring stability of SNAP for food assistance and Supplemental Security Income;
- fund direct support professionals to care for adult loved ones with disabilities at home and;
- eliminating cost sharing for Medicaid beneficiaries (learn more by clicking here).
We encourage to support and advocate for these items to stay in the final bill.
Your perspective is critical:
In order to understand your vision for people with I/DD in our state, we invite you to fill out our short survey (below or online) as a way to give constituents your position on, and possible solutions for, some of their most important issues. We will share your responses on our web site (www.arcwa.org/advocacy/elections) with our statewide network of advocates who will choose the candidate to best represent them. Thank you!