Community Advocacy Coalition (CAC)
Organizations dedicated to ensuring community services exist and are funded for people with I/DD
Many Voices/One Vision
Community Advocacy Coalition Core Values
(Adopted September 2008, currently being updated)
People with developmental disabilities in Washington have much to contribute to the community, yet need the support of families, advocates and government leadership to live a quality life. More than ever before, our many voices join in unison for one common vision: a community of full participation. Our statewide member organizations of the Community Advocacy Coalition (CAC) represent the interests and goals of more than 100,000 individuals, families, and employees in our state.
We collectively agree to the following actions, which we believe are core to full participation. We ask that these actions be an integral part of all planning and service delivery efforts for individuals with developmental disabilities in Washington State.
1. People with developmental disabilities must be part of all planning, governance, leadership and implementation of the programs that affect them. “Nothing about us without us.” We also expect people to use respectful language putting people first and eliminating harmful, degrading labels.
2. Families with sons and daughters with developmental disabilities often need some support to have equal access to full and rewarding family lives. Having a child or adult with a developmental disability must not force a family into poverty or constant, lifelong worry. More than 10,000 families are waiting for support and should get the services they need.
3. Quality early intervention supports and services must be affordable and accessible for all children with developmental delays and already-identified developmental disabilities to maximize their social, physical, emotional and intellectual development.
4. A free and appropriate public education must be provided in inclusive settings with peers of the same age and include individualized supports to all students with a developmental disability to prepare them for participation in our society.
5. People want real jobs with real pay through real businesses and volunteer opportunities. People with developmental disabilities contribute to our communities and the economy. Support job development and employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
6. Medicaid and other public funds are vital to people with developmental disabilities. Medicaid reform must protect access to this program, promote inclusion for people in their communities, and allow their control of the funds spent on their behalf. All programs must be provided in a way that supports individuals’ unique needs.
7. People who have chosen to work in this filed directly with people with developmental disabilities must be paid a living wage with benefits. They should not have to work two or three jobs to support their families. This is essential work that must be valued and compensated accordingly.
8. People with developmental disabilities need support to live in communities; in affordable houses and in regular neighborhoods, rather than segregated settings. Large congregate settings should not be an option for a living environment for people with developmental disabilities. Public funds must support inclusive communities that promote living, playing, and working together in an integrated society.