Advocacy Day

Advocacy Days offer a way for you to learn about the legislative process in person.

Advocacy Days, part of the Advocacy Partnership Project, are held during each legislative session to involve self-advocates and families in the legislative process, giving them opportunities to make their voices heard by their legislators and to have an impact on policy and budget legislation that affects the services and supports available to them. 

Advocacy Day is a great way to learn about the legislative process in person.  Each Advocacy Day begins with an hour briefing at 10:00 in the morning. The briefing includes:

  • Special speakers
  • Information on current issues
  • Tips for success
  • Participants have several ways to  advocate during the day:
  • Meeting with legislators
  • Attending hearings
  • Writing and delivering messages to legislators

Limited travel reimbursements are available for on a one-time, first come, first-served basis.

Your feedback after attending each Advocacy Day is very important to us!

Please fill out our easy-to-use online evaluation form: 

Advocacy Day Feedback Form

Advocacy Partnership Project is a program of The Arc of Washington State funded by the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council


2017 Advocacy Day Schedule  

February 1st - Employment Day/Rally AND the Legislative Briefing/Reception

Our theme this year is “Don’t Le-go of our Lifelines” as we encourage legislators  to champion bills/budget items that are important to people with developmental  disabilities. A new button will be distributed each week. Having a job means that individuals with DD can be productive citizens, contributing to our economy by paying taxes, while also providing valued services.

Join self-advocates, families and employment service providers from Community Employment Alliance (CEA) at 10 am as we ensure that supports are available to all those who need them. A rally will be held afterwards at the capital at 12:30.

After lunch, join us back at United Churches for the DD Briefing on this year’s issues. (Held from 2:00 - 4:00 pm) Go have dinner, then attend the Legislative Reception which will be held in the Columbia Room from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.

February 8th - Disability Protections

This session we have a number of protection issues being raised: training for first  responders and adding disability information to the 911 database, supported decision-making, protection from institutionalization due to lack of sufficient resources in the community, and more. We will also look at pending legislation on other issues such as isolation of people with disabilities, guardianship and more. 

February 15th - Supported Living Services

Self-advocates, supported living providers as well as family members and others join to let legislators know how important living in the community is and ask them to ensure that providers of these supports are paid a fair living wage. We will meet at United Churches at 10 am, and then we will head over to the capitol for a rally with Community Residential Services Association (CRSA).

February 22nd—Multi-Cultural Day

It is important to reach out to people of all cultures with information and support for people with developmental disabilities so that we can be inclusive of all. This year, we will start with reaching out to the Latino and Somali communities in our state. Working with our partners, we will provide interpretation for Advocacy Day. It is    important that we all learn more about how we can support and encourage families of varying cultures to ensure DD services also meet their needs.

March 1st—Meet Your Legislators

Many advocates come to Olympia but never meet with their legislators. Maybe you are not sure what to talk about, you don’t want to go alone or it just seems scary. We want to help! Call us at (360) 357-5596, Diana at ext. 6 or Noah at ext. 3 and we will help you set up your appointment, give you ideas for talking points and make sure someone goes to the meeting with you. We want to empower YOU!

March 8th—How McCleary Affects You

The McCleary court decision regarding full funding of public education is what will drive budget decisions this session. This funding affects all children, including special education services. More than that, because finding the funds needed can only come from about 30% of the budget, human services tend to be the first place to take cuts. Learn what you can do to help protect funding for services important to you.

March 15—Family Services

Families provide the majority of care for people with DD, saving our state lots of money and helping individuals be participating members of their local communities. Whether your child is very young, a teen, or an adult, there are services that can benefit them. Respite care is critical service, but its often difficult to find a provider. Parent to Parent, local chapters of The Arc and Parent Coalitions will share what this means to you. We encourage parents to come to this meeting and bring your children with you.

March 22nd—Budget Overview 

Creating a biennial budget is the one thing legislators are required to do during this legislative session. Our services may go in as a line item in the budget or as a proviso. With many new legislators, it is important that you educate yours about the needs of people with DD. Learn what services and supports are proposed for cuts or increases and what you can do to help.

March 29—Self-Advocacy/Disability Pride

Self-advocates will lead the way on issues for the 2017 session that help them live in their community as independently as possible and show their pride in being valued members of society.  They have three priorities they are pursuing this session:
1) closing state institutions and building community services; 2) having real jobs with real pay (not sub-minimum wages); and 3) providing supported decision-making as an alternative to guardianship.

April 5th—Take Note!

Autism Awareness and Acceptance 12:00 noon on the Rotunda in the domed building. At 9 am the House will read the House Resolution on autism and acknowledge members of autism groups in the gallery.

As the regular session is coming to a close, legislators are spending most of their time on the House or Senate floor voting on bills. You still have a huge job to do! Many bills never get a chance to be voted on, not because they aren’t important, but because there is not enough time to vote on all of them. You can help move your bills up in importance by sending notes in to your legislator while they are on the floor. We can help!

Advocacy Days are held at this location:


To see a wrap-up from the 2016 session:


What to expect at Advocacy Day

Advocacy Day begins at 10 a.m. Wednesdays during the legislative session.  We start the day with an hour briefing on current issues and end with an afternoon of advocacy (about 3:00 p.m.).  While we feature a highlighted topic each week, the morning briefing will also cover late breaking news on budget items and bills of interest relating to individuals with developmental disabilities.

If this is your first visit and you need a guide for the day, please let us know when you register.  To register, please call: 1-888-754-8798, ext. 105, or e-mail:

Click here for a map of the Capitol Campus.

Limited reimbursements for travel and interpreter service are available on a one time, first-come first-served basis. 

Please make legislative appointments at least two weeks in advance.  If you need assistance, call 1.888.754.8798, ext. 105.


Directions to Advocacy Day Locations

Coming I-5 “Northbound”:

  • Take Exit 105 (State Capitol/City Center)
  • Turn Right onto Jefferson (at the roundabout, DO NOT Go through tunnel)
  • First street to the left turn Left onto Eleventh Street (11th)
  • Go through the light (which is the intersection of Washington & 11th)
  • Go one block farther and the GA Building is on your right

Coming I-5 “ Southbound”:

  • Take Exit 105-A (State Capitol/City Center)
  • Turn Right onto Jefferson
  • First street to the left turn Left onto Eleventh Street (11th)
  • Go through the light (which is the intersection of Washington & 11th)
  • Go one block farther and the GA Building is on your right


Limited parking is available next to the GA Building.  General Administration provides information regarding available satellite parking locations and the latest updates on closures or changes. E-mail for a map or more information.