The History Booklet

The History of State and National Activities, Events and Policies Impacting People with Developmental Disabilities

This pamphlet is dedicated to the thousands of people who have committed their time, effort and leadership to create public policies that help individuals with developmental disabilities have access to the same quality of life that we all enjoy in this country.

The history of the services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Washington State began in 1886 with a legislative Act to establish a territorial school for the “deaf, mute, blind, and feebleminded” youth of Washington Territory to be known as The Washington School for Defective Youth”. It was located in Vancouver, Washington.  A second territorial school was created in 1915 near Medical Lake (known as Lakeland Village).
 
Read on to learn more about the timeline of history in our state as it relates to individuals with I/DD and their families.
 

"The History of State and National Activities, Events and Policies Impacting People with Developmental Disabilities"

1886

State

~ An Act to establish a school for the “deaf, mute, blind, and feebleminded” youth of Washington Territory.  “That a territorial school be established to be known as The Washington School for Defective Youth” located in Vancouver, Washington. 

1915

State

~ A Territorial School is established at Medical Lake and serves 1530 people (now called Lakeland Village).

1935—1939

State

~ Children’s Benevolent League of Washington (The Arc of Washington State) is established.  A group of parents organize to “arouse public interest in all mentally and physically handicapped individuals in the State of Washington and the raising of the standards of care which they receive.”

~ Western State Custodial School was established (now called Rainier School).

Federal

~ Social Security Act adopted.

1950—1960

State

~ More families keep their children at home and establish “special education programs.”

~ Families requesting more support than government provided (1,000 people on waiting list).

~ Yakima Valley School established.

~ Fircrest School established.

~ State funding approved to provide grants to agencies for sheltered workshops and supervised work opportunities.

~ Establishment of Adult Developmental Centers for people with more significant disabilities.

Federal

~ First meeting of the National Association of Parents and Friends of Mentally Retarded Children (National Arc).

1960—1968

State

~ Legislative Budget Committee report explored the future of facilities which served people with mental retardation—focus on prevention and expanded” services including half-way houses (group homes) and sheltered workshops. 

~ Epton Center Act to establish “Group Training Homes” was passed.

~ Washington adopted a mixed system of state and county services and county developmental disabilities advisory boards were established.

~ Marks the highest number of people who lived at state schools (4,200) – newspapers printed “horror” stories of conditions of facilities and lack of staffing.


Federal

~ President’s Panel of Mental Retardation established.

1970—1974

State

~ Governor Evans consolidated the Department of Institutions, Health; Public Assistance and Vocational Rehabilitation into the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and services for people with developmental disabilities were placed there.

~ House Bill 90, “Education for All”, passed mandating special education legislation in Washington State.

~ Francis Haddon Morgan Center established to treat children with Autism.

~ Establishment of Case Services Section within the Office of Developmental Disabilities to provide and/or coordinate a comprehensive community based care service program that was readily accessible and responsive to the needs of people with developmental disabilities.

Federal

~ Federal “Education for All” (Public Law 94-142) was adopted.

~ Federal Title XIX regulations were finalized.  Washington began accepting federal dollars.

~ Title XIX Amendment to the Social Security Act was passed, establishing Medicaid services.

~ The Rehabilitation Act was adopted.

~ The Mental Retardation Facilities Construction Act was adopted.

~ The Americans with Disabilities Administration was funded, providing each state with University Affiliated Programs, Protection and Advocacy and Developmental Disabilities Councils.

1975—1979

State

~ The Legislature authorized the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities to formulate a plan to reduce the populations in current institutions by moving people into community facilities that meet new Title XIX requirements.

~ Home Aid program was established to provide family’s therapy services and respite care both in and out of the home.

~ People First (a self-advocacy organization) created several chapters in Washington.

1980—1986

State

~ Funding was provided to establish “tenant support” residential placements in the community.

~ Depicted as “the worst [year] in recent memory for a disabled person.”  Budgetary cutbacks meant less money for support services in education; staff decreases at state institutions; and fewer monthly days of service at developmental centers.

~  Washington special education law amended to include preschoolers.

~ Child Abuse Amendments, which contained Baby Doe protections, were adopted.

Federal

~ The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act allowed the state to apply for waivers to Medicaid to allow for federal Medicaid funds to be utilized for community services.

~ Washington applied for and received a community alternatives waiver that provided Title XIX funding for community services.

1987—1993

State

~ State Developmental Disability statutes were revised to include the community services that had developed over recent years.

~ Title XIX surveyors decertified five of six state institutions and several large community nursing homes.  The Legislature agreed to appropriate money to move people out of large facilities.

~ State Operated Living Alternatives (where state employees provide community residential services) established.

~ Naive Offender legislation was passed. 

~ The Legislature decided some parts of state institutions should be certified as nursing homes.

~ The Legislature appropriated funding for students who were leaving public schools and transitioning into jobs or day programs.

~ The Legislative Budget Committee funded three different studies to review services and costs provided by the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).

~ Interlake School at Medical Lake was closed.

Federal

~ The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed federally.

~ Federal Title XIX regulations were revised.

1994—1999

State

~ SB 5800 was passed which allows any savings in the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) system to stay in the system to be used for the unserved.

~ The Birth to Three project was placed under DDD management.

~ Management of adult family home funding for people with developmental disabilities was transferred from Aging and Adult Services to DDD.

~ SB 6751 was passed which calls for a choice driven service system and a long range plan to serve all people with developmental disabilities over the next six years.

~ Management of foster homes for children with developmental disabilities, who were not under child protective services, was transferred from the Children’s Administration to DDD.

~ SB 5693 established the Developmental Disabilities Endowment Trust Fund.

~ The Arc of Washington State filed a suit against the state of Washington claiming discrimination against people with developmental disabilities in receiving Medicaid services.

~ The Allen lawsuit, filed by WA Protection and Advocacy System was settled.

Federal

~ On June 22nd the US Supreme Court issued the “Olmstead v. L.C.” decision, re-affirming the right of persons with disabilities to move out of institutions and receive care in the community.

~ The Federal Rehabilitation Act was reauthorized for five more years.

~ The Individuals with Disabilities Education or All Act (IDEA) was reauthorized.

2000

State

~ 4 cottages closed in the state institutions.

~ Expanded nurse delegations to group homes.

~ Amended the state Constitution to allow trust fund monies in the Washington State DD Endowment Trust Fund to be invested in a portfolio.

~ Added additional training requirements for adult family homes, boarding homes and group homes that serve people with developmental disabilities.

~ The Attorney General of Washington signed onto an amicus brief supporting the ADA against attack in the Garret case heard before the Supreme Court.

Federal

~ The federal Developmental Disabilities Act, including a family support section, was reauthorized for another seven years.

2001

State

~ DDD received a 12.1 per cent increase in its budget, raising it to $1.18 billion.

~ Ticket to Work established to maintain medical coverage for people who go to work.

~ Gives DSHS responsibility to notify relevant agencies of investigative outcomes.

~ DSHS has authority to develop a program to mitigate dislocation of residents of adult family homes.

~ Arc vs. Quasim lawsuit settled.

2002

State

~ Passage of school district anti-bullying legislation. This law requires school districts to develop policies that prohibit harassment, intimidation, and bullying on school grounds and at school activities.

~ Legislature appropriated $14 million as first phase of Arc vs. Quasim wait list suit.

~ Legislature converted $21 million of DDD state Family Support and Transition service dollars into a “cash subsidy” (SSP).

~ Legislature eliminated state SSI supplement and other important state funded services due to economic downturn associated with September 11 attacks on World Trade Center and the passage of several Washington state initiatives that reduced state revenue sources.

2003

State

~ State faced a $2.6 billion dollar shortfall; unemployment second highest in USA.  Adult Medicaid dental cut by 25%, eliminating essential dental coverage; children’s health care premiums used to balance the budget; no new funding for graduating high school transition students to receive employment services.

~ Budget provided funding to “downsize” Fircrest.

~ $2.5 million increase in community residential for up to 14 persons in crisis.

~ $17.3 million to provide a 75 cent wage increase for home care workers.

~ Waiting list for Family Support grew to 8,000.

~ Judge dismissed The Arc of Washington State, et al v. Quasim lawsuit;  Arc appealing.

Federal

~ President’s Committee on Mental Retardation changed its name to President’s Committee on Intellectual Disabilities.

2005

State

~ In the closest Governor’s race ever, the Secretary of State and Legislature certified democrat Christine Gregoire, Governor of the state.

~ State faced a projected $2.2 billion deficit.

~ Creating community developmental disabilities trust account (aka the Dan Thompson Memorial Trust Account) with proceeds from unused property at Rainer School and Lakeland Village.

~ Revises marking requirements for parking places for persons with disabilities to remove “disabled”  language.  This is legislation initiated by Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL).

~ Expands the voting rights of persons under guardianship.

~ Provides accommodations to dependent persons who are victims and witnesses.

~ Creates an Autism Task Force.

~ Increases state participation in public transportation.

~ $4.1 million to support 600 students graduating from high school.

~ $2.5 million for 1,500 low income families to be served by Family Support pilot.

~ $4.2 million to expand community residential services for 39 people.

~ $182,000 to create a DD Advisory Council to the Governor to study a “preferred continuum of developmental disabilities residential services”.

~ Fircrest was “downsized” to 190  residents.

~ Ninth Circuit rules on Arc vs. Quasim lawsuit that the state has the right to limit the number of people on the Home and Community based waivers.

2006

State

~ For the first time in several years, the state did not face a deficit.  Instead, it had a $1.5 billion surplus, though most of it needed to go to entitlement programs, collective bargaining agreements and pension funds.

Significant legislation passed:

~ Mandates school district participation in birth-to-three early intervention services for children with disabilities by the year 2009.

~ Places DD Community Protection Program policy into state statute.

~ Requires all counties to provide disability access voting 20 days prior to (and including the day of) an election.  It also requires county elections advisory councils that include people with disabilities.

~ Gives independent providers the right to collectively bargain over personal care hours.

~ Prohibits vaccinating pregnant women and children under three with vaccines that contain mercury.

~ Imposes fines and actions against DD residential service providers who are out of compliance with certification standards.

~ Expands the definition of criminal mistreatment to include the withholding of basic necessities of life by a person responsible for providing those necessities.

~ Allows public bodies that have purchased or improved properties under Referendums 29 and 37 to transfer those properties to non-profits serving people with disabilities.

Budget Highlights:

~ $ 1.4 million to support 250 students graduating from high school.

~ $ 1.4 million for additional case management support.

~ $ 2.0 million Supported Living rate increase.

~ $ 784 thousand to expand community residential and support services for 12 individuals.

~ $ 483 thousand to provide community residential and support services for 7 clients.

~ $ 300 thousand to fund DD Community Protection legal services for clients entering or receiving services in this program.

~ $ 1.1 million to respond to a Special Education lawsuit.

2007

State

~ State again finds itself with surplus funds.

Significant legislation passed:

~ Individual & Family Services, also known as the Lance Morehouse Jr. bill - Puts in state law the Individual and Family Services Program.  Program is without regard to parental income and allows the provision of respite to Medicaid Personal Care Parent Providers. 

~ Graduation Ceremonies;  also known as Kevin’s Law” allows students receiving Special Education services to participate in graduation ceremonies with their peers.

~ Training for In Home Care Providers; creates a committee to develop the curriculum and hours necessary to be an individual provider.

~ Creates a pilot program using public guardians.

Budget Highlights:

~ $ 5.0 million for employment of 748 graduates and other adults.

~ $ 1.1 million for 40 adults living with senior parents.

~ Definition of Disability; reinstates a group of individuals with a disability back into the ADA definition.

~ $ 4.9 million for 1,300 families to receive Family Support.

~ $ 14.2 million for 236 individuals to be supported in the community.

~ $ 125 thousand to create a DVD for professionals and parents of children with autism.

~ $ 60 thousand for Autism Parent Support in Eastern Washington.

~ $ 8.8 million for 112 individuals needing community protection.

~ $ 500 thousand for legal services.

~ $ 15.3 million for provider wage increases.

Other:

~ A very controversial medical intervention provided to a 6 year old girl with profound disabilities was performed.  It consisted of high doses of estrogen to bring about permanent attenuation of her size, removal of her breast buds and a hysterectomy.

~ The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that all pregnant women, regardless of age, be given a prenatal test to detect Down Syndrome.

2008

State

~ Adds excess property identified at Francis Haddon Morgan Center, Yakima, Lakeland and Rainer Residential Habilitation Centers to the Dan Thompson Trust account.  Proceeds in the account provide Family Support and Employment services to unserved individuals.

~ Establishes October for Disability History month established in K-12 and higher education.

~ Recommend an autism supplement for educational plans regarding autism.

~ Awareness of autism through Childfind.

~ Direct OSPI to submit a plan for teacher training on autism by November 2008

~ Establishes an access coordinator for the administrative office of the courts.

Budget Highlights:

~ $1.9 million to create an Intensive Behavior Support program to provide in-home services that assist families with children with behavior issues to avoid out of home placement.

~ $15 million dollars appropriated to implement “shared living” lawsuit settlement.

~ Since the Legislature could not agree on the number of hours of training a Home Care provider should receive, the citizens of the state passed Initiative 1029.  Individual Home Care providers are now going to receive 75 hours of training instead of 34 hours and Parent Providers will have 12 hours of required training instead of 10 hours.  Unfortunately, no funding was included with the passage of the Initiative.

2009

State

Once again our country and state faced a huge economic downturn.

The unemployment rate for the state was 9.3% and Governor Gregoire and the legislature faced an $8 billion dollar deficit.  The federal government intervened by providing states federal stimulus money so more jobs could be created to get the economy moving. The legislature took a different tactic and took state dollars from the state budget and replaced them with federal funding that ends in 11 months.  This helped stopped some of the more drastic cuts from happening but when the federal monies are gone there will be huge state budget shortfalls.

In regard to cuts in the Division of Developmental Disabilities, $88 million dollars of state funding has been eliminated.

Reductions were:

~ Medicaid Personal Care (MPC) hours reduced by 3%

~ Individual and Family Support reduced by $1 million

~ Service providers and counties were cut on average 3%

~ Legal services for Community Protection eliminated

~ Adult Day Health reduced by $1.8 million

~ Medicaid vision/hearing eliminated (dental rates reduced back to 2005 rates)

~ DD institutions consolidated cottages and reduced staff

~ 9 DD central office positions were eliminated

~ Once again the closure of a state institution failed to pass the House, even though the Governor and Senate supported it.

On the positive side funding was provided for 60 people to have an alternative other than a state institution; funding was provided for 32 people with community protection needs, and about 1,000 people who had been “state only” funded for employment or residential were placed on the waiver to obtain the federal Medicaid match.
of closing state institution beds by contracting with consultants with expertise in this area. They need to consider alternate facilities, the cost of operating the facility, impact of the facility on the local economy and alternative uses for a facility recommended for closure. They will also look at the impact on clients in the facility and their families. OFM has to submit a final report by November 1, 2009.  The report must provide a recommendation and a plan to eliminate 250 funded beds in the residential habilitation centers through closure or consolidation of facilities.

2009 - 2010

State

National recession creates a state $12 billion dollar deficit that is made whole by tax increases and state service cuts.

Significant Legislation Passed:

~ Establishes the Children’s Intensive Behavior Support program to provide in-home assistance for children with significant behavioral challenges and their families.

~ Allows respite care for primary care providers who receive the state only Individual/Family Support Program.

~ Provides for equitable access to mental health services for children.

~ Replaces the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disabilities” in state statutes.

Budget Highlights

~ Added state only funded employment participants to the Basic Medicaid waiver to retain their services and gain federal financial funding

~ Reduce state institution expenditures but failed to close either Yakima Valley Nursing Facility or Francis Haddon Morgan

~ $500,000 to study consolidation/closure of state institutions

~ Reduce employment and residential providers by 3%

~ Fund Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to study county employment services

~ Directs DSHS to assess all state institution clients with same assessment as used for community clients

In regards to bills supported, passed and signed by the Governor, they included:

~ Intensive In-home Behavior Supports to help families learn how to support their child at home

~ Allows siblings and grandparents who are primary caregivers to receive respite

~ Prohibits in-home care providers who are family members to become agency providers

~ Replaces the term “mental retardation” to “intellectual disabilities” in our state statutes

~ Initial work for adults with developmental disabilities who are in jail to be served properly by jail staff (develop a screening tool and training for adults with DD in jails or correctional facilities)

In addition, a JLARC (Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee) study on county administered services such as employment day and child development services will be conducted. The report, due September 1, 2010, must provide a description of how funds are used and the rates paid to vendors, and a recommendation on best practices the agency may use for the development of a consistent, outcome-based contract for services provided under contract with the counties. DDD must develop and implement the use of a consistent, statewide outcome-based vendor contracts for employment and day services by April 1, 2011. The rates paid to vendors under this contract must also be made consistent.

The legislators also directed the Office of Financial Management (OFM) to do a study of the feasibility of closing state institution beds by contracting with consultants with expertise in this area. They need to consider alternate facilities, the cost of operating the facility, impact of the facility on the local economy and alternative uses for a facility recommended for closure. They will also look at the impact on clients in the facility and their families. OFM has to submit a final report by November 1, 2009. The report must provide a recommendation and a plan to eliminate 250 funded beds in the residential habilitation centers through closure or consolidation of facilities.

2009 - 2010

State

~ National recession creates a state $12 billion dollar deficit that is made whole by tax increases and state service cuts.

Significant Legislation Passed

~ Establishes the Children’s Intensive Behavior Support program to provide in-home assistance for children with significant behavioral challenges and their families.

~ Allows respite care for primary care providers who receive the state only Individual/Family Support Program.

~ Provides for equitable access to mental health services for children.

~ Replaces the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disabilities” in state statutes.

Budget Highlights

~ Added state only funded employment participants to the Basic Medicaid waiver to retain their services and gain federal financial funding

~ Reduce state institution expenditures but failed to close either Yakima Valley Nursing Facility or Francis Haddon Morgan

~ $500,000 to study consolidation/closure of state institutions

~ Reduce employment and residential providers by 3%

~ Fund Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to study county employment services

~ Directs DSHS to assess all state institution clients with same assessment as used for individuals in community services

~ Provides employment funding for ‘09 and ‘10 high school graduates

Federal Highlights

~ Congress and the President pass federal stimulus funding to help states deal with their budget crisis

~ Congress and the President pass major health care overhaul

~ Congress passed Rosa’s Law regarding Respectful Language

2010—2011

State

Before the 2011 legislative session started, Governor Gregoire made 6.287% across-the-board cuts to all agencies.  The 2011 supplemental budget addressed the loss of expected state revenue, resulting in DDD programs being dramatically affected.

~ The Individual and Family Services (IFS) program, a low cost – high impact program that provides families with a little bit of respite, among other things, was completely suspended.

~ The Children’s Intensive In-home Behavior Supports (CIIBS) program was put on hold.

~ The supplemental budget also had reductions of 6% - 18% in Medicaid Personal Care (MPC) hours, cuts to employment and day services, community residential vendor rates as well as the elimination of vision, dental and therapy services.

~ The legislature did finally agree on a biennial budget that restored the IFS program, though with a 10% cut.

~ The CIIBS program was restored and will continue to enroll eligible families. Parent to Parent was also restored.

~ The Housing Trust Fund received an additional $3 million for the DD Set-aside.

~ MPC hours did not take additional cuts, but the cuts made in the special session 2010 supplemental budget continue. Community residential vendor rates continue the 1% reduction taken in the supplemental budget.

~ Dental services were eliminated except for people who are on a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver or access dental services through the DECOD program at the University of Washington.

~ Vision services were eliminated, but advocates got a bill passed that allows Medicaid recipients to get their glasses “at cost”, which should be $10 - $20.

~ Medicare Part D Co-payments for dually eligible adults was also eliminated which means adults will pay $1 - $6 co-pay for medications.

~Employment services underwent a lot of discussion around the Working Age Adult Policy (WAAP). The final budget reduced counties by 3% and created two task forces.  One task force is to develop a more robust Community Access program and the second task force to provide recommendations about employment, community access and the possible creation of some new type of day service.

~ For the first time in years, unless on a waiver, students graduating from high school needing employment services will receive no supports.

~ The budget made a significant change for 900 adults with developmental disabilities who are receiving Adult Day Health services through the Aging and Adult System. People will have to choose to either stay within the DD system or move to the Aging and Adult system.

~ Consolidation of the RHCs was a big topic throughout the session. In the final budget, Francis Haddon Morgan Center will close by December 31, 2011 and there will be no more admissions to Yakima Valley.  Residents at Yakima Valley will be able to continue to live there.  Once the facility reaches only 16 residents, Yakima Valley will then close.

~ Senate Bill 5459 provided that by 2012, children under 21 will no longer be placed in the RHCs except for 16-21 year olds, who may be admitted for crisis stabilization or respite.

~ The legislature funded a Family to Family Mentor who will be a family member who has already moved their relative out of a RHC, who has experienced all the fears and concerns, but who has made the successful transition to a community setting.  People can move to a State Operated Living Alternative (SOLA), or a home in a community near their family; or move to another RHC.

~ SB 5459 allows Yakima Valley to continue to operate respite beds and establishes eight state staffed crisis stabilization beds and eight state staffed respite beds in areas of the state where there is the most need for them.

~ Additionally, a developmental disabilities task force will develop a system of services looking at the state’s long term need for RHCs, plan the efficient consolidation of institutional capacity and create a mechanism through which savings can be used to create additional community based capacity.

~ It will also look at the use of surplus properties at the RHCs and at reframing the mission of Yakima Valley.  The task force will report back to the Legislature by December 1, 2012.

Bills:

~ SB 5459, consolidating the RHCs and putting age restrictions on the facilities.

~ SB 5352 replaces the elimination of vision/glasses by allowing people on Medicaid to get them at cost.

~ HB 1163 is another step forward on preventing bullying in schools.

~ HB 1053 provides for free training for family members who become legal guardians of an individual.

2011-2013 Biennium:

State

The continued economic downturn nationally had a huge impact on our state budget. 

Legislators held their 2011 regular legislative session (105 days) from January 10th through April 24th without being able to agree on a final biennial budget. 

Since no budget agreement had been reached during regular session, the Governor called a thirty day Special Session from April 26, 2011 - May 25, 2011 and a budget was finalized.

The negative September 2011 revenue forecast prompted the Governor to release her supplemental budget proposal in October 2011, which included drastic cuts such as eliminating 48% of clients from receiving Medicaid Personal Care and Waiver services that people with developmental disabilities desperately need. 

The Governor called the Legislature back for another 30 day special session (2nd special session) on November 28, 2011 but legislators left on December 12, 2011 without finalizing a budget. 

Legislators returned on January 9, 2012 for the sixty day supplemental budget session which was to end on March 8, 2012. A surprise move by the minority party in the Senate turned the budget upside down and no agreement could be reached. 

The Governor called for a 2012 special session to begin on March 12, 2012, but little was accomplished until the last day, April 10, 2012.

The Governor directed legislators to stay through the night, calling for the 2012 2nd Special Session at midnight on April 11, 2012. This lasted for about six hours until a final budget compromise was reached around 6:00 a.m. on April 11, 2012.

Overall, services for people with developmental disabilities were well supported in the final legislative budget proposals. 

This was due, in major part, because of the successful, statewide grassroots advocacy efforts we have in our state. 

Specific services retained at their current level included: Medicaid Personal Care, Individual/Family Support, Residential and Employment services and provider rates, and health and dental benefits. 

Bills:

~ SSB 6384 “employment first” policy whereby individuals with developmental disabilities are given the opportunity to become employed;

~ SSB 6403 creates detention and intake standards

Revised June 20, 2012