The Arc of Washington hosted a meet and greet with Jilma Meneses, our new Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) for Washington State! Secretary Meneses was joined by Debbie Roberts, Assistant Secretary for the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).
NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOUR VOICES TO BE HEARD!
With the changes in our world due to COVID-19, many things have changed. One huge thing is that meetings are no longer held in-person. They are now being held in virtual rooms using Zoom or another program. The Arc of Washington wants to ensure that people with intellectual/developmental disabilities are still able to access the information being provided. With all our meetings now being held virtually using Zoom, we want to make them accessible, whenever possible. We are adding closed captioning, live-streaming them on Facebook and other accommodations, as needed. Are you new to the Zoom Boom? Click here to learn some basics!
Virtual Advocacy Days: The pandemic known as COVID-19 has altered the norm of daily life for all of us. The economic fallout from this crisis has seen many people out of work and state coffers that are completely reliant on people having and spending money in order to bring in the revenue our state needs to fund basic services that people rely on. Governor Inslee issued a directive to all state agencies to look for reductions in their budgets for the shortfall in state revenue. To see the proposed cuts from the Developmental Disabilities Administration Proposed cuts 6-2020. The cuts being proposed would decimate the service system for people with I/DD. Legislators are going to need to try to figure out how to address the budget shortfall for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2020. The Arc of Washington State is convening a special session of weekly Virtual Advocacy Days with guest legislators to hear from and respond to their constituent’s concerns. To learn more about Virtual Advocacy Days, see the Power Point presentations shown, and watch the videos from each week, go to our Advocacy Days web page.
Take Action Now: The Arc of Washington’s Action Center helps you easily make your voice heard by the people who represent your voice. Their is an Action Alert for you to send your concerns about the budget cuts directly to your legislators. There is also a Petition to Governor Inslee you can sign on to, letting him know how catastrophic the cuts would be to individuals with I/DD and their families in our state. It is also very important that you be well informed about what the candidates who want your vote for Congressional and Legislative seat have in knowledge and experience working on I/DD issues. To help YOU understand how they will represent you, we emailed a short questionnaire to each candidate and are compiling their responses for you to view on our 2020 Elections page. You can also learn more using our Voter Information campaign.
COVID-19 Resources: This is an especially difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic for self-advocates, their families, parents of young children with I/DD, teachers trying to assist children with special education services and Washingtonians all around our state. There are resources to help you stay connected! You can find many links on our COVID-19 page.
Programs: Please don’t hesitate to utilize services and programs from The Arc of Washington, its local chapters and other I/DD organizations. Our Parent to Parent program will help connect young families to more experienced parents. Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL) members make sure their voices are heard by legislators at our Virtual Advocacy Days. SAIL members are also part of People First of Washington and are helping adults with I/DD stay connected through daily Zoom meetings where they can chat with new friends and old and find others who are dealing with similar COVID-19 distancing issues.
Would you like to receive an occasional e-newsletter from The Arc’s News to Know? It’s easy to sign up to keep updated about issues of importance to people with I/DD and their families.
The Arc of Washington State advocates for and besides children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families. We have been advocating since 1936, and we envision a world where people with I/DD are included in their communities and neighborhoods and where quality supports and services respond to their needs and personal choices.
Join us, we are passionate because it’s personal!
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