Advocacy Days

Advocacy Days, part of The Arc’s Advocacy Partnership Project, are held during each legislative session to involve individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD), their families and their service providers 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. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have moved to a virtual platform. The hope is that we will be able to have a hybrid of virtual and in-person activities for the January 2022 Legislative Session!

 

 

 

Zooming in on the Northstar!

Developmental Disabilities Advocacy

2022 Legislative Session

 

 

2022 Virtual Advocacy Day Schedule:

  • Nov 3, 2021    Pre-session Warm-up!
  • Jan 12, 2022    IDD Briefing & Statewide IDD Legislative Reception*
  • Jan 19, 2022    Housing Accessibility
  • Jan 26, 2022    Civil Rights: Nothing About Us Without Us & Shut Them Down Rally at Noon*
  • Feb 2, 2022    Employment and Day Services
  • Feb 9, 2022    Barriers to Transportation
  • Feb 16, 2022    Caregiving of Children and Adults
  • Feb 23, 2022    Meeting All Needs in Education
  • Mar 2, 2022    Healthcare for People with IDD

 

* The in-person Statewide IDD Legislative Reception and the Shut Them Down Rally are scheduled to take place at the capitol, pandemic permitting.

 

Virtual Advocacy Days (VAD) for the above topics are scheduled on Wednesday mornings and, if permitted, the VAD staff will coordinate to meet with advocates in-person in the afternoon to share messages with legislators and their staff. Check back in December 2021 for more up-to-date information.

 

Three emojis: one smiling, one neutral and one frowning. Text says Your Feedback Matters

 

WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!

Click HERE to let us know how each Advocacy Day was for you! Fill out the short form for each week you attend!

 

 

 

Where Do You Start?

 

Get signed up for Action Alerts by clicking here.  Watch our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for even more information.  Attend Virtual Advocacy Days each week during the 2022 Legislative Session to learn about Hot Topics, then connect with your legislators!  Try the Advocacy Toolkit put together by the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC): DD Budget Crisis Advocacy Toolkit.  No experience sharing your story? Watch these short clips and see how others make their voice heard:

 

Bill & Corinna                 Sandra                 Parents                 Adana               Julie            Justine

 



2021 Virtual Advocacy Day Schedule:

Click on the links below to learn more and register for each event:

 

One way you can let them hear your voice is to be a part of our “You KNOW Me!” (YKM) Click the YKM document here to see all the voices who are sharing what is important to them with their legislators. The Arc of Washington State’s “You KNOW Me!” campaign is intended to help legislators get some meaningful perspective from some of their constituents who have a developmental disability. You can do your part too! Email Diana@arcwa.org to learn how you can add your voice!

 

Where Do You Start?

 

Get signed up for Action Alerts by clicking here.  Watch our Facebook page and Twitter accounts for even more information.  Attend Virtual Advocacy Days each week during the 2021 Legislative Session to learn about Hot Topics, then connect with your legislators!  Try the Advocacy Toolkit put together by the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC). DD Budget Crisis Advocacy Toolkit  No experience sharing your story? Watch these short clips and see how others make their voice heard:

 

Bill & Corinna                 Sandra                 Parents              NEW!!! Adana              NEW!!! Julie            NEW!!! Justine

 

2021 Virtual Advocacy Days Schedule!

 

Let us know how Your Experience was!

We want to know how Advocacy Day was for YOU! After each Advocacy Day event you will be able to share your experience with us. Our evaluation form is short and easy to fill out, find it online by going to: 2021 Feedback Form

 

NOTE: Each meeting link is unique and you must register for each one separately!

 

January 27th—Legislative Briefing

Our theme this year is “Zooming in on Developmental Disabilities” as we encourage legislators to champion bills/budget items that are important to people with developmental disabilities (DD). (This event is hosted by a number of cross-disability groups and is not specific to developmental disabilities.)

 

Want to try a virtual background made just for this Briefing? Click here!

Once opened, right click the picture and “Save Image As” onto your computer. When you are in a Zoom meeting, click the arrow next to “Video”, and go to “Choose Virtual Background”. Click the + sign, then add it from your computer folder where you saved it. Watch for new backgrounds each week. Special thanks to Ivanova Smith, Chair of Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL), for her wonderful art work!

 


 

January 27th—40th Annual Disability Legislative Reception

 


 

February 3rd—Community Residential

Supported living providers have been on the front line of this pandemic, taking care of their clients even when they get COVID. as well as self-advocates, 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. There is currently a huge inequity as supported living providers do exactly the same care tasks as state employees in State Operated Living Alternatives (SOLA), yet receive much lower wages. Adult Family Homes and Assisted Living are also community settings struggling during this pandemic.

Special Guest: Representative Emily Wicks

See the Community Residential Advocacy Day Agenda here. Download the handouts here.

Let us know how Your Experience was!

We want to know how Advocacy Day was for YOU! Please share your experience with us. Our evaluation form is short and easy to fill out, find it online by going to: 2021 Feedback Form

(Artwork by Ivanova Smith, In Memory of Tony Hall, pictured in the blue cap)

 


 

February 10th—Employment Supports

Having a job means that individuals with DD can be productive citizens, contributing to our economy by paying taxes, while also providing valuable services. Being gainfully employed builds self-esteem, but our state still allows people with disabilities to be paid sub-minimum wages, as little as 2 cents an hour! Join self-advocates, families and employment service providers as we work to make wages equitable. Also, in order to have a job, reliable public transportation is needed.

During the pandemic it is more important than ever for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) to be able go to their jobs and succeed. They often have essential jobs and need to have public transportation to and from work. Students in high school need transition services so that they can be working when they leave school, not graduate to the couch.

Special Guest: Senator Joe Ngyuen

See the Employment Supports Advocacy Day Agenda here. Download the handouts here. Want a virtual background for this event? Click here!

Let us know how Your Experience was! We want to know how Advocacy Day was for YOU! Please share your experience with us. Our evaluation form is short and easy to fill out, find it online by going to: 2021 Feedback Form

Watch the video:

 


 

February 17th—Families Save Money

Families provide the majority of care at home for people with DD, saving our state millions of dollars. Respite care is a critical service, but its difficult to find a provider. Teens and adults with DD and challenging behaviors are taken to hospital emergency rooms and left there with no medical need because the behavior supports they need are not available. Some families can’t get services for their child because the family doesn’t meet Medicaid financial eligibility. A TEFRA State Plan Option would allow families to “buy-in” to Medicaid. Unlike other services, there can be no wait list. If you qualify, you get served.

Senator John Braun was our guest speaker at Advocacy Day. He is the co-sponsor of SB 5268, a bill that does much good for the DD community. The bill had a hearing in the afternoon after Advocacy Day, with many DD advocates signing in and testifying.

Click here to see the Advocacy Day agenda.  Here are the handouts sent to legislators.

Let us know how Your Experience was! We want to know how Advocacy Day was for YOU! Please share your experience with us. Our evaluation form is short and easy to fill out, find it online by going to: 2021 Feedback Form

 


 

February 24th—March is DD Awareness Month

Each March since President Ronald Reagan established March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in 1987, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) partners with Association for University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) to create a social media campaign that highlights the many ways in which people with and without disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities.  We will educate legislators and have the Governor’s staff share the Governor’s Proclamation for this important awareness campaign.

Special Guest: Representative Joe Schmick

 

Get the virtual background by Ivanova Smith here.   Click here to get the agenda.  Read the handout for legislators here.

Read Governor Inslee’s Proclamation: March 2021 is DD Awareness Month

Let us know how Your Experience was! We want to know how Advocacy Day was for YOU! Please share your experience with us. Our evaluation form is short and easy to fill out, find it online by going to: 2021 Feedback Form

 


 

March 3rd—Education During COVID-19

The pandemic has had a huge affect on education services and early intervention for children with DD. With in-person school cancelled and the districts try to figure out virtual classes, children with DD are not receiving the services required in their Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). What can the legislature do to ensure the needs of children who need special education services are not falling further behind?

Get the virtual background by Ivanova Smith hereHere is the handout for Legislators.   Click here for the agenda.

 


 

March 10th—Rights and Protections: No New Institutions!

Two years ago, a Ruckelshaus workgroup was charged with creating a plan for the future of the RHCs (Residential Habilitation Centers) in our state. Although the plan would downsize and close our RHCs, it also would build a new 120 bed nursing facility on the grounds of one of the RHCs, Fircrest. Governor Inslee put $120 million in his Capital Budget proposal to build this nursing facility for 120 people. We do not want to build new institutions! People want to see skilled nursing available in communities around the state.

Get the virtual background by Ivanova Smith hereClick here for the agenda.   Script from Sandi Gruberg.  Here are the handouts for legislators.

 


 

March 17th—Self-advocacy: Nothing About Us Without Us

This week is all about the self-advocates. Building new institutions they are strongly opposed to, but nobody asked them before deciding to build it. People with disabilities have many valuable perspectives. Hear them speak about life in an institution, jobs, marriage, aging, talents and much more! Today is their day!

Click here for the agenda.  Download the artwork for this week by Ivanova Smith. Here are the handouts for legislators.

 


 

March 24th—Budget:  NO Cuts! No New Institutions!

Creating a balanced budget is the one thing legislators are required to do during this legislative session. With many new legislators, it is important that you  educate yours about the needs of people with DD.  Because COVID-19 has created such an economic catastrophe in our state, revenues were short for a while, but have rebounded. The Governor’s budget did not make cuts to DD services, but he added $120 million to build a new nursing facility for about 100 people on the grounds of Fircrest! What he did not do was put any funding in the Housing Trust Fund DD Set-aside for housing in the community. Learn what you can do to help as we wait for the House and Senate to release their budgets soon.

Get the virtual background by Ivanova Smith here.  Click here to get the Agenda. Click here for Presentation from Adana Protonentis Home and Community Based Services Access Act HAA. Click here for Presentation from Adrienne Stewart Understanding How Advocates Can Impact the Legislative Budgeting Process.  Click here for the 10% HCBS FMAP draft proposal.

 


 

March 31st —April is Autism Awareness, Acceptance & Appreciation Month

On December 18, 2007, the United Nations declared April 2nd to be World Autism Awareness Day, to be observed  every year. In 1970, the Autism Society began spreading awareness about autism in the month of April and it is now recognized nationally. It is not enough to be aware of what autism is. We need to be accepting of the many gift autistic people have to share and appreciate the diversity they bring.
Get the virtual background by Ivanova Smith here. Click here for the Agenda.  Click here for Speaker: Zack Siddeek – Advocacy Day Autism Speech. Click here for PowerPoint presentation by Jennifer Gerdts, PhD.  Seattle’s Children Autism Center Overview for Advocacy Day

Read Governor Inslee’s Proclamation: April is Autism Awareness, Acceptance & Appreciation Month

Honored Guest: Evelyn Perez, Retiring Assistant Secretary of Developmental Disabilities Administration

Legislator: Senator Ann Rivers

 


 

April 7th—Equity & Diversity

People of color or of indigenous backgrounds, immigrants or LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans, Queer or other identities) experience racism and other systemic discrimination challenges. We need to ensure that justice and equity in services is a right afforded to everyone. Our state has passed legislation to work on police injustices, but much needs to be done in other areas such as schools, disability services, mental health needs, housing supports and more.  Get the virtual background by Ivanova Smith here. Click here for the agenda.  Click here for handout for legislators  Click here for presentation from The Arc of King County – Progressive Revenue Resolution to Support Inclusive Communities

Special Guest: Senator Emily Randall

Let us know how Your Experience was!

We want to know how Advocacy Day was for YOU! After each Advocacy Day event you will be able to share your experience with us. Our evaluation form is short and easy to fill out, find it online by going to: 2021 Feedback Form

 

2020 Virtual Advocacy Day Recordings:

 

Education Services During COVID-19

Parents of children in school has struggled greatly from the changes that were suddenly made when COVID-19 hit our state. In-person learning quickly changed to an online experience and many students who received special education services no longer had access to them. As September approaches, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) must figure out the challenge of meeting the needs of these students. Watch below for a discussion with Chris Reykdal and Glenna Gallo and parents from our state who share concerns about education services during the pandemic.

Click here to view the Power Point presentation used in the webinar.

Our State Budget Crisis

 

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.

On May 13, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a directive to all state agencies to look for reductions in their budgets for what was thought to be a $7 billion shortfall in state revenue. Agencies were told to find savings of 15% that they could propose to cut. To see the proposed cuts from the Developmental Disabilities Administration: Proposed cuts 6-2020.

The Arc of Washington State convened a special session of Virtual Advocacy Days, in partnership with the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) and Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL). Each week had different Guest Legislators and a parent and a self-advocate from each district to talk about how the proposed cuts would be devastating for them. The recorded sessions are below.

 

July 2nd: Representative Timm Ormsby (3rd LD) & Senator Ann Rivers (18th LD) View the presentation:

Click here to view the PDF presentation for July 2nd.

 

July 9th: Senator Karen Keiser (33rd LD) & Representative Gina Mosbrucker (14th LD) View the presentation:

Click here to view the PDF presentation for July 9th.

 

July 16th: Senator Mark Schoesler (9th LD) & Representative Skyler Rude

Special Guest: James Kettel, Senate Committee Services

Click here to view the PDF presentation for July 16th.

 

July 23rd: Senator Christine Rolfes (23rd LD) & Senator Andy Billig (3rd LD)

Click here to view the PDF presentation for July 23rd.

 

July 30th: Senator David Frockt (46th LD) & Representative Tana Senn (41st)

Watch Devon Adelman’s recorded story here.

Click here to view the PDF presentation for July 30th.

 

August 6th: Senator Sharon Brown (8th LD) & Senator John Braun (20th LD)

Click here to view the PDF presentation for August 6th.

 

How did we do? Fill out our Feedback Form here.

 

Need additional information? Diana@arcwa.org

 

Educate Your Legislators!

 

Use The Arc’s DD 101 to help your legislators understand what services and supports are used by people with I/DD, which agencies provide the services and how they are paid for. The data is provided by the Developmental Disabilities Administration.

Click here to download/print the 2020 DD 101.

 

 

YOUR FEEDBACK after attending each Advocacy Day is very important to us!

  

Please fill out our easy-to-use feedback form, just click the smiley faces!

 

 

 

 

 

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