A History of Budget and Policy Advocacy

Legislative Milestones of The Arc's Advocates

The Arc has compiled a booklet with the history of legislation in our state. Click here to view the booklet.

A history of advocacy successes since 2003 - Can your voice really make a difference?  Here are some results in legislation of people just like you who made their voices heard:

  • SB 5473 (2003) Law enforcement training on developmental disabilities and mental illness.

  • HB 1222 (2004) Voter accessibility

  • HB 2663 (2004) & HB 1835 (2009) Respectful language

  • HB 1791 (2005) Developmental Disabilities Land Trust (Dan Thompson Memorial Trust)

  • SB 5311 (2005) Creates the Caring for Individuals with Autism Task Force

  • HB 1711 (2005) Accessible parking

  • HB 1107 (2006) Requires all school districts to provide early intervention services

  • SB 5467 (2007) Creates the Individual and Family Services program for respite and other services (in memory of Lance Morehouse Jr.)

  • HB 1050 (2007) Students graduating with their class and continuing their transition program (Kevin’s Law)

  • SB 6448 (2008) Children’s Intensive In-home Behavior Supports program

  • SB 6313 (2008) Disability history in schools

  • HB 2078 (2009) Creates developmental disability screening tool and training program for jail/corrections staff

  • HB 2490 (2010) Changes “mental retardation” to “intellectual disability” in state language.

  • SB 5459 (2011) Close two RHCs and use savings to provide crisis services in the community.

  • SB 6384 (2012) Employment first, Community Access program option after nine months of no progress in an employment.


Highlights of the Don't Cut Our Lifeline Rally and Candlelight Vigil on November 28, 2011:

Close to a thousand self advocates, parents and providers showed up to peacefully protest the proposed cuts to Medicaid services and to show support for a revenue package.

There was moving testimony from a wide variety of speakers; self advocates sharing their fears of cuts to medication and personal care, parents pouring out their need for respite and other waiver services so that they can continue caring for their child at home and not have to resort to out-of-home placement; providers sharing how low wages are already and that proposed cuts would leave home care providers making less than minimum wage, that cutting hours or eliminating services would put many people with disabilities out of work or leave them homeless and providers who would lose their jobs with no clients to care for.

Watch the Olympia Insider video of the events by clicking here.

Disability Rights Washington photographed a number of advocates at the rally and has posted them on a Facebook page or check out our Shutterfly album.