Monday, June 18, 2012

Who will represent YOUR voice

In November 2012 there will be many changes in our state government.
We will be electing a new Governor as well as people in many other positions,
both in Congress and here in our state.
They want to hear from you as they form their campaign platforms.
 You need to hear from them so that you can be informed when you vote!

The Arc of Washington State has added information on our web site to help you
as you decide who best represents your voice.
We are distributing a questionnaire to the candidates asking for their perspective
and plan of action, if elected, on issues that are important to people with
intellectual and developmental disabilities. We will post their responses with their
name and contact information on our site as we receive their replies.
Be sure to check back often!

To view information on statewide offices including Governor, Lt. Governor,
 Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Attorney General,
Commissioner of Public Lands, Superintendent of Public Instruction,
Insurance Commissioner as well as open Congressional seats go to:

For information on candidates for the Washington State Legislature (by district) go to:

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.
Remember, Change is made by those who show up!

Diana Stadden
Policy and Advocacy Coordinator
The Arc of Washington State
Toll-free: (888) 754-8798


Thursday, June 7, 2012

U.S. Department of Education Issues Resource Document that Discourages Restraint and Seclusion

U.S. Department of Education Issues Resource Document that Discourages Restraint and Seclusion Today, the U.S. Department of Education issued a publication that outlines principles for educators, parents and other stakeholders to consider when developing or refining policies and procedures to support positive behavioral interventions and avoid the use of restraint and seclusion. The goal of this resource document is to help ensure that schools are safe and healthy environments where all students can learn, develop and participate in instructional programs that promote high levels of academic achievement. “As education leaders, our first responsibility must be to make sure that schools foster learning in a safe environment for all of our children and teachers,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “I believe this document is an important step toward this goal. I also want to salute leaders in Congress for their vigilance on this issue.” The 15 principles that frame the document ultimately highlight how schoolwide behavioral interventions can significantly reduce or eliminate the use of restraint or seclusion. These guiding principles offer states, districts and other education leaders a framework for developing appropriate policies related to restraint and seclusion to ensure the safety of adults and children. “Ultimately, the standard for educators should be the same standard that parents use for their own children,” Duncan added. “There is a difference between a brief time out in the corner of a classroom to help a child calm down and locking a child in an isolated room for hours. This really comes down to common sense.” The document also provides a synopsis of ongoing efforts by federal agencies to address national concerns about using restraint and seclusion in schools, and includes links to state restraint and seclusion policies and procedures. To access this document, click here

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Administration for Community Living at the National Level


April 16, 2012

Contact: HHS Press Office

(202) 690-6343
A Statement from Secretary Sebelius on the Administration for Community Living

All Americans - including people with disabilities and seniors - should be able to live at home with the supports they need, participating in communities that value their contributions - rather than in nursing homes or other institutions.

The Obama administration and my department have long been committed to promoting community living and finding new mechanisms to help ensure that the supports people with disabilities and seniors need to live in the community are accessible.

Today, with the creation of the new Administration for Community Living (ACL), we are reinforcing this commitment by bringing together key HHS organizations and offices dedicated to improving the lives of those with functional needs into one coordinated, focused and stronger entity.

The Administration for Community Living will bring together the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities into a single agency that supports both cross-cutting initiatives and efforts focused on the unique needs of individual groups, such as children with developmental disabilities or seniors with dementia. This new agency will work on increasing access to community supports and achieving full community participation for people with disabilities and seniors.

The Administration on Community Living will seek to enhance and improve the broad range of supports that individuals may need to live with respect and dignity as full members of their communities. These support needs go well beyond health care and include the availability of appropriate housing, employment, education, meaningful relationships and social participation.

Building on President Obama's Year of Community Living, the ACL will pursue improved opportunities for older Americans and people with disabilities to enjoy the fullest inclusion in the life of our nation.

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bills of Interest and Governors budget proposal 2012

1/17/2012 Bills of Interest
2012 Governor Gregoire Supplemental Budget Proposal
While Legislators are working to develop a supplemental operating budget to address the budget deficit, there has been very little information about what the proposed budgets might include that would affect people with developmental disabilities and their families. The next Revenue Forecast is scheduled to be delivered on February 16, 2012. In recent years, proposed legislative budgets have been released after the most recent revenue forecast. We will keep you updated as we receive more information.

There are several bills working their way through the process and I have attached a bill list from The Arc of Washington to this email. The Arc of Washington office in Olympia is still without power so they have not been able to update this list since last week. To look up the full text of these bills please visit: click on bill search and type in the bill number.

A couple additional bills not listed that you might be interested in are as follows:

HB 2581 – services to people with developmental disabilities transitioning from an RHC to Community Settings.

SB 6384 – ensures persons with developmental disabilities be given the opportunity to transition to a community access program after enrollment in an employment program for 9 months.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Our Economic Future Coalition

We urge Governor Gregoire and the Washington State Legislature to show leadership in the effort to create jobs and rebuild a strong economy. In these tough times, we need to stand together as a state and invest in the public services that are key to our future prosperity and the quality of life in our communities.

In the wake of over $10 billion in cuts to community services during the past three years, an additional $2 billion in cuts would be devastating to our families and our communities.

Proposed cuts threaten to take access to health care away from 55,000 more people, eliminate care for 1,600 seniors and people with developmental disabilities, undermine our children’s education, and make college and job training inaccessible. These cuts disproportionately impact communities of color, immigrants and refugees and would worsen inequalities along race, gender, national origin, and income lines.

An all-cuts approach is the wrong direction for our communities. Instead, we urge lawmakers to take a balanced approach to solving our budget challenges. This includes protecting public health, public safety, working families and our children’s future. By investing in our future prosperity we can promote equal opportunity and a good quality of life for all. We ask lawmakers to work together so we can emerge from this recession with our communities intact and our economy poised to create good paying jobs.

As lawmakers consider the latest round of drastic and devastating cuts, the following actions should be taken:

• Raise revenue to address the immediate shortfall and prevent deeper cuts to essential services.
• Reform our tax structure to one that is more equitable and no longer places a disproportionate burden on those who earn the least.
• Pass an excise tax on stock profits and other capital gains to provide the revenues needed to invest in long-term job growth.
• Make sure tax breaks for businesses get the same level of accountability and scrutiny as all other spending in the budget so the public can evaluate whether they create jobs or not.

If the Legislature cannot meet the two-thirds majority requirement in place for raising some types of revenue, we support the Legislature sending a revenue referendum to the ballot, which can be passed by a simple majority vote in both houses

We oppose all efforts to use the recession as an excuse to weaken or overturn laws that protect workers, our communities, and the environment.

We call on our elected officials in Olympia to join with us in reaching a moral, responsible and balanced solution to support the vital public services that make Washington a great place to live and work.

For More Information go to:
Or email:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Proposed Budget Reductions that impact individuals with developmental disabilities

Below are three documents that show proposed buget cuts that will impact individuals with developmental disabilities:
Impact of Great Recession and Further Budget Reduction Options
Susan N. Dreyfus, Secretary
Department of Social and Health Services
September/October 2011
HRSA Supplemental Budget Package
2011 Supplemental Budget Comparisons for Programs/Services for People with Developmental Disabilities
DSHS-ADSA Ten Percent Budget Options Summary
Ten Percent Reduction Exercis Stakeholder Discussion
September 28, 2011
WASHINGTON STATE’S Department of Social and Health Services—Aging and Disability Services Admin

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Community Transit Cuts

Board Selects Hybrid Service Alternative
Plan to cut 20 percent of service in 2012 has most commuter routing remaining same, new local routing planned

Snohomish County, Wash. – In 2012, Community Transit’s commuter service will maintain much of its current routing with fewer trips, while local service will be restructured to serve higher ridership corridors. This afternoon, the agency’s Board of Directors voted 6-3 to approve a plan to cut Community Transit bus service 20 percent effective Feb. 20, 2012.

After a summer-long public comment process that included reviews of four proposed service plans, the board chose the so-called Hybrid Alternative, which combines the commuter routing proposed in Alternative I with the local routing of Alternative III, with some modifications. The board did not restore service on Sundays or major holidays.

Snohomish County Councilmember Dave Gossett, Lynnwood Councilmember Ted Hikel, Mountlake Terrace Mayor Jerry Smith, Snohomish County Councilmember Dave Somers, Mill Creek Mayor Mike Todd and Stanwood Mayor Dianne White voted in favor of the plan. It was opposed by Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine, Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring and Gold Bar City Councilmember Steve Slawson.

Descriptions of the plan are available on the agency’s website, and the agency’s blog.

This fall, Community Transit will develop maps and schedules for each of the routes and will launch a public education effort early in 2012. While no specific trip times are available yet, what is known is there will be fewer trips on almost every route, bus frequency will be decreased and the buses will end service between 10 and 11 p.m. on weekdays. Currently the last weekday route finishes at about 1 a.m.

“It’s never easy to cut service because of the impacts on so many lives,” Gossett said. “We listened to the public’s input on this issue, and that guided our decision.”

The board looked at four alternatives – three that were presented to the public in June, and the Hybrid Alternative that was developed at the board’s direction after the initial public comment period on the original three alternatives closed in mid-July.

With the decision, Community Transit will cut about 20 percent of its service starting Feb. 20, 2012. The agency will save about $12 million with the service reductions. The number of jobs that will be eliminated has yet to be determined.

The service cuts are necessary because Community Transit’s sales tax revenue has fallen by more than 20 percent from the level it received in 2007, the last pre-recession year. Meanwhile, operating expenses such as fuel, supplies and labor costs have continued rise.