The Arc of Whatcom County Parent Coalition E-Alert
November 2010
Parent Coalition

Make your voice heard!
Candelight Vigil, Nov. 17, 2010

The Arc of Washington State is partnering with other Human Services groups, to let Governor Gregoire know the cuts she proposes  simply cannot happen.

Candlelight Vigil on the Capitol Campus
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Time: 4 - 6pm

Where: Legislative Building, facing the library/sundial.
416 Sid Snyder Ave SW
Olympia, WA, 98504

Dress warm!  
Candles will be provided!

Visit facebook to see the event hosted by the Arc's facebook page (Hosted by WA State Arc):  here

The documents showing all the cuts are on the OFM web site 

The two agencies we are monitoring are:

To see a full list of the cuts that affect individuals with developmental disabilities and their families along with helpful descriptions of the effects of the cuts, please visit the page on our website devoted to DDD and Medicaid budget cuts.

Hosted by the Parent Coalition

The Parent Coalition of the Arc of Whatcom County, would like to invite you to their Legislative Coffee, an event which provides community members the opportunity to meet their legislators face to face!

The Legislative Coffee will take place on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 from 9:30AM until 12PM at The Arc's Dan Godwin Community Center, located at 2602 McLeod Road.

At 9:30AM we are providing an informational forum and guided discussion prior to the coffee. The material covered will be helpful for individuals who have busy lives and less time to devote to personal advocacy, who want to make the most of this legislative coffee.

Space is limited, so please call (360) 715 - 0170 X 306 to confirm your spot.

Your voice is needed!


The Social Security Administration (SSA) has published proposed regulations to change the mental impairments "listings".


These are the criteria used to help determine whether an individual with intellectual disability, mental illness, autism, Alzheimer's, traumatic brain injury, or other cognitive or mental disorders is disabled for purposes of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program or the Social Security disability programs.


The Arc and UCP have carefully reviewed these regulations and believe they make a number of significant improvements for people with disabilities. We are finalizing our comments and urge that you comment directly to SSA on the following key points:


1. Terminology. Thank SSA for proposing a transition to using the term "intellectual disability" and urge SSA to drop the use of the term "mental retardation" altogether with clear instructions that the terms have the same meaning and cover the same people.

2. Diagnosis. Urge SSA to ensure that decision-makers respect the valid diagnosis of intellectual disability made by professionals and do not allow them to dismiss a valid diagnosis based on their own limited observations.

3. Infants and toddlers. Support SSA's proposed new listing for Developmental Disorders of Infants and Toddlers to evaluate developmental disorders for children from birth to age three.

4. Measures of functional ability. Urge SSA to eliminate the reference to the use of standardized tests for measuring the functional abilities of people with mental impairments, as related to the "paragraph B" criteria of the regulations, until such time as tests have been developed, assessed, and found to truly measure the areas of function that are under consideration.


Take Action

Please submit your comments online by the deadline of Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 11:59 PM eastern standard time here



Thank you in advance for your advocacy efforts.


Work with local law enforcement to benefit children in need during the holidays

Project Santa Claus is an annual Whatcom County program which has grown from serving only 10 families, to serving over 300! During Project Santa Claus, local law enforcement officers, firefighters, and search and rescue members unite to gather and distribute food, toys, clothing and other necessities to families who are truly in need.


The tremendous success of this program is due to the generosity of all the members of this community who selflessly donate each year. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2009, Project Santa Claus is revamped for 2010! In addition to using donated goods, children now buddy up with local Sheriff Officers, firefighters and volunteers at K-mart to help find the perfect clothes and toys for those children in need.


For more information, please use the following resources: 



Phone (Sheriff's Office):360.676.6650                   

E-mail address:


The Parent Coalition of the Arc of Whatcom County provides information and education to individuals with developmental disabilities, their caregivers, families and the community by responding to requests for assistance. We provide 1:1 support and serve as a resource to increase understanding of the developmental disability service system and special education system.


For information and assistance, contact Beverly Porter, Parent Coalition Coordinator at (360) 715-0170, x306 or via email to

The Arc of Whatcom County provides information and referrals, educational programs, and funding for people with developmental disabilities, their families and the organizations that serve them.

This E-Alert is made possible by funding from the Whatcom County Developmental Disabilities program.


US Legislators

Sen. Maria Cantwell
Phone: (202) 224-3441

Sen. Patty Murray
Phone: (202) 224-2621

2nd District

Rep. Rick Larsen
Phone: (202) 225-2605

State Legislators

42nd District

Sen. Dale Brandland
Phone: (360) 786-7682

Rep. Kelli Linville
Phone: (360) 786-7854
Rep. Doug Ericksen
Phone: (360) 786-7980

39th District

Sen. Val Stevens
Phone: (360) 786-7676

Rep. Dan Kristiansen
Phone: (360) 786-7967

Rep. Kirk Pearson
Phone: (360) 786-7816

40th District

Sen. Kevin Ranker
Phone: (360) 786-7678

Rep. Dave Quall
Phone: (360) 428-1023

Rep. Jeff Morris
Phone: (360) 786-7970

October 2010

15 Friday
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Autism Support Meeting
The Arc's Dan Godwin Community Center
2602 McLeod Road
Contact: 715-0170 ext. 306

18 Monday
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Future Planning Workshop
St Luke's Education Center
3333 Squalicum Parkway
Contact: 715-0170 ext. 306

18 Monday
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Spin Dance
Max Higbee Center
315 Halleck Street
Contact: 778-7000

23 Saturday
10:00 a.m. - Noon
The Arc of Whatcom County Board meeting
The Arc's Dan Godwin Community Center
2602 McLeod Road
Contact: 715-0170 ext. 303

25 Monday
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Whatcom County Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board
St. Luke's Health Education Center
3333 Squalicum Parkway
Contact: 676-6724 ext. 32014

29 Friday
5:30 - 9:00 pm
Friday Fun Night
Bellingham Senior Center
315 Halleck Street
Open to all ages
Contact: 733-1828