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The Arc of Whatcom County

Parent Coalition E-alert

February 2013

Legislative Advocacy
Waiting for Services
Upcoming Legislation







Sen. Maria Cantwell



Sen. Patty Murray



1st District

Rep. Suzan Delbene 

(202) 225-6311

2nd District

Rep. Rick Larsen



42nd District


Sen. Doug Ericksen



Rep. Vincent Buys



Rep. Jason Overstreet



40th District


Sen. Kevin Ranker



Rep. Kristine Lytton



Rep. Jeff Morris



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There are two important workshops coming up in the next two weeks. Please mark your calendars, and do your best to participate. We need YOUR help to continue advocating for individuals with developmental disabilities.


Please share these workshop notices with your friends, colleagues and other interested community members.


As always, please contact The Arc's Parent Coalition Coordinator, Monica Burke: 360-715-0170, ext 303, if you need any help or support for your family.


Thank you.

Knowledge is Power!
6-8pm, Tuesday, February 19
The Arc's Dan Godwin Community Center
2602 McLeod Road, Bellingham
RSVP: 715-0170 ext 303,
The state legislative session is underway and there are many issues relevant to developmental disabilities that may be debated. These include the budget and overall funding for programs like Medicaid and Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), as well as specific bills that directly impact individuals with disabilities and their families.
Please come and learn about these critical issues and how you can quickly and effectively make your voice heard. Additionally, we will be recording video messages to our elected officials if you wish to participate. This is a powerful and easy way to share your story!
A few of the legislative issues being discussed are:
  • Parent Notification of Use of Restraints: Would notify parents of the use of restraints in the Public Schools. This bill does not address how or when restraints would be used in public schools, only reporting requirements and that parents should be notified when restraints are used on their child. 
  • School to Work Transition: Directs government agencies to coordinate services and collect data about students with disabilities age 14 years through graduation. 
  • No Paid Services: Addresses the need for respite among people on the No Paid Services Caseload by adding thousands of people per year to the Individual and Family Services program within the DDD. (Below is more information on this critical issue.)
  • Abuse and Neglect: Addresses the need for DSHS to investigate reports of abuse and neglect of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
To make our workshops more accessible for families, we are now providing care for family members during the workshop. If you need this service, please RSVP by Friday, February 15th so we can ensure adequate care. Thank you.    
Navigating the Future: Possibilities and Resources while "Waiting for Services" from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)
  • Are you a family member or guardian of a person with developmental disabilities?
  • Are you eligible but not receiving services?
  • Are you confused about what services you might receive and how to make that happen?

If so, the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council, the Whatcom County DD Program and The Arc of Whatcom County invite you to a workshop to learn how to be proactive in planning for future needs and strategic about assistance that you request from DDD.


2-4pm, February 25, 2013
St. Luke's Community Health Education Center
3333 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham
For more information, contact Beverly:
360-715-0170, ext 306,

 At this workshop, participants will:

  • Connect with other families facing similar challenges
  • Learn alternative ways to access services via employment
  • Identify tips that will increase DDD's responsiveness to requests for services
  • Develop an action plan to increase the visibility and voice for those who still are waiting for services
Action Needed for Senate Health Care Committee
SB 5358 No Paid Services Caseload
Senate Bill 5358 had a hearing in the Senate Health Care Committee this week. Some advocates attended the hearing, now it is your turn to act!
SB 5358 asks that the legislature start to do something for the more than 15,000 people who are signed up with and are qualified for services through the Developmental Disabilities Service System (previously called the Division of Developmental Disabilities).
SB 5358 asks that DD services be added to the State's Caseload Forecasting Council so that legislators will know how many people are eligible for DD services each year. It also seeks to begin serving SOME of the families on the No Paid Services (NPS) caseload by providing them with services through the Individual and Family Services program (giving them some respite and other services). Additionally, it would bring back the case managers for the NPS caseload which were cut in the previous budget. To learn more about the bill, click HERE.  
If this issue is important to you, please contact members of the Senate Health Care Committee and share your support.