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The Arc of Whatcom County


June 2014

P2P Family BBQ
Out of the Ashes
Respite Input
$1 Movies
Services Update







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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Happy Summer! Hope you are enjoying the warm weather and sunny skies!


The Arc's Parent Coalition Summer newsletter is heading out of our office today and will be in your mailbox soon. For an electronic copy, click here.


Also below are several new items brought to our attention this week. If you have had issues with respite care, please see below on how to get involved and make a difference in legislation. Your input is also needed on Individual & Family Services. Many changes are happening...this is a great time to make your voice heard.


As always, please don't hesitate to contact us if you are struggling finding supports, services, etc. We understand that navigating the education / employment / healthcare / housing systems can be difficult at times, and we are here to help. If we can't provide the answers, we will do our best to find the appropriate contact or agency to do so.        


Thank you...and enjoy the sun! 


The Arc of Whatcom County 


Join Parent to Parent for a summer
family barbeque this weekend!
Saturday, June 28
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Bloedel Donovan Park

For more information, contact P2P: 255-2056 or




Celebrate summer with great music & fun friends!

Every Tuesday, 4-6pm

Boundary Bay Brewery (Garden)

1107 Railroad Avenue, Bellingham


Come listen to live music for free! Jon Dalgarn is the owner and facilitator of Out of the Ashes, an interactive music program for people of all abilities. Jon currently works with 50+ members who perform together weekly in a variety of community venues. Whether at a coffee house, street fair or in their weekly groups, members and audience alike join in the fun by playing any of the many percussive instruments provided. This interactive live music program is enjoyed, and acclaimed, by everyone who attends. For more information go to 


A major fan of live music, you will almost always find Dominic rocking out right in front of the band. Mighty Max joined him that afternoon and they had a blast together! Come join the fun!



Audrey Adams is a mother of a 29 year old with autism. Like many of us, she's had plenty of "bumps" with the respite system. She decided to step forward and change the system. Please see below.




SEIU 775, the Training Partnership (TP) and the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) are working on fixing the problems, but they need to hear our perspectives. SEIU has asked me to get input from other parents who have sons/daughters with developmental disabilities AND respite providers about what we need to make the system work for us. They especially need to hear from those who have had significant challenges with the respite provider certification and training system.


PLEASE SEND ME YOUR "TOP FIVE" respite provider issues, complaints and/or suggestions.


What is wrong, in your opinion, with the training system now?  What can we, as parents, suggest to make it better within the current law?  What do we want the SEIU, TP and DDA to do to fix the errors of 2013?  What can be done to get the lost respite providers back?  Now is the time to flood me with your stories and opinions. 


Direct input from respite providers who have had difficult challenges with the system is also needed.  Could you ask your respite providers (or former respite providers) to write down their issues as well?  What does the system need to do for them---present and future? 


A think-tank planning meeting will be held in Seattle in mid-July and SEIU has asked me to invite 6 parents who have sons/daughters with developmental disabilities and 6 respite providers to attend this meeting so that SEIU and the Training Partnership can better understand our concerns and "to begin to creatively solve some of the issues moving forward".


PLEASE CALL ME if you would like to be part of the 5-hour think-tank meeting at SEIU on respite.


We're looking for problem-solvers who are experienced with "the good, the bad and the ugly" of the respite system.  If there is interest, SEIU may plan other short meetings after this one that might be easier to attend.  The organizers are open to "creative attendance" to this planning meeting.  We can talk about this if/when you call me.


Audrey Adams





Family fun movies are playing on Tuesdays & Wednesdays for the summertime!


Admission to these movies during the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets must be purchased at the theater and all movies start at 10:00 am. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute. For the list of movies and schedule, click here.


Our state is facing a number of big systems changes, one of which is the conversion of the Individual & Family Services (IFS) program to a Home & Community-Based Services waiver.

The upcoming change, while good in terms of being able to serve more families, also comes with a new set of rules and some uncertainty as the state sorts through how to convert the program without drastically altering the parts that are working well for families.  


To Request IFS

If your son/daughter is on the No Paid Services (NPS) Caseload, call the NPS number nearest you (see below). Leave a message with your son/daughter's name. Ask for an assessment to enroll in IFS.


If your son/daughter receives SSI, and the idea of an unrestricted cash benefit would better meet his/her immediate needs, ask to be assessed for SSP. You can request enrollment in either program, but SSP has no wait list.


No Paid Services toll-free Numbers
Region 1: (Spokane) 800-319-7116; (Yakima) 866-715-3646
Region 2 (Seattle) 800-974-4428: (Everett) 800-567-5582
Region 3: (Tacoma) 800-735-6740; (Olympia) 888-707-1202


If your son/daughter is not on the NPS caseload, but you want to apply for the IFS waiver, call your local DDA office and let them know that you would like an assessment for DDA eligibility.  Once you are assessed, you can ask to be placed on the IFS wait list.  


Your Input is Wanted

The IFS stakeholder workgroup is continuing to meet and provide recommendations on the new IFS waiver. Please send your thoughts and ideas about the new IFS waiver program to Ed Holen