New law guarantees access to rights for people with developmental disabilities

OLYMPIA – Legislation signed into law today by Gov. Inslee codifies a wide range of rights — including privacy, personal power and choice, healthcare information, the ability to file complaints, and access to advocates — for people with developmental disabilities.

House Bill 1651, sponsored by Rep. Christine Kilduff (D-University Place), covers rights related to the broad range of services and programs for people with developmental disabilities administered by the state Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) within the Department of Social and Health Services

“People with developmental disabilities have the right to personal power and choice when relying upon critical state services,” Kilduff said. “This bill bundles those rights and elevates them to statute.”

The bill also requires DDA to inform clients of their rights when they are assessed for eligibility for DDA services.

“Some of these rights have been in place as regulations for some time, but you can’t exercise them if you don’t know about them,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), who sponsored identical legislation in the Senate. “By raising awareness of these important rights, we can help people connect with advocates who can provide the extra support they might need.”

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