House passes bills supporting people with developmental disabilities

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Today, the state House unanimously passed HB 1980 from Rep. Jamila Taylor, D-Federal Way, to remove the ban on Developmental Disabilities Administration clients participating in both employment services and community access services.

“Nobody should have to choose between the support they deserve to pursue a job and to engage in the community,” said Taylor. “People with developmental disabilities and their families should have access to all the resources they need to thrive.”

“HB 1980 is a critical step toward adults with developmental disabilities living full and meaningful lives in their community. This is especially important for adults in rural communities with few options for community participation,” said Darci Ladwig, a parent advocate.

“Passage of HB 1980 means that adults like my daughter will be supported to work and to participate in our community,” parent advocate Sandi Gruberg said. “I’m thrilled that Representative Taylor is addressing this important service need in our community!”

Today’s vote comes after the House passed another bill introduced by Taylor, HB 2008, last week that would eliminate the use of IQ scores in determining whether people with developmental disabilities are eligible for programs and services.

“It’s beyond time to stop using this outdated, problematic test that doesn’t accurately measure the support someone with a developmental disability may need,” Taylor added.

“HB 2008 recognizes that the barriers to eligibility for service we place on people with developmental disabilities and their families is too high. For marginalized communities of color, these barriers are compounded. Our developmentally disabled friends and loved ones already must produce a diagnosis and a clinical assessment to prove they need services,” said Emily Fung, self-advocacy coordinator at Open Doors for Multicultural Families.

“I am so pleased to see HB 2008 advance in the Legislature. This bill is so important for families who cannot get the services they need for their loved ones with developmental disabilities,” said Hodan Mohamed, Washington Multicultural Services Link founder and executive director. “I am so grateful to Representative Taylor for tackling this critical barrier.”