Support for people with developmental disabilities becomes law

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed HB 1980 into law to allow Developmental Disabilities Administration clients to participate in both employment services and community access services. The bill, introduced by state Rep. Jamila Taylor, D-Federal Way, ends the practice of making clients to choose one service at the expense of the other.

“There’s no reason people with developmental disabilities should be barred from accessing the services and support they need to thrive,” Taylor said. “Everyone should have the opportunity to pursue a job while engaging meaningfully in their community. This bill becoming law is a critical step towards providing a better quality of life for all Washington state residents.”

HB 1980 received unanimous support in both chambers of the Legislature.

Taylor also steered passage of HB 2008, which she introduced to eliminate the use of IQ scores in determining whether individuals with developmental disabilities are eligible for certain programs and services. She hopes to see this bipartisan bill swiftly signed into law as well.

“IQ tests are outdated and antiquated. They’re a shameful holdover of a bygone era that don’t accurately reflect what level of support someone may need,” said Taylor. “It’s beyond time to put this arbitrary standard behind us.”

Taylor also led a coordinated, bipartisan effort to secure developmental disability-related funding to provide school-to-work transition services, expand supportive housing options, boost rates for community engagement providers, increase efforts to address racial and ethnic disparities impacting access to services, and expand benefits planning training for attorneys and other professionals to help individuals keep their public benefits while working.