Council Projects

Young disability advocates rally on the capitol campus, holding signs.

Equal Partners Interstate Congress (EPIC)

Equal Partners Interstate Congress (EPIC) represents the collaboration of disability civil rights organizations in Idaho, Alaska, Wyoming and Nevada.

The goal of EPIC is to establish a regional system of technical assistance, communication and information sharing, strengthen the individual self advocacy/civil rights organizations and create a functioning DD Network partner representing the self advocacy/civil rights movement in the defined region. EPIC addresses the individual challenges in grassroots advocacy experienced by each state while creating a strong unified regional voice in interstate national and international issues.

Highlights include:

  • Building a stronger foundation for the self advocacy/civil rights organizations in the region.
  • Reaching out to youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities and recruit them to participate in the self-advocacy/civil rights movement.
  • Connecting individuals and communities from across the state, especially in the more remote areas, to self-advocacy meetings, events and other activities using technology.
  • Creating a network of communication sharing between self-advocacy/civil rights organizations within a given state.

Advocacy Day crowd inside auditorium.

Advocacy Partnership Project

The Advocacy Partnership Project supports advocacy efforts that provide opportunities for self-advocates, family members, and other advocates to effectively participate in advocacy efforts, especially during the legislative session.

Highlights include:

  • Conducting Advocacy Day each week during session.
  • Contacting 90% of legislators/policy makers on a weekly basis to inform them about issues important to people with developmental disabilities.
  • Monitoring legislation important to people with developmental disabilities.
  • Distributing information to people with developmental disabilities and their families
  • Podcasts to inform people with developmental disabilities and their families about legislative issues, needs and the process.

Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL)

The Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL) project brings self-advocates together to identify the issues that are important to them and to take leadership roles in developing their own legislative agenda and policy that improves quality of life for people with developmental disabilities.

Highlights include:

  • A peer mentor program. Mentors help at least one new member attend meetings and share information with his/her local self-advocacy group.
  • Educating people with developmental disabilities about legislative advocacy.
  • Statewide advocacy coordination.
  • Coordination amongst other self-advocacy groups occurs to strengthen advocacy efforts.
  • Rapid Response Team – The rapid response team is able to make decisions and act within a limited time frame and allows self-advocacy leaders to participate equally in the public policy arena.
  • Documentary – The scope of work of the contract has recently been amended to allow for the initial production of a documentary titled, “Where’s the bus?”

Latinx families pose for selfie on capitol campus.

Local Leadership

The local leadership project trains and supports individuals in leadership skills and systems advocacy about people with developmental disabilities and their families. The project prepares participants to get involved in advocacy at the local, state and federal level.

Highlights include:

  • Six 1 ½ day workshops that include: civil rights movement/history, government systems, community systems, skill building, self-determination training, systems advocacy and developing and implementing community projects.
  • A legislative weekend in which participants experience a legislative hearing from both a legislator’s and advocate’s point of view.
  • Local leadership projects are currently being funded in Snohomish/King Counties, Tri-Cities, Pierce County, and Skagit/Clark County, Yakima County, Whatcom/Island Counties.

Young disability advocates smiling and laughing inside captiol building.

Self Advocacy Project

The self-advocacy project trains and educates self-advocates throughout the state and supports the goal of independence, productivity, self-determination, and integration into the community.

Highlights include:

  • Training in self-determination and inclusion (Reaching my own Greatness, Mixed Voices, or Believing is Achieving curricula). Training is for both self-advocates and case managers and community members.
  • Ongoing support of local People First Chapters including technical assistance, the staffing of a 1-800 number and training and information on emerging issues.
    Training in Healthy for Life curriculum.
  • An isolation study is being conducted in coordination with the WA state DDC.

Attendees at a disability briefing raise hands in the air.

Community of Practice

In an effort to focus on the needs of families who are the primary caregivers for their family member with an intellectual/developmental disability, the Developmental Disabilities Council and the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Administration applied for and received a five-year Community of Practice grant to explore different ways of supporting families across the lifespan of the individual.

Goals of Community of Practice in Washington State:

  • Develop effective and proactive strategies to address the needs of aging caregivers supporting family members.
  • Establish an adult sibling support network.
  • Educate parents with IDD about parenting support services offered in the Individual and Family Support Waiver and make parents aware of the rights they have in the foster care system and the courts.
  • Explore issues related to autonomy and self-determination for adults with IDD living with family.
  • Improve the experience that individuals and families have with the first point of contact with DDA.

Learn more about Community of Practice in Washington State.

Informing Families

Informing Families is a resource provided by the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council, in collaboration with the Developmental Disabilities Administration and other partners throughout the state. Informing Families provides trusted news and information to individuals and families that empowers them to be active participants in planning and building a network of support and opportunities.

The Informing Families advisory committee is composed of family members and representatives of DDA and other agencies who ensure that all forms of communications are relevant to the needs and interests of individuals and families—not just today, but into tomorrow, by offering tools and tips on planning for the future.

Informing Families is growing, reaching out to more and more families through social media, e-news, videos, and a large library of original content.

Read the 2018 Informing Families Progress Report.

Woman with disabilies and support person reading over materials at a briefing.

National Core Indicators

The National Core Indicators is a voluntary effort by public developmental disabilities agencies to track their own performance. It is a combined effort of the Human Services Research Institute and The National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services.

Core indicators measure important outcomes in the areas of employment, rights, service planning, community inclusion, choice, and health and safety.

Core Indicator Review Panel Reports are used by the Council, the Division of Developmental Disabilities and advocates to identify and prioritize changes that can be implemented to improve the quality of services and supports provided by the Division. Recent years’ Core Indicator Review Panels’ reports are available for download here:

2012: Multi-System Multi-Year Survey
2011: Child Family Survey

Learn more about National Core Indicators:

DDC 2021