According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2019 there were 1,296,016 adults in Washington with a disability, amounting to one in five adults.
There are several government entities in Washington that address issues relating to disabilities. The Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, housed within the Employment Security Department, advises the Governor, Legislature, and state agencies on policies that affect people with disabilities. It also provides training and technical assistance to the business community to promote employment opportunities and awareness of disability issues. The Joint Legislative Executive Committee on Aging and Disability was established in the 2013 Operating Budget with the purpose of identifying key strategic actions to prepare for the aging of the population in Washington. Membership of this committee is composed of legislators and non-legislative members. In addition, the Developmental Disabilities Council (Council) was established in 1976 through the Governor's Executive Order after the enactment of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act which provided federal funding to states to establish and maintain a State Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Council advocates for equitable policies, programs, and practices that benefit people with developmental disabilities and their families.
Any statutorily created or statutorily mandated task force, work group, advisory committee, or other entity created in or mandated by statute that is tasked with examining policies and issues related directly and tangibly to people with disabilities must meet the following membership requirements:
The membership requirements do not apply to legislative select committees or other statutorily created or statutorily mandated entity composed of only legislative members. The Statute Law Committee must include these membership requirements in any published bill drafting guide.
The Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate must, in consultation with the Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council, and the Office of Equity, hold forums and identify:
By December 1, 2022, the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate must submit a report to the Legislature and legislative staff that details the findings from the forums.
The Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate must ensure that any relevant training material or guidance provided to legislators or legislative staff: