King County remembers Sue Ammeter

“Sue was strong, she was fierce, but she also didn’t direct attention to herself and her efforts,” said Karla Lynch, Employment and Community Access Program Manager with the Department of Community and Human Services. “When I think about her energy and her effort, it really was to improve the lives of all people with disabilities.”

While at King County Sue Ammeter worked as a Disability Services Specialist. She understood how disabilities could impact people’s lives, as she was blind herself. Her impact in the areas of civil rights, disability accommodations, and employee training reaches far and wide. She served on the President’s Committee where she worked to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act to make equal opportunity a reality for all Americans with disabilities. She worked with the American Cancer Society to create accessible materials in braille, large print, and audio formats, and she completed a structured negotiation with Walmart to become the first in the United States to provide talking prescription labels to blind pharmacy customers.

“Just like her positions she held elsewhere, her King County role was just as broad and deep in terms of helping agencies find solutions,” said Karla. “Sue did a lot of work in the community. This was her job yes, but she also devoted her time and energy to various boards and commissions.”

“If I had to capture Sue’s advocacy efforts and her work in one phrase it would be ‘leveling the playing field for all peoples with disabilities,’” said Karla. “That’s the essence of who she was I think.”

For more than 40 years, Sue worked tirelessly to advance civil rights and equal opportunity for people with disabilities, both in Washington State and across the country.

“She passed away in April of this year and her impacts are still being felt,” said Karla. “As I think back to our time together when we worked together directly every day, she did inspire me. She helped me to define what was important in terms of personal values and principles in terms of my work.”

Sue passed on Saturday, April 7, due to complications from prior medical issues. She is survived by her husband John, parents Don and Delores Anderson, sister Judy, brother Jeff, and all those her life has impacted.

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