School-to-Work Program changes lives 

If you ask what students with developmental disabilities need in order to achieve employment before leaving high school, what you will hear most often is “high expectations” and “work experience.” Ask what it takes for a program to make this happen for students countywide, and what you will hear is “collaboration.”  But if you ask students what it takes, it might be about supporting them to reach for their dreams. Working with Washington State’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Developmental Disabilities Administration, school districts, consultants, employment service providers, businesses, families, and over 1,500… Read More

Disability Awareness Month two part Lunch and Learn, Oct. 18 and 24 

The Department of Executive Services and Human Resources Division have cosponsored two interactive lunch and learn events that trace the rise of the Disability Rights Movement in the United States, Oct. 18 and 24. From the first stirrings after WWII, through the intersections of race, visibility of the disabled, and economics in activism, to the famous Capital Crawl, the classes will uncover the unexpected connections that led to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The event is first come first serve with seating available for up to 40 people. Please… Read More

Bridge Fellowship kicks off fourth year program with expanded group, more development opportunities 

Twenty seven employees from across King County have been selected to participate in the 2018 Bridge Fellowship Program as part of the County’s Investing In You commitment to provide leadership and development opportunities to employees. The Fellowship, open to all full-time and TLT employees, was reestablished in 2013-2014 by King County Executive Dow Constantine. The program was expanded in 2017. Bridge participants underwent a rigorous application and interview process before joining this year’s cohort. Over the course of the program, participants engage in classroom learning, group projects, presentations and career development activities, as well as interviews… Read More

Inclusive process results in more accountability and higher customer standards for Metro’s Access paratransit service 

King County Metro’s American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) Paratransit Program provides shared rides on Access Transportation for people whose disability(ies) prevent them from using fixed route bus or light rail service. Access Transportation provided nearly 1 million trips last year, serving about 10,000 customers. With the help of customers and advocates, King County Metro is scheduled to have a new contract to improve Access service beginning in August 2019. Metro first asked for contractor proposals last year; however, Access riders and other stakeholders communicated their disappointment that they were not… Read More

Disability Awareness Month: Transit Disability Services helps to provide resources for over 5,000 employees 

Sometimes it just takes a little creativity and a few good resources to make it easier for an employee to do their job. For the past two decades, a small group of Transit Disability Services staff has been coming up with ideas to help Transit workgroups accommodate employees who have a medical condition, from bus drivers to office workers. A study by the Job Accommodation Network in partnership with the West Virginia University School of Social Work, found that the majority of workplace accommodations employees need are either free or low cost. For Transit… Read More

Lourdes Garcia brings her family’s passion for helping others to DPD

Lourdes Garcia slipped out of Cuba with her family when she was 7 years old, carrying little more than the clothes she could cram into a suitcase. Her parents left behind good jobs, furnishings, a large extended family. It was hard rebuilding their lives once they landed in Seattle, said Lourdes, who today works for the county’s Department of Public Defense. But her family’s remarkable story also instilled in her the importance of helping others – in part, because of the role model of her father, a man who helped countless Cuban refugees… Read More

Taking care of ourselves and one another in a difficult time

Dear colleague, Over the last several weeks in the national media, we have seen courageous women coming forward and reporting their experiences of sexual assault. Many of us have been impacted by these reports and the media that surrounds them. I know that there are many different reactions to this news. I also want to acknowledge there are many cases of sexual assault and harassment that don’t get national attention, and many that don’t get reported out of fear and marginalization. This is especially true for members of the transgender community, Native… Read More

October is Disability Awareness Month in King County

Dear fellow King County employee, October is Disability Awareness Month in King County, a time to celebrate and recognize the many contributions of people with disabilities in our community and around the world. It’s also a time to raise awareness about challenges that people with disabilities face and look at what we can do to help them thrive and fulfill their potential. Everyone deserves a fair shot at success. We are all better off when everyone has an equitable opportunity to fully participate in our community and contribute their unique perspectives and… Read More

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… Read More

2018 Balanced You Worksite Fund recipients 

Crossposted from Balanced You The Balanced You Worksite Fund is a competitive process overseen by King County Employee Health and Well-Being in the Human Resources Division. It’s one way we’re investing in your health and well-being. In response to our first call for applications earlier this summer, we received over 100 applications totaling almost $300,000 in requests. In 2018, we plan to invest about $100,000 in over 40 projects reaching worksites throughout the County. Your interest and enthusiasm in creating positive change in our worksites was fantastic to see. Continue reading to learn more… Read More