Disability Awareness Month: Mental Health Resources

October is Disability Awareness Month. Disability includes a broad spectrum of conditions that effect physical and mental health. If you are someone who lives with a mental health diagnosis and would like additional support, there are benefits and resources available to you. On the Balanced You blog, we are highlighting mental health accommodations, mental health support through your medical plan, and an opportunity for social connection. Read more.

Accessibility for All – Web Content Guidelines

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and KCIT is taking a behind-the-scenes look at how our technology experts are improving accessibility for King County employees and residents. Roughly one in four Americans live with a disability; not just visual, but auditory, mobility, and cognitive issues. That means at least 500,000 people in King County alone need accessible technology to interact with King County information and services. KCIT’s Software Quality Assurance team requires every public-facing application and website follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, these guidelines ensure all King County websites and apps are… Read More

How did COVID-19 impact people living with disabilities?

Cross-posted from Public Health Insider The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to slow its spread brought a number of social, economic and overall health impacts for communities throughout King County. Public Health – Seattle & King County, in partnership with the Disability Empowerment Center and Lifelong Aging And Disabilities Services, interviewed and listened to local people from disability communities to shed light on how these impacts were experienced by people living with disabilities in King County. Read more.

Supporting people living with disabilities through the 2022 Annual Giving Drive 

As part of the 2022 Annual Giving Drive, we are highlighting nonprofits whose work supports people living with disabilities. These and hundreds of nonprofits are participating in this year’s Annual Giving Drive. You can go online or use a paper form by Friday, Nov. 18, to make a pledge to your favorite Employee Giving Program nonprofits by:  For more information, contact your Employee Giving Program Ambassador, visit www.kingcounty.gov/giving, email EmployeeGiving@KingCounty.gov, call 206-263-9372, or attend an online Nonprofit Expo.  

Disability Rights Washington’s Week Without Driving Challenge

The annual Disability Rights Washington’s Week Without Driving Challenge was recently held across the state, and numerous King County employees, Councilmembers, and residents participated in the event. The challenge encourages those who normally drive to spend a full week using alternative modes of transportation to experience what it’s like for non-drivers to access our community, especially those with disabilities. Read more here and watch the video below.

School-to-Work program connects students with disabilities to employers

Since 2005, the King County School-to-Work program has been partnering with businesses to hire students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, both strengthening and diversifying their workforce. The effort brings together schools, state, and employment agencies to connect students with employment services while still in their high school transition programs. “Our motto is jobs by June,” said coordinator Richard Wilson, “and the program is designed to assist students to find paid employment before leaving school.” Currently, the School-to-Work program is serving its 18th cohort of students. Throughout the years, they’ve placed students in… Read More

Elections partners with King County’s Supported Employment Program

There are 1.4 million registered voters in King County. Voter registration in the Department of Elections is an intense, customer service focused team tasked with ensuring county residents get to exercise their right to vote. Handling phone calls, emails, in-person visitors, and thousands of online registration updates keeps this team in constant motion. When Kim Streeter, a Program Supervisor for the Department of Elections, was approached by King County’s Supported Employment Program to hire staff for a pilot program, it seemed like a great fit for all parties. King County’s Supported Employment Program matches… Read More

Crawling toward equality

By Dorian Esper-Taylor Disability Equity Specialist, Office of Equity and Social Justice and Jennifer Mechem, ADA/Civil Rights Section Manager, Office of Equity and Social Justice  Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being signed into law on July 26, 1990. One of the most influential civil rights marches was not a march, it was a crawl. Part of a series of demonstrations that included all forms of mobility, the Capitol Crawl on March 12, 1990, was a key moment in the path to the Americans with Disabilities… Read More

July 26 proclaimed Americans with Disabilities Act Day

By Dow Constantine, King County Executive On the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with our work to become a pro-equity and anti-racist government, we also recognize that disability is intersectional, and that the ADA remains a crucial tool in addressing the persistent discrimination experienced by persons with disabilities.

Paving the way to disability justice: Remembering the Section 504 Sit-ins

By Dorian Esper–Taylor, ADA Disability Specialist, Office of Equity and Social Justice When we think of the life-changing civil rights movements in the U.S., the road to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is often a forgotten struggle. Historically, civil rights movements in the U.S. have begun as radical struggles. Equal rights have been earned and fought for rather than given; disability rights and the pathway to the ADA were no different. One of the early victories was the passage of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the first disability rights law… Read More