Helping employees get back to work 

King County’s Return-to-Work (RTW) Program assists employees who have been injured or ill transition back into the workforce, a program that benefits both employees and the County. “This year I’m looking to place two employees with temporary medical restrictions in Renton with the Elections team during their upcoming busy election schedule,” said Jamie Christensen, Disability Services Consultant with King County’s Disability Services, Leaves and Supported Employment section in the Department of Human Resources. “If I can find employees for departments requesting transitional duty workers, then that’s interviews that departments don’t need to… Read More

The many ways to vote in King County 

King County Elections makes it simple and convenient for voters throughout the county to make their voice heard. In addition to offering prepaid postage, Elections also provides accessible voting centers and an online ballot marking program for people who need assistance completing their ballot. The accessible voting centers are operated by trained staff and have special equipment available to help voters with disabilities cast a private, independent ballot. The equipment is a special machine called an Accessible Voting Unit (AVU). It has a touch screen and audio ballots to accommodate voters. These centers guarantee all King County voters… Read More

Supported Employment Program recognized at Governor’s Employer Award Program  

King County’s Supported Employment Program was nominated for the Employment and Disability Issue Governor Awards for 2018 Public Sector Employer of the Year.  The awards ceremony was held at the Microsoft Conference Center on Wednesday, October 17. The program was recognized by the Washington State Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment (GCDE) for the efforts of public employers (federal, state, local government) and their efforts to recruit, hire and advance the employment of individuals with disabilities. Although King County did not win the award, (hats off to the City of Bellevue) this was a great opportunity to not only… Read More

Get to know 2018 Giving Drive nonprofits – Spotlight on organizations serving people with a disability

Each year King County employees help hundreds of nonprofit organizations do vital work in our community and around the world by donating through the Employee Giving Program, and this year’s Annual Giving Drive is now underway. As we recognize Disability Awareness Month this October, here are four participating nonprofits whose work helps people with disabilities in our community: The Arc of King County(9233) – Serving individuals and families with intellectual and developmental disabilities through case management, peer support, leadership training, and advocacy. Alpha Supported Living Service(9033) – Providing 24/7 support for people with developmental and… Read More

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

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

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

Parks employee competes in 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

Rama ‘RJT’ Tall has been a King County employee since 1990 as a Parks Specialist with the Department of Natural Resources and Parks. He is also one of the employee athletes who represented the State of Washington during the Seattle- and King County-hosted 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. Like Metro’s Jonathan Leckband, featured in Employee News leading up to the games, RJT competed on the soccer field. He and his manager, Parks District Maintenance Coordinator Gary Brown, shared some of RJT’s story before the games began. “I’ve been playing soccer since 1987,”… Read More