2016 Ms. Wheelchair Washington

2016 Ms. Wheelchair Washington
Nicole Martini


Advocating the right of children and adults with developmental disabilities to live, learn, work and play in the community! Improving the quality of life for us all!

Upcoming Events:

* Correction : The Arc of King County Parent Coalition was incorrectly identified as the King County Parent Association in January's enews letter. Please note that it should have been stated as the King County Parent Coalition.

The King County Parent Coalition is a grass roots program of The Arc of King County comprised of parents and family members who take non-partisan action to improve the lives of their family members who have developmental disabilities. This program is funded by a grant from the King County Developmental Disabilities Division.

-- February 23rd: Parent Teacher Student Association Special Needs group, Lake Washington school district
-- March 3rd: Spread the Word to End the Word day of awareness
-- Advocacy Days: January - March
-- The Learning Group takes place on Tuesdays at The Arc from 11:00am - 12:30pm to prepare for the following Advocacy Day. This group is open to all. Learning Group will be held on the following dates:
February 23 ~ March 2

Advocacy Day will take place on Wednesdays in Olympia. Registration is required for Advocacy Days. Those interested will meet at The Arc prior to travel to Olympia. Advocacy Days and the associated topics will take place on the following dates:

-- February 17 HB 2078 Report Jail/Correction
-- February 24 Independent Living Day Rally
-- March 3 Session Wrap-up
-- The Arc's Annual Living Our Legacy Awards Ceremony and Luncheon will be held at the Seattle Hyatt at Olive 8 on May 27, 2010 .

Community Living Grant (Deadline March 31, 2010):  Applications are currently being considered for the Community Living Grant. Please send your applications to The Arc of King County, Attention: Community Living Grant Program, 233 Sixth Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109 . The Arc of King County's grant committee will review each application and notify recipients by mail

For more information contact Mary Jo Magruder at mjmagruder@arcofkingcounty.org or call 206-829-7010.

Let Us Work Together to End the Use of the "R-Word"

By Patricia McNiff, Development Program Assistant at The Arc of King County

Huge momentum is underway to, once and for all, remove, from today's vernacular , one of the most offensive and derogatory terms that has been thoughtlessly attributed to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities . Advocates have decided that it is imperative now to make it clear that this word has denigrating effects against people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and is no longer acceptable to use.

Efforts are being made on many fronts to educate and encourage movement away from the derisive use of the "R-word". It is critical to raise the level of consciousness throughout, so that it is recognized by all that this word is indeed a slur, even if it is said without thinking, or true intention of offending. It must be known that whether intended or not, the use of the R-word is resoundingly hurtful to people with developmental disabilities, their families and friends.

The Respectful Language Bill, HB 2490 , is an important first step in establishing acknowledgement that ridding of the word is appropriate. This bill, currently under consideration by the Washington State Legislature, will re place the word, "mental retardation" with "intellectual disability" in all state language. Passage of the Respectful Language bill will set a precedent and show solid support for Federal Bill S.2781 , known as Rosa's Law, which would also remove the language "mental retardation" from all federal laws. Rosa's Law will signify alignment on a national level that this language should not be used.

Evangeline Abadinas, who actively advocates on behalf of herself and The Arc of King County, gave testimony on January 15th in support of the Respectful Language bill during a p ublic hearing held by the Washington State House Committee on State Government and Tribal Affairs. Abanidas urged the members of the House Committee to pass this legislation. She described how this bill will impact, not only her life, but also the lives of many, by saying, "I want you to know that to use the word retarded is not respectful. It is a word that hurts. When people call someone retarded, they are calling them a name, and that is not respectful to other people. It hurts."

In parallel efforts, The Special Olympics is a driving force behind the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, designed to empower individuals to raise the common level of awareness to the disrespectful nature of the R-word, by making a Pledge to never use the word. This is a movement that was begun by young people who wanted to make a difference in their local communities to ensure respect for all, and to draw attention to abilities, not disabilities.

A day of awareness has been named for March 3, 2010 to Spread the Word to End the Word. This day no longer remains an ordinary day; it has now become an extraordinary day. All are urged to take a moment on this day, or any day, to pledge and make a commitment to oneself to no longer tolerate the word. By doing so, an example will be set to encourage others to also refrain from using the word, thereby emphasizing respect for all.

These combined efforts, along with the dedication of every individual, will be the key to success. Education will prove pivotal to raising the level of society's consciousness to secure dignified language for all. It is from this understanding that will create motivation to refuse to use the R-word and to mandate respect for all individuals. Now is the time.

Take action today during Advocacy Days

You, too, can make a difference today. Take a moment and call your representative, write a letter, or send an email expressing your concerns regarding the developmental disabilities bills of interest that directly impact the community, and are currently being considered by the Washington State Legislature. Look up who your WA state representatives are and find out how to contact them. Another suggestion, is to thank your representative for their leadership of particular bills that are important to you during this legislative session. For legislative updates, sign up for The Arc of Washington S tate's action alerts and weekly Olympia Insider news and information to keep yourself informed on continuously evolving bill activity. We, at The Arc of King County, need your voice to be heard now!

For more information about how you can help during Advocacy Days, please visit The Arc of Washington State's Legislative Action Center . Or contact Mary Jo Magruder at mjmagruder@arcofkingcounty.org or call 206-829-7010.

For questions or comments, please contact Patricia McNiff at pmcniff@arcofkingcounty.org , or call 206-829-7001.

In Related News

The Arc of the United States recently made a public statement in response to an unfortunate circumstance, first reported in The Wall Street Journal, where Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel expressed his displeasure by using the R-word during a White House policy meeting in August. The Arc of the United States issued a press release on January 27th condemning this inappropriate remark. The casual use of this word, by a powerful government official, demonstrates its pervasiveness in today's society. Timothy Shriver, CEO of the Special Olympics, also called attention to the incident on January 26th in a letter to Rahm Emanuel , which expressed disappointment in Emanuel's poor choice, pointing out the derogatory effects the word has on many.

Mitch Freedman Joins The Arc of King County Board of Directors

The Arc of King County welcomes Mitch Freedman, who will generously serve as a member of its Board of Directors. Mitch Freedman is a financial executive with over twenty years of experience in the accounting and investment industries.

Currently, he is the Corporate President and Founding Partner of Mitch Freedman PS Inc. in Bellevue, Washington providing tax preparation, retirement & estate planning, and investment consulting services for individuals, families and businesses.

His prior career experiences include working as a staff accountant for Fluery & Company PS of Seattle in addition to serving as Assistant Vice President of Financial and Regulatory Reporting for Shearson Lehman Commercial Paper, Inc. in New York.

Mitch is involved with the Autism Society of Washington and has performed its treasury functions for the past two years. He also serves on several boards as a member of the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club.

Mitch expressed his motivation to serve as a Board Member for The Arc: As a parent of two children with special needs, our family has been on the receiving end of services that The Arc of King County dedicates itself to through its mission and vision. Therefore, I know how important The Arcs work is and Im now in a position to offer help to others. His hope is to offer expertise, insight and direction as a CPA, financial advisor, parent and friend.

Volunteer at The Arc

Are you looking for a way to spend your time helping to make a positive difference in another's life? The Arc of King County's volunteer program offers you the opportunity to do just that. It is also a great way for high school and college students to contribute in a positive way, while gaining professional work experience. Come add value to The Arc, meet new people and have some fun .

Your experience is important to us, so we will work with you to find a role that best suits your interests and abilities. There are many roles to chose from at The Arc, so come, add value, meet new people and have
some fun. We look forward to meeting you!

Fill out the volunteer application here today and get started at The Arc!

Contact Aaron Clarry to learn more about these great volunteer opportunities at 206-364-6337 or aclarry@arcofkingcounty.org