Self-Advocacy Report: A Summary of Activities and Discussion from the July 2022 Meeting of the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council
Leigh Spruce, Self-Advocacy Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County, serves on the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC). She was appointed to membership on the DDC by Governor Jay Inslee in 2021.
The role of DDC is to plan, implement and monitor the State Plan that exists to improve supports and services for individuals living with developmental disabilities and their families. The Council’s mission is to advocate, promote and implement policies and practices to create pathways to meaningful, integrated and productive lives for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) over the life course.
DDC meets on a quarterly basis. Leigh Spruce shares a report each quarter following the statewide meeting. Below is her report on the July 2022 DDC membership meeting.
The Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council met [in July 2022] to interview the final 3 candidates who were being considered for the [DDC] Executive Director position. They were interviewed separately. They were asked about their knowledge of the I/DD community, as well as past experience and life experience with this community as it relates to public policy with state government. Each candidate gave a short presentation on what the I/DD community meant to them. After the interviews, we had a discussion about what we thought of each one. We were able to decide who we liked the best of the three candidates and voted. The candidate will be notified at a later date.
We broke off into working groups to examine what needs to be updated with the criteria regarding DDC and its role pertaining to various meetings and public policy, as well as membership and needed supports for the meetings.
[DDC Policy Director] Adrienne Stuart will be stepping down in her role with the DDC at the end of the month [July 2022]. She gave a final summary on the North Star legislative project
and hopes that the work that has been done will continue. She was pleased to share that because of it, there were important bills [last legislative session] which supported the I/DD community. We were able to lend our voices to getting some things passed through the legislature.
Since the July 2022 meeting, the DDC announced the hiring of their new executive director Brandi Monts, who brings with her to this position her 23 years of experience working in residential services, employment, government, teaching, advocacy and consulting. Read more about Brandi Monts and her new role at the helm of DDC at tinyurl.com/2us4cdn3.
Leigh Spruce is a Self-Advocacy Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. In this role she supports engagement activities and leadership and advocacy training for adults with disabilities in Snohomish County and across the Puget Sound region. She serves on numerous community boards and committees and is an engaged activist for disability rights. Contact: email@example.com.