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Women’s History Month

56. WHM 5 Disabled Activists to Know The Arc Amplified

Women’s History Month:

5 Disability Activists You Should Know


March is recognized as Women’s History Month.

While we should work with intention to recognize and celebrate the phenomenal achievements of extraordinary women during each and every month of the year, this month, in particular, we celebrate and uplift our sisters everywhere, who strive to break barriers, defy conventional norms and push the boundaries of our time. We honor them, and we celebrate all who have followed, and will follow, their example.

Here are FIVE Disabled women activists you should know and follow!


Judy Heumann is an internationally recognized, disability rights activist, who has spent her life fighting for equity, access and inclusion in both the United States and abroad. Born in 1947, Judy acquired her life-long disability after contracting Polio at 18 months old. As a child, her family fought for access to public schools at a time before Federal law prohibited the exclusion of students based on disability. After graduating from college, Judy sued the New York Board of Education when they denied her a teaching license because of her disability, and she subsequently became the first wheelchair user to teach in New York City. Her continued activism around accessibility was featured in the 2020 documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution. In the 1980s, she co-founded the World Institute on Disability. She later served as Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education at the US Department of Education during the Clinton Administration; as the first Advisor on Disability and Development at the World Bank; the Special Advisor on International Disability Rights for the US State Department, a position appointed by then-President Barack Obama; and a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation.

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Alice Wong is a Disabled activist, writer and media maker, and founder of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community that centers disability media and culture and serves as a repository of oral histories of people with disabilities. Born with spinal muscular atrophy in 1974, Alice has long been involved in disability activism. As an Asian American woman, she offers an important intersectional perspective. Her work has been published widely across media channels. She is a co-partner with #CripTheVote, an online engagement platform that encourages people with disabilities to vote and engage in the political arena. In 2013, President Obama appointed Alice to serve as a member of the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that advises Congress, the President and Executive Branch agencies on policies and programs that impact the disability community. She has received numerous awards and was named a Disability Futures Fellow by the Ford Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In 2020, she was named one of BBC’s 100 Women.

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Imani Barbarin is a disability activist, public speaker and communications professional, who writes from the perspective of her lens as a Black woman with Cerebral Palsy. She is the current Director of Communications and Outreach at Disability Rights Pennsylvania and has grown a large following through her blog Crutches and Spice and social media advocacy. (CLICK HERE to read more about how Imani has leveraged the power of social media to amplify her voice as a community activist.)

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Rebecca Cokley is a “2nd generation, civil rights activist” and the current U.S. Disability Rights Program Officer at the Ford Foundation. Previously, she was Founding Director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress and, during the Obama Administration, she served as Executive Director of the National Council on Disability. Born in 1978 with achondroplasia, Rebecca was raised in the Bay Area by two activist parents who shared her disability. In 2015, she was inducted into the inaugural Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

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Andraéa LaVant is a Black, disabled woman activist, cultural changemaker and disability inclusion expert. As founder of LaVant Consulting, Inc., a social impact communications firm specializing in disability representation, Andraéa is a successful business woman and was the first visibly disabled Black woman to attend the Oscars for her work as Impact Producer of the award-winning, Netflix documentary Crip Camp. As an activist and influencer, she sits at the intersection of disability, race and gender, and is outspoken about representation and the inclusion of diversity within advocacy. In 2021, she was inducted into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

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Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact:

Breaking Ground on a New Inclusive Playground

Mountlake Terrace Ballinger Park Inclusive Playground The Arc Amplified

The City of Mountlake Terrace Prepares to Break Ground on a New Inclusive Playground


The City of Mountlake Terrace is preparing to break ground on a new playground at Ballinger Park. The playground is intended to provide an accessible and inclusive play space for all kids and families.

In a recent Facebook post, the City shared that construction on the playground is scheduled to begin this summer! It will be the first inclusive playground in Mountlake Terrace and one of only a few such park facilities in Snohomish County.


Special Olympics Washington

52. Recreation Spotlight Special Olympics

Community Recreation Spotlight:

Special Olympics Washington

The opportunity to participate in sports and recreational activities is important for everyone.

Details related to the “where,” “what” and “how” of our participation in sports and recreation may vary, but regardless of where we find our best fit, the benefits of recreation abound. Physical activity can improve both our health and wellness, and provide other, more intangible benefits such as peer connection and friendships, community engagement and the development of leadership skills.

Special Olympics is a non-profit organization with a global impact. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver to provide recreational and sporting opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities, the program has expanded to support over 5.7 million athletes worldwide in some 200 countries and jurisdictions. (Click here to read more about the history of Special Olympics.)

In our state, over 19,500 athletes take part in programs offered by Special Olympics Washington. Youth can begin training and competing in Special Olympic activities at age eight. (There is no upper age limit for athlete eligibility). These athletes are supported in their programs by more than 10,000 volunteers, who serve as coaches and game officials, fundraisers and event staff.

Snohomish County is part of the Cascade Division of Special Olympics Washington. Depending on the season, sports opportunities may include: Alpine skiing, Athletics (a Track-and-Field based program), Basketball, Bowling, Powerlifting, Snowboarding, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Volleyball. To learn more about sporting opportunities in Snohomish County, contact



Marysville Special Olympics
Eligibility: Athletes age 8 or older with an IEP in Marysville School District
Sports: Soccer (M/W) and Track & Field (T/TH)
Contact: Kathy Vanney – / 425-210-5904
Lake Stevens Special Olympics
Eligibility: Athletes in the Lake Stevens School District
Sports: Swimming (T/W/TH)
Contact: Patty Studdard –
Other Programs
Contact: Cascade Division Area Director


Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact:

All Are Welcome

Read Aloud All Are Welcome The Arc Amplified

 READ-ALOUD: All Are Welcome

Pencils sharpened in their case. Bells are ringing, let’s make haste. School’s beginning, dreams to chase. All are welcome here.

Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms no matter their race, religion, or background. A #1 New York Times bestselling picture book celebrating kindness, inclusivity, and diversity.

Join Whitney Stohr, Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County, as she reads: All Are Welcome, written by Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman (published 2018 by Alfred A. Knopf / Random House Children’s Books, New York).

Celebrating the Retirement of Executive Director

Shaynes Retirement Zoom Party The Arc Amplified 1

Celebrating the Retirement of Executive Director Shayne Nagel Following Years of Advocacy, Support and Leadership

On February 28th, The Arc of Snohomish County held a very special Zoom meeting for staff members to celebrate the retirement of Executive Director Shayne Nagel.

Shayne donned a special “Retirement” tiara and sash, while staff members snacked on party treats, sported some extra snazzy party specs, and tooted their party horns.

Shayne has been a part of the disability and family caregiver community in Snohomish County for many years. She has been involved with The Arc of Snohomish County for over two decades, beginning in a role as a Parent to Parent Coordinator, supporting the parents and families of children with developmental disabilities. Later, as Executive Director, Shayne led the organization through years of growth and expansion. She is a parent, a community advocate and a mentor to many past and current staff and community members. Her leadership, her guidance and her dedication to this work will be missed.

Happy retirement, Shayne!

And thank you for all the difference you made.

Shaynes Retirement Zoom Party Feb. 28 2022 1

(Pictured, from Top L-R: Jamie Coonts, Executive Director; Whitney Stohr; Jake Murray; Alaina Kube; Nicki Solie; Jennifer Martin; Jessie Moore; Rachel Kube; Luz Cobián; Kylie Walsh; Leigh Spruce; Courtney Criss; Shayne Nagel, Retiring Executive Director)

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The Arc office is open by appointment only

Monday - Friday from 10am - 3pm

127 E. Intercity Ave. Suite C
Everett, WA 98208

(425) 258-2459