Wednesday, June 20, 2018

2018 Inclusion Awards

… because we believe all people have the right to thrive in their communities

It is our pleasure to announce the 2018 Inclusion Awards, honoring seven leaders for their impact on the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

  • For commitment to inclusion: State Representative Ruth Kagi, 32nd
  • For protecting the rights of people with DD: State Representative Nicole Macri, 43rd 
  • For promoting the rights of people with DD: State Representative Tana Senn, 41st 
  • For workforce inclusion: Heather Weldon, Supported Employment Manager for the City of Seattle; and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, chair, Housing, Health, Energy & Workers' Rights committee, Seattle City Council

We are also recognizing two longtime advocates for their ongoing commitment to building opportunity:

  • Community Change Champion – Kyle Matheson 
  • Lifetime Award – Donna Patrick

We will celebrate the 2018 honorees and their great advocacy work at our annual Summer Potluck Picnic, Wednesday, July 18, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at the Renton Community Center. Add to your calendar

For more information about the work and individuals honored, please read on:

Commitment to Inclusion

Rep. Ruth Kagi, 32nd (D, North Seattle and Shoreline)
Rep. Kagi
As chair of the House Early Learning and Human Services committee, Rep. Kagi has been a longtime advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, championing employment support and residential services, respite, family support, early learning, 0-3 supports, parent education and mentoring, the ABLE act, and so much more. Rep. Kagi was a driving force behind the new Department of Children, Youth and Families and helped nurture an inclusive vision for early childhood development.

She has been honored five times by The Arc and the King County Parent and Family Coalition for going above and beyond, most recently in 2016.

After 20 years serving in the state legislature, Rep. Kagi is retiring. In recognition of her steadfast support for inclusive communities, The Arc of King County is awarding her a Lifetime Achievement Inclusion Award. 

Protecting the rights of people with DD

Rep. Nicole Macri, 43rd (D, Seattle)
Rep. Macri

As vice chair of the House Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs as well as Health Care & Wellness, Rep. Macri brings an integrated approach to stabilizing vulnerable communities. This past session, she led the work to increase funding for affordable homes and homelessness assistance, and remove barriers to housing, particularly for people with disabilities.

Rep. Macri sponsored  HB 1570, Access to Homeless Housing and Assistance; and HB 2667, Essential Needs and Housing Support and Aged, Blind, and Disabled Programs. 

She also co-sponsored HB 2448, Increasing Housing for People with Developmental Disabilities; HB 2578, Preventing Source of Income Discrimination; HB 2651, Increasing Personal Needs Allowance; HB 1831, Revising Resource Limitations for Public Assistance; HB 2779, Children's Mental Health Work Group; and HB 2861, Trauma Informed Child Care.

Macri also served on the capital budget writing committee, which funds construction projects.


Rep. Roger Goodman (D, Kirkland) for his steadfast work to promote police de-escalation training and reduce use of deadly force. Rep. Goodman helped broker negotiations that resulted in HB 3003, a compromise bill backed by I-940 advocates.

King County legislators who co-sponsored bills to end source-of-income discrimination:  
Representatives Macri, McBride, Frame, Stanford, Goodman, Senn, Gregerson, Kloba, Santos, Bergquist, and Pollet; and Senators Frockt (lead sponsor for Senate bill), Miloscia, Mullet, Kuderer, Pedersen, Hasegawa, and Keiser. Several bills were introduced; ultimately HB 2578 prevailed. "Source of income" includes benefits or subsidy programs including housing assistance, public assistance, emergency rental assistance, veterans benefits, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income or other retirement programs, and other programs administered by a federal, state, local, or nonprofit entity.  The term does not include income derived in an illegal manner.

Promoting the rights of people with DD

Rep. Tana Senn, 41st (D, Mercer Island)
Rep. Senn
As vice chair of House Early Learning & Human Services, Rep. Senn has a progressive vision for community inclusion that includes supports for early childhood development and social emotional learning.

Rep. Senn sponsored HB 2448, Increasing Housing for People with Developmental Disabilities; and HB 2779, Children's Mental Health Work Group.

She co-sponored HB 2667, Essential Needs and Housing Support and ABD Programs; HB 2578, Preventing Source of Income Discrimination; HB 2651, Increasing Personal Needs Allowance; and HB 1539, Sexual Abuse Education

Rep. Senn also serves on the House budget writing committee and K-12 education committees. As a member of the Rules committee she helps decide which bills to bring to the floor for a chamber vote.


Rep. Gerry Pollet (D, Seattle) for sponsoring legislation to increase the multiplier for special education. Ultimately the increase was lower than proposed, but Rep. Pollet's leadership kept special education part of school funding deliberations.

Outstanding inclusion in the workplace

Heather Weldon, Supported Employment Manager, City of Seattle
Heather Weldon's advice? It starts by thinking differently. The City of Seattle’s Supported Employment program is considered a “best practices” model and has been recognized nationally and internationally. At the heart of it is Ms. Weldon, who designed, developed and launched it 20 years ago. Today the city employs more than 100 individuals with developmental disabilities, most in office settings and all making competitive wages. And if that wasn't enough, Ms. Weldon helps others interested in setting up similar programs. Her ingredients for success? 1. Focus on workplace needs. 2. Remember the Art of Language: how we talk about anything defines it. 3. Build an army of support.

Teresa Mosqueda, Seattle City Council
Council member Mosqueda
As chair of the council's Housing, Health, Energy & Workers' Rights committee, Council Member Teresa Mosqueda put disability rights front and center in her first piece of labor policy (CB 119220), and last spring, the council voted unanimously to eliminate subminimum wages for workers with disabilities. Seattle, which has a minimum wage that exceeds the state's, joined Vermont, New Hampshire, Maryland and Alaska in banning special wage certificates for workers with disabilities.

Community Change Champion

Kyle Matheson
Most groups head to Olympia for a single advocacy day during the state legislative session. Not so groups affiliated with developmental disabilities; we head down weekly. And Kyle Matheson is nearly always there, mentoring, explaining, engaging with lawmakers, and in general showing people what it means to be an advocate for inclusive communities. In the off-season, he promotes People First of Washington and has volunteered extensively as a board member with nonprofits like The Arc. He is an ambassador extraordinaire and our second Community Change Champion, an award for trailblazing self-advocates.
Kyle Matheson

Lifetime Award for Leadership and Public Policy 

Donna Patrick, Public Policy Director, Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council

If a bill deals with developmental disabilities, Donna Patrick likely had a hand in it, or will. She is part of a core team in Olympia that works closely with legislators to help them understand issues that affect people with developmental disabilities. But her secret power is bigger than policy making. She trains leaders, helping people move from speaking out to stepping up, to ultimately becoming mentors themselves. An inclusive world needs everyday people building it from the inside out, and Ms. Patrick makes that happen. For her outstanding leadership development and policy work, we are awarding her a Lifetime Award.
Donna Patrick, right, with Sue Elliot and Stacey Gillett of The Arc