Tag Archives: Disability Rights

Why School Was Cancelled at Kimball Elementary for the Past Three Days

by Ari Robin McKenna


When Seattle Public Schools’ (SPS) mass COVID-19 screening flagged seven of their coworkers last Monday, Kimball Elementary School staff knew they were in for a week. A tight-knit group who has a strong relationship with their Parents, Teachers, and Students Association (PTSA), Kimball’s staff braced themselves.

As the week progressed, Kimball — in Southeast Seattle and serving 75% students of color — was without one Instructional Assistant (IA) after another, as well as multiple teachers and an administrator. By the end of the week, Kimball was short six IAs. School staffs across Seattle have been worn down by factors including a national substitute teacher shortage, the challenges teaching students returning to in-person school after a such long break, and unrealistic pressure to “catch up.” Yet while the entire system is in crisis, throughout last week, Kimball staff approached its actual breaking point.

Kimball Music Teacher and Seattle Education Association (SEA) Union Rep KT Raschko, described staffs’ still-determined ethos in the hallways of the Van Asselt building, where Kimball is housed while its new building is constructed:

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‘Week Without Driving’ Challenges Leaders to Reimagine Transit and Accessibility

by Ashley Archibald

(This article originally appeared on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Rebecca Saldaña and her kids had a choice.

It was Wednesday. One of the children had a dance class in Burien. The other had a taekwondo class in the Mt. Baker neighborhood. That’s a lot of back and forth.

Without a car, it was pretty difficult to get to both. Fortunately, the kids took pity on Saldaña. Rather than take the bus from the South End to Burien and back to Mt. Baker, her daughter chose to forgo a dance class.

“We are simplifying our day,” Saldaña said.

Not so simple for an elected official, of course. Saldaña still needed to make it home for a community meeting.

Saldaña, along with more than 100 other elected officials and transportation professionals, participated in a “Week Without Driving,” an event created by the Disability Mobility Initiative (DMI) — a project of Disability Rights Washington — to show the difficulties that non-drivers face in a state and country planned around cars.

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Transit and Sidewalks Need Improvement for Disabled Washingtonians, Report Says

by Ashley Archibald


Micah L. moved to Seattle because, he said, it was one of the most accessible cities for blind people. He attended the University of Washington and received his bachelor’s degree this year in English and creative writing and moved to Lynnwood on Aug. 23. It’s a lot cheaper, he said over Zoom, but commuting is much more difficult.

“That’s the hard trade off we have to make as people with disabilities,” Micah said. “How much accessibility do we want, and can we actually afford that?”

Experiences like Micah’s populate a new report from the Disability Mobility Initiative, a project of Disability Rights Washington that highlights the needs of disabled Washingtonians who don’t drive.

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Rooted in Rights Aims to Create Inclusive Space for Individuals With Disabilities

by Laszlo Jajczay


Disability Rights Washington, a nonprofit that protects the rights of people with disabilities, noticed a trend in the media industry that disturbed them. There weren’t any stories told about people in the disability community and the structural inequities in education, jobs, and other aspects of their lives.

“We weren’t seeing disability well represented in any kind of media, and the thought was that with the equity of social media, we could produce our own media by and for folks with disabilities,” said creative director Allexa Laycock.

So Disability Rights Washington created the media advocacy project Rooted in Rights to fill the gap in coverage.

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Organizations Launch Campaign for Sidewalks and Transit Over Highways

by Guy Oron


On Tuesday, March 9, a coalition of disability justice and environmental justice groups launched a campaign for more investment in sidewalks and public transportation across Washington State. The campaign, spearheaded by the nonprofit advocacy organizations Disability Rights Washington and Front and Centered, held a press conference in Tacoma on Tuesday.

To draw attention to the need for better pedestrian infrastructure, the press conference was held at the No. 53 bus stop across the street from the apartment of Krystal Monteros, who is the vice-chair of the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities. Portions of the street have no sidewalk but instead are lined with gravel pathways.

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Disabled Writers Get Powerful, Political, and Personal at SPL Virtual Event for New Anthology ‘Disability Visibility’

by Chamidae Ford 


On a Tuesday evening, people from all over the world gathered in a virtual room to watch a discussion on the new anthology, Disability Visibility: First-Person stories from the Twenty-First Century.

Hosted by the Seattle Public Library, the discussion featured Alice Wong, a disabled activist, media maker and founder of the Disability Visibility Project. She was joined by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha  and Elsa Sjunneson, both disabled writers with work featured in the anthology. 

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