Washington Self-Advocates Score Another Legislative
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 19, 2005
OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON--Disability rights advocates in the state of Washington are getting pretty good at making things happen in the Legislature.
Last year, they successfully pushed for a bill requiring all state laws to be written in language that respects people with disabilities. As a result of their actions, words such as "retarded", "handicapped", "crippled" and "disabled" will all be stricken and replaced with phrases such as "people with disabilities" when new laws are drafted and when the old laws are rewritten.
For many advocates, however, there has remained a gnawing feeling when pulling up to or passing a "disabled" parking space.
On Wednesday, Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law a measure that strikes the language "state disabled parking permit required" from those spaces. Instead, parking spaces designated for people with disabilities will simply have the international symbol of a white wheelchair outlined on a blue background.
Emily Rogers, chairperson of the statewide group Self-Advocates in Leadership (SAIL) -- which championed for the new law -- told the Olympian: "People aren't just their challenges; they're people first."
"When I'm old and gray, hopefully I'll see more and more signs with just the symbol of access on there," she said.
"Disabled parking sign will change" (The Olympian)
"HB 1711: An act relating to parking places for persons with disabilities" (Washington Legislature)
"Lobbying from the grass roots" -- April 12, 2004 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Self-Advocates in Leadership (SAIL)