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AtWork! rallies on Olympia during Advocacy Day 2017


Advocacy Day 2017

Advocacy Day is an annual event at Washington’s state capitol that AtWork! staff and people we serve look forward to attending. Here is Mike and Heidi before the rally and speeches begin.

Each year activists and advocates gather in Olympia, Washington State’s Capitol, in support of Employment First initiatives. They are supporters who believe that all people can and should have the opportunity to work in their communities and earn at least minimum wage.


The ARC of Washington State’s Advocacy Partnership Project organizes Advocacy Days each Wednesday during the legislative session. They keep issues that impact people with disabilities, their families, and providers in the ears of our legislators.

February 1st, the first Advocacy Day of the 2017 session was focused on EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL!

Advocates, including people with disabilities, service providers, families and others gathered in the Rotunda for a reading of a proclamation by Governor Inslee declaring February 1, 2017 Employment for All Day! Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib rallied advocates around his inspirational experience of going from “Braille to Yale”. He now serves in a leadership role in our state.

At the rally, Laura Ivanova Smith, an Activist Advocate who assists AtWork! with our advocacy efforts, spoke on the importance of inclusion in the workforce, autonomy and providing supports for an independent life that people with disabilities desire and deserve.

People served by AtWork!, family members, and staff came from communities across King County to share stories about their jobs and the importance of work in their lives. We met with Legislators from a number of districts and our stories and issues were well received.

Employment for All Day helps bring perspective and information to state policy makers. We advocated for continuing support of Employment First. Support for serving more people who need job supports. Support for community access services. And more support for allowing people to have more than one of these services at a time.

The overall consensus: “Employment for All Advocacy Day was a success!”


Here are some of our favorite photos of Advocacy Day 2017

Advocacy Day 2017

Steve and Rory take a moment to pose outside of the capitol building in Olympia, Wa.

Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib rallied advocates around his inspirational experience of going from “Braille to Yale”.

Advocacy Day 2017

Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib speaks to attendees in Olympia during Advocacy Day 2017.

Advocacy Day 2017

Mike N and Mike E pose with Representative Paul Graves (R) of the 5th Legislative District during a tour at Advocacy Day.

Advocacy Day 2017

A group of AtWork! supporters pose for a photo on Advocacy Day. From L-R: Hannah (Employment Consultant), Jaime & Sydney (served by AtWork!), Aimee (AtWork! Board Member), Ivanova (AtWork! Activist Advocate), Chris (AtWork! CEO), Wendy (AtWork! Director of Community Inclusion), Mike & Mike (served by AtWork!), Michelle (AtWork! Front Desk Asst).

Advocacy Day 2017

Charlie and Hans  stand outside the capitol building after their two hour drive from Bellevue to Olympia for Advocacy Day.

Advocacy Day 2017

Rory poses with Senator Lisa Wellman (D) of the 41st Legislative District at an apppointment to talk about his job.

If you attended Advocacy Day, complete this survey for The Arc of Wa to help improve future events.

The support of Advocacy Day and its state wide network of self-advocates, employers, agencies, family, friends, guardians,  and state representatives is essential in the journey for Employment for All.

Thanks to the Wa State Development Disabilities Council for funding Advocacy Day!


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