Ages 40+: Advocacy & Self-Advocacy

Just as with every other phase of your child’s life, advocacy is vital – both your own and that of your adult son or daughter. Problems with services, limited funding, and long waiting lists can be solved with effective grassroots advocacy.


Local Arcs and parent coalitions are great resources for current information and connection with others who share similar concerns. They help improve the service system by advocating with a unified voice. Contact The Arc of Washington State toll-free at 1-888-754-8798 or visit online to find out if there is a parent coalition or Arc chapter near you.


It’s especially important for your son or daughter to connect with peers by joining a self-advocacy group. It’s never too late for anyone to identify their interests, set goals and learn how to speak up for him or herself.

People First of Washington promotes self-advocacy in all areas of a person’s life. For more information, call People First toll-free at 1-800-758-1123.

Self Advocates in Leadership, known as SAIL, also offers many opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to shape the services and policies that affect their lives. For more information about SAIL, contact the Arc of Washington State at 1-888-754-8798 or visit SAIL’s website.

Legal Advocacy and Protection

Disability Rights Washington
Legal services for disability rights violations, general information about legal rights, community education and training.  1-800-562-2702 | Language interpreters are available via the AT&T Language Line. Please use 711 for Washington Relay Service (TTY)

NW Justice Project
Civil legal assistance and representation to low-income people in situations affecting basic human needs, such as family safety and security, housing preservation, protection of income, access to health care, education and other basic needs.  1-888-201-1012 (Outside King County) | 2-1-1 (Inside King County)

Washington LawHelp
Provides information about legal issues and where to find legal help for low-income individuals.

If you suspect that a child or vulnerable adult is being abused or neglected, call this number: 1-866-363-4276 The operator will connect you with the right DSHS office to make your report. [Note: If you are calling about an immediate life-threatening emergency, call 911.]


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