Skip to main content

The issues

The Arc of King County protects and promotes the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and works to make communities more inclusive.

We believe everyone should experience belonging and live the life they want.

We are part of The Arc's national network and engage in policy development at the local, state and federal levels. Every year, The Arc - Washington State works with local chapters to develop a policy agenda for our state. This and other policy work, in turn, is guided by positions taken by The Arc nationally in these areas:

Quality of life: People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities must be able to lead the life they choose so that they can have a quality of life that is meaningful to them.

Civil rights: People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities have the same basic legal, civil, and human rights as other citizens. They may need accommodation, protection, and support to enable them to exercise these rights. Their rights should never be limited or restricted without due process.

Life in the community: All people, regardless of disability, deserve the opportunity for a full life in their community where they can live, learn, work, and play alongside each other through all stages of life. People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities need varying degrees of support to reach personal goals and establish a sense of satisfaction with their lives.

Systems change: Systems are necessary to support people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families to enable them to live their lives like other people. These support systems must be of high quality and focused on the people and their families, not the staff.

You can explore all of The Arc's positions here

Revenue position:

  • 2021 Progressive Revenue Resolution to Support Inclusive Communities - The board of The Arc of King County passed this resolution in February 2021 to speak out on inequity in our state taxes and the impact it has on people with disabilities, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Local policy work

The Arc of King County also works with coalitions to amplify our work.


We work on early learning issues with the Early Learning Action Alliance, staffed by the Children's Alliance, and partner with state agencies to promote inclusive, high quality preschool options. We also support the civic and community projects of our Inclusion Academy participants.


We work on K-12 and special education funding and policy issues with Investing in Student Potential. This coalition advocates for designing systems to give every learner what they need, when they need it. You can read legislative priorities for students with disabilities here.


We work on housing issues with the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. You can read about priority housing issues here.


We work with The Arc of Washington and members of the Community Advocacy Coalition on state issues that impact civil rights, community access and inclusion, and long-term health and human services. Each year, this coalition compiles a Legislative Notebook on priorities and data. You can access the 2023 Legislative Notebook here.

Our King County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities works with the Washington State Parent and Family Coalitions to identify needs of the IDD community and work toward solutions. You can read the family parent and family coalitions' 2023 legislative priorities here.


Finally, we work with the King County Board for Developmental Disabilities, alongside other community groups, to help King County develop state legislative recommendations to improve access to community supports that the county administers. While these are not formal positions taken by The Arc of King County, they reflect concerns we hear from individuals with IDD and their families and disability rights allies. You can read the King County Developmental Disabilities Legislative Priorities for 2023 here.

North Star Project

This is a community-led project to make sure everyone with IDD in Washington is included and supported in their community.

It was initially organized by the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council.

In 2021, more than 140 people participated in meetings to first identify problems, then propose and prioritize solutions. Volunteers continue to work with legislators on bills that address those concerns.

The project focuses on:

  • Access to disability supports
  • Downsizing and closing institutions
  • Crisis stabilization
  • Family care-giving
  • Recreation and other day services

Learn more:

You can also view our videos on the North Star project here.