August 17th is National Non-Profit day. This holiday celebrates the numerous organizations in America that are changing lives for the better! The DD Ombuds is celebrating National Non-profit day by highlighting two Advocacy Non-profits in Washington: People First of Washington and Allies in Advocacy

What is People First of Washington?

People First of Washington is a self-advocacy organization for people with disabilities that fights for their core belief that everyone is a person first. This non-profit teaches people with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities their rights as well as how to advocate for themselves. In this video ( some members of People First of Washington summarize the organization’s mission.

There are many People First of Washington chapters throughout the state. These chapters are currently holding group bonding events such as peer support three times a day on zoom as well as leadership training for self-advocates. To get involved check out to find your local chapter and advisor. If there is no chapter in your area, ask for help to start one. You could also email [email protected] to learn how to get involved!

What is Allies in Advocacy? Washington State Allies in Advocacy (Allies) is an activist organization whose mission is to improve the lives of all people with developmental disabilities (DD). All of our Board of Directors and staff have DD. Each of us on the Allies Board and Staff fights to protect the Civil Rights of those with DD.

Allies accomplishes this by advocating for policies and programs that increase the power of people with DD to make all the decisions in their lives, creating partnerships that will benefit people with DD, promote their proclamation (linked below), advocate to end the social and governmental barriers that restrict people, and support local self-advocacy groups.

To be even more specific here is their proclamation, which was also the organization’s first project:

At the moment the organization is continuing to make people aware of their proclamation while also advocating for inclusive change at the local, state, national, and international level. For example, they will be working with federal leaders to create a 4th Developmental Disability Network Partner focusing on Civil Rights and creating more leadership opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. To get involved contact the organization at [email protected], or by calling 253 – 304 – 5762.

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