The DD Ombuds is looking for volunteers to help them monitor service providers across Washington State. Volunteers accompany ombuds to places where individuals are receiving Developmental Disability Administration services, such as in institutions or adult family homes. Once there, a volunteer will take notes on what he or she observes, as well as communicate with individuals and staff about their experience. If they discover concerns, especially abuse and neglect, they will be responsible for reporting on it.


The Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds hopes to build a significant volunteer force of more than 300 people. In particular, the DD Ombuds would like to see individuals who experience developmental disabilities apply for these roles. Not only does it provide great employment experience, but the DD Ombuds feel strongly about having individuals with DD actively involved in this work.

Check back for the volunteer application form, which will soon be online, or email [email protected] for more information.

All ombuds’ services are person-centered, and resident-driven, so each ombuds starts by listening to and supporting the resident’s decisions.

What makes a good volunteer?

A good volunteer will have the following traits:

  • understands person-centered advocacy,
  • great listener,
  • strong problem-solving skills,
  • good oral communication,
  • works well with others,
  • assertive but not overly aggressive,
  • ability to identify and address possible issues,
  • respectful,
  • and can follow rules.


Conflict of Interest

A volunteer must be free from conflicts of interest.  This means one cannot be a volunteer and have interests that could get in the way of being objective, fair, or ethical in carrying out volunteer responsibilities.

Specifically, one cannot be a volunteer if

  • one received money, within the last year,  from the Developmental Disabilities Administration, to provide services to a person with developmental disabilities
  • one was employed in a job that involved licensing, certification, or regulation of a paid disabilities service provider
  • one has benefited, personally or through a family member, from ownership or investment of a paid provider of disability services

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