People with disabilities make up 11 percent of Washingtonians. When we universally design both physical spaces and learning instruction for those in the margins, it benefits everyone. Washington State has the historic opportunity to be a national leader by incorporating Universal Design for Learning (UDL) concepts through Governor Inslee’s Career-Connected Learning initiative.
Universal Design goes beyond the benefits for individuals with disabilities. While a wheelchair might be the reason for curb cuts, having a sloped sidewalk entrance also benefits rolling backpacks, wagons, bikes, and walkers. Double wide doorways, hand rails on stairs, and lowered elevator buttons and countertops were created with disabilities in mind, but every person benefits from the extra space, safe walkways, along with increased functionality and ease of use.
Partners involved with the Career Connect Washington’s Government and Education Workgroup have collaborated to identify strategies for integrating supports for individuals with disabilities into the Strategic Plan. Representatives from Washington State Rehabilitation Council (WSRC), Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), and Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) reviewed the research for supporting equitable access to career path opportunities for individuals with disabilities and all other Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Focus 14"Populations with Barriers".
We have linked the following documents for more information on the recommendations of the workgroup.