We strongly support Disability Rights Washington’s petition to the Legislature to maintain remote testimony and expand accessibility for people with disabilities and for whom English is a second language. Sign the petition as an individual or with your organization by August 31st, 2021, and help us spread the word far and wide!
More information about the petition from Disability Rights Washington:
The petition will be sent to Governor Inslee, Speaker Jinkins, Majority Leader Billig, Minority Leader Wilcox, and Minority Leader Braun, and Members of the Washington State Legislature. The deadline to sign on is August 31st.
This past session, the state legislature became the most accessible it has ever been to the public! Record numbers of Washingtonians weighed in and exercised their rights. We saw increased participation from people who have disabilities; who are caregivers, work full time, live far from Olympia especially those in rural Washington, in central and eastern Washington, tenants, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Immigrants, Refugees, survivors of abuse , people who are experiencing homelessness or are unstably housed, young people in the foster care system, people incarcerated in jails, prisons, the juvenile correction system, residents relying on public benefits and more. Participation by those with direct lived experiences made our conversations richer, bills better, and made our democracy stronger.
What are we asking for?
The system developed for 2021 was a great starting place but it was not perfect. In order to improve the accessibility of remote testimony, we are requesting the following changes be made:
- If using a hybrid model, ensure equal access to the legislative process and prioritize direct lived experience of inequity and injustice.
- Streamline access and clearly post where to request accommodations, interpretation, and translation services on the legislative website.
- Provide live captioning in multiple languages and a live transcript in English for all hearings and work sessions online, in Zoom, and on other TVW streaming services.
- Expand financial support for the non-profit TVW network to increase accessibility.
- Provide an audio and visual indication of timing for individuals providing testimony.
- Simplify the sign in system, retain remote sign in, and provide basic website accessibility features.
- Plan and conduct hearings with accessibility and inclusion in mind.
- Clearly and distinctly state that information provided through the sign in page is subject to public disclosure.
- Require fewer fields for sign in.
- Do not charge individuals for printouts who do not have access to the internet.
- Use one platform for all legislative meetings and hearings.