Disability Employment Task Force

Most recent meeting/teleconference

About the task force

As part of Executive Order 13-02, the Disability Employment Task Force is responsible for assisting state agencies with recruitment and retention of persons with disabilities.

The task force provides:

  • recommendations on how to achieve the employment targets established in the executive order
  • guidance and other support to agencies and institutions of higher education on recruitment, retention, accommodation, and accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Who's on the task force?
The task force is made up of subject-matter experts from cabinet-level agencies as well as leaders from private-sector employers. All members are appointed by the Governor for 4-year terms.

Appointed task force members

  • Kirk Adams: President & CEO, The Lighthouse for the Blind
  • Jenny Lay Flurrie: Senior Director, Accessibility, Online Safety and Privacy, Microsoft    
  • Colleen Fukui-Sketchley: Corporate Center Diversity Affairs Director, Nordstrom
  • Cyrus Habib: Washington State Representative, 48th Legislative District
  • Effenus Henderson: Retired, Chief Diversity Officer, Weyerhaeuser Corporation
  • Sue Henricksen: President, Washington Federation of State Employees
  • Mike Hudson: Project Manager, Association of Washington Business Institute
  • Kelly Lindseth: Acting Director, Workforce & Career Development Division, Employment Security Department
  • Eleni Papadakis: Executive Director, Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board
  • Evelyn Perez: Assistant Secretary for Developmental Disabilities Administration, Department of Social and Health Services

Staff to the task force

  • Andi Smith: Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jay Inslee, Human Services
  • Mark Sullivan: Senior Manager for Workforce Planning and Performance, Washington State
  • Andres Aguirre: Interim Director, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Social and Health Services
  • Robbi Norman: Principle, Uncommon Solutions
  • Toby Olson: Executive Secretary, Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment

What is Governor Inslee's Disability Employment Challenge?
Governor Inslee's initial goal is to have people living with a disability make up 5% of the state government workforce by June 30, 2017.

As of July 2013, only 3.1% of state employees had a disclosed disability. That translates into adding about 1,000 workers who have disabilities. Governor Inslee's ultimate goal is to reach parity, which would mean that that the percentage of people who have disclosed disabilities working for the state is at least equal to the 5.8% representation of people with disabilities among those working in the state. 

Why did Governor Inslee issue an Executive Order to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities in state employment?
The state has a vested interest in reducing discrimination against people living with a disability, eliminating barriers to meaningful employment, and attracting the highest quality candidates into state employment opportunities.

When the workforce that provides essential services to residents of the state reflects the diversity of the population, those services are more likely to be responsive to and respectful of that diversity.

What about the private sector?
The Disability Task Force will also engage model private sector companies to share strategies, exchange best practices, and provide technical assistance to boost the employment of people with disabilities in all employment sectors in Washington.

For more on hiring and retaining people with disabilities, see this useful guide from the Association of Washington Business: Washington HireAbility Employer Hiring/Retention Guide

Background information

Contact

Jim Baumgart, Senior Policy Advisor
jim.baumgart@gov.wa.gov (360) 902-0559