WHEREAS, Washington has a strong history of protecting the rights of people with disabilities through such laws and regulations as the Washington State Law Against Discrimination and the Barrier Free Design Standards; and
WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act strengthens and clarifies the rights of the over half a million Washingtonians with disabilities by further opening the doors of opportunity and inclusion; and
WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all services, programs, and activities, when viewed in their entirety, be readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities, whether such services and programs are directly provided by state agencies or through purchase agreements or other contracts; and
WHEREAS, Washington will not be meeting its most basic responsibility until all Washingtonians can equally participate in and enjoy the benefits of state services and programs;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mike Lowry, Governor of the State of Washington, by virtue of the power invested in me, do hereby order and direct as follows:
1. No state agency, board, or commission under the executive branch shall discriminate against an individual on the basis of disability. Individuals with disabilities, whether state employees, applicants, clients of state services, or members of the general public, shall be treated with respect and dignity and provided meariingful access to state services, programs, activities, and employment opporturiitics.
2. Each executive branch agency, board and commission shall appoint an ADA coordinator to execute a self-evaluation and transition plan and oversee implementation of the ADA.
3. Executive-branch agencies, boards and commissions shall ensure that public meetings, hearings, and conferences are held in locations free of mobility barriers, and that sign language interpreters, assistive devices, and information in alternate forms (Braille, large print, or audio tapes) shall be provided upon request.
4. In communicating with employees, applicants, clients of services, or the general public, all state agencies, boards and commissions shall ensure that Teletypewriters (TTYs), sign language interpreters, assistive devices, and information in alternate formats shall be provided upon request.
5. Each executive branch agency, board and commission shall review its use of information technology, including computers, video conferencing, kiosks, telephone information systems, etc. and identify barriers, that employees or members of the public with disabilities experience in utilizing these systems. Agencies shall consult with persons with disabilities in identifying barriers and developing solutions to such barriers. As agencies develop, design, or redesign new technology systems, the agency director shall assure that the agency has taken reasonable steps to eliminate barriers that current users with disabilities face in utilizing these systems. The agency shall develop a plan to eliminate additional barriers should the need arise in the future. The Office of Financial Management, the Department of Information Services, and the Information Services Board and other appropriate agencies shall assist agencies to identify solutions through technical assistance and consultation.
6. The director of the Department of General Administration shall ensure that all newly-constructed buildings or those undergoing major renovation in excess of $5 million over which the director has authority comply fully with the state barrier free code, The director shall convene a panel representing persons with disabilities, the state Building Code Council, and the Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment to review architectural design development plans for said projects prior to final approval. The panel shall provide barrie-free access review for plans submitted by the Department of Transportation, natural resource agencies, and institutions of higher education.
7. The Governor's ADA coordinator shall establish a task force to assist state agencies to meet the objectives of this executive order. The task force shall develop consistent policies on the provision of reasonable accommodation and sign language interpreters, the location of TTYs and Braille printers, and other policies that affect all state agencies. The task force shall be comprised of state employees and citizens with expertise in particular ADA issues and shall be convened by the Governor's ADA coordinator as needed.
8. This executive order supersedes Executive Order 93-03, which is hereby rescinded.
have hereunto set
my hand and caused the seal of the State of
Washington to be affixed at Olympia this
22nd day of March A.D., Nineteen hundred and ninety-six.
Secretary of State