It is the public policy of this state to promote full participation and equal opportunity for all persons, including those of disability. (A person of disability means an individual who has physical, mental or sensory characteristics such as those listed listed under the "handicapped person" definition in regulation 28 CFR 41.31(b) for implementation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, PL 93?112.) Yet, despite continued efforts and marked progress to achieve equity for the disability community, this social minority presently experiences one of the highest unemployment rates, has a disproportionate number of members living in poverty and still cannot access most built structures or community activities. Although the disability minority in Washington numbers approximately 400,000 persons, it has a very low sense of group identity, and the abilities, capacities, interests and concerns of persons of disability continue to be misunderstood or undervalued.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Booth Gardner, Governor of Washington, do hereby reaffirm the establishment of and need for the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, retitle it the Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, hereinafter referred to as the "Committee," reaffirm its administrative attachment to the Employment Security Department and require the following:
1. The Committee pursuant to this Executive Order shall serve as a disability minority advocate. It shall identify for attention the issues and concerns pertaining to the rights and needs of all persons of disability and shall work to empower such individuals to take control over their own lives.
2. The Committee shall advise the Governor, Legislature, state agencies, the business community, organized labor, other public and private organizations and the general public on disability issues and concerns, and make recommendations to address those concerns, with emphasis on increasing opportunities for independence and employment.
3. The Committee shall develop, conduct and oversee the execution of policies, projects, activities and other actions that will enhance access, opportunities, options and equity for all persons of disability.
4. Annually, the Committee shall submit to the Governor a report with recommendations which shall address disability issues such as the following: the status of public and private sector employment opportunities; program and physical access; legislative priorities; selected state agency budgets; economic and social status of the disability community; and an overall state government rehabilitation/disability services overview.
5. In carrying out its duties, the Committee may establish such relationships with state agencies, especially those that serve the disability community, local governments, private industry, educational institutions, labor and other private organizations, as may be needed to promote equal opportunity for persons of disability.
6. Each state department and agency shall provide appropriate and reasonable assistance and resources to the Committee so that the Committee may carry out the purposes of this Order. Also, the Committee may secure directly from any department or agency of the state information necessary to enable it to carry out the purpose of this Order.
7. The chairperson and the members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Governor, and
(a) At least fifty percent of new members appointed after the effective date of this Order shall be persons of disability. Up to ten percent of the full Committee membership may be family members of persons of disability and/or advocates;
(b) The membership shall be selected so as to represent a wide variety of physical, mental or sensory disability characteristics. Geography, occupation, sex, age, socioeconomic status, other minority membership and diversity of viewpoints will also be considered in making appointments;
(c) Selected governmental leaders and advocates necessary to enable the Committee to carry out the work of this Order may participate on the Committee as non?voting associate members. The Governor shall appoint associate members; and
(d) The Committee may establish advisory, work and study groups as necessary to carry out the work of this Order.
8. The Employment Security Department shall continue as the lead agency in providing fiscal and administrative support to the Committee, including:
(a) Seeking and securing additional support for the Committee from other state agencies; and
(b) Coordinating the fiscal and administrative support that all other agencies and sources provide to the Committee.
9. The Committee shall have authority to accept support and assistance, or receive gifts, grants, endowments or bequests as may be made to or provided from state agencies or other public/private sources for the use and benefit of the purposes of the Committee and to expend the same, or any income therefrom, according to any attached terms.
have hereunto set
my hand and caused the seal of the State of
Washington to be affixed at Olympia this
1st day of July A.D., Nineteen hundred and eighty-seven.
Assistant Secretary of State
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