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Together, we're changing the face of employment for people with disabilities. Here at AtWork! we believe in the transformative power of employment and understand the importance of a diverse, empowered workforce.
"Partner with the people we serve and community allies to advocate and advance social and systematic change."

The Washington Capitol in Olympia.

Advocacy at AtWork!

We want more. More for the people we serve, their families, and our staff. AtWork! proudly participates in Advocacy efforts at our local, State, and Federal levels to ensure services continue, that they get better, and are even expanded. We want to improve service quality! We want to serve more people! We want to push the needle further and ensure no one is left behind.

Our Advocacy team provides Training and Consulting to staff, Board, key people, organizations, and people with disabilities. They participate in public speaking events, presentations, webinars, and panels. They seek input from our community and participate in Grassroots Advocacy which includes Advocacy Alerts, testimony, education, interviews, tours, stories, videos, and support of the Mission Team.

Watch our most recent video update:

By working closely with other advocacy communities and fellow service providers, we hope to continue to build a brighter future for the people we serve. Learn more about some of our partner organizations below.

The Arc of Washington

The Arc of Washington State is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and comprised of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, professionals, and concerned members of the community.

The Arc’s mission is to advocate for the rights and full participation of all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They support and empower individuals and families; connect and inform individuals and families; improve support and service systems; influence public policy; increase public awareness; and inspire inclusive communities.

Learn More About The Arc of Washington

Register for Advocacy Days

View the 2023 Legislative Notebook

Community Employment Alliance

The Community Employment Alliance (CEA) is a network of non-profit businesses & employment service providers for people with disabilities throughout WA State. CEA has been partnering and advocating with people with disabilities, families, businesses, and elected officials since 1974 to advocate, educate, and promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Washington state.

Community Employment Alliance (CEA) members collaborate with one another and with their communities to strengthen employment opportunities for people of all abilities.

Learn More About The Community Employment Alliance

Review Current Legislative Advocacy

Want to get involved? Here how you can help!

Sign up for our Advocacy Alerts System!

Our system makes it easy to contact your local Representatives and Legislators with the information you need to share with them. When you receive an Advocacy Action Alert, the alert and the action to take will be clearly and simply outlined.

QR Code for the AtWork! Advocacy Alerts Sign Up Form

Make sure you're registered to vote!

“Voting is the language of American democracy. The ability to participate in civic life — to have a voice in choosing the elected officials whose decisions impact our lives, families, and communities — is at the core of what it means to be an American.” – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

How to register to vote in Washington State

How to vote in Washington State

Current Election Information

Find your Legislative District, Representatives, and Senator!

Taking the time to learn about your legislators is a valuable step in your advocacy efforts. Their personal history informs their public policy decisions and provides information that you can use to make connections with them. Don’t hesitate to reach out! They want to listen to you.

How to find your Legislative District & More

Contacting your Members of Congress to Schedule a Meeting

Meet our Self-Advocates

Ivanova Smith, Activist Advocate

Self-Advocate Ivanova Smith supports Employment Advocacy both legislatively and through community education. Ivanova also serves as a Self-Advocate faculty for the UW Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program, and as hub team faculty for Project ECHO Ausitm Washington. Ivanova also serves on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) and co-chairs the Pierce County Developmental Disability Advisory Council, chairs the Self Advocates in Leadership (SAIL), and leads the local People First chapter in Pierce County. Previously, Ivanova served on the board of the Washington State Rehabilitation Council (WSRC) and the Working for Inclusive and Transformative Healthcare (WITH) Foundation Advisory Council.


John Lemus, Manager of Advocacy

John is an individual with multiple disabilities and has almost 20 years in public policy and government affairs in the developmental disabilities field. John has a strong social justice compass and has worked on and led multiple grassroots campaigns to effect change for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The most recent being lead on ending sub-minimum wage in the state of Washington! In 2014 John was the recipient of the SourceAmerica Tom Miller Award For Advocacy.

John has lived experience being paid sub-minimum wage and is committed to getting sub-minimum wages banned at the federal level so that people with disabilities have the same min wage protections as their neurotypical peers!

Advocacy Manager John Lemus and Activist Advocate Ivanova Smith.
Ivanova Smith and John Lemus at the Advocacy Advance.
The Washington State Seal at the Capitol in Olympia.
Michele, a person served by AtWork!, testifying at Advocacy Day in 2019.
Ivanova Smith wins the Governor's Trophy in 2022.
Our Director of Government Affairs, Chris Brandt, Self-Advocate Ivanova Smith, and Representative Emily Wicks in 2022 at the Washington State Capitol.