Alliance History:

A Timeline:

  • 1977 WCCD (Washington Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities was created as a working concept by this pioneer group.
  • 1978 WCCD becomes a 501(c) 3 non-profit.
  • 1978 1978 DVR awards WCCD an Innovation & Expansion Grant. Metro hires WCCD as technical consultant to assist in the selection of wheelchair lifts..
  • 1979 King County’s Women’s Program funds WCCD to train women with disabilities for leadership roles.
  • 1980 Washington State Ferries, Puget Sound Council of Governments, and private industry contracts with WCCD for technical assistance. Community Service Administration funds ACTION grants to train volunteers with disabilities.
  • 1981 Disability Law Project (DLP) operated by University of Puget Sound (UPS) School of Law as component of its clinical law program.
  • 1982 WCCD its first United Way grant to train Peer Counselors to provide peer support to other individuals with disAbilities.
  • 1983 WCCD presents the first HI-TECH conference for persons with disAbilities in the community.
  • 1983 DLP becomes nonprofit corp. with office in Tacoma. WCCD completes a substantial training project for supervisors and administrators in the Port of Seattle.
  • 1984 WCCD presents the second conference on HI-TECH and the community of persons with disabilities. WCCD operates a Job Club, receiving referrals from DVR and the State Dept. of Services for the Blind (DSB).
  • 1985 WCCD is awarded a contract by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to write a guidebook on needs assessment in housing for persons with disAbilities
  • 1985 Social Security Administration funds WCCD for employment services to persons enrolled on SSI. DLP subcontracts with WPAS to provide services to residents of Rainier State School.
  • 1985 WCCD is awarded a contract by the Washington State Division of Rehabilitation to operate the Client Assistance Program (CAP) which acts as an ombudsmen for DVR clients.
  • 1985 WCCD becomes an official United Way agency.
  • 1986DLP opens office in Seattle.
  • 1987 WCCD receives funding from King County Women’s Program to help women with disabilities become employed.
  • 1988 WCCD receives funding from the Boeing Company, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and King County Division of Developmental Disabilities to initiate self-employment services for citizens with disAbilities.
  • 1988 DLP closes office in Tacoma; termination of subcontract with WPAS causes major staff reduction. WCCD receives funding from City of Bellevue to train persons with disabilities in access laws and provide consultation services to human service agencies receiving City funds.
  • 1989-95WCCD receives funding from the City of Seattle to provide employment services to persons with disabilities.
  • 1990 The Disabilities Law Project merges with WCCD.
  • 1990-95WCCD receives funding from the City of Seattle to train persons with disabilities in access laws and provide consultation services to human service agencies receiving City funds.
  • 1991 WCCD receives funding from Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to serve as a Center for Independent Living
  • 1991WCCD subcontracts with the City of Seattle and the Dept. of Fisheries to review buildings and facilities for accessibility. King County Self-Advocates, an organization governed by persons with developmental disabilities, becomes a program under the umbrella of WCCD.
  • 1992 WCCD receives contract to provide training on housing to King County residents with disabilities interested in low-income housing. WCCD subcontracts with the City of Bellevue, Timberline Regional Libraries, the City of Seattle Public Libraries and Park Dept to review buildings and facilities for accessibility. WCCD works with the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment to offer a training to over 125 persons with disabilities on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • 1993 WCCD holds its first ADA celebration at the Seattle Center.
  • 1993WCCD subcontracts to review Seattle Public Schools in conjunction with Heery Engineers. WCCD also subcontracts to review Washington State’s Insurance Commission Offices, King County Public Libraries.
  • 1993 WCCD sponsors ADA celebration at Seattle Center involving 35 vendors, portraying entertainers with disabilities, and attracting over 300 participants. WCCD awards members of the Washington community with White Ribbon honors for exemplifying access. WCCD sponsors a reception for White House staff member involving over 40 leaders from Washington State Disability community.
  • 1993 WCCD moves from its offices on Stone Way to the Good Shepherd Center.
  • 1994 WCCD receives RSA (federal) funding for an Independent Living Center in Snohomish County.
  • 1994 WCCD receives Assistive Technology grant from Dept of Social and Human Services.
  • 1996 WCCD receives RSA (federal) funding for an Independent Living Center in Redmond.
  • 2001 WCCD held the first “Emerging Majority” Festival>
  • 2004 Lonnie Davis, Disability Law Project, elected to the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors.
  • 2006 WCCD celebrates 30 years in King County
  • 2006 Ensuring Equal Access for People with Disabilities: A Guide for Courts published.

  • 2006 WCCD changes its name to Alliance of People with disAbilities.
  • 2008King County Elections awards $70k grant to Alliance for election awareness & increased voter registration from July to November.
  • 2009 The Quality Assurance Team is created with members from staff, participants and Board.
  • 2009 Lucille Walls hired as Executive Director.
  • 2010 Alliance receives funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress.
  • 2010 Alliance of People with disAbilities moves its Seattle office to the Capitol Area – 1120 E. Terrace Street.
  • 2010 Alliance of People with disAbilities celebrates the 20th of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with our friends and collaborators: Woodland Park Zoo and Aquarium, Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Washington Rehabilitation Commission, Governor’s Committee on Employment and Issues Concerning Disability, Northwest ADA Center, and Washington Disabilities Rights.
  • 2011 Seattle opens its iTEC Lab with a kickoff “Open Spaces*” with assistance from the Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund
  • 2011 Alliance of People with disAbilities moves its branch office to Bellevue: 1150 140th Avenue, NE
  • 2013 Lonnie Davis retires and the Disabilities Law Project ends.
  • 2014 Lucille Walls Retires.
  • 2014 Kimberly Meck is the new Executive Director
  • 2015 we join the 25th annual celebration of the passing of the Americans’ with disAbilities Act downtown at Westlake square.
  • 2016 Alliance awarded WA. State Dept of Health grant to train emergency responders to work with people with disAbilities.
  • 2017Alliance of People with disAbilities moves its East office to the Together Center in Redmond.


The Washington Coalition of Citizens with disABILITIES was organized in 1977 by a group of Seattle’s disabled leaders to provide advocacy, community education and direct services not previously available to persons who are disabled. It was a local expression of national changes affecting the disabled.

The group included representatives from the hearing impaired, physically and psychiatrically disabled and the visually impaired communities. The active participation of disabled people in managing programs and advocating for change has been continuous throughout WCCD’s history.

One of the coalitions first programs, funded by the Washington State Department of Social and Health services (DSHS), was to develop an attendant care manual and a program to recruit, train and place attendant care workers within King County. Our attendant care manual is still in demand as a resource. To further support persons receiving attendant care, the Coalition became active in legislative concerns, and helped to create landmark legislation to enable disabled persons to work while receiving reimbursement for cost of attendant care, thereby eliminating a work disincentive. The City of Redmond is contracting with WCCD in 1991 to initiate a model Attendant Referral Program for Redmond.

Similar efforts in developing broad- based disability policy and modeling of innovative resources has been directed toward assuring community wide access for persons of all disabilities. Initially a technology assistance team of Coalition members conducted an on-site study of access to bus systems throughout the nation for the purpose of advising Metro transit in the selection of wheelchair lifts. The WCCD assisted in developing a map of the downtown elevators and other significant access features. Later our team contracted with the Washington State Ferry system to evaluate and make recommendations for accessibility of the ferry fleet and physical shore structures. Today we conduct on-site accessibility evaluations for local institutions and agencies (reviewing over 70 agencies in 1990) needing to make their sites environmentally, programmatically and attitudinally accessible to all persons.

In the past six years, WCCD has offered focused training sessions and/or forums for the purpose of educating the public about disabilities, and to inform disabled people about issues affecting them. “Access HI-TECH” fairs have served as a valuable communication tool. The bi-monthly newsletter keeps our members and friends informed. Our printed materials such as WCCD’s guidebook on accessible housing proposed for HUD to be used by city planners and decision makers expand the community’s knowledge of disability-related issues and resources.

During WCCD’s early years, we relied on contributions and volunteers to maintain the organization. Then the Coalition became a United Way member agency. Now our funding base includes volunteer contributions, United way funds and fee-for service payments through such as contracts technical assistance services with City of Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, and King County. Volunteer contributions support our information and referral and advocacy work.