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Governor’s Committee for Disability Issues & Employment (GCDE)



Members volunteer their time and knowledge to support the work of the committee and to benefit the community of people with disabilities in Washington state.

The committee has 25 volunteer members appointed by the governor. They serve a 3-year term with the possibility of being appointed to a second 3-year term.

According to Executive Order 87-08:

  • At least 50% of GCDE members are people with disabilities.
  • Up to 10% of members may be family members of people with disabilities or advocates/professionals who work with the disability community.
  • Members are selected to represent a wide variety of physical, developmental and sensory disabilities. We also consider race, ethnicity, geographical residence, gender, age and diversity of viewpoints when we recommend people for appointment to the committee. We intentionally include historically undervalued people who experience disproportionate barriers to employment and services, such as people of color and LGBTQI+, recognizing that intersection between identities compounds barriers to access, equity and inclusion.

We accept applications throughout the year. We will consider applications received after the deadline if later vacancies exist.

To be considered for 2024 GCDE membership:

Two applications are required:

  1. The online Boards and Commissions application: governor.wa.gov/boards-commissions/apply-serve.
  2. The GCDE Supplemental Application. Email Elaine Stefanowicz, membership program coordinator elaine.stefanowicz@esd.wa.gov to receive this application.

The due date for both applications was Oct. 20, 2023, but you can submit applications anytime. We will consider applications received after the deadline if later vacancies exist.

If you need help with the applications or have questions, contact Elaine Stefanowicz at elaine.stefanowicz@esd.wa.gov or 360-890-3774.


As a member, you will:

  • Be involved locally and serve as a committee contact to the local community.

  • Help the committee establish relationships with state agencies, local governments, private industry, educational institutions, labor and other organizations -- especially those that serve the disability community -- to promote equal opportunity.

  • Submit a participation log monthly.

  • Serve as a resource and advocate by alerting the committee to issues, opening doors and working on projects as feasible.

  • Attend and participate in general membership meetings.

  • Participate in establishing committee policies and actively work towards their implementation.

  • Serve on subcommittees and actively work to support their activities.

  • Respond to mail polls, surveys etc.

  • Notify GCDE staff if you need to miss meetings or reduce your participation.


To be a member, you must meet all qualifications:

  • Have a disability, be a family member of someone with a disability or be an advocate/professional working on behalf of a person with a disability.
  • Have experience working to empower people with disabilities to obtain equality of opportunity and maximum independence.
  • Possess expertise, skills, resources or life experience that will contribute to the activities of the committee.
  • Have leadership experience in community-based activities which enhance opportunities for people with disabilities, or have lived experience that brings perspective needed for the GCDE to represent the disability community

After you apply

After the application deadline, the GCDE Membership Subcommittee will review all complete applications. We will contact selected applicants to schedule a phone or video interview.

After interviews, subcommittee members will contact references of final candidates and recommend to the Governor’s Boards & Commissions Office the names of final candidates.

The governor makes all appointments to the GCDE. Our recommendation to the Boards & Commissions Office does not guarantee that the governor will appoint our final candidates.

Our goal is to have new members appointed by Jan. 1, 2024. This date might change.

(back to GCDE home)