GCDE projects


We have general membership meetings three times a year. Between those meetings, established subcommittees meet to work on special projects that were recommended by each subcommittee and approved by the general membership.

Accessible Communities Advisory Committees

The Accessible Community Advisory Committees (ACAC) Act was promoted by the Legislature to help communities be more welcoming and inclusive for persons with disabilities and to promote and provide equal access to the opportunities available to others. Their participation enriches communities, enhances the strength of the diversity of a community and contributes toward the economic vitality of a community.


ODEP, the Employment and Training Administration, and the Social Security Administration developed the RETAIN initiative — Retaining Employment and Talent after Injury/Illness Network — to implement and evaluate early intervention strategies designed to improve SAW/RTW outcomes. It is staffed by Program Coordinator Hillary Rossi.

Project-focused subcommittees

Governor’s Employer Awards Program

Recognizes and promotes the achievements of employers and individuals who have improved employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  

View photos from the 2019 Governor's Employer Awards  or read the news release about this year's winners. See the follow-up photos of this year's Employer Award winners with Governor Inslee. 

Community Outreach
Conducts outreach, information and advocacy events in communities throughout the state. The committee gathers information and then makes recommendations to elected officials, local service providers and leaders in the disability community.

The most recent public Town Hall Forum was in Walla Walla in April 2019.

The committee discussed with residents of the Walla Walla Valley areas:

  • Accessible housing
  • Services for families in need
  • Jobs for people with disabilities
  • Accessible transportation
  • All other issues affecting people with disabilities, their families and their advocates

Read the full Outreach report.

Read the report in Spanish.

For questions or to invite the Community Outreach Subcommittee to your community, contact Program Coordinator Melinda Johnson.  We will be coming to Orting WA, in December 2019.


Recruits and evaluates applicants, makes appointment recommendations to the Governor, and supports the development of the potential of the committee's members.  

See more about becoming a GCDE member or view current members.  

Youth Leadership Forum

Provides a six-day residential leadership development program for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities. The 2020 Youth Leadership Forum will be held July 25-31 at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

Follow YLF on Facebook.

For more information about any of our projects, programs, or sbucommites, or to get involved, please email the committee staff at gcde@esd.wa.gov.

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