The Accessible Communities Act, passed by the Washington State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Gregoire in 2010, helps communities become more accessible for persons with disabilities. “Accessible” refers to the design or improvement of facilities, environments, products and services, and to access to information and to means of communication. The Act promotes the creation of Accessible Community Advisory Committees (ACACs) in each of Washington’s counties, and created the Accessible Communities Account, managed by the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment (GCDE).
The Act provides that expenditures from the Accessible Communities Account be used for promoting greater awareness of disability issues, and improved access, inclusion and acceptance of persons with disabilities in communities. Funding is available for disability-related projects that each county may propose through its ACAC to improve access for people with disabilities, and ACACs may obtain reimbursement for certain of their expenses.
The Accessible Communities Account is funded with a portion of the fines levied for infractions related to parking spaces reserved for persons with disabilities, and for unauthorized use of special placards, license plates and identification cards granting special parking privileges to persons with disabilities.