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A partnership for communication on developmental disabilities issues in Washington state
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Community of Practice

Washington State Community of Practice Kick-Off  

Washington was one of five states awarded a grant for Community of Practice to support families across the life course. This five year effort is an opportunity for Washington State to explore different ways of supporting families. A newly released video highlights the project and one family's efforts to work toward the most inclusive life for their sonwith a developmental disability.(2/11/14)

Watch the Community of Practice video  

Community of Practice Kick-Off

A kick-off event was held for the Washington State Community of Practice on November 5th at the SeaTac Conference Center. Almost 100 individuals (including self-advocates, family members, community organization represenatives and more) from across the state came together to begin the discussion of how Washington will work to improve systems of support for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

See below for more information about the project.

Information Presented at the November 5 Kick-Off Meeting


National Community of Practice: Supporting Families who have Family Members with Developmental Disabilities Across the Lifespan (Mary Lee Fay and Shelli Reynolds)


Community of Practice: Washington Data

Notes Note from November 5 meeting

Information Shared at the November 6 State Team Meeting

  Charting the Life Course: A Guide for Individuals, Families and Professionals

National Community of Practice for Supporting Families Framework

  Charting the Life Course: Goal, Quality of Life Core Areas & Life Categories
  Framework for Supporting Families Across the Life Course
Who is Involved in the Washington State Community of Practice: Supporting Families over the Lifespan?
The Washington State Developmental Disabilities Administration and the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council jointly applied to be a Community Practice State.

What is the Overall Goal of the Community of Practice?

As a selected state, Washington, along with other grantee states, our goal is to work within our state and with other states to create policies practices and systems to better assist and support families that include a member with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) across the lifespan.

What are the Specific Goals of the Community of Practice?

The goals of the Community of Practice are:

  • to create a model framework for supporting families that addresses the needs of a family member with I/DD across the lifespan and supports states to develop and sustain exemplary family support practices.
  • to develop and facilitate a multi-level Community of Practice designed to build capacity within states and the nation to create policies, practices, and systems to better assist and support families that include a member with I/DD across the lifespan.
  • to capture and share lessons learned and products to develop, implement and sustain exemplary practices to support families and systems.
Whare are the Reasons for a Community of Practice?
  1. Connect people who may have never come into contact otherwise
  2. Provide a shared context for people to communicate and to share information
  3. Enable dialogue between people who have an interest in solving the same or similar problems
  4. Stimulate learning by serving as a vehicle for communication, coaching, or self-reflection
  5. Capture and distribute existing knowledge
  6. Introduce collaborative process and encourage the free flow of ideas and information; help people organize around purposeful actions
  7. Generate knowledge

How Can I Participate?

Provide Input as a Community Member
As the State Team begins its work, we will be looking for feedback about the work we are are doing. If you are interested in providing feedback as a stakeholder please sign up for our listserv. As a listserv member you will learn about our progress and about upcoming opportunities to participate. Join the Communities of Practice Listserv - Be sure to indicate you want to join the Communities of Practice Listserv somewhere in your email.

Where Can I Learn More?

If you are interested in learning more about the national project, you can visit the Communities of Practice national website at: http://www.supportstofamilies.org/