A stock image of a Scrabble board, with the word “Teamwork” spelled out in tiles.
Stock image by Nick Fewings, courtesy of Unsplash.

Hundreds of organizations apply for new funding source managed by DSHS’ Developmental Disabilities Administration

Contact: Lisa Pemberton, DSHS Media Relations, 360–902–7844


Nearly 400 community organizations with projects that benefit people with developmental disabilities applied for the first round of funding from the Dan Thompson Memorial Developmental Disabilities Community Services Account. The fund is named in memory of Dan Thompson, who was an advocate, Microsoft employee and person with a developmental disability.

Of the applications:

  • The total amount requested was more than $362 million.
  • The average request was $916,989.
  • The median request was $200,000.
  • There were 250 unique applicants, representing 93 different cities across the state.
  • The requests spanned nine priority areas for people who are eligible for DDA services, which include housing; residential support; transition into the community; technology; community-based settings; employment; education; mental, behavioral and physical health; and provider, organization and workforce development.

The account is funded by proceeds from the alternative use of excess property at the DSHS’ Residential Habilitation Centers. In 2020, the Washington State Legislature passed Senate Bill 6190, which renamed the account and made some changes to how it is operated. The account currently has about $55 million available; about $50 million came from federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and must be spent by the end of June 2023.

Funds must supplement community-based supports and services, and improve or enhance the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services system. DDA partnered with the Developmental Disabilities Council to lead the application process.

“The Developmental Disabilities Council is incredibly excited by the number, diversity and creativity of funding proposals submitted by organizations all over the state,” said Jeremy Norden-Paul, executive director of the council. “We asked folks to tell us about their unmet needs, and what they would do if they had more resources — their response was resounding and informative. We look forward to reviewing the ideas and making recommendations to DSHS for high-impact investments in community-based supports and services for people with developmental disabilities and their families.”

Applications were due Oct. 8. Priority will be given to projects that invest in Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities, rural communities and other historically marginalized or under-served communities, as well as projects that have strong sustainability plans and involve collaboration with other community partners. DDA will make final funding decisions after receiving recommendations from the Developmental Disabilities Council.

“We’re excited about the interest shown in the Dan Thompson funding, and look forward to funding community projects that will help us transform lives across the state,” said Debbie Roberts, assistant secretary of DDA.

Dan Thompson is pictured in the mailroom at Microsoft, holding a bin that is labeled “U.S. Mail.”
Dan Thompson in the Microsoft mail room. Photo courtesy of the Thompson family.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store