New funding available for projects that benefit developmentally disabled people

Applications for the Dan Thompson Memorial Developmental Disabilities Community Services Account accepted through Friday, Oct. 8

Dan Thompson is holding a large U.S. Mail bin inside the mailroom at Microsoft.
Applications are being accepted through Friday, Oct. 8 for about $55 million in funding for organizations with projects that benefit people eligible for services through DSHS’ Developmental Disabilities Administration. The account named in memory of Dan Thompson, who was an advocate, Microsoft employee and person with a developmental disability. Dan is pictured above in the mailroom at Microsoft. Photo courtesy of the Thompson family.

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

lisa.pemberton@dshs.wa.gov

Organizations with projects that benefit people who are eligible for services through the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services’ Developmental Disabilities Administration are invited to apply for a new source of funding.

The Dan Thompson Memorial Developmental Disabilities Community Services Account has about $55 million. 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.

“This is a great opportunity for our community partners,” said Debbie Roberts, DSHS’ Assistant Secretary, DDA. “The application process is easy — you don’t need to be a professional writer. We’re excited to hear your ideas, big and small.”

DSHS is required to get recommendations from the Developmental Disabilities Council on how to spend the funding. Funds must supplement community-based supports and services, and must improve or enhance the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services system. 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. The application is available in six languages; groups can also apply by video or audio. The deadline to apply for the funding is Friday, Oct. 8.

“The Developmental Disabilities Council is grateful to the Washington State Legislature for making this historic investment,” said Jeremy Norden-Paul, executive director of the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council. “We are honored to support the process by bringing people together, identifying priority funding categories, and making recommendations for grants to help communities across the state.”

To learn more about the program, go to https://ddc.wa.gov/danthompson/. If you have questions or need support with the application process, contact Jeremy Norden-Paul at Jeremy.norden-paul@ddc.wa.gov or 360–586–3558.

About the funding: DSHS operates four residential habilitation centers that provide 24/7 care to people with developmental disabilities. In 2005, the Legislature established the Dan Thompson Memorial Trust Account which receives proceeds from the alternative use of excess property at the RHCs. The lease and rent payments for the surplus land must be used to provide family support, employment or day services to people with developmental disabilities who can be served by community-based developmental disability services.

The fund is named in memory of Dan Thompson, who was an advocate, Microsoft employee and person with a developmental disability.

In 2020, the Washington State Legislature passed Senate Bill 6190, which renamed the account and made some changes on how the account is operated.