SURVEY: What local services do people dealing with aging and/or disabilities need most?

What services are most important for older and/or disabled people? What needs aren’t being addressed? A city agency is looking for your answers, to be sure it’s properly prioritizing. Here’s the announcement we received this afternoon:

Aging and Disability Services (ADS), a division of the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) that serves as the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle and King County, monitors trends and issues affecting older people and adults with disabilities in King County. ADS invites all members of the public to complete a survey, commenting on aging and disability service priorities.

Every four years, ADS and more than 600 other Area Agencies on Aging throughout the United States develop an Area Plan that charts the course each agency will follow to address emerging needs, while also working to create age-friendly communities. The Area Plan describes the function of ADS, presents relevant demographic trends for King County, and outlines major goals and objectives for addressing trends, issues, and needs. To support development of the Area Plan for 2024–2027, ADS is examining changing trends impacting older adults and people with disabilities, and inviting community input on goals and objectives.

“We listen and we form strong bonds with the community,” said ADS Director Mary Mitchell. “We have a very strong interest in racial equity. People of color should not experience disparities. To that end, we particularly want to hear from older people, adults with disabilities, and caregivers in BIPOC communities.”

ADS has posted a 2023 Community Engagement Survey online at The deadline for completion is Friday, April 21.

In July, ADS will publish a draft Area Plan for 2024–2027 online at and schedule a public hearing. After a final draft plan is approved by the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services and key partners will be submitted to the State Unit on Aging (part of the DSHS Aging and Long-Term Support Administration). Following state approval in early 2024, the final plan will be posted online.

3 Replies to "SURVEY: What local services do people dealing with aging and/or disabilities need most?"

  • aa April 7, 2023 (3:48 am)

    Seniors and elderly are invisible in our society.  When are we going to start having bake sales to help the elderly afford assisted living without going broke?  Raising money for children is always a big draw while elderly people are forgotten and ignored.  First step?  Next time you are walking and see an elderly person crossing, how about taking a moment and walking with them?  At their pace. Say hello and give them the support of your presence so it doesn’t feel so treacherous.  Or take a moment to open a door if you are going in the same building?  Find ways to let them know they are seen.  Have seniors/ elderly in your family?  When was the last time you called to say hello? Sent a card?  Including older people in your life in ways big and small.  In my opinion this is not a BIPOC issue, this is an issue of our society ignoring the needs of our older population. 

  • Seattlite April 7, 2023 (8:32 am)

    Beyond local services, the aging need respect while traversing sidewalks  that are used by speeding bicycles, scooters, and other fast moving wheels.  Seniors do a lot of walking on Lincoln Park trails. around Beach Drive,  Alki and are fearful of being hit by the speeding bicyclists.  Also, seniors who obey street-marked street crossings, corner to corner unmarked crossings are fearful of being hit by speeding cars who do not respect pedestrians trying to cross streets.  

  • Tracy Smith April 7, 2023 (7:56 pm)

    There is no accountability or transparency in Washington State – King County or Seattle. My black Autistic son, then 17 year old – 11th grader at Lake Washington School District ~ Redmond High School had his education stop permanently in March 2020. I found no equitable legal help, no non-profit help-no legislative help-no media help for my son. I was a career paraeducator, neurodiverse myself, who in March 2018 witnessed egregious physical and educational harm of student with disabilities while working at a middle school in LWSD. I followed the law of my job as a mandatory reporter. I filed my mandatory report on March 27, 2018. I was and continued to be retaliated against for doing so between 2018-2020. The district also retaliated against my son by denying FAPE/IDEA rights and services he needed for SLD of Dyslexia. I wrote two state complaints one filed on Feb 20, 2020 to OSPI. They would come to error on that complaint and tried to deny doing so. They did not notify us of decision. They notified the district but not us. So the district sent us a PNW(prior written notice), we had been waiting on results of complaints to figure out next steps, we thought it was just taking longer. No, they already decided and there was only corrective action for IEP team to be retrained in taking proper progress data. Nothing for my son. That retraining was to finish by deadline of Aug 10, 2020. The district as far as I know never completed that re-training. I filed a second complaint to OSPI after my son saw no learning, was given no laptop or hotspot to even connect to learning after schools closed. OSPI would come to once again side with the district. My son never connected once between March and the last day of school. Not once. The entire educational system that exist there operates with key communicator networks. They silenced us. In August I left my nearly five year career to care for my sons well being. Retaliation followed us to many other things within WA state. But with no access to equitable legal help. Bad actors in disability agencies there was no one willing to risk what they had or their childrens education to help us. Loss of my career took our two income household into one. Then none and we like others got stuck in the EPRAP wait line. In December 2021 our wait was over but now we were faced with no income and homelessness. We made the difficult decision to move home to family in another state. My son lost all access to waiver services as a result. I would go on to right a complaint to OCR – Seattle. I was met with more corruption. I tried this last month just before my son turned 21 to write a complaint to DOJ. Took just six days(four of them business days) to tell me they would not take up the case, but thanks for helping others and told me to seek help from local legal aid in the state we live in now. My disabled black son spent over 1090 days not connected to learning, services or having access to peers. He would not get to graduate with his peers in 2021. He never was reconnected. He turned 21 last month.Federal laws do not protect disable people in the state of Washington because there is no equitable help and too many people willing to cover up harm of the disable population. 

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