Legal Authority

Honoring humanity creates an equitable and just society

Often, in the United States, the guarantee of human rights starts with recognition in the law. The Washington State Office of Equity champions equity and justice for everyone in the state, working to ensure that the civil rights of persons with disabilities are protected based on the law. We are committed to promoting policies and laws in Washington state that protect the human rights of persons with disabilities based on principles of humanity, justice, and belonging.

Below are laws that protect the human and civil rights of persons with disabilities. Please visit Policy for more information on federal and state laws that protect human rights and outlaw discrimination.

Two women in conference

Washington state RCW 49.60.030, Freedom from discrimination—Declaration of civil rights states, “The right to be free from discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation or the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability is recognized as and declared to be a civil right.”

Additional Mandates:

Access is complex. It is more than just having a ramp. Access is a constant process that doesn’t stop. It is hard and even when you have help, it can be impossible to figure out alone. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
No amount of smiling at a flight of stairs has ever made it turn into a ramp. No amount of standing in the middle of a bookshelf and radiating a positive attitude is going to turn all those books into braille. Stella Young