Breaking Down Community Boundaries as Allies alongside People with Disabilities

Disabilities Workgroup

The Disabilities Workgroup supports the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) and the Developmental Disabilities Endowment Trust Fund (DDETF) Governing Boards. 

We also support the Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds and act as a liaison to the state’s Developmental Disabilities Council.

Achieving a Better Life Experience Program (ABLE)

Washington ABLE is open for enrollments!

ABLE Information

Washington State’s ABLE Savings Plan allows people with disabilities and their families to save for future expenses without losing their state and federal benefits. The program launched in July 2018. The funds may be used for qualified expenses that improve health, independence and/or quality of life for the beneficiary.

The Department of Commerce administers the ABLE through a collaboration with The Oregon 529 Savings Network and BNY Mellon Sumday Administration. Contact the ABLE call center at 844-600-2253 for more information.

Stay up to date with ABLE Facebook and Twitter.

For more information:
ABLE Program Fact Sheet (PDF)
ABLE Program Fact Sheet in Spanish (PDF)
ABLE Brochure (PDF)
ABLE Brochure in Spanish (PDF)
ABLEforALL (web)
National ABLE Resource Center (Web)
Social Security SI 01130.740 Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts
IRS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Guidance – Section 529A (Web)
Senior Bulletin on Special Needs Trusts and ABLE (PDF) 
Implications of the ABLE Act for State Medicaid Programs (PDF) 

Contact Peter Tassoni, Disabilities Workgroup Manager, at 360-725-312

Developmental Disabilities Endowment Trust Fund Program (DDETF)

DDETG ImageThe DDETF is a supplemental special needs trust program established in 1999 by the Washington State Legislature. The program enables individuals with developmental disabilities, or their families and friends, to set aside funds for future use without affecting their eligibility for government services and benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.

Funds may be used for many services not covered by other benefits, including recreation, therapy, clothing and transportation. The Department of Commerce administers the DDETF through a contract with The Arc of Washington State, who acts as the Trust Manager. Call 888-754-8798 ext. 1 for more information.

Margaret-Lee retires from the DDETF board chair
Margaret-Lee, former DDETF chairMargaret-Lee was there at the inception of DDETF as a legislative concept with former senator McDonald. She advocated for the legislation, and served two terms as a board member appointed by Governors Locke and Gregoire. She served the last seven years as the board chair. Margaret-Lee has been a dedicated and enthusiastic force behind the successful DDETF program for nearly 20 years. Thank you!

For more information:
DDETF Compared to ABLE Fact Sheet (PDF)
DDETF and ABLE Comparison in Spanish (PDF)

Contact Peter Tassoni about questions on the position or the process to select a new chair.

For more information, visit the DDETF website at or contact the Department of Commerce’s Disabilities Workgroup Manager, Peter Tassoni.

The Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds Program

Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds Program

The Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds (ODDO) was created by the Washington State Legislature in 2016 to investigate and report on services to persons with developmental disabilities.

The Department of Commerce administers the ODDO through a contract with Disability Rights Washington.

The ODDO will provide information on rights and responsibilities of persons receiving developmental disabilities services and/or other state services. In addition, the ODDO will recommend changes in procedures to state agencies, the Governor’s Office and the State Legislature where they pertain to the needs of persons with developmental disabilities.

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ABLE Presentations

ABLE Governing Board Meetings

DDETF Governing Board Meetings

Relevant State and Federal Laws

Program Contact

Peter Tassoni
Disabilities Workgroup Manager