Picciano v. Clark County, et. al.
Gaven Picciano lives with Celiac Disease. After being arrested, he was held in Clark County Jail for 22 days without access to the gluten-free diet he needs. This treatment has caused substantial long-term harm to Gaven's health. WACDA has teamed up with the excellent counsel at Stein & Vargas, LLP to make sure there is both justice and a precedent set for better treatment for those disabled individuals with special dietary needs.
WACDA in the News
King County Bar Association Outstanding New Lawyer Award for 2022: Conrad Reynoldson
June 13, 2022
We are proud to announce that our founder, Conrad Reynoldson, is the recipient of the Outstanding New Lawyer Award by the New Lawyer Division (NLD) of the King County Bar Association for 2022!
“What particularly impressed NLD — and what set Conrad apart from the other finalists — was Conrad’s commitment to training the next generation of disability rights attorneys," said Benjamin Byers. "Despite only employing two attorneys, Conrad’s law firm regularly takes on two to four interns at a time, providing them with opportunities to do substantive work that “moves the needle” for the disability community.”
Days After Initial Snow, Sidewalks Issues Plague Wheelchair Users
December 28, 2021
"According to law, it’s the property owner’s job to clear a sidewalk. SDOT has worked with dozens of community groups to get out more than 20-thousand brochures with that information.
Some – like attorney Conrad Reynoldson – say the city’s approach isn’t enough. 'They need to stop passing it off on other people, and basically take a role in this,' said Reynoldson. 'Not just say, "Be kind to your neighbors," because, some people – like myself – obviously, physically can not do that.'
Reynoldson uses a motorized wheelchair, which means he has a better chance to get around than those with a manual wheelchair. Despite that, he’s been stuck inside for days at a time during some of Seattle’s larger storms – this week, his van has been his lifeline though he said a little more snow would mean he couldn’t access it either. 'The snow is beautiful to look at, but otherwise I dread it – It’s going to be challenging to get around, and basically unless I can get there safely in my van I can’t go anywhere.'
Reynoldson said he thinks it’s an issue about awareness. He wishes more people would consider the shape their sidewalk is in, and how someone in a wheelchair would navigate around it.
In the meantime, he said anyone in a wheelchair is thinking about it daily – once the snow is in the forecast it’s a matter of planning travel between every block. Even if you can make it onto public transportation there’s a fear over where they’ll unload passengers. 'You don’t know whether there is going to be snow there blocking it,' said Reynoldson. 'Often times, people have to go in the streets which can be hazardous.'"
We Zoomed, We Testified, We Won!
July 22, 2021
"CDAN and its support for our advocacy was critical! CDAN members had a range of views on HB 1141 – not everyone agreed with our perspective. But, we all were in agreement that it was important for the Legislature to hear from people with disabilities about the impact the bill will have. From CDAN, we received pointers on layering testimony so that the most important points could be covered in one minute – if that’s all one had. (And it was.) Conrad’s shepherding of the cause throughout was critical to the effort."
Disability Rights Washington celebrated WACDA founder and lead attorney for his grassroots organizing of individuals with disabilities to testify against the physician-assisted suicide expansion bill HB 1141. Reynoldson's advocacy and organizing efforts were critical in stopping the bill.
Sidewalk Accessibility - KIRO 7
May 14, 2021
KIRO 7 spoke to WACDA founder and lead attorney, Conrad Reynoldson, about the City of Seattle's recent sweep of tents near 4th avenue. The City of Seattle cited the ADA as the reason for the sweep, but Reynoldson pointed out that in his years of fighting for accessibility in Seattle the City has generally not sufficiently addressed sidewalk accessibility concerns in a timely manner. KIRO 7's article discusses how a Hollywood movie is also currently being filmed near 4th avenue.
Washington State PAS: Conrad Reynoldson Makes a Difference
April 12, 2021
WACDA founder and lead attorney was featured on "Choice" Is An Allusion's website after leading a grassroots organization of disability rights advocates to oppose Washington's ESHB 1141 which would have substantially undermined the few safeguards that Washington's current Physician-Assisted Suicide law contained. Reynoldson expressed gratitude to the individuals and organizations who put their all into the advocacy and helped stop the bill before it could even be voted on.
The Importance and Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act
August 14, 2020
"Conrad Reynoldson, founder and vice president of Washington Civil & Disability Advocate, shared his perspective on this. “As wonderful as the impact [of] the law has been, it was simply the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end when it comes to stopping widespread discrimination and inaccessibility…Airlines are exempt…and the ADA has yet to have been updated to clearly cover websites. The ADA does not even cover the very Federal courts in which it is supposed to be enforced and no matter how egregious the discrimination (outside of the employment title) damages are very difficult to ever obtain.”
Disability Groups Say They Didn't Get the Heads-Up About Sidewalk Cafe Legislation
July 2, 2020
Our own Conrad Reynoldson was recently quoted in The Stranger on how the city of Seattle did not seek input from the disability community prior to rolling out it's proposed plans for sidewalk cafe legislation.
"'It's concerning and a bit upsetting that [the city] didn’t appear to seek input from disability rights organizations,' Conrad Reynoldson, an attorney with Washington Civil & Disability Advocate told me. While he doesn't see anything inherently wrong with sidewalk cafes, he hasn't gotten any tangible information about the program from the city. All he learned about it was from this Seattle Times article."
Outdoor Space for Dining and Retail May Help Businesses, But May Impede People With Disabilities, Advocates Worry
June 26, 2020
"Reynoldson is founder of the nonprofit Washington Civil and Disability Advocate. He said he supports efforts to help customers practice social distancing. While the legislation notes that changes need to comply with ADA access regulations, it doesn’t give specific guidance for doing that."
Conrad Reynoldson, the founder of WACDA, was recently interviewed by KUOW on the recent changes to rules about outdoor seating at restaurants, and how these social distancing measures may cause access barriers for people with disabilities. Click the button to listen to or read the full story.
American Bar Association Lawyer Spotlight: Conrad Reynoldson
June 12, 2020
“Education and awareness are the most effective tools for combating ignorance and discrimination. I would love to see more law schools make concerted efforts to increase the representation of people with significant disabilities … There also needs to be more disability rights continuing legal education for attorneys and judges across the country ... A spirit of humility and seeking to understand how to be accessible and inclusive for the entire community will go a long way.”
WACDA founder Conrad Reynoldson was recently featured in by the American Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Center. Click the link to read the whole interview.
Americans with Disabilities Fear They Could Be Denied Treatment If They End Up in the Hospital with COVID-19
April 3, 2020
"When 33-year-old Conrad Reynoldson heard about some of the state protocols, he told me he had “a moment of sinking dread.” The Seattle attorney has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and he’s worried that if he becomes seriously ill, his diagnosis could prevent him from getting treatment. “I’m healthy, stable, and I’m contributing to the community,” he told me. “I don’t want someone looking at my diagnoses and rationing care based on inaccurate assumptions.”
New Seattle Legislation the Importance of Clearing Sidewalks in Snow Emergencies
January 16, 2020
A huge victory has been achieved with recently passed legislation that created a public education program about the snow & ice removal responsibilities of private property owners in Seattle. This has mandated the creation of a video PSA, and the sending of a mailer in Seattle utility bills about the importance of sidewalk clearing. This achievement is made possible by the advocacy efforts of Rooted in Rights through a campaign of collecting individual stories of people with disabilities reflecting on the difficulties of navigating the city in a snow emergency. Most notably, one of these videos was made by WACDA's Conrad Reynoldson. Watch the video again by clicking the button.
Conversations on Tech and Social Justice: Kenny Salvini
December 12, 2019
"Salvini: I read [on a] Christopher Reeves website a while ago that Seattle was always voted the most accessible city. You talk to anybody in the city, and they laugh. A good friend of mine, Conrad Reynoldson, is a lawyer and he’s done a lot of push for curb cuts and all these things within town... "
Mariners Escape Rest Of Claims In ADA Suit Over Sightlines
December 3, 2019
"A Washington federal judge rejected the remaining claims Tuesday in a suit against the Seattle Mariners over an alleged lack of sufficient seats for fans who use wheelchairs at T-Mobile Field, finding that the stadium does not have to provide sightlines over the heads of fans who stand during exciting parts of the games."
Companies Need to Do More for Employees and Customers with Disabilities
November 13, 2019
"In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) opened a new world for millions of people with disabilities by requiring businesses to make their physical locations accessible. Forward-thinking business leaders are making sure their digital spaces are also accessible and are embracing the universal design that will help them tap into new consumer markets."
Is the text on your website ADA accessible? Part One: Color
November 15, 2019
"In this three-part series, we’ll show you how fonts can help your website follow the standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act."
WACDA Welcome Southeast Asian Delegation
November 30, 2018
WACDA was honored and excited to host our third international delegation of the year. This was a Southeast Asian delegation with visitors from India, Pakistan, and Nepal all participating in the State Department's premier professional exchange program, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Their visit to Seattle was planned to explore human rights advocacy.
The delegation had a wonderful visit with WACDA where we discussed WACDA’s mission to protect the civil rights of citizens with disabilities, as well as discussion on some of our successes and best practices. We also learned a great deal about the projects these delegates are working on, their visions for equity in their own countries, and their lessons learned. We’d like to thank our guests, as well as the World Affairs Council for facilitating another excellent international discussion centered around justice!
Governor's Committee Exemplary Employers of People with Disabilities
October 25, 2018
This year’s 26th Annual Governor’s Employer Awards ceremony to recognize employers, hosted by the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment (GCDE), was a rousing success. Six public and private employers were honored for their exemplary work recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting people with disabilities.
Additionally awarded was the Governor’s Trophy to one outstanding disability employment advocate, as well as a lifetime achievement award. Washington Civil and Disability Advocate founder Conrad Reynoldson acts as the chairman of the GCDE awards subcommittee.
Said Reynoldson of this year’s event, “This year, Washingtonians nominated 22 employers and 8 individuals for these esteemed awards. The success of our ceremony highlights that inclusion is not just the right thing to do; it also makes good business sense!"
It was an incredible honor to have Washington State Governor Jay Inslee speak at the event, pictured here with Conrad Reynoldson.
Lawsuit Alleges ADA Violations at Safeco Field
October 22, 2018
People who use wheelchairs should not be relegated to far, obstructed views of the game and should not have to endure hazardous conditions. We're fighting to make Safeco Field accessible for all fans!
Lawsuit: Safeco Field Discriminates Against Wheelchair Users
October 21, 2018
Wheelchair users attending Seattle Mariners baseball games at Safeco Field get a "second-class" experience, a nonprofit disability-rights law firm says.
Lawsuit: Safeco Field Discriminates Against Wheelchair Users
October 20, 2018
"Wheelchair users attending Seattle Mariners baseball games at Safeco Field get a "second-class" experience, a nonprofit disability-rights law firm says, and has filed a discrimination lawsuit."
Lawsuit Demands Equal Access to Mariners' Games for Fans with Disabilities
October 18, 2018
Seattle, WA – Washington Civil & Disability Advocate (WACDA) and Connor & Sargent PLLC along with four of their wheelchair-using clients recently filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against the Seattle Mariners and the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District. This lawsuit alleges that baseball games at Safeco Field are not sufficiently accessible to wheelchair users. Insufficient and noncompliant accessible seating dimensions, distribution, and pricing, as well as a lack of equal access to some sections of the stadium, like Edgar’s Cantina, are a few of the issues identified in the complaint filed on October 15th, 2018.
The suit is brought by four lifelong Mariners fans seeking equal access to baseball games under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Safeco Field is leased and operated by the Seattle Mariners Baseball Club and owned by the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District. “Considering Safeco Field was built and subsequently remodeled long after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1991, it’s about time the stadium provided the equal access fans with disabilities expect and deserve under the law,” said Conrad Reynoldson, attorney for the plaintiffs.
WACDA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and disability rights law firm that advocates for disability rights and accessibility all across the state of Washington and beyond through litigation as well as education and advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels.
Connor & Sargent PLLC solve employment and other problems through advice, negotiation, and litigation. Matters handled include employment and consumer class actions; age, race, and gender discrimination; overtime and other wage issues; harassment;
executive compensation and severance; non-compete agreements and litigation; complex commercial litigation.
WACDA Meets with Delegation from Moldova
October 15, 2018
WACDA staff were honored to meet, through the U.S. State Department program, with a group of delegates from Moldova focused on empowering minority groups. The delegation has been traveling across the United States; one of the themes they focused on in the Seattle segment of their program was the rights and protections for people with disabilities.
In our meeting, WACDA shared our mission and approach to using litigation, advocacy, and education to empower people with disabilities in our own community. We shared the way local, state, and federal protections work, and sometimes don’t work, to promote accessibility and equality in the United States. The Moldovan delegation shared some recent successes in their country’s own process to bring a higher threshold of accessibility to their citizens. We concluded our meeting with open and informative discussions on best practices, potential setbacks, and next steps for our prospective groups. WACDA is proud to be a part of this international
dialogue and is thankful that the Moldovan delegation it took time out of their whirlwind cross-country tour to meet with us.
WACDA Meets with Delegation from Japan
May 31, 2018
Through the World Affairs Council of Seattle, WACDA met with a delegation of Japanese visitors who are participating in the State Department's premier professional exchange program, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). On this IVLP, titled Disability Access and Inclusion, the visitors came to Seattle to examine local services for people with disabilities, disability rights advocacy and activism and promoting independent living.
WACDA was honored to have a chance to discuss the work we do with an international audience and to gain insights into how similar advocacy is pursued in other countries. We had a productive meeting where we shared WACDA’s origin, the methodology of our work, and insights we have gleaned from our practice. We would like to thank the Japanese delegation for taking the time to meet with us and hope our conversations spark new ideas for both countries to continue to work together to fight for greater accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities.
Washington Civil & Disability Advocate Takes on Ticketmaster
June 9, 2019
Live Nation Worldwide Inc. and Ticketmaster LLC violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by making it nearly impossible to purchase tickets for wheelchair-accessible seats at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field. Whether the current website is compliant is still a question...
University of Washington Agrees to Fix its Parking Facilities
May 3, 2018
WACDA co-counseled with Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC to represent multiple clients concerned about the University of Washington Seattle campus parking accessibility. After filing a lawsuit on November 15, 2016 plaintiffs' counsel and The University of Washington have now agreed to a consent decree to make 43 parking facilities accessible within five years, and make 77 parking facilities accessible within 15 years. These changes will significantly increase parking accessibility across the Seattle campus for people with mobility disabilities.
Conrad Reynoldson was on Kiro 7 news with Olivia Williams, one of our plaintiffs in our case with the University of Washington, talking about the Consent Decree to make campus accessible parking in 77 facilities across the campus compliant.
In the King County Bar Association's Bar Bulletin
April 2, 2018
Conrad is the Featured Profile in the King County Bar Association's Bar Bulletin.
In the University of Washington School of Law October Alumni Newsletter
October 9, 2018
University of Washington School of Law recognized Conrad’s achievements and interviewed him in the recent October Alumni Newsletter.
Conrad Reynoldson Advocates Against Expansion of WA Assisted Suicide Bill
March 07, 2023
Conrad Reynoldson has spoken out against the expansion of the Washington "Death with Dignity" Act, warning against the adverse consequences that expanding access to assisted suicide an have on people with disabilities.
“But critics like disability rights advocate Conrad Reynoldson call the changes a recipe for disaster. 'This would open the door to more patients potentially being pressured and/or coerced, and to quickly pursuing assisted suicide with little chance for a second opinion or to give it further consideration.'"