[NFBWATLK] Fwd: [Wcb-l] Fwd: Toby Olson, disability community leader, passes away

Merribeth Manning Greenberg merribeth.manning at gmail.com
Thu Dec 20 19:52:00 UTC 2018

Beth (Merribeth) (Manning) Greenberg

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Deb Cook Lewis <deblewis53 at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Dec 20, 2018 at 11:11 AM
Subject: [Wcb-l] Fwd: Toby Olson, disability community leader, passes away
To: <wcb-l at wcbinfo.org>

Here is info on Toby's Memorial Service etc.

*    Toby Olson, disability community leader, passes away*

OLYMPIA -Toby Olson, Executive Secretary of Governors Committee on
Disability Issues and Employment, passed away suddenly on Sunday, Dec.

Housed at the Employment Security Department (ESD), the Governors
Committee on Disability Issues and Employment promotes equality,
opportunity, independence and full participation in life for people
with disabilities. Gov. Booth Gardner appointed Olson to his position
in 1987.

This is a great loss for our ESD family, for the disability community
and for our state, said ESD Commissioner Suzan Suzi LeVine. Toby was a
kind man and an incredible asset to Washington. He gave deeply of
himself to the states Disability Inclusion Network as well as many
other state and national councils and committees.

In his 31 years of state service, Olson wrote, co-authored, and
secured passage and enactment of more than 40 state laws expanding the
rights and opportunities for people with disabilities in such areas as
employment, civil rights, education, housing, transportation and

He was instrumental in crafting hundreds of policy proposals and
initiatives, and obtained critical grant funding for programs to
increase individuals knowledge of rights and to foster advocacy skills
 the most recent of which was the RETAIN grant.

Olson spent his career encouraging public dialogue and actively
challenging the preconceptions and stereotypes about people with
disabilities in an effort to evoke change.

He is survived by his wife, Rhonda Brown, a review judge for the
Employment Security Departments Commissioners Review Office, and son,

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, in the
auditorium of Building 2 on the Tacoma Community College campus in

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