Pierce County Resource Guide to Services and Supports for Individuals
Who Experience Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
(section links below).
Please call our office at 253.564.0707 to make arrangements to pick up your copy!
This Pierce County Resource Guide is dedicated to the hard work and commitment of those who have endeavored
timelessly over the years to “keep the promise.”
We want to acknowledge the generous support of Pierce County Human Services, Developmental Disabilities
Program, in providing the funds to update and print this important comprehensive guide to services and supports
for individuals who experience intellectual/ developmental disabilities. This important tool will assist you in
navigating the public and private programs and services available throughout Pierce County and beyond.
The Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities (PC2) welcomes the opportunity to assist individuals
and families in finding the services and programs that best meet your needs. We are here to answer your calls
if you need further assistance. Whether you are an individual who experiences an intellectual/developmental
disability, have a family member who experiences an intellectual/developmental disability, work within the disability
field, or are in the general community, we welcome your questions and concerns.
We acknowledge that, when compiling this complex list of resources, there are changes that can occur during the
production process. Please know that every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of agency
SEARCH FOR A RESOURCE
Education , Alternative Learning
ARK Institute of Learning (Applied Research Knowledge)
ARK Institute of Learning is a non-profit agency dedicated to diminishing the impact of learning disorders in the lives of individuals. ARK educational therapists evaluate and instruct children and adults in their desire to overcome learning challenges. ARK has assisted hundreds of students with a variety of learning challenges including dyslexia, language disorder, nonverbal learning disorder/visual-spatial processing disorder, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and specific learning disorder or disability. ARK also assists students who have no formal diagnosis but who would benefit from interventions in reading, written communication, math, oral and reading comprehension, and/or handwriting. Other ARK services include training educators to effectively teach the atypical learner, offering summer small group classes, and providing consultations with ARK's school psychologist.
Children's Institute for Learning Differences (CHILD)
CHILD is a three-component 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides: therapeutic day-school services; pediatric clinical therapy services for students and private clients (ages 3-18); and support and training for parents and professionals. CHILD addresses the needs of children often denied access to local education programs due to challenges posed by severe sensory processing disorders, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, emotional-behavioral disabilities, autism, and extreme anxiety. Students are placed at CHILD by their parents or in partnership with school districts and most transition back to their home school districts within 1-3 years. CHILD provides therapeutic interventions to reach children who would otherwise continue to fail at school.
Great Schools is the leading national non-profit empowering parents to unlock educational opportunities for their child. Great Schools’ trusted ratings and school information help parents find the right school for their family and improve schools in their communities. The thousands of articles, tips and interactive tools help parents support their child’s learning and wellbeing every day. Families, community leaders and policy-makers turn to Great Schools for the school information they need to guide children to great futures. Please visit our website for more information.
Insight School of Washington (ISWA) helps students in grades 9-12 reach their true potential. We understand that each student is different - requiring a unique, tailored approach to learning. Our teachers ensure each student's needs are met by delivering personalized instruction and attention. Washington families choose ISWA for their children for the experienced, Washington-certified teachers, for the quality curriculum from our K-12, an individualized learning plan, exceptional programs to help struggling students, smart and sensible ideas, and their destinations career academy. ISWA will bring students, parents, teachers, and counselors together to form a powerful, collaborative team to help students thrive.
We provide care in home and community settings to children, teens and adults with moderate to severe disabilities. We support each client in assisting with vocational training, independent living, and individual education plans. We offer continued educational and social experiences, encouraging our clients to grow and build meaningful relationships with peers and staff as well as effectively integrate into their community. We help families in accessing the resources and services that their child/young adult family member needs to ensure that we are advocating effectively for our communities most vulnerable.
Education Ombuds: listens to understand your questions and concerns relating to students in K-12; provides information about public school processes and the rights and responsibilities of students and parents, and make referrals to appropriate resources; asks questions to help you identify, understand, and evaluate possible options for resolving concerns; acts as a neutral sounding board; offers support and coaching on working through conflict and building effective communication; consults with families, educators, and others to clarify issues and facilitate direct communication between families and schools; and shares best practices for increasing family engagement in schools.
The Pierce County Skills Center opened in 2010, bringing along with it career options for students, leading to real jobs that mesh with workplace demands. The Pierce County Skills Center serves juniors and seniors from our 10 school districts: Bethel, Eatonville, Fife, Franklin Pierce, Orting, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma, University Place and White River. Please visit our website for information on programs, resources, and more.
Start Now! In Pierce County is a learning group for students to prepare for their future. Target: middle school age students and their families with IEP’s and or 504 accommodations. Goal: for families to begin thinking and preparing for their student's future. Focus: practical skills. Format: three sessions, student tracks and family night.
Washington Association for Learning Alternatives (WALA)
The Washington Association for Learning Alternatives is a non-profit corporation for the benefit all those concerned with providing options in education, public and private, from preschool through post secondary. Alternative education, also known as non-traditional education or educational alternative, includes a number of approaches to teaching and learning other than mainstream or traditional education. Educational alternatives are often rooted in various philosophies that are fundamentally different from those of mainstream or traditional education. While some have strong political, scholarly, or philosophical orientations, others are more informal associations of teachers and students dissatisfied with some aspect of mainstream or traditional education. Educational alternatives, which include charter schools, alternative schools, independent schools, and home-based learning, vary widely, but often emphasize the value of small class size, close relationships between students and teachers, and a sense of community.
Washington Virtual Academies gives Washington kids the chance to learn in the ways that are right for them. WAVA offers: the award-winning K12 curriculum, full-time, tuition-free online public school option, support from state-certified teachers, an active, supportive school community, a range of extracurricular activities, ability for students to participate in their school district’s extracurricular athletics and, in some cases, other activities. WAVA is a program of Omak School District (grades K-12).