Washington State is recognized for its wide array of outdoor recreational activities and wildlife. The Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) encourages all persons with a disability to experience recreation in Washington's wonderful outdoors. Numerous opportunities are offered for hunters and anglers with disabilities through legislative mandates, statues, and policies complying with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Department employs an ADA (Americans with Disability Act) Committee (ADAC) comprised of representation from all the department's programs and regions. This ADAC Committee is proactive and dedicated to providing persons with disabilities access to its programs, facilities and services.
The ADA Advisory Committee to the Fish and Wildlife Commission (ADAAC) consists of Washington residents with disabilities representing each region. This committee works closely with the Department's ADA Committee to review, enhance, and create more recreational opportunities and legislation for persons with disabilities.
WDFW also partners with Cities, Counties, other State Agencies, US Forest Service (USFS), private landowners and Timber Companies to develop hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities. Our programs and projects are good examples of accomplishments through the cooperative efforts of public-private partnerships and the many dedicated members of the Disabled Sportsman Association, Disabled Veterans of America, Wounded Warrior Project, Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, Washington Poggie Club, Corporate organizations, sporting clubs, and WDFW personnel who have all volunteered their time, dollars and efforts to make these many programs and projects successful.
Effective Aug. 1, 2018, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will initiate several changes in the way it provides accommodations for hunters, fishers, and others with disabilities in accordance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Those changes, adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission during a public meeting June 14-16, are designed to ensure that people with disabilities receive accommodations that meet their individual needs.
The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the Governor to set policy for WDFW, adopted the new rules after a review by its ADA Advisory Committee and a public comment period March 8 through April 10.
Key changes include:
- Orange placard: The department will no longer issue orange identification placards to people with WDFW disability status. A person's disability designation will now be displayed on his or her hunting license with no changes to their disability status.
- Shooting from a vehicle: Hunters may no longer shoot from or possess a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle unless they have been issued a blue special-use placard by WDFW confirming they need this specific accommodation. In previous years, this opportunity was available to all hunters with a disability status, regardless of individual need. Hunters who qualify for these accommodations must display the blue placard, pull off the roadway, and turn off their engine before loading a firearm and shooting it from within a motor vehicle.
- Trapping accommodations: Like hunters and anglers, people with disabilities who trap furbearing animals will qualify for ADA accommodations, including assistance from a trapping companion.
- Permit appeals process: A new rule establishes a process for people with WDFW disability status to appeal the suspension of their special use permit to an administrative law judge.
For additional information, contact the department's customer service staff at 360-902-2464, or a regional WDFW office: Region 1 (509-892-1001), Region 2 (509-754-4624), Region 3 (509-575-2740), Region 4 (425-775-1311), Region 5 (360-696-6211), and Region 6 (360-249-4628).
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) receives federal assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and provides equal access to its programs, services, activities, and facilities under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968.
The U.S. Department of the Interior and WDFW prohibit discrimination on the bases of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, mental or physical disability, reprisal, sexual orientation, status as a parent, and genetic information. If you believe you have been discriminated against, please contact the WDFW ADA Program Manager, PO Box 43139, Olympia, WA 98504 within 45 calendar days of the alleged incident before filing a formal complaint, or write to: Chief, Public Civil Rights Division, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington DC 20240.
If you need further assistance or information, please contact the Olympia office of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: (360) 902-2349, or Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), (360) 902-2207.