Equal Access

Created on: 
Oct 21 2014



To provide staff with basic information to Social Service Specialists about Community Service Office responsibilities in the identification of individuals needing extra help (an accommodation) to access or maintain services resulting from a disability or learning or literacy issue.

WAC 388-472-0010 What are necessary supplemental accommodation services (NSA)?

WAC 388-472-0020 How does the department decide if I am eligible for NSA services?

WAC 388-472-0030 How can I get NSA services?

WAC 388-472-0040 What are the department's responsibilities in giving NSA services to me?

The department is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide full access to services. These accommodations must be provided on an on-going basis to ensure that the client is able to maintain eligibility and fully access program services.

Worker Responsibilities

  1. When department staff work with clients identified as needing NSA, it is critical that the plan be readily available and used to ensure the client is able to fully access services and maintain eligibility.
    NOTE: Most accommodations are easily provided when the need for accommodation is understood. Other service providers, such as DVR may be able to assist in providing accommodations when the client is eligible for DVR services. In some cases, DVR may have adaptive devices that can be shared, such as access to a TTY for communication with persons with hearing impairments.
  2. Continually be alert to cues that might indicate a client is in need of Equal Access (EA) services.
  3. Conduct an EA and develop an EA Plan if one has not been done.
  4. Provide accommodations whenever appropriate.
    EXAMPLE If you know that a particular client needs assistance, it is your ethical and legal responsibility to inform reception staff that the client is identified as EA and what accommodations are necessary, as stipulated in the EA Plan.


  • Upon application, all DSHS applicants and recipients are assessed for their need for accommodations.
  • Clients are screened using the ACES On-Line EA Screens to determine the need for accommodations and the plan for delivery of services.
  • Most EA screenings and plan development will be done by reception, financial or WorkFirst Program Specialists.
  • Social Service Specialists will be called upon for their expertise in screening and plan development when necessary.

Equal Access Accommodation Plan

Some EA Plans such as interpreter services or assistance with applications can be easily met. However, if the Financial Services Specialists or other staff need assistance in developing the EA Plan, it is important that the CSO Social Service Specialist is consulted. The CSO Social Service Specialist has primary responsibility for developing EA Plans when other staff are unable to accomplish this task due to the special needs of the client.

ACES Procedures

Equal Access and Accommodation Resources:

Search IESA Clarification Database