Central Washington Disability Resources is creating more accessibility with new PAS Program


CWDR built a ramp to help a person in the PAS Program. Photo courtesy of Mayra Colazo

Megan Rogers, Assistant News Editor

Central Washington Disability Resources, (CWDR), is located in Ellensburg and services the disabled members of the community. Within the last month, they created the power, action and system (PAS) program to modify the homes of people living with disabilities to help them become more accessible.  

“We can help individuals build ramps for their home for accessibility so that they can enter their homes,” Mayra Colazo, executive director for CWDR, said. “We can also do some bathroom modifications, and then we can do the grab bars in the bathroom for accessibility.”

Colazo said another thing the program can help with is yard work, because overgrown bushes and trees eliminate mobility access. 

“With this funding, people [can] do some yard maintenance, cut down the yard, trim down bushes, make it more welcoming,” Colazo said. “Depending on people’s disabilities, maybe they don’t have the ability, maybe they don’t have the energy to work on their yard.”

Colazo said she wanted to start this program because there weren’t services like PAS within the community and because situations can happen in life where people’s mobility changes, and some may not have access to their homes. 

“We have another program, which is where we do emergency evacuations with individuals with disabilities,” Colazo said. “We found out that when we’re going to their home, they’re having a hard time exiting their home in case of an emergency.”

So far, the PAS program has helped out one person and according to Colazo, they have had around six or seven individuals already reach out about the program. 

Colazo said it was amazing when the PAS program helped someone get a ramp to their house. 

“They really struggle getting into their home and after they send us a picture of the final ramp, it is beautiful,” Colazo said. “This allows people to be more independent in their community. This individual can now get out of his house, go out and get some fresh air by himself without any assistance.”

Colazo said having programs like PAS within communities is important so everyone has the same access. 

“Sometimes if we don’t have a mobility disability and we don’t realize the barriers in our communities, which are accessibility and it’s important for everybody to have equal access,” Colazo said. “There’s little things that we don’t pay attention to with accessibility, which really impacts a lot of people.”

People who are interested in applying to the PAS program can call 509-962-9620 or email [email protected]. To apply, people must be living in Kittitas, Chelan, Douglas, Grant or Yakima County.

“Individuals that are both under 50% area median income or have Social Security benefits are automatically eligible for the program,” Colazo said.