About Northwest Center

Two photos separated horizontally. Top photo: kids in black and white. Botton photo: kids in color.

Our Founders Refused to Take No for an Answer

Northwest Center was founded in 1965 by four Seattle moms who changed the world. When their kids with disabilities were rejected from school, they started their own. They wrote the first law in the nation guaranteeing public education to children with disabilities. They went on to help write the federal law now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which made public education possible for every child in the U.S.

Learn more about our history.

We’ve Followed Their Lead Ever Since

Today, we are just as determined to innovate, educate, and advocate for a more inclusive world. Northwest Center provides comprehensive, disability-inclusive services from cradle through career: Early Supports for children birth to 3, inclusive Early Learning, Employment Services for adults with disabilities, and training and consultation to empower businesses and educators to provide inclusive classrooms, workplaces, and communities. Our Social Enterprise businesses that provide services including office staffing, janitorial, and commercial printing also employ people with and without disabilities.

Northwest Center is living proof: When people of all abilities learn and work together, everyone benefits.

The Northwest Center Mission

To promote the growth, development, and independence of people with​ disabilities through programs of therapy, education, and work opportunity.

Northwest Center Leadership

Across Northwest Center’s community of employees, supporters, parents, educators, and employers, we are proud to support a mission of inclusion for kids and adults with disabilities.

Committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Our Workplace

Even with a mission of disability inclusion going back to 1965, Northwest Center recognizes that we must continually assess our own workplace to evaluate and improve equity, inclusion, accessibility, and diversity.

A Top-Down Commitment

Our leadership team and Equity Committee are committed to making culturally responsive improvements in policies, procedures, decision-making processes, allocation and use of resources, and community engagement.

Active Employee Resource Groups

We foster and support a wide range of employee groups dedicated to listening to, learning from, and making positive change for people with disabilities, Black, indigenous, and people of color, and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Our Own Inclusive Workforce

Forty percent of our staff have a documented disability. Each division of Northwest Center continues working to increase this percentage through annual inclusion goals.

Work With Us

A Welcoming Place to Grow Your Career

Every role at Northwest Center is part of a supportive work community that includes opportunities for career growth and development. Northwest Center is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, including disability and veteran status, and employs people of all abilities across our organization.