What's New

Statement from the Wisconsin VAWA Project on the Loss of Amy Judy

Three photos of Amy Judy, presenting to an audience, smiling for camera, and looking out window.Amy Judy led the Wisconsin Violence Against Women with Disabilities and Deaf Women (VAWA) Project from its inception in 2002 until 2015. Amy never worked alone and the Project was no exception- the Project worked in collaboration with several partners and countless numbers of local agencies, self-advocates, and individuals. In the spirit of that collaboration, the Project partners issue this joint statement. We are deeply saddened to hear about the death of Amy Judy. Click here to read the rest of Statement from the Wisconsin VAWA Project on the Loss of Amy Judy »

DRW Appreciates Positive Budget Provisions for People with Disabilities

Wisconsin’s Protection and Advocacy system for people with disabilities is encouraged by the investment in people with disabilities across the lifespan demonstrated in Governor Walker’s 2017-2019 Biennial Budget Proposal. We remain concerned that some policy proposals in the budget will have an unduly punitive effect on people with disabilities who are disproportionately poor.

Read our full release here.

Medicare Part D Extra Help

If you have been following the Take A Minute for Medicare for the past few months, you may recognize this topic from last June. We are revisiting this topic because the income limits for Medicare Extra Help have changed for 2017.

The Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) changed by a small percentage for 2017. For some the Social Security increase was as little as $5. But, even this small amount could make a difference in possible eligibility for Part D Extra Help through Social Security. Many people on Medicare may qualify for extra help and don’t know it.

2017 Social Security Extra Help Eligibility

                                   Monthly income Limit                 Asset Limit

Individual                              $1,507.50                              $12,320

Couple                                   $2,030.00                              $24,600

When you are eligible for extra help, you may not have a Medicare Part D premium, deductible, and low copayments in certain prescription drug plans. You will not have a coverage gap (also known as the donut hole) and, if you did not sign up for Part D when you were first eligible and have extra help, you will not have a late enrollment penalty. You will also be able to change your Part D plan at any time.

Extra Help through Social Security may be full or partial help depending upon your income. Social Security will determine the level of Extra Help you qualify to receive.

To find out if you are eligible, go to www.ssa.gov and apply online, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 toll free, or go in person to any local Social Security office and ask to apply for extra help. Come back next month for more ways to get Extra Help.

For general Medicare questions, call DRW at 1-800-928-8778. For Medicare Part D questions, call the Disability Drug Benefit Helpline at 1-800-926-4862. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or visit www.medicare.gov to find out if Medicare covers your test, service, or item.

Governor Pledges Support for Children with Disabilities

Today Governor Walker announced good news for children with disabilities across Wisconsin. The Governor signaled that his budget will commit more than $39 million to support families raising children with significant disabilities, effectively eliminating the current waiting list for critical long term support services.

On behalf of 2200 children with disabilities still awaiting services designed to support their development and meet their potential, Disability Rights Wisconsin raises its voice in thanks for the Governor’s significant commitment. The Governor’s budget initiative will have a positive effect on the lives of thousands of Wisconsin children and fulfill a goal sought by disability advocates for more than a decade. 

Please click here to see our full press release.

Informational Session and a Board Listening Session in Madison

Disability Rights Wisconsin is holding an Informational Session and a Board Listening Session in Madison

Friday, March 3, 2017, 4:00-6:30 pm

We want to hear from you!

Informational Session: 4:00—4:30
Learn about the mission and advocacy work of Disability Rights Wisconsin- Presented by DRW Executive Director Dan Idzikowski
Board Listening Session: 4:30 – 6:30
Help shape our advocacy plans for the future.  Come and speak or just listen to what others in your community have to say. Click here to read the rest of Informational Session and a Board Listening Session in Madison »

Register Now for Disability Advocacy Day

Wisconsin’s Disability Advocacy Day March 21 in Madison sponsored by the Survival Coalition of more than 30 disability organizations is open for registration! This free event (lunch is $12 if you want to buy it) allows YOU to talk directly to your state legislators and their staffs about the issues important to you: Medicaid, long-term care supports provided through Medicaid, education, transportation, mental health services, the direct care worker crisis and more. Register now at:


Click here for mail-in flyer

It’s Not Easy, But You’re Not Alone.

DRWVA Schimmel Press Conf

On Monday, January 30, DRW Victim Advocates attended a press conference with Wisconsin Attorney General, Brad Schimel and Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, to support the new initiative, By Your Side – SAKI (Sexual Assault Kit Initiative).  Wisconsin and the AG SART have taken action to further support sexual assault victims and partake in a kit testing process that will ensure all sexual assault kits are prioritized.


Any survivor who has had a sexual assault kit collected and do not know if their kit was tested for the presence of DNA evidence can call 1-800-446-6564 or go to ByYourSideWI.org to initiate the process of locating their kits and exploring options for DNA testing. Survivors will also be connected with support services.

A Call for Community Inclusion

DRW’s Sally Flashberger and The Arc Wisconsin’s Lisa Pugh make the case for community inclusion in today’s Journal Sentinel.  The recent brutal attack on a Chicago teenager with a disability, reminds us of the need to support community integration and services that allow for people to be safe in their community — not sheltered away from the public.





Medicaid Block Grants Could Hurt Wisconsin

Here is an overview of the impacts Medicaid block grants could have on Wisconsin’s disability community and what disability advocates think are other, more promising alternatives to improve Medicaid programs, written by Barbara Beckert, Director of DRW’s Milwaukee Office.

Medicaid Block Grants Could Hurt Wisconsin

DRW provides Input to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Disability Rights Wisconsin provides input to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on how it can ensure the timely provision of quality home and community based services.  Here is the letter that was submitted to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.