What's New

Support for Employment First and Supported Decision-Making Bills

Disability Rights Wisconsin was proud to testify in favor of the Employment First and Supported Decision-Making bills at the State Capitol. We joined our partners from The Arc Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, along with people from across the state, in supporting these very important and ground-breaking bills in Wisconsin.  We hope these bills will move quickly through the legislative process and become law!

See our testimony on Supported Decision-Making bill here and our testimony on Employment First bill here.

Trauma Informed Victim Advocacy

Built upon fourteen years of experience working with survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault, Disability Rights Wisconsin launched a Victim Advocacy Program in 2016 to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to victim response and support programs as well as the civil and criminal justice systems.

This week National Public Radio is featuring a series on the prevalence of sexual assault against people with disabilities. This series emphasizes the serious and pervasive nature of this heinous abuse of people with disabilities. We encourage you to listen to this report.

If you are a person with a disability who has been a victim of a crime, including sexual assault, or know of a person with a disability who is a victim, please contact DRW’s victim advocacy team for free, confidential, and trauma-informed advocacy to support you to obtain justice and recover from trauma you have experienced.
800-928-8778 or email (subject: confidential).

Disability Rights Wisconsin Supports Governor Walker’s Juvenile Corrections Plan

Disability Rights Wisconsin supports Governor Walker’s announcement of a new regionally based direction for Wisconsin’s juvenile corrections and treatment systems. Most youth housed at the troubled Lincoln Hills and Copper Lakes correctional facilities are individuals with a significant history of trauma, disability, and mental illness.

“This is an opportunity to change the culture of our juvenile justice system, and to promote greater family and community engagement to support these young people. We thank the Governor for his vision and look forward to working with the Departments of Corrections and Health Services to take full advantage of this opportunity to adopt a comprehensive model that employs best practices to improve long-term outcomes for youth with disabilities involved in Wisconsin’s correctional system,” emphasized Daniel Idzikowski, Executive Director.

Click here to read the full release.

HMO Enrollment Changes for Medicaid Supplemental Security Income Members

In the past, people on SSI Medicaid or SSI-related Medicaid had the option to opt out of managed care. Beginning in December, that option is no longer available. As a result, from December 2017 to June 1, 2018, the state will require 28,000 individuals currently on fee-for-service (straight Title 19) SSI Medicaid or SSI-related Medicaid to enroll into managed care HMOs. If an individual does not choose an HMO, one will be chosen for them. This roll out will occur by region of the state, with Northern Wisconsin as the first region. People in Northern Wisconsin will be getting a letter about the change and an enrollment packet during the week of December 11th. More details on this change can be found on the New DHS Website – SSI Medicaid Managed Care Expansion. Also, see the ForwardHealth Fact Sheet.

NOTE: This change does NOT affect people enrolled in Home and Community-Based Medicaid Waivers or Long-Term Care Medicaid, such as Family Care, IRIS, Pace, Partnership and legacy waivers. It also does not affect those who receive both Medicare and Medicaid.

The SSI-Managed Care External Advocacy Project at DRW is available to help answer your questions about this expanded enrollment, and direct you to the proper resources for choosing an HMO. Our advocates can be reached at 800-708-3034 or 414-773-4646.

Learn More About Supported Decision-Making

On November 8, Disability Rights Wisconsin, The Arc Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD), and the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR) hosted an informational webinar about the latest on Supported Decision-Making in Wisconsin. A bill, AB 655, has now been introduced that could make Supported Decision-Making a legally recognized agreement here in Wisconsin.

To learn more about Supported Decision-Making, check out this FAQ.

To view the slides from the webinar, click here.

To listen to the webinar and access other resources on Supported Decision-Making, click on
this link

Openings on DRW PAIMI Advisory Council – Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness

Openings on DRW PAIMI Advisory Council – Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness

Disability Rights Wisconsin is Wisconsin’s Protection and Advocacy agency, part of a nationwide network of disability rights agencies mandated by Congress to provide advocacy services and legal representation on behalf of all persons with disabilities. DRW provides advocacy assistance to adults and children with serious mental health conditions through our PAIMI program (Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness).

The DRW PAIMI Advisory Council  (PAC) is seeking new members who want to advance positive change in working to protect and advocate for the rights of Wisconsinites with mental health diagnoses. The PAC helps DRW staff and the DRW board of directors set priorities for the PAIMI program and advises the board on policies and issues that affect people with mental illness. The Council also serves as a liaison to the communities its members represent. The PAC generally meets four times a year, and also participates in opportunities to get input from the community such as listening sessions.  See attached for more information.

The DRW PAIMI Advisory Council has openings for the positions listed below.

  • Person who has received or is receiving mental health services or the family member of a person who has received or is receiving mental health services.
  • Mental health provider
  • We are especially interested in candidates from areas of the state not currently represented, as well as candidates who reflect Wisconsin’s racial and ethnic diversity.  We currently have members from La Crosse, Milwaukee, Superior, Rice Lake, Kimberly,  and Madison.

Please share the attached description of the PAC and DRW PAC application form with interested candidates. Completed applications can be returned to Barbara Beckert as explained in the application packet.

DRW PAIMI Advisory Council Application

About the PAIMI Advisory Council

Need more information on Open Enrollment?

Click here for key messages from covering Wisconsin.

Disability Rights Wisconsin Board Listening Session

The next Disability Rights Wisconsin Board Listening Session will be held on Friday, Dec. 1st, in Platteville, Wisconsin. There will a short informational session about DRW’s work from 4 – 4:30, followed by the Listening Session from 4:30 – 6:30.

Please see the flyer for location information!

Free Webinar on Supported Decision-Making

Disability Rights Wisconsin is proud to join The Arc Wisconsin, the Greater WI Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR) and the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities to co-sponsor this FREE training on Supported Decision-Making on Wednesday, November 8, at 2 p.m.

The training will answer questions for individuals with disabilities interested in supported decision-making and families considering guardianship for their son/daughter; family members supporting older adults who are experiencing physical/cognitive challenges; and professionals who support individuals who have guardians. It also will share an update on exciting new legislation in WI to formalize Supported Decision-Making. The training offers tools to maximize an individual’s rights to make their own decisions while allowing family members and other trusted supporters to stay involved and offer support.

The WI state legislature is considering legislation to add Supported Decision-Making as a legally recognized agreement. If you think Supported Decision-Making sounds like a good idea, you will want to learn more about this bill!

How to Register:

  • Topic: Supported Decision-Making in Wisconsin
  • Host: The Arc of Wisconsin with Wisconsin BPDD, GWAAR, and Disability Rights Wisconsin
  • Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
  • Time: 2:00 pm

https://arcwi.org/2017/10/30/register-free-training-supported-decision-making-hear-exciting-new-legislation-wisconsin/

You can learn more about Supported Decision-Making with this FAQ.

Family Friendly Guide to Services for Milwaukee County Special Needs Children and Youth and their Families

DRW EASSY Booklet Cover

DRW is pleased to offer our new Family Friendly Guide to Services for Milwaukee County Special Needs Children and Youth and their Families. This Guide is designed as a resource to increase awareness and access to services for Milwaukee African American children with a disability and their families.

The Guide includes information about how to apply for various community programs for Milwaukee children and youth with a disability or special needs.  We hope it will be helpful to families and to service providers, clinicians, educators, and others.  It is part of DRW’s Project EASSY, Equal Access for Special Needs Services for Youth.

The Guide is available online as a PDF. DRW is pleased to provide printed copies of the Guide at no charge to families and community organizations including agencies that serve youth, schools, clinics, churches, etc.

About the Guide

The Guide provides brief overviews of the following topics:

Our heartfelt thanks to the participants in DRW’s African American Parent Advisory Group and the many other parents in the community who shared their suggestions and experiences with us.   Their ideas and experiences seeking services, were key in shaping the format and content of the Family Guide.  We thank these caring parents for so generously sharing their insights and experience.

A grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation helped support this Guide.

GMF 2016 Logo