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Bi-partisan legislators urge constituent contact after budget briefing in Kenosha

Representatives from aging and disability programs, including DRW Milwaukee Office Director Barbara Beckert, addressed a town hall meeting in Kenosha on proposed changes contained in the Governor’s 2015-2016 state budget. The briefing addressed a wide range of items that affected older Wisconsinites and Wisconsinites with disabilities. Among the main items of concern were proposed changes to Wisconsin’s long-term care system and to Senior Care. Local legislators attended the meeting and urged those concerned to contact their legislators directly. Read the full article from the Kenosha News.

Advocates Question Long Term Care Proposals

Proposed changes to the long term support system for elders and people with disabilities embedded in the Governor’s proposed budget are raising alarm among advocates across the state. Eliminating IRIS, Wisconsin’s self-directed care program, and changing the Family Care program into a statewide medical insurance benefit lead the list of changes that would affect more than 50,000 Wisconsinites and cause disruption to Wisconsin’s locally developed and well-liked long term care system. Read the Associated Press story.

Today is a Day of Opportunity . . . Join the BIG SHARE!

The big share community shares of wisconsin text logoDisability Rights Wisconsin is participating in The Big Share today.
The Big Share #CSWBigShare You’ll remember that The Big Share is 24 hours of locally-focused online giving with matching grants and prizes dedicated to supporting nonprofits like DRW.

Click here to read the rest of Today is a Day of Opportunity . . . Join the BIG SHARE! »


Our publication Creating Safety by Asking What makes people vulnerable? is now available in Spanish. Click here to read CREANDO SEGURIDAD PREGUNTÁNDONOS ¿QUÉ HACE VULNERABLES A LAS PERSONAS?

A Guide to the Rules for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings

In January 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released final rules regarding the settings of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). These rules require HCBS settings to provide opportunities for participants to engage in community life, have access to the community, control their personal resources, and seek employment and work in competitive settings. A new Question and Answer Guide regarding the new HCBS rules has been released by The National Disability Rights Network, of which DRW is a member, along with other prominent national disability organizations. Click here to read the Q&A Guide.

Job Posting – Special Ed Advocate – DRW’s Milwaukee Office

DRW Milwaukee seeks an advocate to represent people with disabilities in special education and related matters. Handle individual cases, participate in systems advocacy and provide support in special education advocacy. For position description and application requirements click here. Salary DOE & excellent fringe benefits. Scheduling is somewhat flexible with possibility of summers off. Deadline:3/16/15. Members of racial/ethnic minority groups and persons with disabilities encouraged to apply. EEO/AA employer.

DRW’s Summary of Governor Walker’s Budget Proposal

DRW has developed a summary of the Governor’s budget proposal highlighting provisions impacting people with disabilities. To read the summary, click here.

Disability Rights Wisconsin Statement on Proposed Changes to Wisconsin’s Long-Term Care System

The Governor has proposed terminating the IRIS long term care option for the elderly and people with disabilities. The IRIS program is an important alternative to managed long term care in Family Care as it allows people to manage their own budgets and self-direct their long term supports. IRIS works effectively for more than 11,000 people. If IRIS is eliminated in the budget, people currently enrolled in the program would be required to join a managed care organization in Family Care. The Governor is also proposing major changes to the Family Care program that may reduce the number of managed care organizations operating in the state and open the door to large, for-profit, managed care/insurance companies. (Existing regional long-term care districts are eliminated in this budget and DHS will now solicit statewide managed care proposals that will have additional oversight by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.) Like other states that have adopted this service delivery, the Family Care long-term care program would begin to operate more like a medical model in an insurance program. DRW believes these changes will decrease choice and competition in long term care and have the potential to severely limit community integration. DHS may also include primary and acute medical services in the long term care program. This may restrict people’s choice of physicians and other health professionals, in some cases forcing people to change doctors if they want to receive any long term care services. The budget proposal does not demonstrate any significant cost savings from this major overhaul of Wisconsin’s long-term care system that is being proposed without input from anyone receiving or delivering long-term care.

Job Posting: Benefits Attorney – DRW Rice Lake Office – New Deadline – March 12

Attorney in DRW’s Rice Lake office to support benefit specialists in disability-related public benefits cases, conduct trainings, and provide direct legal representation. For detailed Position Announcement, salary range, and application requirements, click here or call 608-267-0214. Deadline: 3/12/15. Members of racial/ethnic minority groups and persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply. EEO/AA Employer

Disability Rights Wisconsin Shares Concerns about Governor’s Budget Proposal

Disability Rights Wisconsin will continue to review Governor Walker’s 2015-2017 Biennial Budget request to assess impacts on people with disabilities. Check back for future updates. On February 4th DRW issued this press release outlining major areas of support and concern.