What's New

Proposed Changes to Family Care and the Department of Health Services 5-year Transition Plan: Questions and Answers

Disability Rights Wisconsin supports changes to services for people with disabilities in Wisconsin that will provide more community-based options for people to live a more integrated life. The Department of Health Services is seeking public comment on these changes through Sept. 2. Use this helpful FAQ to answer some common questions about the change: If you would like to learn more and to use a tool to help you submit comments, go to www.takeastandontheplan.org Find more information about the DHS proposed changes to Family Care and other services, as well as how to comment directly to DHS here: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/ltcare/StateFedReqs/waiver.htm.

Volunteer Opportunity – Medicare Part D Disability Drug Benefit Helpline.

Looking for a fulfilling way to donate your time? The Milwaukee office of Disability Rights Wisconsin needs compassionate, dedicated individuals who enjoy helping others to volunteer for our Medicare Part D Disability Drug Benefit Helpline.

We will train you to help our callers navigate Medicare Part D and choose a plan that is best for them. Basic computer, internet and telephone skills helpful; a willingness to make a difference in the lives of others a MUST.

Fill out the application: Med D volunteer Application and submit to volunteer@drwi.org for more information. Thank you!

Job Posting – Family Care & IRIS Ombudsman – Milwaukee Office

Provide assistance and advocacy to adult enrollees in WI’s publicly funded long term care programs for DRW.  Full time position in Milwaukee.  For details click here, or call 608-267-0214.  Deadline: 4pm 8/22/14.  Members of racial/ethnic minority groups and persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply.  EEO/AA Employer. Please include the Job Title in your cover letter.



Job Opening: Advocacy Specialist in Milwaukee Office – Medicaid Managed Care advocate

ADVOCACY SPECIALIST (full time) in DRW’s Milwaukee office to provide individual advocacy to persons with disabilities enrolled in Medicaid managed care plans.  For detailed position description and application requirements, click here  or call 414-773-4646.

Salary: $28,000 – $50,000, depending on experience.  Excellent fringe benefits.  Deadline: Aug 22 at 4:30 p.m.  Members of racial/ethnic minority groups and persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply.  EEO/AA Employer.

Managing Attorney Kit Kerschensteiner quoted in prison article by Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Excerpt from article in a series by Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism which appeared in WI State Journal and on WI Public Radio:

Kit Kerschensteiner, managing attorney with Disability Rights Wisconsin, a nonprofit advocacy group, said the allegations of abuse at Waupun are “occurring with such frequency” that they could merit an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department under the Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act, which was previously invoked to bring about major changes in mental health care and discipline at the state women’s prison at Taycheedah. “We will continue to help individual inmates with their complaints, but we have a peashooter, and they have a cannon,” she said.

With complaints brought by inmates, a key issue is credibility. Kerschensteiner suggested that abuse occurs in part because guards know they have the upper hand in any disagreement. “Regardless of what actually happened, it always boils down to, who is going to be believed: a reputable guard or a convicted felon?” she said. “Corroboration is hard.”

For the full article: http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2014/07/23/cruel-and-unusual-waupun-prison-guards-accused-of-abusing-dozens-of-inmates/

A War Worth Fighting – Blog Post about Voucher Schools

DRW has long been concerned about voucher schools discriminating against students with disabilities and the impact that the increased concentration of students with special education needs has on the diminishing resources of the public schools. Click the following link to read a blog by one of the attorneys who is working on the voucher case with us: A War Worth Fighting.

Disability Rights Wisconsin 2013 Annual Report

Expect More, Disability Rights Wisconsin Report to the Community 2013 annual report cover pageDisability Rights Wisconsin has issued its 2013 Report to the Community: “Expect More.” The 2013 annual report highlights advances made in fair employment practices, youth transition, mental health services, and end of life protection for people with disabilities. Read the full report here and share in DRW’s good work.

DRW Pleased With Outcome of DHS Review

Disability Rights Wisconsin is pleased that the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Chief Legal Counsel has issued a favorable finding – concluding the review into DRW’s release of its expert’s report on six deaths that occurred at the Milwaukee Mental Health Complex in 2012.

“DRW appreciates the thorough nature of the Chief Counsel’s review and reiterates its commitment to advocate for the highest quality of life for all persons with disabilities, particularly those who are most vulnerable,” commented Executive Director Daniel Idzikowski.

DHS’ letter to Governor Walker dated June 13 concluded that DRW did not commit a violation of its duty as the state’s designated Protection and Advocacy Agency.

For more about this development, follow this link: DRW Pleased with Outcome of DHS Review.

DRW’s Elise Cassidente receives Ryan Klesh Public Interest Legal Worker Award

DRW Milwaukee Office Coordinator, Elise Cassidente, is the first recipient of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Ryan Klesh Public Interest Legal Worker Award. Elise captures the essence of Ryan’s selflessness, work ethic, and humor in working to seek justice for our low-income neighbors, family, and friends. Letters nominating Elise noted that: “Her formidable intellect, passion for social justice, and tireless dedication to the people we serve truly capture the essence of Ryan Klesh’s tremendous legacy.  Elise has dedicated her professional life to public interest law and to seeking justice for low income people”.  This new award is named after Ryan Klesh, an administrative staff person for SeniorLAW at Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee office from 2001 until his death in 2006.

Job Posting: Receptionist/Clerical Assistant – DRW Madison Office

Receptionist/Clerical Assistant, 25 hours/week (Mon.-Fri. – Noon to 5:00). Experience: database, word processing, MS Word, Excel, answering multi-line phone, screening and routing calls. Bilingual in Spanish/English required.  $13-$16/hour DOE.  Excellent fringe benefits.   For detailed position announcement click here, or call 608-267-0214.  Resume and cover letter by June 30 to:  Disability Rights Wisconsin, 131 W. Wilson St., Ste. 700, Madison, WI  53703 or email to info@drwi.org.  Members of racial/ethnic minority groups and persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply.  EEO/AA employer.