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Most Recent DRW Announcements

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

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

DRW Requests Comments on its 2018 PADD Plan

DRW seeks public comments on our proposed 2018 Goals and Priorities for our protection and advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These goals and priorities will determine how DRW will allocate its resources on behalf of people with IDD during the next year.

Click here for more information.


Disability Rights Wisconsin Announces Award Winners

Congratulations to our “There’s No Place Like Home” award winners!

Corresponding to the theme for the evening, the “There’s No Place Like Home” awards – Courage, Heart, Wisdom, and Home – recognize that Disability Rights Wisconsin works in partnership with many other heroes to advance the disability rights movement toward a vision where all people with disabilities and their families can enjoy the full extent of their rights and the highest quality of life in the community. Awards will be presented at the Ruby Anniversary gala on Saturday evening, October 14th at the Monona Terrace in Madison.

After a public statewide nomination process, selecting from a list of more than 100 nominees was difficult, but inspiring. The awardees in each category are:
Click here to read the rest of Disability Rights Wisconsin Announces Award Winners »

Health Care Under Threat Again

Senators Graham, Cassidy, Heller, and Ron Johnson have released their health reform proposal, the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The bill would have many of the same devastating impacts as previous repeal bills already rejected by the Senate, such as:

  • capping and cutting Medicaid, converting the traditional Medicaid program to a per capita cap for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children, and ending the expansion;
  • allowing states to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions; and
  • cutting health coverage and raising premiums and out-of-pocket costs for millions.

For more information on how this proposal could affect people with disabilities, click here.  Seventy-five disability organizations have also signed a letter opposing to this proposal.  Here is the latest breakdown of state-by-state estimate of changes in federal funding.

What you can do:

1. Call Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Tammy Baldwin to share how these cuts would be harmful to people with disabilities.

2. Submit comments by email ( for the one hearing that has been scheduled on this proposal.

3. Share your stories on social media and with local media of how this proposal would harm people with disabilities.

To contact your Senators:

The main Capitol line: (202) 224-3121 OR

Senator Johnson: • DC office: 202-224-5323 • Oshkosh office: 920-230-7250 • Milwaukee office: 414-276-7282

Senator Tammy Baldwin: • DC office: 202-224-5653 • Madison office: 608-264-5338 • Milwaukee office: 414-297-4451

To submit comments for the hearing:

The hearing is scheduled for Monday morning at 1 p.m. in the Senate Finance Committee. If you wish to send in comments, email them to by Monday morning to ensure they are received before the hearing.  You can however still send them in up until 2 weeks after the hearing.