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Most Recent DRW Announcements

People First Wisconsin Shares Biennial Budget Recommendations

People First Wisconsin, a statewide grassroots advocacy group run by and for people with disabilities, shared budget recommendations with Governor Walker’s staff during a December 11 meeting at the capitol in Madison. Click here to read “What Matters to Me – 2015-2017 budget.”

Your donation can help us celebrate “homecoming” for people with disabilities

What do you think of when you hear the word “homecoming”?  A soldier’s return, a dance, a college alumni gathering?

For people with disabilities who have been “placed” in institutions, excluded from neighborhoods, and denied education and work opportunities, “homecoming” means something different. It means stability.  It means working and coming home to a place that you can call your own. It means living with dignity, freedom, respect, support and opportunity.

Your support of Disability Rights Wisconsin helps make this definition of homecoming a reality.

At Disability Rights Wisconsin, we’ve been helping people with disabilities celebrate homecomings for more than 35 years.  We’ve advocated for more than 7000 individuals this year.

We urgently need your help.  Celebrate homecoming with us by contributing to DRW today!  Your generosity makes possible the advocacy, education, and policy work that helps make homecomings happen.

It’s easy to donate.  You can click here to DONATE.  Or you can click on the red DONATE NOW button in the upper right hand corner of this webpage.  Thank you!

Disability Rights Wisconsin Applauds Renewed Investment in Students with Disabilities Budget Proposal Addresses Eroded Funding Concerns; Supports a Better Bottom Line

Disability Rights Wisconsin applauds the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s 2015-2017 biennial budget request released today that includes $108 million in investments for students with disabilities. Children with disabilities across Wisconsin should be able to get the quality education supports they need to achieve educational proficiency with their peers and gain the skills necessary to live independently and be employed – if the special education proposals in the Department of Public Instruction’s budget request move forward in the Wisconsin Legislature.

The budget DPI released today will reverse six years of flat lined funding for students with disabilities. Included among the requests are several jobs-focused proposals that direct and incentivize schools to focus on securing employment opportunities for young adults with disabilities prior to exiting school. These proposals align with Governor Walker’s Better Bottom Line initiative that have increased Wisconsin’s investments in employment of people with disabilities.

Click here to read the rest of Disability Rights Wisconsin Applauds Renewed Investment in Students with Disabilities Budget Proposal Addresses Eroded Funding Concerns; Supports a Better Bottom Line »

Job Posting – DRW Milwaukee Office – Schools & Civil Rights Advocacy Specialist

Advocacy Specialist (3/4 to Full-time) in DRW’s Milwaukee office to provide advocacy to persons with disabilities specifically in the area of special education and civil rights. For position description and qualifications, click here: Milw Adv Specialist schools and civil rights position announcement. FTE Salary: $38,000 to $51,143, depending on experience. Excellent fringe benefits. Resume and cover letter by November 17th to: DRW e-mail or Disability Rights Wisconsin, 6737 W. Washington St. Suite 3230, Milwaukee, WI 53214. Members of racial/ethnic minority groups and persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply. EEO/AA Employer.

Report Offers First Statewide Look at Seclusion and Restraint in Wisconsin’s Public Schools

Madison, WI – A new report issued today by Disability Rights Wisconsin, Wisconsin Family Ties, and WI FACETS, offers the first statewide look at seclusion and restraint data in Wisconsin’s public schools.  The report, called Seclusion & Restraint in Wisconsin Public School Districts: 2012-2013 School Year Data, is based on open records requests to special education directors statewide, collecting the data they were required to report to their school boards last fall in the wake of the 2012 passage of Wisconsin Act 125, which established crucial regulations on public-school use of seclusion and restraint.  The results provide a baseline of information about current statewide use of seclusion and restraint of students and, more specifically, students with disabilities, who according to the report accounted for a disproportionate 74% of seclusion and restraint incidents in 2012-13.

Click here to view the report.

The three organizations have for years helped amplify the voices of families whose students had suffered emotional and physical injury due to seclusion and restraint, highlighting the need for change that led to the passage of Act 125. The law limits the use of seclusion and restraint to situations in which there is an immediate risk to physical safety, and the intervention is the least restrictive one possible.   The first year of data demonstrates, however, that interpretation and implementation is uneven across school districts.

Click here to read the rest of Report Offers First Statewide Look at Seclusion and Restraint in Wisconsin’s Public Schools »

Disability Rights Wisconsin Listening Session – Kenosha – Friday, December 5, 2014

The Board of Directors of Disability Rights Wisconsin will conduct a Listening Session on Friday, December 5, 2014 in Kenosha from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Gateway Technical College.

Come and share your ideas for the future of disability advocacy and the issues that need to be addressed in the areas of special education, developmental disability, mental health and physical disability services and disability rights.

Click here for more information about the Listening Session.

New Fact Sheet to Help Understand Important Changes Coming to Wisconsin

Disability Rights Wisconsin and the statewide Survival Coalition encourage you to help educate people with disabilities and their families about changes to home and community based services that are occurring due to a new federal rule. DRW believes the necessary shift to more community-based supports (less isolating settings) and funding has the potential to be a very positive change for Wisconsinites with disabilities that help everyone to participate more in our communities and have a higher quality of life. The Survival Coalition developed an FAQ to help better inform the public, including people with disabilities and their families, about these changes. Please consider sending this FAQ to your organization’s email list, posting on social media or sharing with others in your network. Click here for the FAQ.

Announcing two new Violence Against Women with Disabilities and Deaf Women Project Resources available through Disability Rights Wisconsin

Conversations about Interpersonal Safety:  Helping individuals create more safety for themselves and talk about events that concern them                                     June 2014

Developed through the Violence Against Women with Disabilities and Deaf Women Project of Wisconsin and authored by Mark Sweet, Trainer and Consultant at Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW), this resource is designed for advocates, friends, family members and others to guide conversation and invite thinking about social situations and issues of personal safety involving people who have difficulty with abstract language, learning and social interactions — many individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.  In response to the Project’s 2011 publication, Creating Safety by Asking What Makes People Vulnerable?, requests poured in asking for specific language and sample questions that one could use to talk about issues of safety and harm directly with people with intellectual disabilities.  This resource responds to those requests and provides “conversation starters,” questions covering a myriad of themes designed to stimulate thought about what conversations might be helpful or of interest to people you know and support.  Click here to read the rest of Announcing two new Violence Against Women with Disabilities and Deaf Women Project Resources available through Disability Rights Wisconsin »

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!

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.