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Most Recent DRW Announcements

Support for Juvenile Justice Reform

DRW testified today at a joint hearing of the Assembly Committee on Corrections and the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety to support a bill to close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lakes facilities and move towards smaller, regional, community-based facilities.  The bill would also create a Juvenile Corrections Study Committee, which would bring experts together to study and advise on best practices for youth in the juvenile justice system.  You can read our full testimony here.

Job Posting – Finance Director

Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW), the designated Protection and Advocacy system for people with disabilities, is seeking a Finance Director to be located in our Madison or Milwaukee office. This position will be responsible for oversight of all budgeting, finance, accounting and financial reporting activities, will support presentations to the Board of Directors, prepare for and liaise with DRW’s auditor, and participate as a member of DRW’s senior leadership and management teams.

Click here for more information.

EEO/AA Employer committed to diverse workforce. Members of racial/ethnic minority groups and persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply. Submit resume and cover letter to or mail to: HR, 131 W. Wilson St, Ste 700, Madison, WI 53703. Deadline: noon, 2/20/18.

Registration for Disability Advocacy Day is now OPEN!

Make certain your voice is heard! Disability Advocacy Day is designed to connect you with your legislators so you can talk about issues that matter to you. You are the expert in sharing how legislative policies affect people with disabilities in your everyday life.

When: Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Where: Monona Terrace Convention Center, 1 John Nolen Dr., Madison, WI

Deadline to Register: March 9, 2018

Click here for the full agenda.

To register online:

You can also download the registration form here.

Sponsored by the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations

Disability Rights Wisconsin Responds to State of the State Address

January 25, 2018

Madison, WI- Governor Walker’s State of the State address highlighted his strong support for several areas affecting the lives of people with disabilities including ending waiting lists for children with disabilities, expanding the Family Care and IRIS programs state-wide, and advancing employment opportunities.

“Wisconsin has made great strides in increasing access to home and community-based supports for adults and children with disabilities,” said Daniel Idzikowski, Executive Director. DRW asks policy makers to prioritize the needs of children with disabilities and their families who desperately need supportive services.  Redesigning this system so no children are placed on waiting lists, coupled with an end to the 10-year moratorium on increased special education funding will provide a positive path forward for all of our children and our economy.

DRW supports the intent of the Governor’s initiative to redesign the juvenile justice system by closing Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake, which has failed some of our most traumatized children.  “While this is a promising direction, it is imperative that the state provide a sufficient investment to ensure youth have the services and supports they need for rehabilitation, including a full continuum of mental health and educational supports, including special education services,” said Managing Attorney Kit Kerschensteiner.   Funding for new facilities will not be meaningful unless it is accompanied by a new model of juvenile justice. More robust oversight will be essential to ensure an environment where youth are safe from abuse.

Disability Rights Wisconsin strongly supports full coverage for people with pre-existing conditions; however, asks that policy makers proceed carefully to ensure that people with preexisting conditions are not discriminated against-either in access, premium setting, or cost sharing. Penalizing people who have a coverage gap by allowing health plans to charge higher rates is not an acceptable policy, particularly for people with disabilities who have struggled with maintaining coverage.

As policy makers consider welfare reform proposals, we ask them to proceed with caution. Research indicates that disproportionately many people hurt by work requirements in these programs are people with disabilities, those with chronic health conditions and caregivers.

“Disability Rights Wisconsin was pleased to see so many people with disabilities and their families recognized by Governor Walker. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to pursue policies and initiatives that will continue to move Wisconsin forward to a state where all people with disabilities can enjoy the full extent of their rights and the highest quality of life,” commented Idzikowski.

Disability Rights Wisconsin is the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy system for the State of Wisconsin.

Please click here for a pdf of this release.

Take a Minute for Medicare

Welcome to 2018!!

This year, Disability Rights Wisconsin will be updating you on hot Medicare topics monthly. Everyone on Medicare, whether disabled or over the age of 65, needs to know about their Medicare benefit. The topics will be posted every month to the DRW website and Facebook page.

Please click here for the latest updates on Medicare benefit costs.

For general Medicare questions, call DRW at 1-800-928-8778. For Medicare Part D questions, call the Disability Drug Benefit Helpline at 1-800-926-4862. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or visit to find out if Medicare covers your test, service, or item.


DRW Board Listening Session

The next Disability Rights Wisconsin Board Listening Session will be held on Friday, March 2nd, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  There will be a short informational session about DRW’s mission and work from 4 – 4:30, followed by the Listening Session from 4:30 – 6:30.
Please see the flyer for location and additional information!

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.

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