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Most Recent Public Policy

DRW Shares Information to Clarify Misunderstandings about Impact of new HCBS Rule

Disability Rights Wisconsin will be sharing regular updates to help people with disabilities better understand what is happening related to the state’s five year plan to help home and community based settings comply with a federal new rule. The announcement below is significant as it clarifies what happens if people are receiving services in a setting that does not comply with the rule.

From the Bazelon Center: January 12, 2015 – Today the Bazelon Center and other disability and aging advocacy groups, state officials, and providers issued a joint statement regarding guidance recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning its Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) rule: http://www.bazelon.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=em42S5P9d7I%3d&tabid=58. This guidance — Questions and Answers Regarding Home and Community-Based Settings — directly addresses the misunderstanding that people are at immediate risk of losing services as a result of the rule: http://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid-chip-program-information/by-topics/long-term-services-and-supports/home-and-community-based-services/downloads/q-and-a-hcb-settings.pdf.

Click here to read the rest of DRW Shares Information to Clarify Misunderstandings about Impact of new HCBS Rule »

The Time is NOW to Tell Your Legislator that Wisconsin Youth with Disabilities Can Work!

The Time is NOW to Tell Your Legislator that Wisconsin Youth with Disabilities Can Work! The Wisconsin Legislature will soon be making decisions on the 2015-17 state budget and many of their votes will impact people with disabilities, including youth. Now is the time to educate your legislator about what it takes for youth with significant disabilities to get a job in the community that builds on their skills and interests and helps them to be more independent, contributing citizens. Youth with disabilities are ready and willing to work! Click here to read the rest of The Time is NOW to Tell Your Legislator that Wisconsin Youth with Disabilities Can Work! »

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.”

DRW Supports Federal Law to Boost Community-Based Mental Health Supports

Disability Rights Wisconsin actively supports a new federal bill – H.R. 4574 – the Strengthening Mental Health in Our Communities Act of 2014. This bill maximizes access for individuals with mental illness to quality community-based services. In contrast, DRW has concerns about H.R. 3717 -a bill introduced by Congressman Tim Murphy which would exchange community-based services that have a proven track record of success with far more expensive, invasive, and ineffective interventions. The bill would also result in significant cuts to Wisconsin mental health funding. Click here to read the rest of DRW Supports Federal Law to Boost Community-Based Mental Health Supports »

DRW Provides Input to Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

On May 21 Wisconsin’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) hosted statewide public hearings on its State Plan to serve employees and job seekers with disabilities. Disability Rights Wisconsin and the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations provided the following testimony:

DRW Input to DVR: DVR-Steffke 2014 State Plan Testimony.

Survival Coalition Input to DVR: DVR testimony 05 21 14.

DRW Applauds Family Care Expansion

Disability Rights Wisconsin welcomes Governor Walker’s announcement that the Family Care and IRIS programs will expand into seven additional counties in northeastern Wisconsin. People with disabilities and aging advocates gathered in Green Bay to applaud the Governor’s office and legislators from both parties for their recent work to bring Family Care and IRIS to the region.

The wait is over for residents in seven of the fifteen counties not participating in Family Care — Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Shawano, Oconto, Menomonee and Marinette. These counties have more than 900 people who have been waiting years for state and county funded long-term support services that allow them to receive assistance in their own homes, rather than in a nursing home.

Click here to read the rest of DRW Applauds Family Care Expansion »

DRW Statement on Passage of Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Bill

Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) thanks legislators for passing SB565, the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board (MCMHB) bill, with nearly unanimous support. We believe this legislation has the potential to advance significant improvements in the Milwaukee County mental health system and ultimately improve the lives of people living with mental illness. Click here to read the rest of DRW Statement on Passage of Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Bill »

New Resource on Improving Outcomes for Students with Disabilites in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Disability Policy Partnership, in collaboration with People First Wisconsin, has created this policy fact sheet on the state of education for students with disabilities and ideas for improving outcomes. Read FINDING QUALITY EDUCATION SOLUTIONS: Students with Disabilities Succeed with Appropriate Supports.

DRW’s Barbara Beckert Interviewed on Milwaukee Public Radio re: Milwaukee County Mental Health System

WUWM’s Lake Effect interviewed DRW Milwaukee Office Director, Barbara Beckert.

Click here to listen: Lake Effect Interview – Milwaukee County Mental Health system.

Disability Rights Wisconsin Applauds Investments in Community Mental Health Supports

Today, Governor Walker is signing into law seven bills that will increase access to community mental health services. Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) thanks the Governor for taking action to improve Wisconsin’s mental health system to support a better quality of life for people living with mental illness.

These bills will help move Wisconsin forward on the path away from reliance on institutional models of care and toward services that can help people with mental illness realize their full potential as individuals and members of their communities. These initiatives hold the promise of increasing access to community-based services, promoting consumer choice, and supporting recovery.

The Speaker’s Task Force on Mental Health took a lead role in developing and advancing these proposals. DRW thanks Speaker Robin Vos, Task Force Chair Erik Severson, and Vice Chair Sandy Pasch for their leadership and dedication to increasing access to recovery based community services. We thank Senator Vukmir for her leadership in advancing these proposals in the Senate.