Archive for March, 2008

Inmate Psychiatric Care Falls Short

The state-appointed advocate for disabled people claims the Department of Corrections has fallen short of its legal obligation to ensure that the Sauk County Jail provides adequate psychiatric care to inmates.

“They’re not doing their job,” said Todd Winstrom, an attorney for Disability Rights Wisconsin. The agency is appointed by the state to fulfill federal requirements for a watchdog to protect the rights of the disabled.

Winstrom filed a complaint against the Sauk County Jail last summer on behalf of an inmate with numerous mental health issues, including fetal alcohol brain damage.

Click here to read the article on the Capital Times website

Update on Milwaukee Public Schools Lawsuit Settlement

DRW recently reached a settlement with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in its class action law suit against DPI and the Milwaukee Public Schools. Within the next few weeks, DPI and DRW will jointly file a motion with the court to enforce the settlement on MPS, which has rejected it.

Click here to read the article on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website

Voting Day Accessibility Checklist

The purpose of the Election Day Accessibility Checklist is to quickly assess whether or not the polling place has barriers for people with disabilities on Election Day. This checklist does not identify all barriers that a person may face at the polls. Answering positively to the checklist does not mean a polling site is in compliance with such law as the ADA. If barriers are identified the municipal clerk should be notified so the barrier can be addressed as soon as possible. Many barriers can be easily addressed on Election Day.

Click here to download the WISC Election Day Accessibility Checklist

Hearing Aid/Cochlear Implant Bill

DRW has been working on this bill in the state legislature to require insurance companies to pay for hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Click here for the text of the Milwaukee TV Channel TMJ4 story on this topic

DRW works to Ensure Accessible Voting Places

Below is the text of a recent interview with Alicia Boehme, DRW’s Voting Rights Coordinator, which aired on Milwaukee Public radio.

State to Spot-Check Polls for Accessibility
By Erin Toner
February 18, 2008 | WUWM | Milwaukee, WI

As voters head to the polls Tuesday, state regulators will be there, too, making sure polling sites aren’t breaking election laws. They require polls and voting machines to be accessible to people with disabilities. A recent state audit found problems. State auditors visited 36 polling places during the election in November 2006. Thirteen sites had parking areas that were problematic for people with disabilities. And 25 sites had inaccessible pathways or entrances. In addition, many voting areas did not allow people with disabilities to vote in private. Advocacy groups say the number of violations is outrageous. Alicia Boehme is the voting rights coordinator for Disability Rights Wisconsin.

Click here to read the rest of DRW works to Ensure Accessible Voting Places »