Archive for March, 2011

DHS Town Hall Meeting in Fennimore on April 5

The Department of Health Services (DHS) has announced a second Town Hall Meeting to be held in Fennimore on Tuesday, April 5. The meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at South West Technical College in the Lenz Conference Center in the Kramer Building (Building 300), 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI.

The purpose of these meetings is for DHS to gather ideas from the public on cost efficiencies, savings, and improved outcomes to the state’s Medicaid programs (e.g. , Family Care, IRIS and other long-term care programs, BadgerCare, and SeniorCare. These ideas will help DHS develop plans designed to improve overall consumer care, streamline program delivery and stabilize programs to ensure long-term sustainability.

Those who testify will have up to three minutes to share their cost-saving ideas. People can also submit their written testimony at the meeting. Testimony will also be accepted via email to DHS Deputy Secretary Kitty Rhoades at or via U.S. mail to Secretary Dennis Smith, Room 650, 1 W. Wilson St., Madison, WI, 53703.

People who require special accommodations to attend or participate in the meeting should notify DHS at 608-266-9622 (TTY 888-701-1250).

DRW and Quality Education Coalition react to Governor’s proposed Education budget

Disability advocates, including DRW and the Quality Education Coalition (QEC), are concerned about the devastating effects on all kids, including children with disabilities, which the Governor’s proposed education budget will have if enacted. Click the link below to read DRW and QEC’s position paper which responds to the Governor’s proposed Education budget. Readers are welcome to share it and use any parts of it as they craft their own messages to legislators.

DRW-QEC response to proposed education budget

Survival Coalition Issue Papers

These issue papers were created by the of Wisconsin Disability Organizations to help consumers, advocates and families talk to policymakers about important disability issues in the state budget. Consider making your own appointment with your legislator very soon!

Click here to download the Survival Coalition Issue Papers

DRW submits testimony on Charter School bill

Here is the testimony which DRW just submitted on SB 22 which would expand Charter Schools in Wisconsin. As you can see, while charter schools can benefit children with disabilities, this bill needs amendments in order to preserve this option as truly accessible for children with disabilities.

Testimony on SB 22

State Budget Briefing sponsored by: Make It Work! Milwaukee

State Budget Briefing
Sponsored by: Make It Work! Milwaukee

Do you want to better understand how the Wisconsin State Budget will impact you and others in Milwaukee?

Join us for a State Budget Briefing that focuses on disability and aging services in Milwaukee. Click here to view the printable flyer.

Friday, April 1, 2011
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: IndependenceFirst,
540 S. 1st Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Click here for a map

Session is free and open to all! This briefing may be especially helpful for individuals attending Madison Legislative Days, such as the April 6th Disability Advocacy Day.

Let’s work together to create a strong voice for Milwaukee!

  • Bring your lunch and join us. Drinks and dessert will be provided.
  • RSVPs by March 29, 2011, are appreciated and will help with planning. Disability-related accommodations are also available. Please contact ARC of Greater Milwaukee at 414-774-6255 or
  • Environmental/Chemical Sensitivity Policy: We request that guests not use perfumes, scented soaps, etc. IndependenceFirst is a smoke-free environment.

Ideas for Improving Outcomes and Finding Efficiencies in Medicaid

Disability Rights Wisconsin worked with its partners in the statewide Survival Coalition to submit to the Department of Health Services a list of recommendations for improving outcomes and efficiencies in Medicaid. DHS Secretary Smith has thanked the Survival Coalition for their feedback and continues to seek our input.

Click here to view the Survival Coalition Proposal for Improving Medicaid Outcomes and Efficiencies

Special Education Sharing Session – April 28

Disability Rights Wisconsin is joining Wisconsin FACETS and a number of other organizations to co-sponsor a listening session for parents and others to let us know what their concerns are in our special education system. It will take place on April 28, 2011, from 5-6:30 PM in Milwaukee in conjunction with the Circles of Life conference in Milwaukee. Please see the links below (English and Espanol) for more information and to make reservations.

Special Education Sharing Session 4_28_11

SPANISH_Special Education Sharing Session

Green Bay Meeting Postponed!

The Department of Health Services has announced that a Town Hall Forum, scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Wednesday March 23 at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay has been postponed due to inclement weather predicted for NE Wisconsin. A winter storm warning has been issued for Northeast Wisconsin until 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

Out of concern for the safety of members, advocates, providers and staff, the meeting will be postponed until a later date.

DRW will keep you posted on future meeting dates.

Join Better Choices for Wisconsin

Better Choices for Wisconsin is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to ensure that the state of Wisconsin has sufficient revenue to preserve our state’s excellent quality of life. That means adequate funding for such things as education, local services, public safety, health care, transportation infrastructure, and all the other public investments that make Wisconsin such a great place to live, work, do business, and raise a family.

Consider joining this coalition and lending your voice to the call for a sensible, balanced solution to Wisconsin’s revenue challenges.

Click here for more info and to sign up.

DRW investigates abusive special education teacher in Appleton

DRW Attorney Jeff Spitzer-Resnick is quoted in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article explaining how the criminal charges against an Appleton special education teacher are connected to Wisconsin’s lack of laws on seclusion and restraint use in school.

Click here to view the article on the Journal Sentinel website.