Archive for August, 2012

Disability Rights Wisconsin Rice Lake Listening Session – Friday, September 14

The Board of Directors of Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) will be conducting a Listening Session on Friday, September 14, 2012 in Rice Lake.

DRW is the designated protection and advocacy agency for people with developmental, physical, or sensory disabilities and people with mental illness in Wisconsin. DRW engages in a variety of advocacy strategies, including one-on-one advocacy for individuals and their families; systems advocacy (influencing state and county policy, legislative advocacy and coalition building); class action and impact litigation; and providing training to people with disabilities, their family members, human service professionals, attorneys and others on a variety of disability related topics.

The DRW Board wants to hear from people with disabilities, their families, friends, disability activists, service providers and other concerned individuals about 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.

WHEN: Friday, September 14, 2012 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Rice Lake City Hall – Lakeshore/Council Room
30 E. Eau Claire St.
PARKING: Main parking lot by City Hall that faces the lake on Veteran’s Lakeshore Drive. Street parking is also available.
QUESTIONS: Call 800-928-8778 Voice; 888-758-6049 TTY/Textnet
ACCOMMODATIONS: Contact Linda Apple at 800-928-8778 or by September 7 if you need an accommodation or language translation to participate.
WRITTEN COMMENTS: If you would like to submit written comments, you may send them via email to or by mail to:
Disability Rights Wisconsin
131 West Wilson Street, Suite 700
Madison, WI 53703

Derechos de los Incapacitados en Wisconsin Sesión de Escucha en Rice Lake

La mesa directiva de Derechos de los Incapacitados en Wisconsin (DRW) tendrá una Sesión de Escucha en Rice Lake el viernes, 14 de septiembre del 2012

DRW es la agencia de protección y defensa designada para las personas en Wisconsin con incapacidades físicas, sensoriales, de desarrollo, y personas con enfermedades mentales. DRW emplea una variedad de estrategias de defensa, incluyendo la defensa para individuos y sus familias; defensa de sistemas (influencia en la política del estado y del condado, defensa legislativa y edificar coaliciones); acciones de clase y litigio con impacto; y proveer entrenamiento  a personas con incapacidades, sus familias, profesionales de servicios humanos, abogados y otros en una variedad de temas relacionadas a incapacidades. 

La mesa directiva quiere oír de las personas con incapacidades, sus familias, amigos, activistas, abastecedores de servicio y otros individuos afectados sobre sus ideas para el futuro de la defensa de los incapacitados, y los asuntos que tienen que ser dirigidas sobre los servicios disponibles y los derechos en las áreas de la educación especial, incapacidad de desarrollo, salud mental, e incapacidades físicas. 

 CUÁNDO:                                   El viernes, 14 de septiembre de las 4:30 a 6:30 de la tarde

DÓNDE:                                       Rice Lake City Hall – Lakeshore/Council Room
                                                      30 E. Eau Claire St.
                                                      Rice Lake, WI 54868

ESTACIONAMIENTO:              Estacionar en el estacionamiento principal del City Hall enfrente al lago en la calle Veteran’s Lakeshore. También hay estacionamiento en la calle.

TRANSPORTACIÓN                Taxi de la Cuidad: 715-234-6305          

PREGUNTAS:                            Llame al 800-928-8778 Voz; 888-758-6049 TTY/Textnet

ACOMODACIONES:                 Póngase en contacto con Linda Apple al 800-928-8778 o por correo electrónico  antes del 7  de septiembre si usted necesita alguna acomodación o un intérprete para poder participar. 

COMENTARIOS ESCRITOS:   Si le gustaría entregar comentarios escritos, se puede enviar comentarios vía email al o por correo a Disability Rights Wisconsin, 131 West Wilson Street, Suite 700, Madison, WI 53703


Jodi Hanna, an attorney who has worked with Disability Rights Wisconsin for the past 13 years, has been selected to become the director of the agency’s Rice Lake office. 
In announcing her selection, Executive Director, Tom Masseau said, “Jodi brings to the Rice Lake office her passion for people with disabilities, strong disability values, and extensive knowledge of the rights issues related to employment, housing, voting, transportation and access to public accommodations and public entities.  In addition, Jodi is known and well respected by a number of disability organizations, tribes, and other entities in the northwest region of the state through her systems focused work on a variety of disability related issues.”
Disability Rights Wisconsin, a private non-profit organization, is part of the federally mandated national system of disability protection and advocacy agencies across the United States established to ensure the rights of children and adults with disabilities.  DRW is a statewide resource for individuals, families, service professionals, elected officials, government agencies and others concerned with disability issues and systems change.  The agency operates out of 3 offices:  Madison, Milwaukee, and Rice Lake.  DRW helps people across Wisconsin gain access to services and opportunity through advocacy and legal expertise. We regularly challenge systems and society to create positive change and improve the lives of people with disabilities.  Ms.  Hanna will begin working out of the Rice Lake office on Oct 2.  You can reach her now by leaving a message in the Rice Lake office: 715-736-1232; 877-338-3724; TTY/Texnet 888-758-6049.

Job Posting: Desktop Support/Server Administrator

Provide support and training to DRW staff, perform light server and network administrative functions and troubleshooting, maintain the DRW IT inventory and documentation, coordinate with vendors and consultants to handle projects and specialized technical work. For detailed Position Announcement, salary range, and application requirements, click this link: Desktop Support – Server Administrator Position announcement 2012 or call 608-267-0214. DEADLINE: Sept 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm. Members of racial/ethnic minority groups or persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply. EEO/AA employer.

Access to Justice Hearing September 18, 2012–Make your voice heard

You are invited to a public hearing in Madison to share what you know about the challenges facing low income residents in southcentral Wisconsin when they need help with critical civil (not criminal) legal problems. The event is being organized by the Wisconsin Access to Justice Commission. 

When: Tuesday, September 18, 2012, 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Madison Area Technical College, 1701 Wright Street, Room 142-Lounge

Your experiences, suggestions and insights on issues of housing, safety, family, employment, special education, disability issues, and more are important to us. Who is finding help? Who is falling through the cracks? What impact has finding, or not finding, legal help made in your life or the lives of the people you serve? What is Wisconsin doing well for its low-income or vulnerable residents who need help with civil legal issues? What should we all be doing to improve the situation?

You can read a full announcement about the event here: Invitation-Madison hearing.access to justice.

Quality Education Coalition submits comment on proposed new school report card

The Quality Education Coalition (QEC), Wisconsin’s only statewide coalition of parents, advocates and educators working to improve Wisconsin’s system of special education, has submitted comments to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) hoping to improve Wisconsin’s proposed new School Report Card, which DPI will implement as part of its recently approved federal waiver of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly known as No Child Left Behind.  You can read QEC’s comments here: QEC comments on DPI report card.

Tell Parents and Special Education Advocates – Complete DPI’s survey by August 12!

Want to Know How Your School is Educating Students with Disabilities?
Be Sure to Weigh In by Taking a Short Survey by August 12!
Parents and special education advocates know how important it is to monitor how are schools are educating students with disabilities. Recently the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released a sample school report card which will track the achievement of all students, including students with disabilities.
Sample report cards are on the DPI website with a survey for public comment through August 12. View the sample report cards here:
This is our opportunity to influence the type of public education data that gets shared about students with disabilities – the data that will be helpful to parents in making decisions about schools and can help advocates work toward specific school/district improvement.
We encourage as many parents of special education students and disability advocates as possible to complete the survey by August 12. Link to the survey:
Points you can make (feel free to cut and paste, but please add your personal perspective!):
• Parents of students with disabilities care deeply about the education of their children. It should be easy for parents to understand and access basic information about a school’s performance.
• Parents and the public will require definitions and plain language explanations of terms.
• The very first page of the report card should make it very clear how students with disabilities (and other key groups) are performing in that school and where a parent can get more data.
• Many parents may only be able to read a summary. A summary page must give a better picture of the performance of students with disabilities.
• Parents want to know what it means if their school is rated as “meets few expectations” or “fails to meet expectations”. How will my school will get additional support or be held accountable? A summary should clearly describe the key factors that put my school in this category.
• Performance of students with disabilities and other groups should not be only used for informational purposes  – they should also be a key part of federal accountability.
• Schools should not be able to gain more points for student growth than they lose when students move backward.
• A key  predictor of readiness for students with disabilities is inclusion in the general education classroom. DPI should include data on this point as a measure of postsecondary readiness.
• Proficiency targets for reading and math are much lower for students with disabilities than for other groups. Wisconsin standards should be higher.
• These report cards contain important information that should be available to all parents. Materials should be available in Spanish and districts should be encouraged to help families understand this new reporting system and how parents can partner with schools.
To read a more detailed review of the report card by special education advocates, go here: