Archive for March, 2013

Disability Rights Wisconsin Overview of the State Budget

Here is a PowerPoint presentation prepared by Disability Rights Wisconsin advocates, with input from other groups, including the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations. Consider using this presentation to educate  advocates and other community members about issues important to people with disabilities and ways to influence funding in this budget.
Click here for the PowerPoint: 2013 2015 budget overview for disability advocates.
Click here for a pdf: 2013-2015 budget overview for disability advocates.

Proceedings from the DPI Candidates’ Forum on Special Education

The Candidate Forum on Special Education: Policies and Priorities was held on Friday, March 1, 2013 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The moderator for the event was UW Oshkosh College of Education and Human Services Dean Fred Yeo. This strictly non-partisan forum was not part of any endorsement process. DRW has compiled a guide to the forum. To read the guide click here: DPI candidate forum booklet.

The guide is a product of Disability Rights Wisconsin and is meant to highlight the most important issues for students with disabilities and their families. Each State Superintendent candidate was asked the same set of questions about special education policies and priorities, covering the topics of funding, voucher programs, accountability and the achievement gap, mental health, teacher training, bullying, and seclusion and restraint. Each candidate was given the same amount of time to answer the questions asked at the forum.

The quotes featured in this guide are transcriptions of the candidates’ answers to the planned questions, which they were given in advance. These are the questions that are featured in this guide. The candidates also answered several questions from audience members. Only the seven planned questions are contained in the booklet.

Prepare Yourself To Testify about Disability Issues! New DRW Policy Papers.

Disability Rights Wisconsin has been working with the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities and the Waisman Center through Wisconsin’s Disability Policy Partnership to create a series of policy papers on issues important to people with disabilities. You can use these papers in discussions about issues and give them to others, including your legislator. Keep checking back for more valuable information on these and other issues as well as opportunities to influence decisions in this biennial budget. Find all six policy papers packaged together here:

More to come!

People with Disabilities, their Families and Advocates Should Attend Budget Hearings

Critical Decisions Will be Made About How State Dollars Are Spent to Support People with Disabilities.

The Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance (Budget) Committee will hold four public hearings around the state in April. This gives residents an opportunity to voice their support or opposition to parts of the budget. Please click here to see what the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations, which includes Disability Rights Wisconsin, thinks should be in our out of the state budget in areas like children and adult long-term supports, Medicaid, Special Education, transportation, mental health and more.

If you want to testify at one of these hearings in a group with other advocates or need help putting your testimony together, contact the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities staff.

Click here to read the rest of People with Disabilities, their Families and Advocates Should Attend Budget Hearings »

Disability Rights Wisconsin 2012 Annual Report

Take a read through the report for articles on a variety of DRW’s advocacy activities during 2012, including important positive changes for people with disabiliites:  corrections issues, Medicare Part D training, significant legislative victories, collaboration with self advocates, Rice Lake office staffing, and DRW’s first listening session in a mental health insitution.  Click here to download the report: 2012 DRW Annual Report.

Job Posting: Administrative Specialist in DRW Rice Lake Office

Administrative specialist at DRW’s Rice Lake office. 20 hours/week (Mon-Fri; at least 4 days per week), with possibility of increase.  Experience/skills: General office; multi-line telephone; word processing, email & internet; data entry/data base management; client intake; excellent telephone and in-person communication and organizational skills. Personal or professional experience with people with disabilities preferred. Associate degree or 3 years or more office experience. $10-$16/hour depending on skills and experience. Excellent fringe benefits. For full position announcement click here: Admin Spec Rice Lake Position Announcement 3-13 or call 715-736-1232.  Resume and cover letter by March 25 to: Disability Rights Wisconsin, 217 W Knapp St., Rice Lake, WI  54868. Members of racial/ethnic minority groups and persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply. EEO/AA employer.

State Superintendent Candidate Forum – Video

On Friday, March 1, 2013 a forum on Special Education Policies and Procedures was held at UW-Oshkosh.

The event was moderated by Dean Yeo and was a huge success. Both candidates – Tony Evers and Don Pridemore –  discussed their views on Special Needs Vouchers, Funding, Inclusion, Mental Health Services, Bullying, Teacher Training and other topics. It was clear from the questions asked by audience members that the topic of Special Needs Vouchers is of great interest and concern. The Forum allowed the candidates to express their viewpoints and highlight their differences in approach and philosophy on special education in Wisconsin.

You can watch what was discussed to make up your own mind on who to vote for on April 2nd. To watch the event go to:

The event was co-sponsored by Disability Rights Wisconsin, Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition, WI FACETS, WI Family Ties, Quality Education Council, Wisconsin Reading Coalition, UW Oshkosh Department of Special Education and College of Education and Human Services and Options for Independent Living.

DRW Involved in Mental Health Services Panel

Disability Rights Wisconsin Milwaukee Office Director Barbara Beckert is a guest on WisconsinEye discussing Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal to include $30 million in mental health programs. Watch: (click on the TV icon on this page)