Archive for June, 2014

DRW Pleased With Outcome of DHS Review

Disability Rights Wisconsin is pleased that the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Chief Legal Counsel has issued a favorable finding – concluding the review into DRW’s release of its expert’s report on six deaths that occurred at the Milwaukee Mental Health Complex in 2012.

“DRW appreciates the thorough nature of the Chief Counsel’s review and reiterates its commitment to advocate for the highest quality of life for all persons with disabilities, particularly those who are most vulnerable,” commented Executive Director Daniel Idzikowski.

DHS’ letter to Governor Walker dated June 13 concluded that DRW did not commit a violation of its duty as the state’s designated Protection and Advocacy Agency.

For more about this development, follow this link: DRW Pleased with Outcome of DHS Review.

DRW’s Elise Cassidente receives Ryan Klesh Public Interest Legal Worker Award

DRW Milwaukee Office Coordinator, Elise Cassidente, is the first recipient of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Ryan Klesh Public Interest Legal Worker Award. Elise captures the essence of Ryan’s selflessness, work ethic, and humor in working to seek justice for our low-income neighbors, family, and friends. Letters nominating Elise noted that: “Her formidable intellect, passion for social justice, and tireless dedication to the people we serve truly capture the essence of Ryan Klesh’s tremendous legacy.  Elise has dedicated her professional life to public interest law and to seeking justice for low income people”.  This new award is named after Ryan Klesh, an administrative staff person for SeniorLAW at Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee office from 2001 until his death in 2006.

DRW Public Policy Director Lisa Pugh’s Hometown Newspaper Celebrates her Appointment to Presidential Committee

Reprinted courtesy of the Dodge County Pionier:

 

PUGH NAMED TO PRESIDENT’S COMMITTEE

Daughter’s rare disability sparks passion and vision

by Gayle Rydstrom

Shortly after Erika Pugh was born 14 years ago, she was diagnosed with a rare disability called Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome (RTS).

According to the RTS website, the disability ‘refers to a specific pattern of physical features and developmental disabilities which occur together in a consistent fashion. Individuals with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome have short stature, developmental delay, similar facial features, and broad thumbs and first toes.’

“[Erika’s] early years were tough on our family,” said Horicon native Lisa Pugh, Erika’s mother. “She was fed through a tube for the first three years of her life and had many therapies and doctor appointments.”

Lisa discovered her strong views regarding inclusion for people with disabilities and her passion for advocating on behalf of other families because of Erika’s disability. Erika does not speak and has a significant disability, but she is the core of the Pugh family.

“My husband [Michael, a Mayville native] and I have a vision for including Erika in everything we do and to support her to live as independent and fulfilling life as possible,” said Lisa. “We strongly believe every person with a disability has something to contribute to our communities and they should not be segregated in our schools, our workplaces or our places of worship.”

On May 9, Lisa was appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. It is a two-year term. Although Lisa will visit Washington at least twice each year, she and her family will continue to live in Madison.   Click here to read the rest of DRW Public Policy Director Lisa Pugh’s Hometown Newspaper Celebrates her Appointment to Presidential Committee »