Archive for July, 2015

Disability Rights Wisconsin Provides Testimony for U. S Senate Hearing on Vouchers

Disability Rights Wisconsin provided testimony on July 20 during a hearing held by U.S. Senator Ron Johnson: “The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: A Pioneer for School Choice Programs Nationwide.” To read the testimony, click here.

President Speaks on the ADA

The President of the United States spoke at yesterday’s ADA reception at the White House. Twenty-five years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law — a landmark piece of legislation prohibiting discrimination based on disability.

To read Mr. Obama’s remarks, click here.

The passage of this act was one of America’s great civil rights triumphs. It was the culmination of many years of struggle by the countless people who marched, organized, and refused to be treated as second-class citizens.

Join Us to Celebrate Wisconsin’s ABLE Creation!

Representative John Macco (R – Ledgeview), invites you to an event to celebrate a new era for people with disabilities and their families in Wisconsin.

The signing of Wisconsin’s 2015-17 budget means families and individuals with disabilities will for the first time be able to start saving for the future with new ABLE Act Accounts. It is time to celebrate!

When: 10:00 am on Monday, August 10th, 2015

Where: Options for Independent Living
555 Country Club Road, Green Bay, Wisconsin

What: A Celebration with Families and People with Disabilities who have New Options for Independence through ABLE Act Accounts

Please RSVP:
Contact Lisa Pugh with Disability Rights Wisconsin: or Ben Joniaux, if you plan to attend.

What is an ABLE Account?
The purpose of an ABLE Account is to encourage and assist individuals with disabilities and their families to save funds to maintain health, increase independence, and improve quality of life. ABLE stands for “Achieving a Better Life Experience.” An ABLE Account will allow individuals with qualified disabilities and their families across Wisconsin to put away their own funding for specified items, such as housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, personal support services, health care expenses and other needs while not jeopardizing the person’s eligibility for Medicaid and other programs that provide essential supports that are not otherwise available. Wisconsin’s ABLE Act provision recognizes the extra and significant costs of living with a disability and will support people to increase their independence.

Print and share this event invitation: Join Us to Celebrate Wisconsin’s ABLE Act Accounts.

Read more about Disability Rights Wisconsin’s Support for the ABLE Act in Wisconsin: Disability Rights WI Supports ABLE Act Provision.

For more details about the accounts: ABLE Accounts FAQ.

Advocates Await Assurance that IRIS will be Replicated in Wisconsin’s New Managed Care System

On June 30 the Legislative Fiscal Bureau issued this memo outlining how the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee budget motion does not address key parts of the current IRIS program including:

  • Maintaining the policy that anyone who is eligible for Family Care is eligible for self direction.
  • Access to the ongoing support of an IRIS Consultant to implement a self-direction plan.
  • The calculation of an Individual Budget based on an objective measures of a person’s functioning.
  • The requirement that all eligible individuals be provided information on the self direction option.

When the original budget motion passed on May 27 legislators had indicated that although IRIS was being folded into Family Care as a self-direction option that it would be essentially identical to the current IRIS program.

Advocates will continue to work with the Legislature to secure fixes to the budget motion to maintain IRIS.