Archive for May, 2016

Disability Rights Wisconsin Asks Legislature to Suspend Plans for Family Care/IRIS 2.0

On May 27, 2016 Disability Rights Wisconsin sent a letter to members of the Wisconsin State Legislature asking them to suspend the Department of Health Services’ plans to redesign Wisconsin’s long-term care programs. Family Care and IRIS serve more than 55,000 older adults and people with disabilities. DRW shared significant concerns about proposed changes to IRIS self-direction.

You can read the complete letter here: DRW Letter to the Legislature on Family Care-IRIS 2 0 Decision 5-27-2016.

DRW Informational Session and Board Listening Session – Friday, June 17 – Janesville

WHERE: Rock County Job Center (where the ADRC is located)
1900 Center Ave.
Janesville, WI 53546

Informational Session
3:30 – 4:15 pm
Learn about Disability Rights Wisconsin and its Family Care/IRIS Ombudsman Program – presented by DRW staff.

Board Listening Session
4:30 – 6:30 pm
Come and share your ideas for the future of disability advocacy and the issues that need to be addressed in the areas of mental health, developmental disability, special education, physical disability services, and disability rights.

For details, click here.

Disability Rights Wisconsin Makes Recommendations on Implementation on new IRIS 40 Hour Rule

On May 23 Disability Rights Wisconsin sent a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) making recommendations on how to implement its 40-Hour Health and Safety Assurance Policy in a way that ensures health and safety for people who may have difficulty meeting the new worker limits. You can read DRW’s letter here: DRW Letter to DHS – 40-Hour Health and Safety Assurance Policy

The Department’s policy establishes that IRIS participant hired workers may provide no more than 40 hours of care per week for an IRIS employer. Read more about the Department’s policy here: DHS 40-hour policy. IRIS participants are being asked to sign a form to ensure they are in compliance with this new policy by December of 2016. You can see the form here: 40 Hour Health and Safety Assurance Participant Form. 

National disability advocacy groups have also recently provided guidance to states on how to come into compliance around new federal worker overtime regulations. Read this document from the Bazelon Center: Considerations for developing overtime exceptions.  Disability Rights Wisconsin will continue to monitor implementation of the Wisconsin policy and work with the Department to ensure that individuals continue to receive the care hours required to meet their needs.

New Brochure – In Wisconsin, Treatment Never Includes Sex

DRW worked with DHS to develop a brochure on sexual exploitation of mental health consumers in mental health services and substance abuse services. Approximately 10-13 percent of mental health providers self-report exploiting at least one client in their career services and of these, most report exploiting more than one client. It is important that consumers of mental health and substance abuse services be aware of the possible warning signs that they might be targeted for exploitation, know their rights, and know where they may receive assistance if they are being sexually exploited by a mental health professional.

Since April was sexual assault awareness month, we would like to provide a resource for people who may be experiencing sexual exploitation in treatment. To view and download the brochure, click here.