What's New

URGENT!!! The House is set to vote on the AHCA TOMORROW!!

Contact your Representative!!! What you can say:
The AHCA (American Health Care Act) would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and cut $839 billion from Medicaid.
· Wisconsin has 1.2 million people in Medicaid who could be hurt by these cuts.

The AHCA would allow states to roll back protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including making essential benefits optional.
· 2.5 million Wisconsinites have a pre-existing condition.
· Without the ACA protections, they could be denied coverage, charged unaffordable prices for insurance, and have lifetime limits for insurance coverage.
· If essential benefits are not required, insurance plans will not be required to cover vital services such as prescription drugs, hospitalization, outpatient services, mental health services, substance abuse disorder treatment, and much more.

The potential Upton-Long amendment would add $8 billion for high risk pools, but DOES NOT fix the $839 billion in cuts …to Medicaid. The pools themselves will provide little protection for people with pre-existing conditions.
· High Risk Insurance Pools have been tested in Wisconsin and failed to provide affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage for many people with disabilities and people with chronic medical or pre-existing conditions.

Contact your Representative!!! If you live in the district of Rep. Duffy (202-225-3365 or 855-585-4251, toll-free) or Rep. Gallagher (202-225-5665), your call is especially needed!

New Program and Opportunities with DRW!

Disability Rights Wisconsin’s new Victim Advocacy Program is looking for volunteer advocates to help people with disabilities who are victims/survivors of crime, throughout the state of Wisconsin. We are also looking for attorneys who would be willing to offer short term pro bono legal service (eligible for CLE credit) to victims/survivors with disabilities. Click here to read more about this new program, and how to get involved!

Guiding Principles For Competitive Integrated Employment for People With Disabilities in Long-term Care

The Department of Health Services announces new Guiding Principles for Competitive Integrated Employment for people with Disabilities in Long-Term Care

DHS guiding principles re employment in LTC

Highlighting Success in Hiring People with Disabilities

DRW’s Mary Cerretti and her son Kyle were featured speakers at a Kenosha Legislative Breakfast which highlighted success in hiring people with disabilities.  Kyle’s impactful remarks got a standing ovation from the crowd.  The Kenosha News covered the event.

Click here to read the article.

Highlighting Success

Remember To Vote on April 4, 2017!

The Spring General Election is just a few days away, Tuesday April 4th. We wanted to share some information about your rights and to remind you to bring a photo ID! Polls are open from 7am to 8pm on April 4th.

If you have any issues voting on Election Day, April 4th, Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition has a hotline and are at the ready to help. Call 1-844-DIS-VOTE (1-844-347-8683).

PREVIEW YOUR BALLOT. There’s an important statewide election for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. There are also many important local issues on the ballot and municipal and judicial candidates. Take a look and see what is on your ballot: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/PreviewMyBallot

CHECK YOUR REGISTRATION. Are you registered to vote? You can find out here! https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/RegisterToVote

  • REGISTER TO VOTE AT THE POLLS. If you aren’t registered, you can register at your polling location on Election Day. Bring proof of residence, such as a utility or phone bill, and your photo ID. If you have any problems registering at the polls OR you forgot your photo ID, your poll workers are required to allow you to cast a provisional ballot. They cannot prevent you from voting! Call the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition’s Hotline if you have any problems voting in your polling site: 1-844-DIS-VOTE (1-844-347-8683).

Click here to read the rest of Remember To Vote on April 4, 2017! »

Youth Leadership Forum is Seeking Applicants for Leadership Camp

The Youth Leadership Forum is seeking applicants to attend a weeklong leadership camp for individuals with disabilities who are in High School.  The camp will be held at Madison Edgewood College this summer from July 9th through the 14th.  If you would like more information and an application you can go to the Wisconsin Board For People With Developmental Disabilities website.

Make Your Voice Heard!

Speak out for priorities for people with disabilities in the state budget: attend a Joint Finance Committee budget hearing and testify!

DRW and BPDD will have staff at each hearing to be a resource for you. We can answer your questions and help you prepare your story. We hope to see you there!

Here are the dates and locations for the 6 budget hearings:
• Monday, April 3 – UW-Platteville, Platteville (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
• Wednesday, April 5 – State Fair Park, Milwaukee (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
• Friday, April 7 – Berlin High School, Berlin (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
• Tuesday, April 18 – Spooner High School, Spooner (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
• Wednesday, April 19 – Ellsworth High School, Ellsworth (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
• Friday, April 21 – Marinette High School, Marinette (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

We have created a summary of budget priorities to help!

Poster Contest Deadline EXTENDED to April 6th!

WI Youth Invited to Enter Children’s Mental Health Awareness Poster Contest

Entries due April 6th for “My Feelings Matter” poster contest

MADISON - The Children’s Mental Health Matters Coalition announced today that entries are now being accepted for the 2017 My Feelings Matter poster contest, highlighting National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week in May.

“We want to bring children’s mental health to the forefront with this poster contest,” said Phyllis Greenberger, a key member of the Coalition. “Art offers children a creative outlet for their feelings and can help them deal with strong emotions, while offering the adults in their lives insight into how their children are developing socially and emotionally.”

According to the 2016 Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health Annual Report, one in ten WI children qualify as having a Serious Emotional Disturbance and the WI youth suicide rate is almost 40 percent higher than the national rate. A clear need exists to normalize the discussion of children’s mental health and end the stigma and silence that often surrounds this issue. In last year’s contest, youth and teens across the state submitted over 200 posters addressing a variety of mental health experiences. These, and entries from past contests, serve to spur discussion of children’s mental health amongst contest participants and those who view the posters.

Preschoolers through high school students are eligible to participate and a prize is awarded to the winner in each age group. Entries must be postmarked by April 6th, 2017. Members of the Children’s Mental Health Matters Coalition determine finalists in each age category and post finalists online in April at: http://wisconsinknowschildrensmentalhealthmatters.wordpress.com/. Winners will be selected by popular vote on the website and recognized at a Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event May 4, 2017, at the Overture Center in Madison. This event is open to the community. Winning posters will be displayed at events and locations around the state to encourage children’s mental health awareness and discussion year-round.

For more information, visit: https://wisconsinknowschildrensmentalhealthmatters.wordpress.com/ ­

Contact: Phyllis Greenberger
608-267-0214
phyllisg@drwi.org

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The Children’s Mental Health Matters Coalition is a collaboration of Wisconsin non-profits and state entities invested in supporting children’s mental health. For more information and resources to promote positive mental health for all children visit:  https://wisconsinknowschildrensmentalhealthmatters.wordpress.com/

Disability Rights Wisconsin Opposes the American Health Care Act (AHCA)

DRW strongly opposes the current proposal and the likely devastating impact it will have on people with disabilities.

Our key concerns include the following:

  • The Per Capita Cap would radically restructure Medicaid by capping federal funding per beneficiary at a rate that is disconnected from beneficiary need and increasing health care costs.
  • Elimination of Retroactive Medicaid Eligibility, which provides coverage up to three months before the month an individual applies for coverage.
  • Repeal of Essential Benefits Coverage for Medicaid and any private plan.  Individuals with disabilities enrolled in Medicaid have the most significant needs for health care and long term supports.  These needs merit access to the same 10 essential health benefits required of ACA exchange plan; Medicaid and any private plan should continue to include coverage for Essential Benefits.
  • Negative impact of the AHCA proposal on people with disabilities who rely on private insurance.  The Affordable Care Act has significantly improved access for people with disabilities to comprehensive and high quality private insurance, thereby expanding opportunities to live independently and maintain employment.
  • Insurance will be less affordable for many people who have significant medical needs and require comprehensive coverage.
  • Insurance would have “lower average actuarial values” which means worse coverage than current policies under the ACA.

Please click here to read our full position.

Remember to Register for Disability Advocacy Day

Register now to talk directly to your state legislators! Sponsored by The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations.