What's New

Job Posting: Program Attorney – Disability Benefit Specialist Program

DRW is hiring an attorney in the Madison office to assist lay advocates in public benefits cases, conduct trainings, and provide direct legal representation. For detailed Position Announcement, salary range, and application requirements, click here or call 608-267-0214. Deadline: 05/25/12. Members of racial/ethnic minority groups and persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply. EEO/AA Employer

Wisconsin is a Leader in Developing the National Agenda for Supporting Families

A group of diverse national and state disability leaders met last year at the Johnson Foundation’s Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin to develop new recommendations on the types of supports families with a member with intellectual/developmental disabilities need and to make recommendations for advancing a national agenda on supporting the family. This document outlines recommendations that must occur to ensure that individuals with I/DD are fully integrated and included in our society and that recognition of their families’ role in their lives is part of the equation for success.

Read the Wingspread Report

Make a Difference for Employment of People with Disabilities in WI!

Join disability advocates on May 22nd from 8:30-4 at the Kalahari in WI Dells for the Wisconsin Integrated Employment Super Summit!

This is a kick off of many employment events that will be happening throughout the state. On May 22 you will hear about innovative employment efforts happening in IRIS, Family Care, Counties, DVR and schools that are really getting people paid jobs in the community. Join in local action planning groups that will be working throughout the state to achieve the statewide goal of doubling the number of people with disabilities in jobs in the community by 2016! Go to Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities website at www.wi-bpdd.org for more information and to register.

Save the date: IE Summit Hold the Date
The event agenda: IE Summit Agenda
Register: http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1083962

Special Education Listening Session

There will be a Special Education Listening Session, including a free pasta supper at the Circles of Life conference on April 26th from 5-6:30 PM in Middleton.

Here is the flyer for the session: Special Education Sharing Session Flyer

En Espanol: Spanish- Sesion para Compartir- 4-26-12.

Representatives from Wisconsin’s Disability Policy Partnership to Visit DC

The week of April 23, approximately 18 Wisconsin disability advocates will converge with others from around the nation to communicate to Congress about the priorities for people with disabilities. The Wisconsin team will include representatives from Wisconsin’s Disability Policy Partnership between Disability Rights Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Board for People with Disabilities and the Waisman Center. The national Disability Policy Seminar event is being coordinated through various national organizations. The DPS is sharing these materials about the most pressing federal issues and “asks” for people with disabilities. Be informed and check them out!

Fact Sheets

Other Helpful Documents

For Your Information

The following links can help you understand more about how public policy decisions are made and implemented.

Kim Hogan, DRW Madison Intake Specialist, to receive award from Community Shares of WI

Kim Hogan in the DRW Offices

Kim Hogan in the DRW Office

Kim, who has been with DRW for 14 years, has been selected to receive one of the three annual awards given by Community Shares of WI. She is being recognized for her tireless, compassionate, and knowledgeable response to callers contacting DRW for assistance. Congratulations, Kim!!!

Barbara Beckert selected for WI Women’s Health Foundation Award

On May 5 DRW Milwaukee Office Director, Barbara Beckert, will receive a Women’s Health Champion award from the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation recognizing her leadership in the area of disability rights and mental illness. This is quite a prestigious award.

Read more information about the award

Read Barbara’s bio and the bios of the other award winners

Disability Advocates Share Concerns about Achievement Gap in New Test Results

The recent release of student test results from the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examinations (WKCE) shows progress for some groups of students, but should cause great concern about the ongoing significant achievement gap for students with disabilities. While many subgroups of students benefited from Wisconsin’s commitment to improving reading and math proficiency, students with disabilities continue to lag far behind.

Read the full release and access links to test results here: Disability Agency Comments on release of 2011-2012 WKCE results

Changes Being Made Soon to Personal Care Services –COMMENTS NEEDED BY FRIDAY!

Changes Being Made Soon to Personal Care Services –COMMENTS NEEDED BY FRIDAY!

The Department of Health Services will
Reduce Travel Reimbursement to Personal Care Providers on April 1, 2012

Agencies providing Medicaid personal care services receive reimbursement for the time it takes direct service workers to travel to people’s homes. The Department of Health Services (DHS) plans to reduce the reimbursement for travel on April 1. With rising gas prices this funding becomes more critical. Agencies rely on this funding particularly in cases where individuals need small amounts of service time more than once a day or live far away. Agencies have said that reducing funding for travel may cause them to stop serving some people.

DHS plans to implement the following:

  • Pay urban providers half the current rate.
  • Cap urban providers at 2 hours of travel time per consumer per day.
  • Cap rural providers at 3 hours of travel time per consumer per day. The first two hours would be paid the full rate. The last hour would be paid half rate.
  • Rural providers who travel less than 3 hours per person per day would be reimbursed the full rate.

DHS may consider changing their plans based on comments they receive by March 30, 2012. DHS seeks input from individuals receiving personal care services about the impacts of the proposal travel reimbursement cuts.

Comments should be submitted to both the DHS Secretary at DennisG.Smith@dhs.wisconsin.gov and Elizabeth.Scudder@dhs.wisconsin.gov.
You can also fax comments to Elizabeth Scudder at: FAX (608) 266-1096.

Survival Coalition releases Parent Survey describing impact of state budget on school children with disabilities

Today, the Survival Coalition released its analysis of results from a statewide survey of parents of children with disabilities conducted by Disability Rights Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, and Wisconsin FACETS, all agencies with a statutory charge to protect and promote the educational rights of students with disabilities. The survey received 442 responses from parents of children with disabilities across the state over a two-month period.

The survey revealed that 46% of the respondents indicated their child’s educational programming was worse when compared to the last 1-2 years. “It is unacceptable,” says Survival Coalition co-chair and DRW Executive Director, Tom Masseau. “We should not have this number of families of children with disabilities saying their child’s education has deteriorated. Survival Coalition looks forward to working with the state to address these problematic results.”

Forty-percent of all families surveyed said they were concerned for their child’s future due to the changes in educational programming.
The Survival Coalition concludes that public school funding in the state is not adequate to address the health, safety, and academic progress of students with disabilities.

Read the press release here: Survival Coalition Parent Survey Press release.

Read the full survey report here: IMPACT – final.