What's New

Assembly Scheduled to Vote on Seclusion Restraint Bill Tuesday, March 13

The Assembly is still scheduled to vote on the seclusion and restraint bill (AB 455/SB 353) tomorrow, March 13th. If you haven’t contacted your member of the Assembly to urge support for the bill NOW is the time. You can contact your member at: 1-800-362-9472 or Wisconsin State Legislature.

Milwaukee Voucher Program Family Outreach meeting

DRW and the ACLU are hosting a family outreach meeting on March 14th from 6-7:30 PM at the Center Street Library in Milwaukee–2727 Fond du Lac Ave. We would like to meet with families of Milwaukee children with disabilities who have experienced discimination in the Milwaukee voucher program either by being refused admission or being expelled. Pizza and refreshments will be provided. More information is available here: Voucher parent meeting.

Share Your Ideas with DHS on Long-Term Care Sustainability: Attend a Town Hall!

The Department of Health Services is holding Town Halls throughout the state over the next several weeks to hear from Wisconsin residents with disabilities and their families about how to make the state’s long-term care system sustainabile. The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations (Disability Rights Wisconsin is a member) is sharing this important information about how you can participate:

Share Your Ideas with DHS – LTC Sustainability Town Halls

Survival Coalition Asks the Assembly to Act on Four Key Bills Tuesday

The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations sent a message to the state Assembly today asking for their action on four bills that are key to people with disabilities in Wisconsin. The Assembly votes on these bills Tuesday, March 6. More than 200 disability advocates will be in the Capitol Tuesday on Disability Advocacy Day encouraging these vote actions. Click here to view the Survival Coalition message.

Five New Members Join the DRW Board

The DRW Board has elected 5 new Board members and new officers. For profiles of the 17 DRW Board members, click here.

Wisconsin State Assembly Districts – How Many Are Waiting for Long-Term Supports?

See the attached pdf document for a listing of all 99 Wisconsin state Assembly districts and the number of children and adults with disabilities waiting and being supported in long-term care waivers including CLTS, Family Care and IRIS. According to DHS, the statewide adult waiting list for long-term supports was 8,237 individuals as of November 2011; however the wait list has likely grown significantly since the caps on Family Care and IRIS were put in place in July. DHS also reports 2,244 children waiting for long-term supports statewide. Click this link to view the list of districts: LTC Profiles 11-2011

DRW testifies against Special Needs Vouchers at Senate Education Committee hearing

DRW Managing Attorney Jeff Spitzer-Resnick and Advocacy Specialist Sally Flaschberger provided separate testimony against SB 486 at the Feb. 28th Senate Education Committee hearing. Here is a copy of DRW’s testimony: testimony-SB486.


MADISON—The Department of Health Services is seeking input from consumers, community partners, integrated health systems, and providers on its Long Term Care Sustainability Initiatives.
“We have worked extensively with consumers, advocates and partners to develop reforms that meet the needs of those individuals we serve and ensure Wisconsin’s long term care programs are sustainable,” said Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis G. Smith. “We are taking our proposals on the road to get additional feedback from people around the state.”
Individuals who are interested in speaking will have up to five minutes to share their ideas at the forums. Those who would like to share their ideas and do not wish to speak are encouraged to submit their written feedback at the meeting or through the Department’s online survey at http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/ltcreform/. This link also includes background information on the proposals.
Green Bay
Thursday, March 8, 2012
3:00 – 6:00 P.M. The Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center
1315 Lime Kiln Road
Multi-Purpose Room
Green Bay, WI 54311
La Crosse
Friday, March 9, 2012
2:00 – 5:00 P.M. UW-La Crosse
1725 State Street
Cartwright Center, Room 339
La Crosse, WI 54601
Free Parking: Lot C-2
Monday, March 12, 2012
2:00 – 5:00 P.M. Goodman Community Center
149 Waubesa Street
Evjue Room D
Madison, WI 53704
Additional town hall meetings will be scheduled in Milwaukee and Wausau. Details will be announced once they are confirmed.
** People needing special accommodations to attend or participate in the meeting should notify the Department of Health Services at 608-266-9622 (TTY 888-701-1250) by the day prior to the event.

Northeast Wisconsin Groups Collect Signatures to Send to Assembly about Family Care Expansion

Northeast Wisconsin disability and aging advocates, along with county representatives and concerned community organizations are circulating a letter for signature – sharing their concerns about the stall of a bill to remove the caps on Family Care and other long-term care programs. Advocates hope to secure as many Northeast Wisconsin organizations to sign on to this letter as possible to send a clear message to the Assembly about the state’s plans for long-term care and expansion of Family Care and IRIS in Northeast Wisconsin!

This letter tells the Wisconsin Assembly about the concerns many people in the Northeast have about the state’s future plans for long-term care for people with disabilities and frail elderly in the region. If your organization agrees with the below/attached statement, please send your organization name to nowaitinnortheastwi@gmail.com to be added to the letter – no later than 5 PM ON WED. FEB. 22.

Read the letter here:

Letter from NE Wisconsin Counties – Family Care Expansion

Disability Groups Continue to Oppose Special Needs Voucher bills

As the legislative session winds down, there is a renewed legislative push to pass special needs vouchers bills. DRW, joined by the Board on People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD), continue to oppose these bills. You can read more information about the bills; why DRW and BPDD oppose them; and how to take action on them here: ALERT! SPECIAL NEEDS VOUCHERS