What's New

Statewide Disability Advocacy Groups Applaud DPI Budget Request

Budget Includes Critical Steps to Close Achievement Gap for Students with Disabilities

Madison, WI – A coalition of statewide disability advocacy groups is offering their support for State Superintendent Tony Evers’ biennial budget recommendations for state education funding that were announced today in West Allis.

The Superintendent’s proposal includes an increase in special education funding, also known as “categorical aids,” of $70 million over the next two years, as well as increased support for districts with extraordinary special education costs.

Click here to read the full press release: Statewide Disability Advocacy Groups Applaud DPI Budget Request

Milwaukee County Disabilities Services Waiting List Eliminated After 35 Years

An Update from Make It Work Milwaukee/the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force:

This is an important milestone for people with disabilities–ending our waiting list and reaching entitlement.  Many of us have worked for years towards this goal.  Thank you to Geri Lyday for her dedicated leadership, to all the elected officials who shared this vision, and most of all the people with disabilities, family members, and advocates who advocated for so long to make this a reality.  May we use this accomplishment to inspire us to achieve other great things as we embark on the biennial budget – and the opportunity for Wisconsin to move forward as an innovator in community based services and supports that increase the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities.

This innovative vision of ending waiting lists and expanding access to community based services and supports for people with disabilities as an alternative to institutional care was pioneered by Governor Thompson, and continued with strong support from Governor Doyle and Governor Walker, and the Legislature.

Thanks everyone and congratulations!

Click here to read the release from the Milwaukee County Department of Health & Human Services: http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=0d938fc7f541ceeb576488f48&id=5f3f29e903&e=064ac67b26

Job Posting: Managing Attorney in DRW Madison Office

Managing Attorney in Madison office of statewide disability advocacy agency with focus on school and civil rights issues.  For job announcement  and application requirements click here: S-CR managing attorney job description 10-12 or call 608-267-0214. Salary: $45,000 to $65,000 DOE.  Excellent fringe benefits.  Resumes and cover letters will be reviewed beginning November 16 until position is filled. Members of racial/ethnic minority groups and persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply.  EEO/AA Employer.

Disability Concerns May Sway Vote


A new survey of likely voters suggests most are touched personally by someone with a disability and that those relationships could affect how they vote in the November election.

In the poll of 1,000 expected voters nationwide, 51 percent said that they have a family member or close friend with a disability. And many indicated that connection could impact their decision in the upcoming presidential election.

Some 41 percent of those surveyed said they’d be more inclined to support a candidate who pledges to make policies and programs helping those with disabilities a national priority.

Only 2 percent of respondents indicated that disability programs should not be a top concern.

“The majority of likely American voters are experiencing the challenges of living with a disability, either because they have a disability or have a loved one who does. It impacts voting, and elected officials need to pay attention,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of the strategic communications group Laszlo Strategies which conducted the survey in early September along with the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

Voter interest in disability issues does differ by party affiliation, however, according to the research results. Democrats were more likely to say that a candidate’s stance on programs affecting those with special needs would impact their decision at the ballot box.

Meanwhile, while the poll found that voters were largely split on whether or not the government is currently doing enough to assist those with disabilities to “lead a normal life,” Republicans were more likely to say that the status quo is sufficient.


Provide Medicaid Managed Care enrollees with information about and the rights and responsibilities of enrollment in Medicaid HMOs; investigate complaints, including the denial, reduction or termination of services by the HMO, and provide representation.
For detailed Position Announcement, salary range, and application requirements, click this link:  2012 Job Announcement SSI MC Advocacy Specialist or call 414-773-4646. DEADLINE: October 31. Members of racial/ethnic minority groups or persons with disabilities strongly encouraged to apply. EEO/AA employer.

Governor Walker Declares October Disability Employment Awareness Month!

Also – make sure you take part in this year’s Take Your Legislator to Work campaign! It is important for your legislator to know that people with disabilities can work at real jobs in the community for real pay! Sign up: http://www.wmc.org/programs/take-your-legislator-to-work-campaign/.

Survival Coalition Shares Ideas on Developing a Wisconsin Health Care Exchange

Decisions about health care reform implementation are very important to people with disabilities in Wisconsin. On September 21 Disability Rights Wisconsin, along with the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations, provided testimony to a State Senate Committee on the importance of including people with disabilities in decisions including developing Wisconsin’s insurance exchange, establishing essential health benefits, and more.
See the Coalition’s full comments here: Survival Coalition Testimony – Committee Hearing on Insurance Exchanges in WI.

Looking for Volunteers Who Want to Make a Difference

We need volunteer counselors for our Disability Drug Benefit Helpline. Flexible schedules available but volunteers should be available October 15 – December 7, 2012. Basic computer, Internet and telephone skills helpful; a willingness to make a difference in the lives of others a MUST. Want to learn more? Contact Ginger by email at ginger.rogers@drwi.org or by phone at 414-773-4646 ext. 23.

Now is the Time to Ask Candidates Questions!

Here are two documents you can use to ask important disability-focused questions of candidates for federal and state office who will be on the ballot on November 6. Simply post some questions on a candidate’s Facebook page; contact their campaign by e-mail; invite a candidate to your organization’s monthly meeting. Most importantly, get candidates on the record on these topics.
Click here for the documents:
5 Qs for Federal Candidates
6 Qs for State Candidates


The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations shares their recommendations to state agencies, the governor and the legislature on the 2013-15 biennial budget. Click here to view the document: Survival Coalition 2013-2015 Budget Priorities.