What's New

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.

ACA Medicaid Action Alert

The House of Representatives is expected to introduce a bill to cut Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this week. The result would be two major blows to access to health and long term care for individuals with disabilities.

Please help us protect the ACA and Medicaid by reaching out to your Federal and state legislators, and Governor Walker. The voices of people with disabilities whose health and life are at risk are critical to join this debate. Repealing the ACA and CUTTING Medicaid is unacceptable. Click here to send a message to your lawmaker. 

For more information, see our full release here.

Disability Rights Wisconsin Listening Session is Today March 3rd – Hope to See You There!

Reminder: The Disability Rights Wisconsin Board is holding a listening session in Madison on March 3rd from 4:30  – 6:30 PM at Warner Park Community Recreation Center.  This an opportunity for people with disabilities, family members, and others share their ideas for the future of disability advocacy including issues that need to be addressed in the areas of mental health, developmental disability, special education, physical disability services, and disability rights.   

For details check out this link.   Please share this reminder with your network  – hope to see you there!

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

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

Entries due March 27 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 March 27, 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

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/

Don’t Forget to Vote today in Statewide Primary


2017 Spring Primary Election, February 21, 2017. Polls open 7am-8pm

Don’t Forget to Vote today in statewide  primary for superintendent of public instruction. Bring your photo ID. Do you have a current Wisconsin drivers license or photo ID? If not, click here to find out how to get a free photo ID: http://bringit.wisconsin.gov.

Who’s on your ballot? Learn here: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/PreviewMyBallot

Statement from the Wisconsin VAWA Project on the Loss of Amy Judy

Three photos of Amy Judy, presenting to an audience, smiling for camera, and looking out window.Amy Judy led the Wisconsin Violence Against Women with Disabilities and Deaf Women (VAWA) Project from its inception in 2002 until 2015. Amy never worked alone and the Project was no exception- the Project worked in collaboration with several partners and countless numbers of local agencies, self-advocates, and individuals. In the spirit of that collaboration, the Project partners issue this joint statement. We are deeply saddened to hear about the death of Amy Judy. Click here to read the rest of Statement from the Wisconsin VAWA Project on the Loss of Amy Judy »

DRW Appreciates Positive Budget Provisions for People with Disabilities

Wisconsin’s Protection and Advocacy system for people with disabilities is encouraged by the investment in people with disabilities across the lifespan demonstrated in Governor Walker’s 2017-2019 Biennial Budget Proposal. We remain concerned that some policy proposals in the budget will have an unduly punitive effect on people with disabilities who are disproportionately poor.

Read our full release here.

Medicare Part D Extra Help

If you have been following the Take A Minute for Medicare for the past few months, you may recognize this topic from last June. We are revisiting this topic because the income limits for Medicare Extra Help have changed for 2017.

The Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) changed by a small percentage for 2017. For some the Social Security increase was as little as $5. But, even this small amount could make a difference in possible eligibility for Part D Extra Help through Social Security. Many people on Medicare may qualify for extra help and don’t know it.

2017 Social Security Extra Help Eligibility

                                   Monthly income Limit                 Asset Limit

Individual                              $1,507.50                              $12,320

Couple                                   $2,030.00                              $24,600

When you are eligible for extra help, you may not have a Medicare Part D premium, deductible, and low copayments in certain prescription drug plans. You will not have a coverage gap (also known as the donut hole) and, if you did not sign up for Part D when you were first eligible and have extra help, you will not have a late enrollment penalty. You will also be able to change your Part D plan at any time.

Extra Help through Social Security may be full or partial help depending upon your income. Social Security will determine the level of Extra Help you qualify to receive.

To find out if you are eligible, go to www.ssa.gov and apply online, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 toll free, or go in person to any local Social Security office and ask to apply for extra help. Come back next month for more ways to get Extra Help.

For general Medicare questions, call DRW at 1-800-928-8778. For Medicare Part D questions, call the Disability Drug Benefit Helpline at 1-800-926-4862. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or visit www.medicare.gov to find out if Medicare covers your test, service, or item.

Governor Pledges Support for Children with Disabilities

Today Governor Walker announced good news for children with disabilities across Wisconsin. The Governor signaled that his budget will commit more than $39 million to support families raising children with significant disabilities, effectively eliminating the current waiting list for critical long term support services.

On behalf of 2200 children with disabilities still awaiting services designed to support their development and meet their potential, Disability Rights Wisconsin raises its voice in thanks for the Governor’s significant commitment. The Governor’s budget initiative will have a positive effect on the lives of thousands of Wisconsin children and fulfill a goal sought by disability advocates for more than a decade. 

Please click here to see our full press release.

Informational Session and a Board Listening Session in Madison

Disability Rights Wisconsin is holding an Informational Session and a Board Listening Session in Madison

Friday, March 3, 2017, 4:00-6:30 pm

We want to hear from you!

Informational Session: 4:00—4:30
Learn about the mission and advocacy work of Disability Rights Wisconsin- Presented by DRW Executive Director Dan Idzikowski
Board Listening Session: 4:30 – 6:30
Help shape our advocacy plans for the future.  Come and speak or just listen to what others in your community have to say. Click here to read the rest of Informational Session and a Board Listening Session in Madison »