Be Aware:Following the Department of Health Services proposal for the Family Care Waiver Plan, members of Wisconsin A TEAM, along with other self-advocates, families, and community members have followed public comments made by Governor Walker and the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities to determine further advocacy efforts needed to protect the full array of services.
The Governor’s comments:
September 2014- The Governor spoke publicly in favor of protecting a full spectrum of services during a recent audio interview aired nationally through www.respectabilityusa.com. He stated the following, “We want to make sure there's a full spectrum of services available. We understand that in some limited cases there are going to be individuals that need very structured work environments. We understand that. We want to offer, we want to make sure there's choices out there".
In similar informal dialogue with community members and Community Rehabilitation Program leaders, he has indicated that facility-based training is an important choice for people with disabilities in the state of Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities comments:
May 2014 – 17 families and self advocates from the state of Wisconsin spoke to WBPDD board members at a public comment period to share testimony (www.ateamwisconsin.org). The board lacked sincerity and compassion for the families and their request to recognize a full spectrum of employment choices.
July 2014 – 6 families met with WBPDD Executive Board Members again to repeat their request for the WBPDD to value all work choices and publicly support them. Again, their response was indifferent.
September 2014 - In a Cap Times editorial, Beth Swedeen, WBPDD Executive Director co-wrote, “These sheltered workshops seemed like a good idea years ago, but they are now costly at best and exploitive at worst.” Another comment, “A full range of options that include choice about home and work currently does not exist for families like ours.” (www.ateamwisconsin.org)
September 2014 – picture on the WBPDD Face Book page showed a person with a disability working in a facility with the words “SEGREGATION FOREVER” posted across his body.
The WBPDD is a Governor-appointed board that has a Federally funded mission to improve the lives of all people with developmental disabilities in the state of Wisconsin. They clearly are not following their tax payer supported mission. (www.wi-bpdd.org/about/backgroundmission/missionpopulation.cfm)
Be an ADVOCATE: Take action!
1. Know the facts:
(2) Advisement Post Card to WBPDD (add PDF)
If you need a post card, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Fill and mail the post card. Share copies with family and friends. Ask them to show their support for a full array of employment choices by mailing them.
Mail your Post Card by October 24, 2014.
There have been success stories in Mississippi, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Your hard work, and determination can add Wisconsin to that list of success stories!