August 2014 Blog Posts (27)

Concerned sister

To whom it may concern,

My brother benefits greatly from the services provided and it would be devastating to his physical and emotional well-being if his ability to work was taken away from him.  While he would have the option of trying to obtain regular employment, he would not be able to maintain the standards a typical employer would expect. He currently has a great sense of accomplishment with his piece work and has a wonderful support system at his…


Added by Farrah Uphoff on August 30, 2014 at 7:38am — No Comments

Letter from a Concerned Mother

Division of Long Term Care

Attn: 1915(c) Waiver Application 

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Kim Verbsky and I am a mother of a daughter with a life limiting illness, Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2.  This disease has ravaged her body and debilitated her independence. Being Kennady’s mom has propelled me into a career working with individuals with disabilities. I currently own 4 state licensed Adult Family Homes and provide 24 hour care for 15 adults with…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 28, 2014 at 3:16pm — No Comments

Family member appreciates local Community Rehabilitation Program


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 28, 2014 at 9:25am — No Comments

Employment, training services for disabled face cloudy future

CHIPPEWA FALLS — Beven Hartfield has worked at Chippewa River Industries since February and said she enjoys her job at the Chippewa Falls site.

"It's hands-on, and there's a lot of help, and that's what I like about it," Hartfield said. "They teach us job skills, people skills (and) how to act, so it's a good thing."

For months the future of such facilities as CRI, REACH and the L.E.…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on August 28, 2014 at 8:55am — No Comments

Letter to Governor Walker - Renee's Story

Ref: 1915 ( b and c ) Waiver Application

To Whom It May Concern:

We are the parents and guardians of our mentally and physically handicapped daughter, Renee Johnsen who is presently employed at the VARC, Inc. facility in Viroqua, WI.  

We are very concerned about the proposal to eliminate the choice for Renee to continue her very purposeful job at VARC, Inc. She has had the opportunity to do 30 plus jobs and…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 28, 2014 at 7:08am — 1 Comment

Letter to DHS from Parents

August 27, 2014

Dear DHS,

We are the parents of three adopted disabled adult children. Anna is 41 years old and has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and mild cerebral palsy. Luisa is 37 years old and has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and mild cerebral palsy. Andy is 28 years old and has Down syndrome, is blind, and has had four open heart surgeries for various conditions and now has a pace maker.

Anna has worked in the community in five…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 28, 2014 at 6:59am — No Comments

A Team member writes Letter to Editor, Janesville Gazette

A Team member/parent, Rick Wilson, wrote to The Gazette in response to Catherine W. Idzerda's article from August 22. 

Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 26, 2014 at 3:49pm — No Comments

Letter to the Governor from CRP Board Member

Dear Governor Walker,

Thank you for your strategic vision and commitment to expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities here in Wisconsin through your Better Bottom Line Initiative and the increase in funding for the important services provided by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. As a Board Member of Opportunities, Inc. and a long term supporter of community based rehabilitation organizations that practice CHOICE, I applaud…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 26, 2014 at 3:24pm — No Comments

Letter to Mary Rhoades, DHS from A Team Members/Parents

Dear Ms. Rhoades,

We are the parents of Mary Katherine Miller (who is a Trisomy 21 Downs Syndrome almost 24 year old person). Thank you for the opportunity to share our comments concerning the plan proposal you are submitting to the Center for Medicaid Services.  The State of Wisconsin Plan changes where people with disabilities work and choose to work by limiting funding for Employment and Training services by agencies such as VARC in Mauston (where Mary trains…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 26, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

DHS update-What does it mean???

Update (August 15, 2014) The purpose of this message is to notify interested stakeholders of an error in the Family Care stakeholder briefing materials sent on July 30, 2014. The Department is correcting the statement “subminimum wage agreements would no longer be permissible” for prevocational services (page 6 of the Summary of Significant Revisions to Existing 1915(c) Waiver Services, #2 Prevocational Services). There is no prohibition on the use of subminimum wage agreements in the…


Added by Kathleen Springhorn on August 26, 2014 at 11:19am — No Comments

A Team Members Voice their Choice at BPDD meeting

Members speak out at Board for People with Developmental Disabilities meeting on 5-22-14.

Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 26, 2014 at 10:03am — No Comments

Letter from A Team Member/ Father

To Whom It May Concern,

The idea that the disabled do not like sheltered work facility and need to be integrated into the community is totally false. If they are physically and mentally capable they should be in the community working. Unfortunately the majority of the workers are not able to do this. The federal government is making a bad law and we should not just follow along and not question how much this law will hurt the disabled people that we should be supporting. We need to…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 26, 2014 at 9:54am — No Comments

Letter to DRW Executive Director from A Team Family Member

Dear Mr. Dan IdzikowskiI,

Hummm.... Where oh where to begin.  

Chaos Yes we are in a state of Chaos and most unfortunately intentional Chaos. Chaos is not a healthy place to be.…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 26, 2014 at 8:46am — No Comments

Governor Walker and DHS-- Ross' story

I am a parent of a son who has epilepsy and is cognitively disabled. Ross is currently 30 years old, and  he has been working at a Community Based Facility called Chippewa Falls Industries since he was 18. He loves to go to work and is very proud of the fact that he gets a check every two weeks. He has friends at his job and managers who he respects and "kids around with". Sometimes CRI holds little workshops for clients on such things as hygiene and filling out forms. DVR, associated with…


Added by Patsy A. Lenard on August 25, 2014 at 6:43pm — No Comments

Support Letter to DHS - Rosa's Story

To whom it concerns,

I am writing to give feedback regarding the proposed implementation of CMS mandates which are a misreading of the American with Disabilities Act. I am asking that the full array of services stay protected. People in “Sheltered Workshops” are not being paid below minimum wage. Their work is pro-rated minimum wage – a very important distinction.  

I will use the impact on Rosa Miriam Palmer Spellman as an example of the…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 25, 2014 at 2:01pm — No Comments

"Finding Fulfillment and Happiness in Productivity"

Tara used to be verbally and physically aggressive and become agitated easily, but you’d never guess that when you talk to her today. Today she is happy to tell you about all the activities she does for fun, such as playing Uno, dancing to her favorite music, or taking part in art classes and projects — but that’s not all. She also likes to talk about her job.

Its only…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 25, 2014 at 12:41pm — No Comments

Letter to Governor & DHS from A Team Member/ Self-Advocate

To Whom It May Concern: 

My name is Jennifer Weigand and I’ve been working here at Opportunities, since 1993. Prior to 1993, I was in college studying to be a psychologist to work with people with disabilities, such as mine, that I have now. My disability is Schizo-affective Disorder and Epilepsy. I did not graduate from college because my disability occurred while I was in college and that is why I am working here at Opportunities. Because of my disability I’ve…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 25, 2014 at 12:36pm — No Comments

Letter to Governor and DHS by A-Team Member Parents

Dear ...…


Added by Dallas Kerzan on August 25, 2014 at 9:03am — 4 Comments

Letter to the governor

Sent a letter to the governor about how I feel about the changes they are going to make to places like Opportunities,Inc. for people with disabilities to come and work.

Added by Jennifer Weigand on August 24, 2014 at 3:11pm — No Comments

Letter in response to "Back new blueprint for people with disabilities"

This letter is in response to the article, "Back new blueprint for people with disabilities" that was written by Barbara Katz, Beth Swedeen, and Lida Pugh. CLICK HERE to read the article.

Dear Barbara,

We just read your letter penned with two other mothers Beth Swedeen, and Lisa Pugh dated…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 22, 2014 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment




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