All Blog Posts (96)

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.…


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 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

Letter to Gov. Walker on Survival Coalition from A Team member/parent

Dear Governor Walker,

I have written before about my concerns for the possible elimination of my disabled son's pre-vocational program due to the CMS ruling. I want to write to you about the Survival Coalition. The Survival Coalition (whose key members are taxpayer funded) does not represent the tens of thousands of individuals, parents, family members, guardians and caregivers who support Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP's). Because they have become aware…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 21, 2014 at 11:59am — No Comments

Chris's Letter to Governor Walker - "Please help me to keep my job"

Dear Gov. Walker, 

Hi, my name is Christopher Wilson. I've been working at Opportunities, Inc. for almost 12 years. I'm also a member of the A Team. I also had my dentist job, but I lost this job because they didn't want me to work there so I was outsourced. I'm making money at Opportunities, Inc.

When my dad read that article about my work being shut down, it made me realize that we need to be fighting to keep my work going. I'd talked to the legislators about not shutting us…


Added by Kayla Oschmann on August 21, 2014 at 7:33am — No Comments

Open letter submitted to major Wisconsin publications and Governor's office

August 13, 2014

Dear Governor Walker,


We are writing to protest the Department of Human Services proposed changes to Medicaid services in home and community based settings. We want the full array of employment and residential services to be kept intact. Facility based vocational services must be protected!  The proposed changes relate to Family Care 1915(b) and 1915(c) HCBS waivers in Wisconsin.


The DHS plan is incomplete because CMS hasn't provided…


Added by Kathleen Springhorn on August 13, 2014 at 11:34am — 1 Comment

Success in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Mississippi


A major effort by advocates of sheltered workshops in Massachusetts to persuade state legislators and the Patrick administration that the workshops provide invaluable skills and activities for their loved ones with intellectual disabilities has paid…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on August 7, 2014 at 9:55am — No Comments




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