DSPN, Inc.'s Blog (37)

Work Centers for Disabled Under Attack

Work centers for the disabled provide a useful service for businesses while allowing individuals with special needs to gain work skills and autonomy. But new federal regulations would make life difficult for these charitable operations, potentially causing some to close their doors.

These centers have historically been exempt from minimum wage laws, but proposed rules from the…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on January 27, 2016 at 3:49pm — No Comments

Parent Letter on H.R.188

Concerned parent, Carol Winter, weighs in on the how H.R. 188 will affect her son.

Read her letter to Wisconsin legislators:

Dear Senator Legislators:

I am writing on behalf of my son, John, a resident of WI, and an enthusiastic participant in the services of Greenco Industries, a sheltered workshop in Monroe. I am…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on November 22, 2015 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Federal Rule Change to Hurt Wisconsin's Disabled Workers, Their Families

The MacIver Institute recently highlighted a federal rule change from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that could mean the end of work programs for people with disabilities all across Wisconsin. Folks from more than 50 organizations in the state could be negatively impacted by the new rule, and the MacIver Institute spoke with Kelly about how it would impact her family. Her sister, Wendy, is…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on September 26, 2014 at 9:23am — No Comments

Federal Rule Change Threatens Work Program for Those with Disabilities

If the federal government gets its way, working folks with physical and developmental disabilities could lose gainful employment and be forced into nursing homes or stuck in their own homes with little more to do that watch TV. The MacIver Institute recently sat down will some individuals and their families who work at Opportunities, Inc. - an…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on September 16, 2014 at 12:53pm — No Comments

State plan would affect local agency

A deadline on comments on a state plan that would affect Chippewa River Industries in Chippewa Falls and other facilities that hire workers with disabilities is Tuesday.

At issue is proposed changes by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to the Family Care Waiver. The proposal would change how government would consider employment for the disabled.

“We have some fundamental problems with the plan that could have a negative impact on the lives of people with…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on September 1, 2014 at 8:35pm — 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

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 off.

Last week, Governor Patrick signed the Fiscal…


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

Changes could leave mentally disabled without place to work

Yael Kerzan The smile on her face speaks volumes about what this means. Yael Kerzan has been working at Northwood Inc. of Wisconsin for eight years. While the products she works to package go out of the business every day -- her smile never leaves.

 “I love getting up in the morning and getting ready by myself and you know, I’m smiling because it is a job. You know people with disabilities should have a right to work wherever they want to work. I know I want to work here,” Kerzan…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on August 6, 2014 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Excellent Perspective: Can't Block Clay Matthews

Have you ever heard a teacher, coach or politician say: “If you work hard enough, you can do anything”?

We silently nod, realizing this is not literally true. It’s meant to inspire us to make the most of our abilities, to be the best we can be.

The problem is when someone in a policy-making position actually believes this.

I’m here to tell you that no matter how hard I work, I will never be able to block Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews. We are all limited in…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on June 2, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

ACCSES Sends Letter to CMS

ACCSES sent a letter today to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, outlining our recommendations for new Home and Community-Based Services regulations.

Read the letter here…

Added by DSPN, Inc. on February 19, 2014 at 1:37pm — No Comments

Center-based Programs Provide Employment, Pride, and More

Community Rehabilitation Programs can provide a safety net for those unable to work in the community, as well as be a stepping stone to those who want to eventually work in the community. Sometimes the most valuable things that one can receive from working isn't just the paycheck, but the pride and dignity in working where one wants.…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on February 6, 2014 at 10:26am — No Comments

HCBS Settings rule could affect work programs for people with disabilities

Concerns expressed about whether the additional guidance being developed by CMS will enable states to design their work programs to help individuals of all abilities work their way towards community employment, with the safety net options that CRPs currently offer to people living in Wisconsin towns and cities.…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on February 3, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Unwarranted Attack

Citizen Action's attack on Governor Walker unwarranted

Madison, Wis., – On Thursday, Jan. 16, a group called Citizen Action attacked Governor Walker for his recent visit to ORC Industries, a community rehabilitation program (CRP) that operates four production facilities in Wisconsin and Texas.  Dave Lemanski,…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on January 24, 2014 at 10:38am — No Comments

Better Bottom Line

Madison, Wis., – Following Governor Walker's State of the State speech on Wednesday, January 22, Board members of RFW in Action, the statewide association of community rehabilitation programs, praised Governor Walker for making the employment of people with disabilities a top priority with…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on January 23, 2014 at 12:40pm — No Comments

ESSAY: Workshops provide vital service

The following essay can be found on WebsterPost.com

By Chris Collins 

Posted Nov. 26, 2013 @ 2:01 am

Nov 26, 2013 at 1:11 PM 

Canandaigua, N.Y.

I write with deep concern over the directive released earlier this year from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to New York State regarding health…

Added by DSPN, Inc. on December 11, 2013 at 3:44pm — No Comments

Debate over Facility-based Work versus Community-based Work for People with Disabilities

The West Side with Rich Kremer will feature a debate over facility-based work versus community-based "competitive" work for persons with disabilities on December 9, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. CST. " The West Side" is a call-in program focused on issues specific to western Wisconsin.  The show will air on 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on December 6, 2013 at 1:10pm — No Comments

Rep. Kathy Bernier's response to Kevin Fech.

We would like to thank Representative Kathy Bernier for supporting Choice.

Please read her response to Kevin Fech, Chair - Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (A State Council on DD).


Added by DSPN, Inc. on December 3, 2013 at 2:15pm — No Comments

A Campaign Just for YOU … Get Involved!

As people with disabilities and their supporters, we are writing to introduce you to a new national campaign called What Matters Most.

What Matters Most is a public awareness campaign representing the broad spectrum of people with disabilities, their parents, loved ones and advocates.

Created by parents and allies, it is dedicated to uniting the voices of people directly impacted by disability legislation.…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on November 6, 2013 at 10:30am — No Comments

Advocate for people with disabilities speaks

Evelyne Villines remembers when she was told she couldn’t attend school because she was “handicapped.”

Now 84 and an international advocate for people with disabilities, Villines showed up for her first day of school with her pencil and notepad, ready to learn. But the young girl, who contracted polio at age 3, was sent home and told to inform her mother, “I don’t have time to teach a handicapped child.”

When she returned home, she remembered asking, “Mom, am I a handicapped…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on November 5, 2013 at 3:00pm — No Comments

It’s not a political issue. It’s a human issue.


Ricki Ritt said he feels unheard and unseen by the government. He was one of about 80 participants Wednesday in the My Work My Choice rally.

 “To me it’s like the government is slapping me in the face. Like they don’t acknowledge us because we do have disabilities,” Ritt, 55, said.

 The rally is an effort to bring awareness to a proposed federal rule that would shift funding away from facilities, like Northwoods, that offer job skills training and employment…


Added by DSPN, Inc. on October 30, 2013 at 9:46am — No Comments




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