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 Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls (streaming live at http://www.wpr.org/listen-live or on Internet sites / Smart Phone apps like Tunein Radio or iHeartRadio). Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program.
The guests on the program will discuss changes proposed by the federal government to the current system of employment supports, within which some severely disabled individuals work in a center-based work setting, sometimes referred to as a "sheltered workshop," funded through Medicaid as a prevocational service; some work in community-based jobs funded through Medicaid as a supported employment service; and some work in both settings. The changes in the federal Medicaid regulations would close all facility-based programs and services and redirect the funding to move people in the program into either competitive jobs and integrated workplaces or into community-based non-work activities.
Guests will include newly-named RFW in Action Board member Stacy H. Wigfield, who is the President and CEO of Regional Enterprises for Adults and Children (REACH), Inc. and Mort Sipress, a concerned parent of a cognitively disabled daughter who is supported by REACH. Both favor the options and flexibility the current system allows. Also joining the show will be Tim Sheehan, Executive Director of the Center for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin, which advocates placing all people with disabilities into competitive jobs in standard business settings.