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.

There is nothing worse than a family fight and that is what this seem to be turning into.

Disability Rights Wisconsin by strongly supporting the State’s proposal on your Web-Site has taken sides. That you or your Board of Directors have taken a position on such a controversial proposal is in and of itself divisive and disasterous.

The “letter” to the Cap Times helps frame the family fight. Either you helped write the “letter” or at lest approved it since Ms Pugh, who works for Disability Rights Wisconsin, was a signatory. There was no agency disclaimer.

First three women all with children who are disabled elevated themselves above all the rest of us who have children with disabilities and who have significantly different positions on the State’s Proposal. The tone of the “letter” was in essence WE KNOW what is best and what is good for all the rest of YOU!!

Second it becomes clear in the letter that it is about money “but they (sheltered workshops) are now costly at best and exploitive at worst”. While that may be a legitimate concern it surely should not be the position of Disability Rights Wisconsin who is duty bound to represent ALL which includes the folks who are in the “sheltered workshops”. It seems that Disability Rights Wisconsin would have a duty to protect those individual who are in these “exploitive” workshops wherever they are. All of this should be resolved without throwing the Baby Out With the Bathwater!!

Third the whole premise of the letter is a misrepresentation if not a lie. I can not imagine IRIS (maybe a managed care agency) denying these women what the want for their children. Every year we are asked if Rosa is ready for community work and she and we say NO! Considering our experience, I can find no validity that in Madison Wisconsin, that they would not find the support necessary to provide their children with very good options for work.

Yesterday I happened to have a conversation with a representative from CMS and after I described the sub-minimum wage ERROR, that on January 1, 2015 that all workers would have had to be paid minimum wage, her response was silence.  (ARE WE ALL FOOLS TO BELIEVE THAT IT WAS AN ERROR???) The Feds response would have been Sorry too late!! Sorry will NOT give back the life that Rosa loves with her friend at VIP!!


(Yes I am talking loudly to you because just maybe it will cause you to step back and listen rather than be ready with “Oh community work is so much better” or as the CMS employee said “oh she can educate those “regular” folks she works with how great she is”. I only wish my daughter had those skills!! If Rosa was working in a factory she would not be doing the variety of jobs that she does at VIP and how would that be good for her.

To deny Rosa an unbiased analysis of the State’s proposal is unconscionable!!! 

You must immediately apologize to all of us (you have injured each side of the family by taking sides) and then begin to represent the INTEREST of all of us first by providing us with an unbiased analysis and then listening to the “family” and putting a positive proposal so that the vast majority of the disabled community can support it.

For Rosa Spellman

Thomas Spellman and Dona Palmer

Guardians for Rosa Spellman

P.S. If you do not immediately apologize then consider this letter a formal complaint.

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