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 and works). We are providing our input prior to the September 1, 2014 deadline for public comment.

Both myself and my wife, as well as our daughter Mary are proud of the conscientious manner that Mary performs her work tasks at VARC.  Mary is a top performer and has received certificates for achievement as well as being voted secretary of her work group. It is important to us as a family to have this work/training option available at VARC.

We are concerned that the plan proposal you are submitting to the Center for Medicaid services limits Mary’s choices to be employed in a preferred setting because the plan doesn’t allow access to facility based employment services.

We live in Juneau County- one of the least prosperous counties in Wisconsin. There are precious few employment opportunities in the county, even for the educated and highly skilled. Employers are trimming their margins and outlooks ever smaller to survive. This (unfortunately) leaves very little room for persons with disabilities who need close supervision, uncomplicated tasks, and frequently have medical or need other attention.

We want the full array of services to remain intact in Wisconsin and for Mary to continue to have a choice where she works, including facility based prevocational programs such as those at VARC.

Respectfully,

Charles and Jane Miller

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