More than 40 legislators, many employers and employees with disabilities from around the state demonstrated their commitment to increase employment for people with disabilities at today’s Disability Employment Summit and Take Your Legislator to Work Alumni Reception at the Capitol.
Lawmakers heard from a panel of successful employers and employees about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, as well as how job opportunities increase independence and quality of life.
The event was coordinated by The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD), The Arc Wisconsin, The Let’s Get to Work youth employment project, and Disability Rights Wisconsin. The Summit highlighted BPDD’s 5-year effort to match state legislators with constituents with disabilities who are working at market wages and their employers through its popular Take Your Legislator to Work campaign. To date:
- 247 legislators have met with 320 of their constituents with disabilities at their work sites.
- 235 Wisconsin businesses have hosted a visit.
Today’s Employment Summit focused on a package of bills with bipartisan champions that would increase employment statewide for youth and adults with disabilities. One of the bills, the Better Bottom Line initiative to reward schools that place high percentages of youth with disabilities directly into employment or post-secondary training, has been included in the Governor’s proposed biennial budget. Other proposals will increase the ability of people with disabilities to work in the healthcare field, require state agencies to collaborate to prioritize employment supports and support private sector business to hire people with disabilities.
For more information on how legislators can meet with their constituents with disabilities on the job, contact Beth Moss at BPDD at (608) 266-5038. Contact Lisa Pugh to learn more about legislative proposals, (608) 422-4250.
Thanks to today’s legislative sponsors: Reps. Jimmy Anderson, Robert Brooks, Jonathan Brostoff, James Edming, Mary Felzkowski, John Macco, and Lisa Subeck; and Sen. Tom Tiffany.