Members of the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, Disability Rights Wisconsin, The Arc WI and the Waisman center traveled to Washington DC for the 2018 Disability Policy Seminar April 22-25. During the seminar attendees had the chance to meet with Wisconsin’s Congressional representatives or their staff. Below are the electronic versions of the one-pager recommendations. Please look over the pages and feel free to use in your own advocacy!
One Problem: In a 2016 Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations survey 85% of more than 500 respondents said they cannot find enough direct care workers to meet their daily needs
One Recommendation: Congress should direct the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure that states include sufficient Direct Support Professional wages and compensation packages in their rate-setting methodologies for long-term services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
One Problem: People with Disabilities may rely on multiple public programs to live in their own homes. Changes or threats to these programs can unravel supports and could result in an expensive Medicaid-funded institutional setting.
One Recommendation: Congress should request a beneficiary impact statement on any proposal to change Social Security or SSI, to look beyond budgetary issues to the impact on people’s daily lives.
One Problem: Unfortunately, academic performance for Wisconsin students is poor. The 2017 4th grade reading scores recently released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress show Wisconsin students with disabilities scoring nearly 10 points below the national average (177 to 184). Approximately 76% of Wisconsin 4th graders with disabilities scored “below basic” in reading.
One Recommendation: Invest in Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) as an evidence-based strategy that gives teachers critical tools to increase academic performance of all students while managing a positive environment and contributing to school safety. School safety proposals must include funding for increased PBIS in Wisconsin schools.
One Problem: Without real on the job work experiences individuals with disabilities have a hard time finding/keeping employment after high school.
One Recommendation: Transition services for youth with disabilities must include at least two work experiences before exiting high school.