The COVID-19, or Coronavirus, outbreak has left a lot of people in need of new or different resources and clear information. While the situation continues to change all the time, we want you to have access to the information and tools you need to stay healthy, safe, and connected. We will update this information as we get it. We also encourage you to be frequently checking the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website for more up to date information about COVID-19 and what you should be doing:

Download the Full Toolkit Here!

What You Need to Know

COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, is a serious illness spreading around the world. There are ways you can stay healthy and keep it from spreading to other people. Keep reading this page to learn what you can do to stay healthy.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an illness that spreads to other people easily. The common symptoms are fever, difficult breathing, and cough. For many people it is like getting a bad cold or the flu but some people can get very sick and end up in the hospital.

For more information on COVID-19 visit:

Watch the Stay Healthy Training video

 Download the Stay Healthy section of the Toolkit Here!

The COVID-19 outbreak has temporarily changed how people are living and working. But there are still things you can ask for and do to stay safe during this time.

  • You can call your care manager or IRIS consultant immediately to ask for additional supports if you feel you need them.  The number for your care manager or IRIS consultant should be with your member handbook participant handbook or participant guide.
  • You can call your Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) to get more information about resources if your situation has changed. You can find the number for your area’s ADRC here:
  • You can call 2-1-1 for additional resources that might be in your area like housing and food assistance. You can also text COVID19 to 211-211 or visit 
  • If you are having a mental health crisis, you can call your county’s crisis line. The numbers are here: .You can also call the Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. If it is an emergency, call 911.
  • If you are experiencing abuse or neglect we have resources for you. You can view our How to Spot Abuse sheets and download our fillable Reporting Worksheets.

Watch the Stay Safe Training video

Download the Stay Safe Section of the Toolkit Here!

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing means staying away from places where many people might gather like a movie theater, church, grocery stores when crowded, concerts, large family gatherings – any place where many people might be.  It means keeping space between you and others in most places you go.  This could be at work, the grocery store, or the doctor.  Think about standing at least 6 feet away from other people which is about the length of a person.  This also means not visiting family and friends, not going to work, not going to church, not going to day services, not going to school, and not going to places in the community.

During this time, you may be wondering how to see my friends or family, my care manager or IRIS consultant, my co-workers-all the people you see every day. The good thing is there are many ways to connect with other people. People can connect on their phones, computers, IPADS, smart phones. There are many services being offered free now for people who can’t leave their houses.

Check out our list of activities to try while you are practicing social distancing! We are updating it all the time with cool new things we are finding!

Watch the Stay Connected Training video

Download the Stay Connected Section of the Toolkit Here!

Make sure you have everything you need to be safe at home. Communicate with the trusted people in your life about your plan and your needs.

Watch the My Safer at Home Plan video from the Self-Determination Youtube Channel

and the Is My Home Safe? video

You can download the My Safe Home Plan Here! 

People can have COVID-19 for 1 to 14 days before they feel sick. If you do get sick, the most common symptoms are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Most people (about 80%) get better without needing special treatment from the hospital.

Its good to have a health plan, just in case. This document has tips on what you can do before and while you are sick to stay safe. It also has a form you can fill out that will help a medical professionals know more about your symptoms and needs if you do have to get special treatment for COVID-19.

Watch the My Health Form Training video

You can download the COVID-19 Health Form and Tip Sheet Here! 

Despite everything going on during COVID-19, you have rights that don’t change. We have worked with the Managed Care Organizations to put together a sheet for you and one for providers that list the rights you still have even in this difficult time.

This Plain Language Rights Booklet talks about your rights during COVID, while you are working, and when you return to services. It also gives you a brief overview of risk assessments.

View the Rights Booklet  Here!


Provider Documents:

View the Provider Document: Best Practice Guidance to Ensure the Rights of People with Disabilities in Long-Term Care During COVID-19 HERE!

View the Employment and Financial Rights, Responsibilities and Resources for People with Disabilities During COVID-19 HERE!

As the vaccine roles out across the state, learn what you need to know about the vaccine and when and how you will be able to get it. We are learning more about the COVID-19 vaccine all the time. Our plain language resource includes information about the plans for getting the vaccine and busting the myths about the vaccine. We will continue to update as we get more information.

View our Plain Language Resource on the Vaccine here!


Facilities and providers are beginning to re-open and resume services. To do that safely, while protecting the health of participants and ensuring their rights, there are some important factors to consider.

View our Re-Opening Resource Guide HERE! 

You can find more resources and guidance on safely re-opening at the DHS COVID-19: Long-Term Care Facilities and Services website.

Learn More About the Living Well Project

How do we increase health, safety, independence and well-being of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in our community? Over the next five years, the Living Well grant plans to develop and test approaches to improve home and community-based services for people with developmental disabilities.
How it Works
  • Consortium is created that includes a variety of perspectives including individuals living in diverse settings, families, employment experts, advocates, service providers, teachers, etc.  The Consortium drives the project and decides what to focus on and what strategies to use.
  • Pilot sites are selected in five communities to implement a set of intervention strategies and awareness building activities. A minimum of 20 individuals with disabilities will receive services.
  • coaching team will provide training and technical assistance on topics such as self-advocacy, supported decision-making, personal futures planning, community-based services and competitive integrated-employment.
  • policy team will implement the policy recommendations from the Consortium and put them into action
Project Goals
Project Goals

  • To improve coordination of consortium partners on community capacity building and community monitoring as evidenced by shared goals, resources, and measurement
  • To increase the perceived capacity among all five stakeholder groups to self- assess, monitor, report, reduce and/or remediate situations and environments for health, safety and quality of life
  • To increase the number of communities, organizations, and systems implementing recommended policies and practices
  • To increase the number of communities, organizations, and systems implementing a comprehensive community monitoring system
  • To increase the health, safety, independence, and well-being of people with I/DD as measured by CQL’s 21 quality of life indicators measurement tool between baseline and follow-up measures
  • Waisman University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
  • Disability Rights Wisconsin
  • WI Department of Health Services: Division of Long-term Care and Supports; Adult Protective Services; Division of Quality Assurances; Office of Caregiver Quality
  • WI Department of Justice
  • Managed Care Organizations
  • IRIS Consultant Agencies
  • The Arc Wisconsin
  • InControl Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin People First and Self-advocates
  • Service Providers
  • Families
Our Pilot and Mentor Sites

Pilot Sites

  • Aptiv
  • Bethesda
  • Community Living Connections
  • Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin
  • LOV inc
  • SOAR Fox Cities

Mentor Sites

  • Headwaters
  • Opportunities, inc
  • Opportunity Development Center
Other Resources

Contact Sally