BPDD serves as an independent advisor to the Governor and legislature on public policy issues that impact people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Find out more about each issue below.
Many people with disabilities rely on family and paid caregivers to stay in their homes and communities, and out of costly institutional care. BPDD works to address factors contributing to the caregiver crisis (low wages, lack of benefits, etc.) for paid workers and improvements that support family caregivers. Read more:
Medicaid and Long-Term Care
Medicaid provides health insurance, dental care, and critical supports and services for people with disabilities as private insurance markets are either unavailable or not available in the amount needed. People with disabilities use the Medicaid ForwardHealth card, and are in all of Wisconsin’s 20 Medicaid-funded programs—including Family Care, IRIS, MAPP, CLTS, and BadgerCare.
- Issue Overview: Medicaid and Medicaid-funded long-term care
- Family Care waiver renewal (public comments, 2019)
- IRIS waiver ideas (public comments)
- Medicaid Access (Federal rule, public comments. Center for Medicaid Services, date)
Improving Self Direction
Self-direction means people with disabilities make their own choices and decisions about their lives. This translates into people who are healthier, more independent, more well adjusted and better able to recognize and resist abuse (safer). Improving self-direction means allowing people with disabilities the freedom to explore their interests, develop skills, have new experiences–including making and learning from mistakes.
- Guardianship Training Bill (testimony, AB 786)
- Issue Overview: Ensure people retain rights and have support to make decisions
- FAQ on Guardian Training proposal (February 2020)
- BPDD Testimony on Guardianship Training Proposal: establishes free online training to family and volunteer guardians about the role, responsibilities, and other important features of Wisconsin’s guardianship law before they are appointed (January 2020)
People with disabilities are an asset to Wisconsin’s workforce. BPDD seeks policy changes to support and increase the number of people with disabilities employed in integrated jobs of their choosing in the community.
- Issue Overview: Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment
- Continue Family Navigator program to support youth with disabilities and their families to become employed (testimony, SB 344/AB 375, September 2019)
- State Competitive Integrated Employment Plan (Public Comments, DWD/DHS/DPI, February 2019)
Students with disabilities can achieve and learn with their peers with the right instruction and supports. Education is critical to develop social, communication, daily living, and employment skills; BPDD seeks policy changes that improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities.
People with disabilities need to get to where they need to go, on their schedule. BPDD seeks policy changes that facilitate equal access to affordable transportation for non-driver populations and incentivize regional transportation networks.
Many people with disabilities rely on multiple public benefit programs. They want to improve their lives but are forced to maintain low incomes and assets to keep access to needed supports and services. BPDD seeks policy changes that allow gradual income and asset increases without losing access to some or all supports across public benefit programs.
- Issue Overview: Public Benefits
- Frequency and Notice of Continuing Disability Reviews (Federal, Social Security Administration, January 2020)
- Calculation of Federal Poverty Level used to determine eligibility for public benefit programs (Federal, Office of Management and Budget. June 2019).
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (FoodShare) categorical eligibility (Federal, Department of Agriculture, Sept. 2019)
BPDD provides input on a wide variety of issues—civil rights, voting, housing, tax policy, etc.—when our analysis shows disproportionate impact for people with disabilities and their families.
- Absentee Voting AB 898 (February 2020)
- Summary of disability related items included in 2019-21 State Budget (July 2019)
- Allowing Dental Therapists to provide basic dental care
- Allowing exemption from Step Therapy requirements (SB26/AB24, April 2019).
- Protections for people with pre-existing conditions (AB 1, January 2019)
- Health care discrimination against people with disabilities (federal rule, public comments, date)
- Stating voter address (SB246 /AB 168, April 2019)
- Removal of the R word from state administrative rules (AB 20, March 2019)