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.

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.


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.


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.

Issue Overview: Transportation

Public Benefits

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.



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.


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