Let your voice be heard in Congress!

phone handset ringing

Following up on DRW’s visits to Capitol Hill with our Wisconsin delegation partners through the Disability Policy Seminar, we are posting the fact sheets we shared with Wisconsin’s members of Congress. Most compelling are your voices and stories – people with disabilities and their families for whom we advocate every day. Public policies can advance – or restrict – your freedom, rights, and ability to live healthy lives in the community.

We invite you to review the materials we used as a guide to raise important concerns about your right to access supports, healthcare, and the community and share your own concerns with your Senators and Representatives.

For Wisconsin specific fact sheets, use the links below. For national issue fact sheets go to Disability Policy Seminar.

Pending in Congress now are two bills introduced by Wisconsin Representatives that affect your right to access a full range of choices for home and community-based services:

1) The Disability Integration Act, H.R. 2472, S. 910, introduced by Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) in the House of Representatives, the purposes of this Act are to clarify and strengthen the ADA’s integration mandate so that every individual who is eligible for long-term services and supports has a federally protected right to be meaningfully integrated into that individual’s community and receive community-based long-term services and supports; Of Wisconsin’s members of Congress, only Representative Sensenbrenner and Senator Baldwin are signed on as co-sponsors of this important bill that advances your rights.

2) This past week, Representative Glenn Grothmann (WI-06) introduced H.R.5658 – which seeks to amend the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to redefine “competitive integrated employment” in a manner that would weaken the ADA’s integration mandate. Under the Rehabilitation Act, “competitive integrated employment” means work for which a person with disabilities are paid at the same rate with the same benefits as people without disabilities, in a location where all employees – with disabilities and without – work together.

This has been the meaning of “competitive integrated employment” for a long time.

People with disabilities face barriers and discrimination every day trying to obtain a competitive job. Changing the definition of competitive employment to include non-competitive jobs doesn’t make sense. People with disabilities already can work in non-competitive settings. The purpose of the Rehabilitation Act is to eliminate barriers and discrimination against people with disabilities to gain competitive work. Changing this definition does not move Wisconsin forward.