DRW Applauds New Legislation for People with Disabilities

Advocates and legislators at bill signing with Governor Walker for support decision making

For Immediate Release: April 16, 2018
Contact: Amy Devine, 608-267-0214

Madison, WI- Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) celebrates the Governor’s signing of the Supported Decision-Making legislation (AB 655) and the “Partners with Business” legislation (AB 819) today.

DRW has been a champion of supported decision-making as another tool for people with disabilities and older adults to use in their daily lives. This legislation will allow people with disabilities and older adults to formally designate others they want supporting them and gives the supporter a seat at the table when decisions are being made, allowing the individual to consult with their supporter when they need it. “As only the fourth state in the nation to create such a statute, Wisconsin is one of the leaders on supported decision-making,” stated Mitchell Hagopian, Attorney. Supported decision-making creates a less restrictive alternative to guardianship that allows individuals to retain their decision-making authority with the help of trusted supporters.

Amy Devine, Public Policy Coordinator, noted, “DRW, along with our partners in aging and disability organizations, remains committed to providing resources for people with disabilities, their families, and professionals in order to utilize and recognize supported decision-making.” As part of DRW’s ongoing educational efforts, DRW will co-present a webinar on May 21 with The Arc Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD), and the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR). The webinar is free and open to the public. You can register to learn more about Wisconsin’s new supported decision-making law by visiting the following link.

DRW also supports the signing of the “Partners with Business” legislation (AB 819). The Partners with Business bill will help people with disabilities maintain jobs with natural supports in their employment and will help expand opportunities for people with disabilities to maintain steady employment. The legislation will also expand the Partners with Business to other parts of the state for people with disabilities. “People with disabilities can help address our workforce shortage in Wisconsin, and this model can support businesses that want to hire people with disabilities and retain them as employees.,” stated Daniel Idzikowski, Executive Director.

DRW thanks legislators and the Governor for their support of people with disabilities in passing legislation that will help people with disabilities lead full, integrated lives in their communities.