Press Releases

Successful Lawsuit Invalidating Extraordinary Session Laws

Front doors of the Dane County Courthouse
Disability Rights Wisconsin was pleased with the ruling of the Dane County Circuit Court today which struck down the entirety of the “extraordinary session” as unconstitutional. As part of this ‘extraordinary session’ provisions were adopted that made dramatic changes to Wisconsin’s Medicaid program. Those changes put Wisconsinites with disabilities at risk and undermine DRW’s ability to effectively carry out its federally designated protection and advocacy functions as well as have wide-reaching negative effects on Wisconsin…
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Disability Rights Wisconsin Names New Executive Director

Lea Kitz
Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) has named Lea Kitz as the disability advocacy organization’s new Executive Director. Kitz has managed DRW’s Family Care and IRIS Ombudsman Program for nearly 8 years. Before joining DRW, she served as Executive Director of Arc-Winnebago County Disability Association. Kitz brings her extensive hands-on and leadership experience in the areas of domestic abuse, employment, benefits, and disability advocacy. “We are pleased to have Ms. Kitz step into this key role,” says…
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Extraordinary Session Puts Wisconsinites with Disabilities at Risk

Wisconsin State Capitol
Disability Rights Wisconsin is deeply concerned by the Legislature’s rush to push forward bills released late Friday in the Extraordinary Session planned for today. The proposals give oversight of Wisconsin Medicaid waivers to the legislature, leaving state agencies potentially unable to carry out their core mission. This shift has the possibility to affect services that are critical to adults and families of children with disabilities, including Family Care, IRIS, mental health services, Children’s Long-Term Waiver…
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Disability Drug Benefit Helpline Wins 2018 ACE Award

The ACE Awards honor and celebrate organizations that help older people and persons with disabilities stay healthy and independent. DRW’s Disability Drug Benefit Helpline was chosen to receive this award at the 2018 Aging & Disability Network Conference in the Wisconsin Dells. Accepting the award on behalf of DRW was Ginger Rogers, Medicare Part D Project Coordinator; she was joined by Denise Dable, Medicare Part D Advocacy Specialist; and Ryan Farrell, Supervising Attorney. To find out more about how…
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DRW Commends Proposed Increase in Special Education Funding

A light bulb within a thought bubble.
For Immediate Release July 30th, 2018 Contact:   Sally Flaschberger, Sally.flaschberger@drwi.org; (414)292-2737 Barbara Beckert; Barbara.beckert@drwi.org; (414) 773-4646 Madison, WI- Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is encouraged to see Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers’ proposal to invest an additional $600 million in funding for special education in Wisconsin. After almost a decade of flat funding, the proposal helps to finally address the serious gap in state funding for special education and alleviate the pressure on school districts…
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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…
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Supporting Juvenile Justice Reform

Child in institution sitting on floor with back to wall.
For Immediate Release March 30, 2018 Contact: Amy Devine, Public Policy Coordinator, 608-267-0214 Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW), the designated Protection and Advocacy system for people with disabilities, is pleased with the passage and signing of the Juvenile Justice Reform Bill (AB 953), which points Wisconsin’s juvenile corrections and treatment systems in a new direction. DRW has engaged in both individual and systemic advocacy around the intersection of disability and the criminal justice system for many…
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DRW Applauds the Signing of “Employment First” Bill

People with Disabilities in Wisconsin witness signing of State’s Employment First bill into Law in state capitol
For Immediate Release: March 28, 2018 Contact: Amy Devine, 608-267-0214, amyd@drwi.org Madison, WI- Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) celebrates the signing of the groundbreaking Employment First bill (AB 625/SB 514). The Employment First bill, which has broad bipartisan support, will positively impact competitive integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities by increasing cooperation between state agencies, identifying barriers to competitive integrated employment, and setting benchmarks for improving competitive integrated employment rates. Amy Devine, Public Policy Coordinator,…
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Seeking a Comprehensive Approach to School Safety

Teacher and student playing instruments on floor in classroom.
For Immediate Release: March 16, 2018 Contact: Sally Flaschberger, 414-292-2737, sallyf@drwi.org Amy Devine, 608-267-0214, amyd@drwi.org Madison, WI- Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is encouraged to see an ongoing statewide discussion on how to best keep our students safe and advocates for legislation that is sustainable and flexible while offering a comprehensive approach to supporting students, especially students with disabilities, and the community. While a number of proposals have been introduced and the Governor has requested a…
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DRW Celebrates Bills Supporting People with Disabilities

People with Disabilities in Wisconsin witness signing of State’s Employment First bill into Law in state capitol
Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) celebrates the passage of three important bills for people with disabilities by the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate and asks for the Governor to sign them into law. DRW celebrates the passage of the Supported Decision-Making bill (AB 655/SB 552). 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…
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