Community Integration

In the past, it was not uncommon for adults and children with disabilities to be placed in large, impersonal institutions, isolating these individuals from their families and communities in environments that often put them at risk for abuse and neglect. We now know that integrating people with disabilities into communities not only helps these individuals reach their full potential and attain a better quality of life, but it also helps our communities become more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming.

Your Rights

Americans with Disabilities Act: The ADA, passed in 1990, is a comprehensive federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The ADA defines a disability as: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (i.e. working, talking, hearing, seeing, caring for one’s self) Or having a record of such an impairment; Or being regarded by others as having an impairment such as individuals with severe facial scarring. There are five Titles within the ADA that cover:


Disability Rights Wisconsin supports a person’s right to live in the most inclusive, most integrated, and least restrictive environment with appropriate services. We challenge inappropriate institutionalization, inadequate discharge planning, and limited access to community placements for people with disabilities, including those under guardianship. We provide information, referral, advice, investigation, and in select cases, legal representation to assist people with disabilities in securing the most integrated residential setting and appropriate supports.

Self-Advocacy Resources

Our self-advocacy resources have helpful guidance and further information on issues related to this topic. Learn more below:


Other places that may be able to help you:

  • ADRC of Central Wisconsin

    We are the first place to go with your aging and disability questions. Anyone can contact us, regardless of their financial status, to receive accurate, unbiased information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability.

  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC)

    The Aging and Disability Resource Centers throughout Wisconsin provide a variety of services to people with disabilities and older adults including connecting to community resources, benefit specialist services, and long term care options counseling.

  • Great Lakes ADA Center

    The Great Lakes ADA Center’s mission is to increase awareness and knowledge with the ultimate goal of achieving voluntary compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • Independent Living Centers

    Independent living centers (ILCs) provide assistance to people with all kinds of disabilities. Services provided by ILCs include: peer support, information and referral, independent living skills training, coordination of personal care and other services, advocacy and community education.

  • WI Guardianship Support Center

    The Wisconsin Guardianship Support Center (GSC) provides information and assistance on issues related to guardianship, protective placement, advance directives, and more.

Learn More

You can find more information on this topic from these websites and publications:


Want to do more to help protect individuals with disabilities? Please visit our Take Action Page for some ideas and to sign up for news and other alerts from our website. Or Donate Now to help protect and advocate for the rights and futures of all Wisconsin citizens. We'd love to have you join us.

Get Help

Need further information or support? Please visit our Contact Page.