News

96Self-Determination Network News:

 December 2017

Connect Share Learn http://sdnetworkwi.org/  

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InControl Wisconsin wants to take a minute to wish everyone Happy Holidays!  We really appreciate all of our Network members and Sponsors.  We couldn't keep this Network going with you!

This is the season of giving! Our sponsors help us out in so many ways. Learn about how you can support the Network.

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The Self-Determination Network includes some very talented members and we want to help you to get to know each other a little better. Member Spotlight is a great way for us to get to know each other better.

For December, we shine the spotlight on Carrie.  Between being the mother to five children and her job organizing events for IRIS participants, free time is rare for this busy lady.  Stop by this month's Member Spotlight to get to know Carrie.

128 Stacy’s Journal

"Dreams energize our imagination. They give us a glimpse of what in some cases is the possible. It’s nice to dream, but we have to remember it’s truly just a dream!"  In this month's entry, Stacy shares how while dreams can be fun to have, they can also sometimes be a reality check.  We encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences as well.

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Take five minutes to check out what's happening on the Self-Determination Network:

  • Vacation Rental Accommodations:  More and more  vacation accommodation websites are making efforts to be accessible for people with disabilities. Learn about how one lodging rental company is coming out with a new website that will accommodate people with various types of disabilities.  
  • Dental Care Struggles:  The National Council on Disability has put out a brief about the concerning lack of dental care for people with disabilities.  Read what recommendations the Council suggests.
  • Website Accessibility:  New accessibility guidelines for government websites will take effect in January.  Find out what the new guidelines will mandate.
  • Problems with Fake Service Animals Continue:  Untrained service animals continue to be a problem across the country. Learn what service animal owners feel is needed to prevent these laws from being exploited.
  • Medicaid Summary:  In the Fall of 2014, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) conducted a Nationwide Adult Medicaid Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey of Medicaid enrollees to attain national and state-by-state measures of access, barriers to care, and experiences with care across delivery systems and major population subgroups. Find out what the survey found.
  • Check it Out:  The Minnesota Department of Human Services created an awesome video series about supported decision making.  Check it out!  

128 Upcoming Events

Here's a sample of upcoming events listed on the Self-Determination Network:

Post your event on the Self-Determination Network and it can be included in future Network News emails to members! Questions? Suggestions?  Contact Stacy Ellingen. 

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The Self-Determination Network is powered by InControl Wisconsin and supported financially by our members and Sponsors. We couldn't keep this Network going with you!  Find out how you can help support the Network.

Are you interested in building strong family-led networks in Wisconsin?

A Family- led group is a network of families with children transitioning from high school or young adults with I /DD that are committed to work together to educate themselves on various aspects of adult life for their children with disabilities in their community. 

A Family-Led Network Coordinator will assist two current and three new family-led groups around the state of Wisconsin.  A coordinator will provide technical support, facilitation and training to these groups to support their education on various aspects of developing an integrated life for their sons and daughters with I/DD (ages 14- to 24) in their communities. Coordinator must be able to travel throughout the state.

Apply to the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (WI BPDD) for a Family-led Network Coordinator Grant. The Family-led Network Coordinator Grant will provide funding up to $27,000 (Total for coordinator and 5 family-led groups). Coordinator will provide technical assistance, and tools/resources to support Family-led activities. Contract may be renewed for additional years, up to three years subject to performance and need.

Previous Family-led coordinators have: assisted family groups to secure training on various topics including: self-determination, self-direction, person-centered planning, and supported decision-making. A coordinator will arrange speakers, visits to other communities, facilitate meetings and communication among members.

If you are interested, complete a brief application

DEADLINE EXTENDED to Tuesday, December 12​th at 12:00 p.m. (noon)  

Send completed application to: 

Family-Led Network Coordinator Grant
c/o WI-BPDD
101 East Wilson Street
Room 219
Madison, WI 53703

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Member Spotlight: Carrie Witt


By SD Network, 2017-12-05

Carrie W Headshot 1.pngMeet Carrie Witt.  Between being the mother to five children and her job organizing events for IRIS participants, free time is for this busy lady.  She encourages everybody to ask questions and take baby steps when working towards goals.  We are so fortunate to have Carrie as a member of the Self-Determination Network. 

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Carrie is the Community Partnership Specialist in Northeast WI with TMG (IRIS Consultant Agency), she felt it was very important to be a part of this Network and absorb as much information as possible to be able to provide assistance to the participants we serve, as well as her community. After her manager suggested she look into the SD Network, she reviewed the website and all the great things that the Network was doing, and she wholeheartedly joined.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you  (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Carrie received the opportunity to become the Community Partnership Specialist at TMG, which is a newly created position.  Her role is to partner with the community, schools, job development agencies and organization that are dedicated to helping individuals that are part of the IRIS program. She has been able to organize a vendor event that allowed her to have over 20 vendors that were able to help over 150 participants and their families get the resources and services that they needed, all while having a fun time. “Making a difference in people’s lives is what it’s all about,” she says. 

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you  (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Carrie encourages everyone to take baby steps when it comes to trying something new.  She says, “you might be out of your comfort zone, but try your best.”  She explains that taking two steps forward and one step back might take a bit longer to get to your goal, but eventually, you’ll reach it. She also reminds people not to be afraid to ask a lot of questions—others probably have the same questions.

What message would you like to share with the members of the SD Network?

Carrie often encourages people to put himself/herself in another person’s shoes to really understand the struggles someone might have every day. “Be kind and compassionate when working with others” she says.

What are some of your hobbies?

Carrie enjoys spending time with her family which consists of her husband and five wonderful children.   When she finds time, she also enjoys reading and playing word games. 

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

Stacy’s Journal: Dare to Dream


By Stacy Ellingen, 2017-12-03

Everyone dreams.  When people dream, amazing things happen.  People do the unthinkable in their dreams.  A dream can be funny, scary, inspirational, enlightening, and motivational.  Dreams can be a source of hope, but they can also be a reality shock when you wake up and realize it was truly just a dream. 

Once in awhile, I get asked if when I dream, I’m in a wheelchair or not.  Fortunately, for me, in the dreams I’ve always had a disability.  I don’t remember many of my dreams, but from the ones I do, I never recall being “normal.”  I’m thankful for that because I think it’d be hard to wake up from a dream where I didn’t have a disability, and realize it was truly just a dream.

For whatever reason, it seems like I have memorable dreams during stressful times like the holiday season.  This happened three or four years ago, but I still remember the dream as clear as day.  I dreamt that I walked down the hallway of my elementary school.  It wasn’t a normal walk; I had leg braces on and I was teetering, but I walked independently down the hallway.  I remember for some reason my confirmation leader was there, but I unfortunately don’t remember anything else.  I have absolutely no idea what brought that dream on, but I find it very interesting that it was so vivid.  I wish I hadn’t woken up so quickly, so I could have “seen” what else happened.

I’ve also had dreams where I’ve been in a relationship with a significant other.  I think these dreams are brought on by upcoming gatherings with family and friends.  As much as I try to be ok with being single, when I’m around family and friends who have seemingly perfect relationships, it’s human nature to desire that as well.  When I dream that I’m in a relationship, I still have Cerebral Palsy, but the significant other usually doesn’t have a disability.  While dreams like these are fun to occasionally have, as one would guess, they aren’t the greatest to wake up from.  It can be a pretty big reality check when you realize it was just a dream. 

I’ve had friends and family members tell me that they’ve had dreams where I’ve all of a sudden gotten up and walked or said something perfectly.  Years ago before she passed away, my grandma told me about a dream she had.  Her sister who passed away and I were in it.  Out of the clear blue, I said three words as clear as possible.  The words were “I love you.”  My grandma couldn’t believe it.  She was so excited to tell my grandpa in the morning.  I find it fascinating that my friends and caretakers have had dreams where I’ve stood up and walked or randomly verbally said something perfectly.  Dreams like those must be awesome to have, but I don’t know how I’d react if I a dream like that.  I think it’d a be reality shock.

It’s always fun to dream.  I never knew what it’s like not have a disability, so I don’t usually see my disability until I’m faced with challenges related to it.  In my dreams, it seems natural to me that I have Cerebral Palsy because I’ve always have had it. As much as I’d love not having a disability, I do and it has become part of life that I’ve learn to accept. 

We all dream every night.  Dreams energize our imagination.  They give us a glimpse of what in some cases is the possible.  It’s nice to dream, but we have to remember it’s truly just a dream!

 ***The views expressed here are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of InControl Wisconsin, the Network or any of our sponsors.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services created an awesome video series entitled, "Introduction and Guide to Supported Decision Making," that discusses the right of individuals to be integrated into their communities including the right to make their own choices, regardless of a disability.  The introduction is done by Johnathan Martinis, a well-known guru in supported decision making and disability law.

View series

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In the Fall of 2014, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) conducted a Nationwide Adult Medicaid Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey of Medicaid enrollees to attain national and state-by-state measures of access, barriers to care, and experiences with care across delivery systems and major population subgroups. 

The survey interviewed a representative sample of adults ages 18 and older enrolled in Medicaid between October 2013 through December 2013. This first-of-its kind survey provides baseline information on the experiences of low-income adults prior to a state’s expansion of coverage to the new adult group that took effect on January 1, 2014. This data will be used to inform federal and state efforts to improve health care delivery for Medicaid enrollees.

Read summary

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Untrained service animals continue to be a problem across the country.  In parts of Wisconsin, real guide dogs have been attacked by fake service animals.  People who use service animals say it's frustrating and dangerous when people try to use their pets as guide dogs..  More education and awareness about service animals is needed to help prevent laws from being exploited.

Read more

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New accessibility guidelines for government websites will take effect in January.  The guidelines mandate that federal government websites must be  accessible for people with hearing and visual impairments  who use screen readers and other assistive tech.  The requirements also mandate that content needs to be accessible for cognitive, language, and learning disabilities as well.

Read more

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The National Council on Disability (NCD), a nonpartisan, independent federal agency, released an issue brief entitled, “Neglected for too Long: Dental Care for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.”  The brief provides insight concerning the lack of dental care many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities continue to experience due to a shortage of properly trained dental care providers. The brief also explores the neglect for the protection of people with disabilities found within the American Dental Association’s Principles of Ethics & Code of Professional Conduct.  It  also contains recommendations from the NCD about what actions need  to be taken to improve dental care for people with disabilities.

Read brief

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More and more  vacation accommodation websites are making efforts to be accessible for people with disabilities.  Airbnb, a lodging rental company, recently announced it's coming out with a new website that will accommodate people with various types of disabilities.  It's a platform for short-term rentals.  It will have options beyond just the common "wheelchair accessible" choice.

Read more

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