News

Transition Parents in Partnership trainings will take place virtually via Zoom beginning this fall. Now is a great time to take advantage of top-notch training without the stress of traveling or being away from home!

Transition Parents in Partnership (TPIP) will prepare families for the transition process for their youth with disabilities ages 14-21 in the areas of employment, education, living and health.

Why should I attend a Transition PIP?

• Begin your planning for life after high school
• Learn about valuable resources and adult services
• Become part of a network of parents who have youth with disabilities
• Explore ways to share the information you have learned
• Strengthen partnerships between the many professionals you interact with on behalf of your child

Choose 1 of 4 options:

1. Statewide Tuesday Evening Training (13 sessions)
2. Statewide Saturday Training (8 sessions)
3. Milwaukee Area Saturday Morning Training (8 sessions)
4. Green Bay Area Thursday Evening Training (13 sessions)

Attendance at all virtual PIP sessions per location you register for is required.

Register online at https://www.wspeidatasystem.com/pip/register/student/tpip

Si habla español llame a…Fatima Becerra 414-399-0236, fatimaabecerra@gmail.com

For training dates visit: https://www.wspei.org

For more information, contact: Martha DeYoung, PIP & YiPPE Training Coordinator 608-745-5435, deyoungm@cesa5.org or visit: https://wspei.org/families/pip.php

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The November Presidential election is fast approaching. People with disabilities have always had barriers to voting, but the pandemic has added additional challenges. The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition is working hard to help people with voting.. Through webinars, Facebook posts, and their website, they're providing education and assistance. 

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Decades after an accident left him paralyzed, this guy designed a modified mountain bike for himself, but soon realized these bikes would benefit others who have physical disabilities. He founded a company that designs specialized bikes for people with disabilities. 

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The American Association on Health &  Disability recently released an analysis of the impact of COVID on people with disabilities. It breaks it down by disability as well as discusses several issues related to it.  

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96Self-Determination Network News:

September 2020

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Hurry! Time is Running Out! Register Today! 

Registration for the 2020 Self-Determination Conference closes on October 1st. We look forward to seeing you at one of the biggest events for people with disabilities and the people who support them. The 2020 Self-Determination Conference will be held virtually October 26th-28th. Learn how to live more independently, participate more in your community, and direct your public funds efficiently. Registration is free! Register now!

Diehard Award Nominations

Do you know someone who goes above and beyond to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities? A Diehard is an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advocacy work here in Wisconsin. They are someone who is committed to integration and self-determination. Nominate someone for the Diehard Award to be presented at this year’s conference. Nominations are due September 15th.

Input Needed on Wisconsin's Long-Term Transportation Plan

Many people with disabilities, older adults, low income workers, and people who do not have access to a vehicle or choose not to drive cannot get where they need to go on their schedule. Survival Coalition’s Transportation survey identified many barriers that limit and impact people’s ability to live where they want, pursue job opportunities, get medical care, take care of routine business, be involved in their communities, and stay connected with family and friends.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT)  is seeking public comments as it shapes its long-term transportation plan—Connect 2050. This plan is a 30-year blueprint for how Wisconsin will invest to create the transportation system of the future. We encourage you to share how your transportation options and challenges affect your life and the changes you would like to see!

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Check Out The Latest Videos! 

The Self-Determination Channel is a YouTube channel by and for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities. Unlike other channels, the Self-Determination Channel stands stand out from other channels on YouTube because self-advocates host the videos, and decide and create the content. Videos are posted a couple times a month on a variety of topics self-advocates care about such as technology, employment, caregivers, independent living, and advocacy. 

Check out the newest videos on the channel:

We encourage you to subscribe to the Channel (you can do by clicking the red Subscribe button on any of the video pages).

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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.

In September, we're shining the spotlight on Jane. When this fun-loving grandma isn't busy spoiling her grandchildren, she's busy working to provide various supports to assist people with disabilities. Stop this month's Member Spotlight to get to know Jane.

Who should we shine the spotlight on next?

128 Stacy’s Journal

"Privacy is one of the few things that’s hard to modify. It’s something that we, as people with disabilities, have to try to figure out how to persevere on an individual basis."

In this month's entry, Stacy talks about the lack of privacy people with disabilities often have. Have we found this to be true?

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

  • Person-Centered Planning: The Person-Centered Planning and Practice (PCP) Project final report is now available. This report documents the effort to address long-term services and supports that are predicated on a person’s needs, preferences, goals, and desires. Learn what the recommendations are.
  • Technology Accessibility: In today's world, in one way or another, technology is part of our daily lives. Find out what one technology company is doing to ensure accessibility in their products as well as their workplace.
  • Face Mask Clarification:  Thanks to COVID-19,face coverings have become part of our daily lives. This Frequently Asked Question sheet clarifies some confusion about the mandate. Take a look. 
  • Outbreaks in Institutions: It's well-known that COVID-19 spreads quickly in congregate settings. Nursing homes are required to report cases to the government; however, despite outbreaks, institutions aren't. Learn about why advocates are trying to get this changed.  
  • Assistive Technology Grant Opportunity: There's a new assistive technology grant available to state programs. Applications are due September 15th.
  • Watch: Watch this neat story about a man from Wisconsin not letting his limitations stop him from doing the things he loves. 
  • Outside Dining Areas Create Barriers: As the pandemic continues, many restaurants are creating outdoor eating areas so people can socially distance and eat outside. This is a popular option for many; however, these areas often create barriers for people with disabilities. Read about some of the issues. 
  • Virtual Accommodations: When the world shutdown in March and almost everything went virtual, it opened up new doors for many people with disabilities. Find out what many are wondering about when the pandemic is over. 
  • Silver Linings: As devastating as this pandemic has been, more and more silver linings are being found. Learn how some nurses who have disabilities are finally getting hired.
  • Pandemic Guidance for People with Disabilities: As we all know, this pandemic has been hard on people with disabilities. Learn about some evolving guidance on safe care and support of people with disabilities.
  • Voting Resources: The November Presidential election is quickly approaching. Check out these great voting resources from Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition.
  • Concerns over the Census: After making adjustments earlier this year due to the pandemic, the US Census Bureau was expected to collect responses through the end of October. However, it was recently announced that they would stop at the end of September. Find out why this worries disability advocates. 

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.


After making adjustments earlier this year due to the pandemic, the US Census Bureau was expected to collect responses through the end of October. However, it was recently announced that they would stop at the end of September. This worries disability advocates. The Census determines funding for programs people rely on such as Medicaid and housing vouchers. The concern is that crucial data won't be collected. Advocates are urging Congress to adjust the deadline. Meanwhile, they're encouraging people with disabilities and their families to complete the Census online. 

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Voting News from the Disability Vote Coalition
The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition is a non-partisan effort to help ensure full participation in the electoral process of voters with disabilities.
Check out our resources at disabilityvote.org/ and follow us on Facebook
The November Election is rapidly approaching. The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition has new resources and trainings to support you!
NEW VOTING RESOURCES
Make Your Plan to Vote: Make your plan now to vote for the November 3rd Presidential Election. The Disability Vote Coalition has a new fact sheet to help you prepare your voting plan.
Resource for Candidates. Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations has a new resource to help candidates understand disability issues. Issues that Impact People with Disabilities in Wisconsin: Background Papers, provides an overview of services important to the lives of Wisconsinites with disabilities. Share this resource with candidates running to represent you, to help them to learn about services that are vital to Wisconsinites with disabilities. Find information for contacting your candidates at WisconsinVote.org or Vote411.
WEC Voter Mailing Going Out September 1:
On September 1, 2020, the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) is sending an informational mailing to approximately 2.6 million voters. The mailing will include information about the November election, and absentee ballot application, and a pre-addressed, business reply return envelope to the WEC (no postage required by voter). Not all voters will receive the mailing. The mailing is only going to voters who are registered to vote in Wisconsin, not in Active Mover’s status, and did not already have a General Election absentee request on file at the end of June.

UPCOMING TRAININGS
  • September 9, 7 – 8 PM, Your Vote CountsVision loss should not be a barrier to exercising your right to vote. Vision Forward, Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition, Disability Rights Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired are teaming up to host a September 9th Zoom webinar: Your Vote Counts! Register now for this webinar.
  • September 16, 11:30 – 1 PM, Voting in the Time of Pandemic: Voting Updates for the November Election: A Briefing for MCOs, ICAs, SSI Medicaid HMOs, and StakeholdersThe Disability Vote Coalition and iCare are partnering with the Wisconsin Election Commission staff on this webinar for those who help to support people with disabilities and older adults to cast their ballot safely. MCO, HMOs, ICAs, and other service providers are encouraged to participate. Our panel of experts will share voting updates and answer your questions. Registration is now open: Link to register for September 16th webinar.
  • September 22, 2 – 3 PM, Voting Training with People First WisconsinThe Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition and People First Wisconsin are celebrating National Voter Registration Day. Join us on Tuesday, September 22, 2- 3 PM to learn more about voter registration, absentee voting, voter rights, and voter resources. Be ready to vote in the November 3rd election! Register now on the DVC website.

ABSENTEE VOTING TIPS
  • November 3, is Election Day. Because of the health risk of COVID 19, we are encouraging voters with disabilities to consider voting absentee this year. To vote absentee, a voter must be registered to vote, request an absentee ballot, complete the ballot, have it witnessed, and return the ballot. Your ballot must be received in time to be delivered to your polling place no later than 8 PM on Election Day. For guidance on voting absentee, see the DVC Absentee Voting Fact Sheet for the 2020 elections.
  • Voter Assistance to complete Ballot. If you need help reading or filling out your ballot or absentee return envelope, you may ask for assistance from anyone who is not your employer or a representative of your labor union. Your assistant may also serve as your witness. Explaining how to fill out your ballot or return envelope is not “assistance.”
    • Your assistant must sign in the Certification of Voter Assistance section of your ballot.
    • Your assistant can read your ballot to you or fill out your ballot under your direction, but cannot tell you how to vote.
    • If someone signs your absentee return envelope on your behalf, make sure they also sign in the Certification of Assistant section
Have a voting question or concern?
  • Contact the Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter Hotline. Call DRW at 844-DIS-VOTE / 844-347-8683 or email info@disabilityvote.org. We can also assist you with filing a complaint.
  • If you are a voter with a disability who has experienced an accessibility concern related to voting, report your concern to the Wisconsin Election Commission online or call 866-VOTE-WIS.
Help is available! Contact these resources:
  • DMV Voter ID Hotline: (844) 588-1069. Apply for a free Photo ID for voting at the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • Vote411.org and ballotpedia.org: nonpartisan information about the candidates
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Stacy's Journal: The Right to Privacy


By Stacy Ellingen, 2020-08-31

Most adults have some degree of privacy.  Growing up, parents usually teach kids what should be kept private and what’s okay to share with others.  Parents often gradually give their children more and more privacy as they grow up.  From very basic things early on, such as using the restroom by herself/himself, to more complex things as they grow up, like dating, children are taught the concept of privacy.  When we become adults, we decide our own level of privacy.  When people find her/his significant other, they often share private things with them.  Privacy is a human right.  In many scenarios, it keeps our dignity as people.  For people with disabilities, having any degree of privacy often is nearly impossible.

As a pretty avid disability advocate, I’m generally a pretty open person.  Since I believe part of my purpose in life is to educate others on what people with disabilities can do, I share my personal experiences, thoughts, and emotions with others in these journal entries, videos on the YouTube channel, media interviews, presentations, and other avenues.  It’s my way of feeling like I’m helping others.  While being open is part of my personality, I think having a significant physical disability has forced me to be open. Let me explain.

As I’ve explained in several of my previous journal entries, I need physical assistance with all of my basic needs.  I need somebody to literally undress me, lather me up and rinse me in the shower, and get me dressed again every day.  Every time I use the restroom, somebody needs to pull my pants down, clean me up after I go, and then pull my pants back up. I share these examples not to invoke any sort of pity, but rather to demonstrate how little privacy somebody with significant physical limitations may have. Obviously, I don’t really have other options in these circumstances, and I’ve, in essence, “gotten used to it.”

Physical body privacy isn’t the only sort of privacy people with disabilities often lack.  Recently, I ran into a situation where a care worker quit because she read text messages on my phone between my mom and I talking about her.  Now, yes, we were wrong to be talking about her (I was complaining she was lazy and always causing issues), but she had no business reading my messages.  It wasn’t like I was texting right in front of her either; she had to have gone into my phone and read them when I was out of my chair (my phone is mounted on my chair).  Yes, I realize I could have a passcode enabled to open my phone, but that brings up more issues (if I had to enter a passcode every time I use my phone, things would take me even longer to do).  What really irritated me about this situation is that the worker obviously knew I use my phone and specifically text messaging as my main means of communication with my parents, and she felt she had the right to go in and read my messages.  Really?  I guess maybe I put too much trust in people.  Again, my mom and I acknowledge we were wrong to be talking about her, but it’s tough when I rely texting to communicate.

Another thing people with disabilities often have little to no privacy with is finances.  Many rely on government assistance to live.  When you receive government financial assistance, one has to report any income and assets she/he has. There is a review done regularly for eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  I live in subsidized housing, and I have to do an annual recertification where I have to provide all of my financial information.  The information is used to determine what my rent is for the year.  While I understand why this needs to be done, it can be a little daunting.  Providing the information year after year is not only time consuming, but it can also mess with emotions.  While I’m not ashamed that I need government assistance, it’s not something I’m proud of or want to be reminded of either.

Having little to no privacy in life isn’t fun, but it’s something I’ve learned to live with.  When you rely on others for so much physically, you try to savor any dignity you can. It can be as simple as being able to pick up a Kleenex to blow my own nose.  As silly as that sounds, using a tissue myself takes a lot of concentration and effort, but I do it because I’m able to. I realize I’m fortunate that I’m living in my own apartment. While I gripe about having limited privacy, people who live in group homes or facilities have even less. 

Privacy is one of the few things that’s hard to modify.  It’s something that we, as people with disabilities, have to try to figure out how to persevere on an individual basis.  For myself, I realize that giving up some privacy also means that I’m able to be as independent as possible.  That sounds like a weird analogy, but by having people come in to help me, I’m able to live independently. That’s what I try to remember when I have issues with privacy.  It’s part of this unique journey I’m on called life! 

***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.


As we all know, this pandemic has been hard on people with disabilities.  People have Lost access to critical support they need.  Sometimes, people have a hard time understanding web-based technology.  Some people don't understand why or what they need to do to protect themselves. There has been some guidance on the safe care and support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it's still evolving and hasn't reached all the places where it's "desperately needed." 

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As devastating as this pandemic has been, more and more silver linings are being found. One unique positive outcome is that nurses with disabilities are getting hired. Before the pandemic ,nurses who have physical limitations had a hard time landing a job..  Hospitals didn't believe they could perform the job duties. However, due to the dire need for nurses, hospitals are beckoning more open-minded.

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