SD Network


Self-Determination Network News: June 2019

By SD Network, 2019-06-16

96 Self-Determination Network News:

June 2019

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State Budget Update

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) finished making changes to the Governor’s proposed budget last week. The state budget must now be approved or amended further by the full State Senate and State Assembly.


Survival Coalition has developed a summary of disability issues as proposed in the Governor’s budget compared with the Joint Finance Committee proposal. There will be three call-in days this week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) for people with disabilities and family members to call their state Senators and State Representatives to let them know the good things that should be kept in the budget, need more funding, and should be added to the budget.  


We encourage you to use the Legislative Hotline (1-800-362-9472) to call your state Senator and state Representative to let them know what you like in JFC’s proposal and what you think should be changed.


The main issues will be Special Education funding, Transportation, Dental Care, Children's Disability ProgramsMental Health, and Caregiving.  We'll be sending out more information throughout the week, and we strongly encourage people to take action!  


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 June, we shine the spotlight on Jenny.  This marketing extraordinaire found her passion to help the disability community while volunteering with the Fishing Has No Boundaries program. She encourages people not to be afraid to repeat yourself when advocating for what you need and want.  Stop by this month's Member Spotlight to get to know Jenny.

128 Stacy’s Journal

"We hear people say you should always keep learning. When we are younger, we often think we know everything we need to know about life. As we age, though, we realize that there is so much more to learn. People with disabilities are no different—in fact, it sometimes seems like we are forced to find out more information and figure complicated situations out more than the average person."

In this month's entry, Stacy discusses how she and her family are still learning the hoops of the "disability system." We encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences as well.


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

  • Rideshare Discrimination: Kurt posted an article about how rideshare companies have a long way to go with disability inclusion.  Read about how people with disabilities continue to face discrimination when it comes to transportation.
  • Seeing Disability Through Photos:  A growing collection of stock images that break stereotypes and authentically portray people with disabilities in everyday life are being compiled for use by the public.  Learn about how this is being done.
  • Improving Technology:  There's no doubt that technology has become much more accessible to people with disabilities, but many people feel there's lots of room to improve things.  Find out what's being done to improve things even more.
  • Enhancing Technology for People with Intellectual Grant Opportunity:  A new grant seeks to fund research and development toward technologies that contribute to improved abilities of adults with cognitive impairment to perform daily activities of their choice in the home, community, or workplace. Grant applications are due July 15th.
  • Wheelchair Survey:  Do you use a wheelchair?  People are needed to participate in a survey about falls.  Learn more!
  • Voice Assistant Devices:  Voice activated digital assistants have become more and more popular in households around the world.  Read a story about one engineer's mission To make them accessible to those who are unable to speak.
  • Neat Opportunity for Entertainment Professionals:  Great entertainment requires authentic stories and genuine representation of all people. This includes diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. Learn about a new program for  emerging entertainment professionals with disabilities.
  • Grant for Enhancing Technology for People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A new grant seeks to fund research and development that leads to innovative technological solutions and strategies to improve the accessibility, usability, and performance of technologies designed to benefit people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Grant applications are due July 19th.
  • ABLE Accounts Shouldn't  Effect Housing Access: Federal officials are looking closer at how money is being spent in ABLE accounts. Read about the guidance recently issued clarifying how housing officials should treat ABLE accounts.
  • New Rule has Advocates Worried:  The new "conscience rule" which allows health care providers more leverage to decline care that they disagree with has disability advocates worried.  Find out why.
  • Disaster Report:  Hurricane and tornado season has begun.  The National Council on Disability released a report on how major storms impact people with disabilities.  Find out what the report reveals.
  • Employment First Partner Grants:  The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities is seeking up to eight organizations to engage in community outreach activities that lead to increased community integrated employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Applications are due August 16th.  Learn more!
  • SPARKS Grants:  Applications for  SPARKS Grants, which are meant to organize local grassroots groups to make changes in their communities that result in a positive impact on the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, are now being accepted.  August 19th is the deadline.
  • Air Travel to Improve: The International Air Transport Association 75th Annual General Meeting unanimously approved a resolution to improve the air travel experience for the estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide.  Learn what this means.
  • Watch:  This is a great interview about the under representation of the disability community in the film industry.  Do you agree?  

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. 


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.

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about how people with disabilities need to be more represented in television and film, both  on-screen and off.  In this great interview with Judy Heumann, she talks about the lack  of disability representation in the industry.

Watch interview


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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 75th Annual General Meeting (AGM) unanimously approved a resolution to improve the air travel experience for the estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide.The AGM confirms the commitment of airlines to ensuring that passengers with disability have access to safe, reliable and dignified travel, and calls upon governments to use IATA's core principles for accommodating passengers with disabilities. These principles aim to change the focus from disability to accessibility and inclusion by bringing the travel sector together with governments to harmonize regulations and provide the clarity and global consistency that passengers expect.

Read more

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This week, Joint Finance worked to vote on the Department of Health Services (DHS) budget requests.  Their budget is very important for the programs and services provided for people with disabilities throughout the state. While Joint Finance made some financial improvements to some of the programs and services, which we believe is in part to all the wonderful advocating performed by people with disabilities in WI, there still is work to be done. 

Read Survival Coalition's Statement

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Spark a change in your community with a SPARKS Grant!

What are SPARKS Grants? 

The purpose of SPARKS Grants is to organize local grassroots groups to make changes in their communities that result in a positive impact on the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including individuals with diverse identities and/or individuals that are under-served. 

Grassroots community organizing means groups that are led by individuals with disabilities together with their allies, who are working for positive community change for individuals with I/DD on issues that are important to them.

Priority activities for 2019-20 SPARKS Grants are:

  1. Increasing transportation options for people with I/DD (e.g. plan a ride along with your legislator and/or local elected officials to show transportation challenges, develop a work group with your county transportation board, etc.)  Please note that you cannot purchase a vehicle or vouchers to pay for transportation.  The project must show that it can be sustained beyond the one year of funding. 
  2. Increasing the number of people with I/DD voting (e.g. Get Out the Vote activities, informational videos, outreach to underserved populations, etc.)

You can download an application by following this link:

Application materials can be submitted via email, fax, or regular mail.

  • To submit via email, email your application materials to
  • To submit via fax, fax your application materials to (608) 267-3906.
  • To submit via regular mail, mail your application materials to:

Sparks Grants


101 East Wilson St, Rm 219

Madison, WI  53703

Apply by August 30, 2019

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The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (WI BPDD) is seeking up to eight (8) organizations to engage in community outreach activities that lead to increased community integrated employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Anyone committed to expanding integrated employment in their community can apply, including people with disabilities, family members, service providers, and schools. 

Possible activities include hosting a community conversation about employment, presenting to employer groups such as the chamber of commerce, or connecting families new to community-based employment with families who are committed to it to share experiences and alleviate concerns.  Each grantee will receive up to $2,000 plus coaching and presentation materials to engage in outreach activities. 

To learn more and apply, see the Employment First Partner grant application.  Applications are due by 5:00 pm on August 16, 2019. 

Please contact Molly Cooney at 608-266-0266 or with any questions

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Member Spotlight: Jenny Brendler

By SD Network, 2019-06-03

IMG_5181.jpgMeet Jenny.  This marketing extraordinaire found her passion to help the disability community while volunteering with the Fishing Has No Boundaries program.  This led her to taking a position with a nonprofit organization which assists people with disabilities to live as independently as possible.  She encourages people not to be afraid to repeat yourself when advocating for what you need and want.  We’re so fortunate to have Jenny as a member of the Network! 

What's your story?  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jenny grew up in Madison and attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She has always been interested in marketing, and in the local nonprofits in the area. She volunteered with Olbrich Gardens for a while, interned at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. In 2014, she joined the board of Fishing Has No Boundaries – Madison Chapter, where her passion for the disability community grew, and have recently been elected Co-Chair! A few years later, she was hired at Community Living Connections (CLC) in 2016. 

She explains that CLC is a nonprofit which supports individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and frail elders to live as independently as possible, in their own homes. They provide support that enables people to live in their own homes and participate in community life. They provide in home staff to help with planning, personal cares, medical support, finances, relationship building, etc…  She is the Development & Community Relations Manager.  She coordinates their communications such as the Facebook and Instagram accounts and eNewsletters, assists with recruitment, and manages their fundraising efforts.

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

Jenny joined the SD Network when she started at CLC. She didn’t know about the network until she started working there.  “I’m glad I did, it is a great resource and I really appreciate getting the emails,” she says.

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

Jenny is thrilled that Community Living Connections is growing! They are SO exciting to be expanding their service area to support individuals who live in the communities of Beaver Dam and Platteville She explains that they want to help more people live independently in their own homes and self-directing their own lives, and they’re thrilled to be making that happen!

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

Jenny shares that in Marketing they say it takes someone seven times to hear the message, before they actually hear it, absorb it, and act upon it—so, don’t be afraid to repeat yourself! She explains that other people may not fully understand your message the way you mean it the first time around. “Advocate for yourself, repeat what you want and what you need, and say it in as many different ways as you can,” she exclaims!

What are some of your hobbies?  

Jenny loves to garden!  She and her husband bought a house in Oregon and she has been slowly growing the garden to be her little outdoor oasis. She’s a big reader, and is in a small book club with a few friends. She also loves camping and being outdoors--like walking through the Arboretum, or lying beside Devil’s Lake with a good book in hand. She says she doesn’t know how to fish, but every summer, her favorite weekend is in July with Fishing Has No Boundaries in Madison! “It is so much fun, and everyone who comes (both volunteers and participants) is so excited for a weekend of accessible fishing,” she says! 

***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.

The goal of The John A. Hartford Foundation Business Innovation Award is to highlight the successes of community-based organizations (CBOs) that are partnering with health care entities, such as health systems and health plans, and spur the replication of these partnerships nationwide.

The annual award recognizes one or more CBOs that have made significant strides in partnering with health care entities to improve the quality of life for older adults and/or persons with disabilities. Awardees demonstrate the pursuit of bold, transformative initiatives designed to integrate health care and long-term services and supports.

Eligibility: Nominations from an array of community-based aging and disability organizations are encouraged. Eligible recipients include, but are not limited to, Area Agencies on Aging, Centers for Independent Living, faith-based organizations, and other community-based service providers. Organizations may self-nominate.

Nomination Process: For consideration for the 2019 Business Innovation Awards, please complete the nomination form in its entirety by June 14, 2019. Incomplete forms will not be considered. If you have questions, email

Selection Process: Awardees are chosen by a review committee of representatives from foundations, health care entities, and CBOs. The review committee will select one winner and up to two runners-up. Awardees will be announced at n4a’s 44th Annual Conference in New Orleans, July 27-31, 2019. All awardees will receive a plaque and first place winner will receive a monetary award of up to $5,000.

Nominations due Friday, June 14, 2019

Visit the nomination webpage

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