SD Network


Member Spotlight: Randi

By SD Network, 2023-11-29

Meet Randi. This advocate extraordinaire believes that everyone has a right to make choices and encourages people to keep asking questions. When she’s not busy advocating, she loves traveling to different places. We are so fortunate to have her as a member of the Network! 

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

Randi has Cerebral Palsy. She shares that she is a twin, and my little sister has Down Syndrome. She explains that they’ve been navigating the system for a long time. “We've come so far but we have so far to go. I do this stuff so it's easier for other people,” she tells us.

Randi currently serves as the secretary for the Independent Living Council of Wisconsin. She explains that she joined to raise awareness about Independent Living Centers and what they can do to help people with disabilities.

Randi has over 20 years of active nonprofit experience creating donors and business contacts with a variety of organizations and professionals in the community, for-profit and nonprofit areas; she has nine years of experience in building relationships with diverse populations and partner agencies during her active involvement with the Disability Program Navigator Project and the Department of Workforce Development. She also been an advocate and a support broker for almost three years. 

How are you involved with self-determination? 

Randi realized that people don't always get a choice and she believes that anyone that wants to direct their life should be able to. “It's not my job to decide for someone; it's my job to help them get where they need to be and where they want to be,” she says. 

Why did you join the SD Network? 

Randi joined the Network to help others and share her knowledge of the system, so that  when she’ not here, there's always someone else that knows how to navigate something. “The only way to do that is to train people and to share,” she explains. 

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

Randi loves to see that more and more people choosing what they want; they're not just accepting “well, I'm disabled this is what I get.” She thinks that has to be due to our work in Wisconsin.

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

Randi encourages anyone who is having trouble getting what they need or accessing what they need to use social media to ask questions. Facebook or Instagram—she doesn't care, but she suggests that people get in touch with someone if they need help. Keep asking questions; if it doesn't feel right, keep asking questions,” she says.

What are some of your hobbies?

Randi enjoys traveling to different places and doing crafts with her sister.

***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.

Under a contract with ACL’s Administration on Disabilities (AoD), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is leading the development of a model for providing peer-to-peer support to help people with disabilities find — and, most importantly, learn to use — augmentative and alternative communication tools. 

AUCD is now seeking proposals for a subcontract to support this work. Proposals are due to AUCD by Monday, December 18, 2023.

About the Project

An estimated five million people in the United States have disabilities that impact their ability to rely on speech alone to communicate.

A wide range of augmentative and alternative communication tools and technologies (AAC) are available, but people often are unaware of the options, how to get them, and how to pay for them. In addition, learning to use AAC can be challenging. As a result of those issues (and others), many people who could benefit from AAC go without, often at the expense of their independence and full participation in the community. 

Through this project, ACL will work with a national consortium of people with disabilities, including people who use AAC; organizations and professionals that support people with disabilities; and other stakeholders to develop a model for providing peer-to-peer support to help more people who need AAC find and learn to use the tools that meet their individual needs.

AUCD is leading this project under a contract from ACL. AUCD is now seeking proposals for a subcontract for a one-year planning project to support this work. The subcontractor will work with AUCD on a variety of tasks, including creating the national consortium; conducting a comprehensive review and analysis to identify existing peer-to-peer models, projects, approaches, and activities; and developing an approach and plan to advance peer support models for AAC users.

Proposals must be submitted by Monday, December 18, 2023. Full details about AUCD’s RFP can be found on AUCD’s webpage. Questions and proposals should be submitted to
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Actor and advocate Selma Blair joins Meet the Press and tells Kristen Welker her message to lawmakers as she fights for equity and accessibility for the disabled community.

Watch this short, but powerful clip

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Synthesizing findings from national surveys and discussions with key stakeholders, the report provides invaluable perspective on the benefits of self-direction, while also exposing gaps related to hiring, retention, administrative burdens, and availability of assistance. Key takeaways include:

  • Recruiting and retaining workers is extremely challenging for many self-directing participants, underscoring the workforce shortage.

  • Low compensation, lack of benefits, inefficient hiring processes, and required trainings that create barriers all contribute to workforce challenges.

  • Participants and representatives overwhelmingly desire more robust information and assistance structures to support hiring and managing workers.

This report offers a roadmap to drive change and inspire future research to support and strengthen the essential self-directed workforce.

Read the full report to inform your own efforts and help realize the full potential of self-direction.

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The University of Kansas Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies — funded by ACL's National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) — is seeking adults with disabilities to complete the 2023 National Survey on Health and Disability (NSHD). 
The NSHD gives voice to the concerns of people with disabilities and documents their experiences with a variety of issues, including access to health care, insurance coverage, housing, transportation, Long COVID, employment, education, and more. The survey is open to U.S. adults 18 and older with any disability and/or health condition.
For more information, please call 855-556-6328 (Voice/TTY) or email Participants may complete the survey by phone.
Take the survey
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Organizations advocating for older adults and people with disabilities are hoping to build new support for a bill that would require Wisconsin hospitals to communicate with a patient's family caregivers. The CARE Act  It would require hospitals to allow patients to identify a caregiver when they're admitted to the hospital. Hospitals would be required to communicate with the designated caregiver before the patient is discharged or transferred to another facility and to provide instruction to caregivers on any medical tasks the patient may need help with when returning home.

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Neighbors in Greenfield don't let having Down Syndrome stop them from living successful lives. These two incredible ladies live independently in separate apartments, but love to hang out and keep each other company. They both have the community and hope that by sharing their story of friendship and determination, it will show people that they are more alike than different.

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A recent survey found that people with disabilities continue to face challenges voting. People with disabilities had a 20 percent likelihood of having difficulties voting in-person, compared to 6 percent for people without a disability. With a mail-in ballot, the likelihood of difficulties voting for people with disabilities was 6 percent, compared with 1 percent of people without disabilities.

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