SD Network

Category: Medicad

Discussions taking place at the federal level about Medicaid block grants, which cap funding for the program, would have a major impact on the 1.2 million Wisconsinites, including people with disabilities and older adults, who use Medicaid programs (Family Care, IRIS, MAPP, BadgerCare, SeniorCare, CCS, CRS, Katie Becket and more).  This op-ed piece written by Barbra Beckert of Disability Rights Wisconsin explains in detail about how these block grants could effect many people.

Read more

Posted in: Medicad | 0 comments

This is a very interesting blog about the importance of  a person-centered approach to risk and different ways to help people to embed a new way of working.   The author has us think about two main questions: What risks have you taken today? and How is this relevant to care and support?  She makes a point that the only way of completely removing the element of risk is to completely stop doing the task--ever again.

She then ties  this concept into what happens in care and support environments in order to keep people safe and well.  The author suggests many times, we lose sight of the balance between what's important FOR a person and what is important TO them.  The power of choice is a huge factor--it can make a difference  to a person's happiness and wellbeing.

Read entire blog

IRIS 40-Hour Health and Safety Policy

By SD Network, 2016-10-27

Do you or a loved one use IRIS? Have you heard about the "40-Hour Rule"?  If you want to know how this affects you, check out the following resources:

The Wisconsin Dept of Health Services statement about the Status of the Rule:

As you may already know, the Department of Health Services (DHS) is in the process of implementing policy related to the number of hours a caregiver can work for a participant in the IRIS program.  The intention is to ensure the health and safety of IRIS participants, as well as caregivers, while protecting the integrity of self-direction and the IRIS program.  We appreciate the input we have received from participants most affected by this rule change as we work through this process.  DHS is working on revisions to the IRIS 40-Hour Health and Safety Policy.  DHS is delaying disenrollment for noncompliance with the IRIS 40-Hour Policy until further notice.

It is important to remember that this policy, as proposed and as revised, does not reduce the hours of care granted to an IRIS participant.  DHS will communicate to participants and IRIS consultants as soon as this policy is finalized. Thank you for your continued cooperation in this effort.

Survival Coalition Recommendations for the Proposed IRIS 40 Hour Rule: Survival Coaltion is advocating for a thoughtful and evidence-based approach to developing health and safety criteria and to ensure that changes to these polices are developed alongside knowledgeable stakeholders, include people with disabilities and their care providers.

Respond to our poll about how the 40-hour rule might affect you. 

Posted in: IRIS | 0 comments

On June 1st, Ohio became the first state to offer ABLE accounts (accounts that allow people with disabilities to have a savings account without jeopardizing their  benefits).  In Ohio, the accounts are known as "STABLE accounts." Accounts can be used for disability-related expenses that will increase and/or maintain a person's health, independence, or quality of life.  STABLE accounts are open to both  residents in Ohio as well as across the country.

Read more

Family Voices Survey

By SD Network, 2016-04-06
Here is an opportunity to participate in a study to better understand what other parents want and find helpful for their child’s doctors. This survey was developed by parents from Family Voices organizations in several states. As you may know,  Family Voices is staffed by parents of children who have special health care needs or disabilities.  

This is an anonymous survey. We cannot identify who you are from your survey answers. Your answers will be combined with those from other parents.  This will give us a summary so we can all better understand what is helpful to families in general.   We will use this information in our work to improve the healthcare system.

This survey contains 18 questions and should take about ten minutes to complete.  Please complete this survey by April 15, 2016

Thank you for taking the time to fill out the survey and sharing your ideas with us.  If you have any questions or want more information about this survey, please contact Carolyn Allshouse at


Posted in: Surveys | 0 comments

Wisconsin Youth Leadership Forum

By SD Network, 2016-03-25

The Wisconsin Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) is a week-long leadership training and career awareness program for high school students with disabilities held June 26- July 1, 2016 at Edgewood College in Madison, WI.

Costs of the program are covered by BPDD.

YLF is for high school students with a disability who are active in their school and/or community and would like to develop leadership and advocacy skills, explore career options, and start making valuable connections with others.

Please forward the application form and other information available at: to high school students that may be interested.

Application Deadline: Monday, May 1, 2016

Please direct questions to John Shaw at – or (608) 266-7707.

Family Advocate Positions Available

By SD Network, 2016-02-11

Wisconsin PROMISE, a project of the Wisconsin Department for Workforce Development (DWD), aims to foster improved health, education and post-secondary outcomes for familiesand teenage youthwith disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Enrolled families have access to a number of trainings and services, including a training for families on transition and employment planning basics. The Waisman Center at UW-Madison is partnering with the project to help deliver this transition and employment training by developing a network of family advocates across the state to work with identified families. TheFamily Advocates will connect with families, in their homes or in the community, to share information about the transition process and employment planning using the already-developed training. Advocates may also assist with navigating service systems as needed. In addition, the Family Advocates will strive to organize small learning communities for local families to meet and share their experiences. Ideally, Family Advocates will be individuals with personal, or professional, experience with disability and public support systems. If you know people who might be interested in these positions, please share this with them. There are 10 positions located in various regions around the state. Individuals will telecommute and will travel regularly within their region. See links to the position postings below. When you click on the link, youll see a Job Summary and then if you click on Position Description you will see more details of the position. The deadline for applying isFebruary 23, 2016.

For more information about the larger WI PROMISE project,

Racine/Kenosha area
(Region 1), Position #97755:

Milwaukee area(Region 2/3), Position #97761(Full-time):

Milwaukee area(region 2/3), Position #97764:

Milwaukee area(Region 2/3), Position #97763:

Green Bay/Fox Valley area(Region 5), Position #97796:

Northcentral WI(Region 6), Position # 97795:

Northwestern WI(Region 7), Position #97758:

Western WI(Region 8), Position #97793:

La Crosse area(Region 9), Position #97757:

Madison area(Region 10), Position #97327:

Thank you for sharing this with your networks! If you have any questions, please contact Molly Cooney

Joint Finance Protects LTC

By SD Network, 2015-05-14

Wisconsin Legislature

Rep. Dean Knudson, Member, Joint Finance Committee(608) 266-1526
Senator Leah Vukmir, Member, Joint Finance Committee(608) 266-2512
Rep. John Nygren, Co-Chair, Joint Finance Committee(608) 266-2343
Senator Alberta Darling, Co-Chair, Joint Finance Committee(608) 266-5830

Remove Governors Proposed Changes, Preserve Self-Directed Care

MADISONOn Thursday, Republican leaders on the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) announced the rejection of Governor Walkers proposed long term care changes, while pursuing limited reforms with strong legislative oversight. Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) and Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) unveiled the changes alongside JFC Co-chairs Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills).

In removing the Governors changes to FamilyCare and IRIS, the legislators proposed giving the Department of Health Services (DHS) limited authority to negotiate with the Federal Government on potential changes to FamilyCare to integrate long term and medical care, with the following requirements:
Require public and stakeholder input before any changes are made.
Require self-directed care with budget authority, to be defined in statute.
Require a regional model with multiple Integrated Health Agencies (IHA) per region.
Require an independent actuarial study to set rates.
Require the acceptance of any willing provider for a multi-year transition.
Preserve ADRC services.
Require final approval of any waiver application by the Joint Finance Committee before submission to the Federal Government.

This plan requires public input, includes a self-directed option, and gives patients choice between competing providers. Integration of care provides better care for customers and doctors, as well as a better value for taxpayers.

Go to the Wheeler Report (
<;) and see10:53 AMannouncement form Vukmir,Knudsen, Nygren and Darling that JFC has taken the governor's LTC proposalout of the budget.

Posted in: default | 0 comments

Did you know that your Family Care, IRIS or other long-term care services may be changing FOR THE BETTER- soon? Thats right! TheSurvival Coalition has new recommendationsregarding Implementation of theNew HCBS Regulations Issued by CMS in Non-Residential Settings,including Vocational Settings. You can view the recommendations by clickinghere.Watch for your opportunity to tell the Department of Health Services how to make changes that matter to YOU!

Stay tuned! Watch for a webinar on the new rule coming soon!

SDS Network News: July 16, 2013

By SD Network, 2013-07-16

Connect | Share | Learn |

July 16, 2013

Show Your Pride!

Come celebrate Wisconsin's first Disability Pride Festival!Join us in Madison on July 27th to share our talents, skills, arts, energy, and pride in being who we are. This event builds on a long tradition of disability pride celebrations around the world. Our theme for this year is Forward to possibility.

Learn more about this exciting, upcoming event!

It Only Takes "Five"

Take five minutes to check out what's happening on the SDS Network:

  • Advance Your Advocacy:Apply for Partners in Policymaking.Self-advocates and family members of a person with a developmental disability (DD) who want to improve their leadership skills are encouraged to apply.
  • Make a Difference:If you are passionate about making a change that will improve the lives of people with disabilities in your community, apply for a SPARKS grant from the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD).
  • Job Opening: Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is now accepting applications for Executive Director. Deadline: July 23, 2013.
  • Tell Your Story: BPDD is sponsoring a public awareness campaign, called Better Together. The goal is to raise awareness about the many important roles that individuals with disabilities play in our lives and communities.

Support the Network with "Five":

Join Us for a Coffee Break

Many people don't realize that they can use Self-Directed Supports (SDS) regardless of whether they use Family Care or IRIS for their supports. Join us at one or both of these upcoming Coffee Breaksto share your ideas and questions, to get more connected, andto learn how these two programs enable people to use SDS,. Remember that Network Coffee Breaks are not presentations - they areinformal, livediscussions (chats) on the Network, open to all members.

SDS and Family Care, July 24, 2013:

Do you use Family Care for your supports? How do you self-direct within Family Care? What questions do you have about how Family Care can support your efforts to be self-directed? Join our special guest, Cathy Derezinski, from Community Cares of Central Wisconsin (a Family Care Managed Care Organization).

SDS and IRIS, August 21, 2013:

Do you self-direct your supports through IRIS? Or are you wondering how IRIS can work for you or someone you care about? Maybe you're just not sure what IRIS is. Join our special guest for this Coffee Break,Brenda Bauer, from The Management Group (the IRIS Consultant Agency).

Welcome New Members

Stop by to welcome our newest member.

Do you know someone who should join the SDS Network? Spread the word and invite friends, families and other interested folks!

Upcoming Events

Here's a sample of upcoming events listed on the SDS Network:

Post your event on the SDS Network and it can be included in future Network News emails to members! Questions? Contact Deb Wisniewski at

Thanks to the sponsors of the SDS Network!

 / 2