SD Network

Category: Resource


Recently, the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition released a document of stories about how the new voting bills that were passed will impact those with disabilities. These bills will limit voter access even more than it already is. 

See document

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has provided a range of programs to support individuals, families, and communities. While some of these programs are long-standing, others were formed in direct response to the challenges created or exacerbated by the public health emergency. As we continue to move forward towards a “new normal,” the following resources remain available for those in need:

  • The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) is a temporary Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing discounts on service and devices.
  • The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program from the Department of the Treasury assists families that are unable to pay rent or utilities so they can remain in their homes during the pandemic.
  • The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) provides federally funded assistance to cover home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization, and energy-related minor home repairs to eligible households.
  • The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) from ACF is a new emergency program that provides funds to low-income households for water and wastewater bills, helps avoid water shut offs, and supports water system reconnections caused by missed payments during the pandemic.
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides monthly benefits that help families purchase healthy food from authorized retail food stores.
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The Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation, a part of the College of Design at Georgia Tech, has partnered with the CDC to ensure that important information about the virus is accessible for all people. They have adapted many documents and of the CDC ' S guidance.. 

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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

2021 Spring Elections and Special Legislative Elections
The Disability Vote Coalition encourages voter participation in the Spring election. Please save these dates!
  • Spring Primary: February 16, 2021
  • Spring Election: April 6, 2021
State offices to be elected are State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Court of Appeals Judge, Districts I, II and III, and Circuit Court Judge.
A special partisan primary and special partisan election for Representative to the Assembly - District 89 and State Senator - District 13 will be held in conjunction with the February 16, 2021 primary and the April 6, 2021 election.
Make your plan now to vote February 16th
Check your voter registration status at MyVote.wi.gov. If need to register or re-register (if you moved since the last election), act now:
  • January 27: Deadline to register online or by mail
  • February 12: Deadline to register in person at your Municipal Clerk’s Office
  • Register at your polling place: February 16
To vote by mail, request your absentee ballot ASAP at https://myvote.wi.gov or request it from your municipal clerk.
Spring Primary Election Lunch & Learn January 26 & 27
Join the Wisconsin Disability Coalition to get prepared for the February 16th primary election. We are offering two short trainings on Zoom: January 26 at 12 noon and January 27 at 11 AM. We will talk about why this is an important election, cover important deadlines, voter registration, voting absentee and more.
Plan to attend and invite a colleague or friend! For details, see the flyer.
Register today at https://disabilityvote.org/upcoming-events/
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
The State Superintendent has an important role in ensuring that schools districts meet their responsibilities to students with disabilities as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). We are planning a candidate forum for March in advance of the April 6th election – stay tuned for details!
We encourage you to learn about the candidates and vote in the February 16th primary. You can view a video of a candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters and Wisconsin Public Education Network.
Voting in Care Facilities
The Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) determined that Special Voting Deputies (SVDs) will not be dispatched to nursing homes or other care facilities for the February 16th election. This decision was based on guidance from public health officials and is due to continuing health concerns related to COVID.
The WEC staff are providing guidance and updated resource materials for care facility staff. There are resources on the WEC website on the following topics: registering to vote, requesting an absentee ballot, witnessing, and assisting your residents.
The Disability Vote Coalition strongly supports the rights of residents in group homes, adult family homes, and nursing homes to vote, if they wish to do so and are eligible to vote. We are available to provide training or resources for care facility staff and/or residents, and the DRW Vote Hotline is also a resource: 844-DIS-VOTE/ 844-347-8683. Feel free to email us at info@disabilityvote.org to request materials, inquire about training or with any questions.
Here are some additional materials that may be helpful for care facility staff:
VOTER POSTCARDS
The Disability Vote Coalition is once again offering our free voter postcards to help folks prepare for the 2021 elections. Our Voter postcards include 2021 election dates, and resources for voter registration, photo ID, and more. Postcards are being printed and will soon be available in English and Spanish.
We invite your organization to help support participation of voters with disabilities in the 2021 elections – order your postcards today!
To order your postcards, complete our survey:
VOTING QUESTIONS?
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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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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As we continue coming together to support people with disabilities through the COVID 19 Crisis in Wisconsin, we must look for creative ways to meet the changing needs of this new normal.  An essential and growing need is resources for caregiver matching/temporary hires and collaboration regarding workforce and PPE needs.

Please see the following resources:

Help and Be Helped Communication Tool * with key resources, including:

    • In-home Supports Connection Registry
      • Respite Care Association of Wisconsin (RCAW) has modified its Respite Care Registry to connect temporarily displaced workers and others during the COVID-19 pandemic with in-home service provider agencies and self-directed consumers
        • If you or someone you know is interested in providing in-home supports during the COVID 19 crisis, whether that be via direct hire with consumer or in-home provider agency, please sign up here to join the RCAW Registry
        • If you are someone who needs in-home supports, please subscribe here to search RCAW’s Registry
    • Searchable Listing of Residential and Non-residential Organizations in Wisconsin
        • Disability Services Provider Network (DSPN) has compiled a spreadsheet that can be filtered by city, county and home setting type
        • See Provider Listing attached* – also available soon on DSPN website!
        • We encourage agencies to use this connection tool to offer or ask for help from one another
    • “Listen and Share” Virtual Meetings WI APSE (Association of People Supporting Employment First) is hosting weekly provider “Listen and Share” virtual meetings throughout April – see Help and be Helped for more info.

We are in this together!

Sincerely,

Communication & connection workgroup:

 

RCAW – Lisa Schneider & Rachel Watkins Petersen

DSPN – Jeff Kaphengst

TMG – Patti Becker

INCLUSA – Tish Burmeister

WI APSE – Molly Keaveny

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Nearly half of all individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid receive help with personal care, such as bathing, dressing, managing medication, and other long-term services and support (LTSS). Given the nature of these services, cultural competence – the ability to work effectively in cross-cultural situations – is a key part of establishing trust and respect between direct care workers and their clients.

RIC has developed the following briefs to help LTSS providers, administrators, and other stakeholders, support a diverse workforce that can meet the cultural needs and preferences of dually eligible individuals.

Organizational Cultural Competence

This brief provides strategies for assessing organizational cultural competence, supporting diversity across all levels of an organization, addressing linguistic competence, and engaging community partners.

Training Culturally Competent Direct Care Workers

This brief focuses on establishing and building on organizational policies to support cultural competence, using adult learner-centered training methods, and identifying setting- and community-appropriate training programs.

Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Direct Care Workforce


This brief includes approaches for inclusive hiring practices, supporting staff through an inclusive environment, and proving comprehensive training for direct care workers, supervisors, and administrators.


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A new Capacity-Building Toolkit for Including Aging and Disability Networks in Emergency Planning is now available called the Capacity-Building Toolkit.

This resource guides aging and disability networks to increase their ability to plan for and respond to public health emergencies and disasters. This toolkit helps programs that support older adults and people with disabilities, through the emergency planning process of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities.

The toolkit was written by the National Association of County & City Health Officials and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, in partnership with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Administration for Community Living.

It can help organizations of all types conduct more inclusive emergency planning by facilitating personal preparedness for aging adults and people with disabilities. It can also help expand organizational knowledge of the unique challenges these populations face during emergencies. The toolkit can assist emergency managers and public health officials in understanding the capabilities and expertise of community-based organizations within the aging and disability networks.

Organizations that are new to emergency planning can use this  toolkit as an orientation to emergency planning. Those with established emergency preparedness programs can use it as a resource to enhance their capabilities..

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The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities recently released an updated fact sheet about Supplemental Security Income for people with disabilities.  The sheet covered a variety of topics and has some very interested statistics.  

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The Administration on Aging (AoA) within the Administration for Community Living (ACL) commissioned a supplemental issue of Generations through its National Alzheimer’s and Dementia Resource Center (NADRC) in an effort to advance the establishment and enhancement of dementia-capable home and community-based systems. It is titled Supporting People with Dementia and Their Caregivers in the Community. The Generations supplement is comprised of 18 articles authored by experts in a broad range of dementia care and advocacy topics.

This special issue is dedicated to the delivery of information on a range of topics of significance for people living with dementia and their caregivers.  Intended to put dementia care in context, this issue provides insight into evidence-based interventions, person-centered/directed dementia care, underserved and vulnerable populations, and other topics for providing effective home and community-based services.

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