SD Network

Category: Resource

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 and follow us on Facebook
The November Election is rapidly approaching. The Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition has new resources and trainings to support you!
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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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).
  • and 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!


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.  

View sheet

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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.

Read publication

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Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) has released their most recent report on Voting Experiences of Voters with Disabilities. The purpose of the Project was to investigate issues around voting for people with I/DD; increase the number of voters and, to provide technical assistance to improve their voting experiences.

View report

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WIBPDD: Health Care Kit

By SD Network, 2017-06-13

The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities has developed a Self-directed Health Care Kit designed to help individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities (I/DD) advocate for their own health care and support clear communication between the individual and their health care practitioners. The kit includes a set of forms for tracking health care concerns and interventions.  

View kit

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PACER's National Parent Center on Transition & Employment (NPCTE) has a new section on their website focused on health and transition. Find information on health-related IEP goals, how to transition from pediatric care to adult care, building self-care and self-advocacy skills, and more.

Read more

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This issue of Impact highlights ways in which disability service providers, health and wellness professionals, community fitness and recreation programs, employers, advocates, individuals with disabilities, and their families can help ensure that health and wellness activities are as available to individuals with disabilities as to anyone else. It shares examples of how adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are involved in healthy activity, making social connections, developing supportive relationships, and actively participating in health care. Impact is published by the Institute on Community Integration & Research and Training Center on Community Living.

Read more 

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