Survival Coalition Wisconsin

The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations is a cross-disability coalition of more than 40 state and local organizations and groups. For more than 20 years, Survival has been focused on changing and improving policies and practices that support people with disabilities of all ages to be full participants in community life.

Updates

Specific Steps Needed to Protect People with Disabilities and Older Adults in Wisconsin

The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations is a cross-disability coalition of more than 40 state and local organizations and groups. For more than 20 years, Survival has been focused on changing and improving policies and practices that support people with disabilities of all ages to be full participants in community life.

  • When Wisconsin begins to reopen, county public health agencies and local communities will be on the forefront of local planning and guidance on how businesses and services can safely resume, as well as monitoring COVID-19 cases and conducting contact tracing.
  • Local stakeholder committees should include representation from the disability community to help ensure that community plans are inclusive of the needs of community members with a disability.
  • Advocates for vulnerable populations and service providers who offer home and community-based services should be directly consulted in local planning efforts. Read More

After Safer At Home Ends, Specific Steps Needed to Protect People with Disabilities and Older Adults in Wisconsin

As Wisconsin considers when and how to re-open businesses and state services, Survival Coalition urges strong state and local actions to protect high-risk populations and public health.

COVID-19 is particularly dangerous to people with disabilities, older adults, and people with chronic conditions. In Wisconsin, 36.5% of adults (1,612,619 people) are at high risk of serious illness or death if infected by COVID-19. Those who reside or receive services in congregate settings are at extreme risk. Read full document

Nearly 40 Wisconsin & National Disability and Aging Advocates File Amicus Brief Explaining Heightened COVID-19 Risks to People with Disabilities and Older Adults

Media are invited to a Zoom press conference Thursday, April 30 at 1:30 to hear from aging and disability experts about why extending social distancing practices through Wisconsin’s Safer at Home is especially critical to the health of people with disabilities and older adults. See the attached media advisory.

Contact Fil Clissa at survivalcoalitionwi@gmail.com to get a link to the Zoom event.

See full Press Packet.

Survival Coalition survey shows Impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities, older adults, families, and direct care workforce

Almost 500 people with disabilities and older adults representing nearly 80% of Wisconsin counties responded to Survival Coalition’s COVID-19 survey.

“COVID-19 is amplifying the existing direct care workforce crisis, causing reductions and disruptions in needed services, and straining families to the breaking point as they try to fill in caregiving gaps, often while struggling to homeschool children and work from home,“ said Lisa Pugh, Survival Coalition Co-Chair.

In Wisconsin more than 85,000 people rely on in-home personal care, home health, and many other services to stay in their own homes and out of hospitals and nursing homes. Read full press release.
Read Press Packet.

Media Advisory: Join a Virtual Press Event to Hear How the State’s Most Vulnerable People with Disabilities and Older Adults are Coping

For Immediate Release: April 21, 2020

Survival Coalition Co-Chair Contacts:

Lisa Pugh, pugh@thearc.org; (608) 422-4250

Beth Swedeen, beth.swedeen@wisconsin.gov; (608) 266-1166

Kristin M. Kerschensteiner, kitk@drwi.org; (608) 267-0214

COVID-19 is particularly dangerous to people with disabilities older adults, and people with chronic conditions. For these vulnerable individuals, it’s critical to help them stay healthy and ensure they have the supports they need to stay out of the hospital and nursing homes. In Wisconsin more than 85,000 people rely on in-home personal care, home health, and many other services to stay in their own homes and out of expensive Medicaid-funded institutions.

Unfortunately, many people with disabilities are being left on the sidelines. People have lost critical services, their lives have changed in critical ways, the service system is not responding, and in many cases the caregiving burden has shifted to aging family members or there is no one able to step in as back up.

  • What: People with Disabilities from across Wisconsin share their stories of the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic; Survival Coalition will share results from a statewide survey
  • When: Thursday, April 24th at 10 AM.
  • Where: Register and participate via Zoom. Email: SurvivalCoalitionwi@gmail.com to
    receive the link.
  • Who: The Media will hear directly from the following individuals:

Kristi Scheunemann, Watertown, Wisconsin

Kristi uses a wheelchair and requires daily personal cares from providers who cannot access personal protective equipment even though her respiratory issues put her at high risk for COVID-19. She has been forced to move home with her family and lose her employment.

Jason Endres, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Jason lives with his wife in Eau Claire and both use wheelchairs. He and his wife depend upon people coming to their home to help them with household chores and personal care. Care workers have stopped coming and now They are having difficulty even getting groceries delivered.

Stacy Ellingen, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Stacy needs help with all of her basic needs such as toileting, showering, dressing, and feeding. She has lost all of her care workers during the crisis and was forced to move from her apartment. She cannot obtain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and worries this will prevent her from being able to find reliable workers when she returns home. 

Gladys Walker, Nekoosa, Wisconsin

Gladys’ 5-year-old son is non-verbal and no longer has school services or needed therapies. He recently had a 107-degree fever but neither he nor his family members were able to get a COVID-19 test.  It has been a struggle to keep her son engaged while the family is also balancing life with another young child at home.

See full Press Advisory doc.

Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations Says Legislature’s COVID-19 Response Helps; Is not Enough

Members of the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations reacted today to the legislature’s COVID-19 response bill with both gratitude and concern about the ability to meet future needs. Wisconsin is already far behind the actions of at least 44 other states who have moved critical COVID-19 plans forward for federal approval and several others whose state legislatures committed considerable state funding to address the emergency. Wisconsin did not. Read Press Release.