Survival Coalition Wisconsin

The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations is a cross-disability coalition of more than 20 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.


Survival Coalition Press Release:Disability Advocacy Day, March 23,2023

More Than 300 Members of Disability Community Plan to Participate in Annual Disability Advocacy Day

Caregiver Crisis, Voting Access For All on Priority List

(MADISON) – More than 200 members of the disability community from all parts of Wisconsin plan to rally on March 23 for the Survival Coalition’s annual Disability Advocacy Day. Grassroots advocates will gather at the Monona Terrace for issue discussions and planning before making the walk to the Capitol to visit with  their state legislators and share how the issues impact their lives as Wisconsin residents
This year’s goal is to ensure legislators understand that the voices of people with disabilities and their families are facing significant challenges to their health, safety, and ability to remain in their homes because of the underfunding of Wisconsin’s long term care services for people of all ages. Advocates will also share the importance of protecting voting rights, supporting special education, mental health services and ensuring transportation is available for non-drivers.
“Every morning in Wisconsin people wake up waiting and worrying about themselves or their family members.  The low Medicaid rates don’t attract enough workers or providers to meet the needs of Wisconsin residents.  said Survival Coalition Co-Chair Patti Becker.
“Aging family members are sacrificing their jobs, their health, and their retirements to cover the gaps. We have to reinvest in our systems to pay for the actual costs of care,” said co-chair Beth Swedeen
”New restrictions on voting rights are creating added barriers for people with disabilities to exercise their right to vote.  We ask our policymakers to work with us to make our elections more accessible and inclusive – not more restrictive”, says Barbara Beckert, Milwaukee Office Director of External Advocacy, Disability Rights WI. Read full press release.

Press Release on AB 69- School Resource Officers

Bill puts students with disabilities at greater risk

Today the state Assembly passed AB 69 which mandates reporting of any incident that occurs on school grounds to local law enforcement, and mandates schools hire armed school resource officers if too many incidents are reported.

In Wisconsin, 14.5% of students have disabilities, but those students represent over 34% of our state’s school referrals to law enforcement. Wisconsin currently refers students with disabilities to law enforcement at a higher rate than any state other than Virginia.  
Many children with disabilities act out or exhibit behaviors to communicate. Those behaviors are frequently criminalized and used to remove students with disabilities from school.
“Students with disabilities need to be in school to learn,” said Beth Swedeen, Survival Coalition co-chair. “We should be moving students toward the path to graduation and jobs in the community, not setting them up to go from school to prison.” Read full press release here.

Survival Coalition: Analysis of Governor’s budget proposal

Read full document

Press Release: Governor’s budget invests in care for people with disabilities, older adults

Survival Coalition applauds the Governor for a strong budget for Wisconsin that recognizes the critical need to bolster caregivers who help people with disabilities and older adults living in the community, strong support for special education, investments in mental health, and focus on non-driver transportation.
Survival Coalition’s 2022 statewide survey of family caregivers found family caregivers provide 80% of the care for children and adults with disabilities and older adults. 3 of 5 spend more than 40 hours – the equivalent of a full-time job—on caregiving duties. Read full press release.


Register NOW!

Disability Advocacy Day is a day-long event focused on connecting Self-Advocates with their legislators to talk about issues that matter to them. Attendees are expected to participate in the full day of activities.


·         Register is FREE- BUT you MUST register
·         Order a lunch (optional) FREE- BUT you MUST register
·         YOU MUST REGISTER TO PARTICIPATE. Direct Care Workers
attending to assist you for the day must register for this event.
·         Use your HOME/VOTING address to register. Business addresses or PO
Boxes are not allowed.
·         No on-site registration or walk-ins.

Registration deadline is noon on March 3, 2023


9:30:               Check in: Monona Terrace, One John Nolen Drive, Madison
                         Stop by the Voting Resource table
10:30:             Briefing on Survival Coalition’s current issues, planning time
and lunch
12:15:              Rally at the State Capitol, Martin Luther King Blvd. entrance (3
blocks away)
1:00- 3:00:    Attend Legislative visits
3:00-3:30:     Check out and debrief after your visit at the Capitol

Event Reminders:

·         Participants support Survival Coalition’s mission to maximize
community inclusion for all people w/disabilities.

·         Participants must attend the 10:30 a.m. briefing at the Monona
Terrace Convention Center.

·         Attend your legislative visits at the scheduled time with your group.

Register online  

Download Registration Form

EXTRA! EXTRA! Join our virtual information sessions if:

·       You want some extra time to plan for your visit with your legislators. OR
·       If you cannot attend Disability Advocacy Day in person but would like the information and would like to contact your legislator by phone.

**note: you do not need to register for Disability Advocacy Day to participate in the virtual information sessions.

We will have 2 virtual information sessions:

·       Wednesday, March 15: 12-1 pm

·       Thursday, March 16: 4-5 pm

If you would like to attend one of these sessions, email Survival Coalition for the link:

Save the DateDisability Advocacy Day of Action!

 Thursday, March 23, 2023   

 In -Person 10 A.M.– 3:00 P.M.
Starting at Monona Terrace, One John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI
(And State Capitol)
download flyer here