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.


Survival Coalition’s comments on the DHS Family Care waiver

Survival Coalition provides public comments on the proposed Family Care waiver. Read letter with full recommendations.

Submit your comments on 14(c) sub-minimum wage to Dept of Labor by Friday!

The U.S. Department of Labor is collecting input on Section 14© of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which allows people with disabilities to be paid less than minimum wage. Currently, we are seeing that the comments are weighted heavily toward keeping sub-minimum wage facilities in place. This is an important time to highlight the significant progress Wisconsin and other states have seen through implementation of WIOA and HCBS.

You can submit comments by going to this website and establishing a user ID and password:

Survival has submitted its comments, which include data from Wisconsin showing that HCBS and WIOA implementation are improving outcomes. You can both read and use ideas/wording from our comments here:

Some talking points that you can feel free to use and that come from The Arc of the United States include:

Public policy and funds should focus on the supports people need to  find and keep community jobs based on their preferences, interests, and strengths, work alongside people without disabilities, receive comparable wages, and be free from workplace discrimination. Rather than continuing to focus on subminimum wage, public funding and policy should focus on strengthening:  Opportunities for post-secondary education, including college and vocational training, to gain knowledge and skills to allow people to get better jobs; ongoing planning to promote job advancement and career development; fair and reasonable wages and benefits; opportunities for self-employment and business ownership; the ability to explore new directions over time and, at the appropriate time, retire; and opportunities to work and increase earnings and assets without losing eligibility for needed public benefits.

Evidence-based Supports

  • Public funding for employment supports and services should use strategies that have a track record of improving employment outcomes:
  • assessing skills and interests,
  • working with employers,
  • matching jobs to skill sets and employer needs,
  • providing individualized and ongoing job supports,
  • designing reasonable job accommodations,
  • integrating people into the workforce,
  • building social skills necessary in the workplace, and
  • securing needed support services,  such as transportation.
  • People with I/DD must have training and information on how to access supports needed to find and keep jobs.

 Importance of School-to-Work Transition

  • Transition planning should start early.
  • Transition activities should foster individualized exploration of and experiences with community-based employment options that enable youth to make informed choices.
  • Transition activities should include career assessments to identify students’ interests and preferences, exposure to post-secondary education and career opportunities, training to develop job-seeking and workplace skills, and participation in multiple on-the-job activities and experiences in paid and unpaid settings.
  • Transition activities should not be limited to unpaid internships at pre-set community worksites.
  • Students should leave high school with opportunities to pursue post-secondary education and/or with an appropriate job or an action plan for finding one.

Training of Staff and People with I/DD

  • Staff of employment and school-to-work transition programs must receive training in best practices to help people find and keep jobs.
  • Along with ensuring appropriate on-the-job training, people with I/DD should receive guidance, if needed, in acquiring the social skills necessary in the workplace.
  • People with I/DD must have training, including, if desired, driver’s education, to allow them to travel in the community so they can get to jobs and enhance their independence.

Please encourage all your members to individually register and submit a comment. It does not have to be long or include multiple points.



Action Alert: Call-in Days on State Budget this Tuesday-Thursday!

Survival Coalition is hosting call-in days this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for people with disabilities, family members and disability allies to call their state Senator and State Representative. The Joint Finance Committee has finished its work; the state budget must now be approved or amended further by the full State Senate and State Assembly, with votes tentatively scheduled for the week of June 24.

You can use the Legislative Hotline (1-800-362-9472) to connect directly with your state Senator and State Representative. For a full directory of state legislators, go to:

Let them know the good things that should be kept in the budget, what needs more funding, and what should be added to the budget (see attached graphics with details).

Tuesday: Keep It In

Wednesday: We Need More

Thursday: Add What’s Missing

Survival Coalition Develops 6 Information Sheets Comparing Gov Budget To Joint Finance Proposal

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) finished making changes to the Governor’s proposed budget this week. The state budget must now be approved or amended further by the full State Senate and State Assembly.

Survival Coalition has developed a summary of disability issues as proposed in the Governor’s budget compared with the Joint Finance Committee proposal. Please distribute these files to your membership for their use, and use to post on your social media. Survival Coalition will be uploading individual sheets on its website.

Survival Coalition will be hosting three call-in days next week for people with disabilities and family members to call their state Senators and State Representatives to let them know the good things that should be kept in the budget, need more funding, and should be added to the budget.

Look for an e-mail message Monday  for more information and instructions on the call-in days.

You can direct your members to use the Legislative Hotline (1-800-362-9472) to call your state Senator and state Representative to let them know what you like in JFC’s proposal and what you think should be changed.

View each information sheet:

Special Education



Children’s Disability Programs

Mental Health



People with disabilities can’t wait: transportation budget

Survival Coalition appreciates new investments in public transportation for people with disabilities that were approved in the Joint Finance Committee budget, but remains concerned that a continued lack of necessary investment in public transit and other transportation options for non-drivers are not addressing the needs of  people with disabilities and their families. Read full document.

Survival Coalition Recommendations on DOT Budget Options

The Department of Transportation (DOT) provides funding for public transit and other county-based transportation services critical to people with disabilities, aging adults, and low-income caregivers commuting to work in client’s homes.

Survival Coalition has reviewed the Legislative Fiscal Bureau budget papers for DOT and recommends the committee support the following alternatives: See full document.