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

The Impact of Virtual Education on Families and Students with Disabilities Family Focus Groups – June 2020

The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations organized two family focus groups to better understand the impact of school closures and virtual learning on families with children with disabilities. Read full  press statement about those results including a link to our report.

 

Send Public Comments to Governor’s Caregiver Task Force by July 14th

The Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving is taking public comments on proposals to address the workforce crisis until July 14th. Survival Coalition submitted public comments (see attached) on many of the ideas being considered by the Task Force.

Public comments can be submitted online by July 14th. Survival Coalition requests members submit comments to the Task Force, and encourage their networks to do so as well. The Task Force will consider the input from public comments when it decides which proposals to include in a package of recommendations for the Governor to consider later this fall.

Survival Coalition’s comments emphasize improving: (See full comments)

  • Health care and other benefits to recruit and keep quality workers
  • Flexibility in rates to allow greater pay and career progression for workers, and making sure rate increases are reflected in worker’s wages
  • Support for family caregivers including expanding the ability of ADRCs to provide resources to caregivers of all ages, avoiding caregiver burnout, and supporting legislative proposals that support family caregivers (CARES Act, Caregiver Tax Credit, updating the Family and Medical Leave Act).

Guidance on re-opening during COVID-19 pandemic in ways that protect people with disabilities and older adults

Many organizations and programs provide services to people with disabilities—including those with mental health needs—and older adults. Everyone has a role and responsibility to re-open communities, businesses, and services in ways that protect our neighbors who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. A coordinated approach will be needed between the state, Wisconsin counties, service providers and case(?) managers to reduce the risk of infection and outbreaks during the pandemic.

Wisconsin businesses and service providers need uniform and clear policies and protocols to prevent infection and respond to outbreaks in ways that protect and respect the individual rights of people with disabilities and older adults, and ensure they receive all the services and supports they rely upon to live in the community.  Read guidance document.

Survival Coalition Thanks Governor for Much-Needed $100 Million Grant Program that Includes Community-Based Long-Term Care

(Madison) – The Survival Coalition of more than 30 disability organizations appreciates the Governor’s recognition of the hardships facing people with disabilities, older adults and their home and community-based provider networks with his announcement today that $100 million dollars of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds will be directed towards Long-Term Care, Home and Community Based Services, and Emergency Medical Services. This injection of funds for these vital services and providers will help them to remain viable in the face of the extreme financial strain that Covid-19 has put on these organizations. Read Survival Statement.

Statement on Recommendations to Improve Absentee Voting

Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organization is deeply committed to ensuring the rights of voters with disabilities to fully participate in the electoral process.  We would like to thank the Wisconsin Election Commission for their report analyzing absentee voting the April 7th Spring Election, and their recommendations to improve access to the absentee voting process.

While absentee voting was heavily utilized by voters with disabilities in the April 2020 election, Survival organizations also heard from many people with disabilities across the state who experienced barriers to voting absentee.  Some voters who wished to vote absentee could not do so because they did not receive a ballot in time, could not safely get their ballot witnessed, or were not able to upload their photo ID to request and receive a ballot.  Voters who rely on assistive technology to vote privately and independently did not have equitable access to absentee voting as Wisconsin does not have an ADA compliant accessible absentee ballot. Read more.

Statewide Survival Coalition Survey Shows COVID Challenges Could Result in Shortage of Providers Supporting People with Disabilities and Older Adults

(Madison) – A statewide survey of more than 500 disability and older adult service providers by the Survival Coalition shows nearly 20% of these small businesses fear they are not financially sustainable as a result of COVID-19. The loss of any portion of these providers will only amplify the provider shortages that already exist and result in people not getting needed supports and services that keep them healthy and able to stay in their homes.

Hundreds of providers of disability services, located throughout all regions of Wisconsin, offer supports to people with disabilities and older adults living in the community, ranging from personal care in people’s homes, to coaching in community jobs, daily living skills training, prevocational and day activities, residential services and other supports.

More than 80% of the survey respondents are small businesses serving under 100 people and with staffs under 50. Read full press release. View provider survey’s findings.