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 Statement on Governor’s Signing of Extraordinary Session Bills

Press Release- The Survival Coalition of more than 30 disability organizations continues to oppose the bill signed into law today by Governor Walker from last week’s Legislative Extraordinary Session that requires Legislative review of all Medicaid waiver program changes. Survival’s analysis shows the bill will require considerable Department of Health Services resources to prepare frequent and detailed reports to the Legislature and could lead to delays that could jeopardize federal funding. The new and significant bureaucratic requirements will also divert limited DHS staff time away from other critical work to improve programs for people with disabilities. The bill as signed by the Governor requires Legislative oversight of all Medicaid waivers, including the programs people with disabilities rely on to live and participate in their communities. These include Family Care, IRIS, Children’s Long Term Support, Katie Beckett, MAPP and more.

Action alert: Ask Governor Walker to veto Medicaid waiver oversight bill

The State Senate and Assembly have passed SB 886/AB 1072 which will add significant bureaucratic requirements into the Department of Health Services’ routine work and could have a real impact on disability-related waivers like Family Care, IRIS, Children’s Long-Term Supports, Katie Beckett, Medicaid Assistance Purchase Plan, BadgerCare, autism services, mental health services and supports and more.

The bill prevents the Department of Health Services from applying for a change to the Medicaid program without getting first legislative approval. Changes to Medicaid waivers are routine, and the federal Center for Medicaid Services already requires states to renew and update their waivers at least every five years. Many waiver changes are designed to make the programs more cost-effective, reward providers that are implementing best practices and achieving desired outcomes, and ensure that people can access the services and supports that keep them healthy and in their homes rather than expensive institutions.

The bill makes it more difficult and time-consuming to make technical changes, adjust programs to make them more responsive to state needs, make improvements to programs, and make sure they follow federal requirements that are often tied to increased funding for states. The new bureaucratic process will divert already limited staff at DHS from attention to program improvement initiatives. The legislature already has broad ability to direct the actions of the Department of Health Services and exercise oversight over Medicaid waivers.

The bill awaits signature into law by the Governor. Call the Governor’s office today to ask him to veto this bill. The phone number is (608) 266-1212 and the Governor’s Twitter Account is @GovWalker

If you lead an organization, you also can sign on your organization’s support to request the Governor veto the bill at

ACT NOW: Call Governor Walker: 608-266-1212

The State Senate and Assembly have passed on party line a bill (SB 886/AB 1072) that will create significant bureaucratic layers and barriers to make improvements and changes to all of Wisconsin’s Medicaid waiver programs like Family Care, IRIS, Children’s Long-Term Supports, autism services and more.  The bill awaits signature into law by the Governor.
The legislature already has broad ability to direct the actions of the Department of Health Services.
ACT NOW: Call Governor Walker’s office and say you want funding and staff time at the Department of Health Services to go toward improving services for people with disabilities- not unnecessary bureaucratic paperwork.  Veto this bill.
Governor Walker: 608-266-1212



The Republican State Legislature is trying to fast-track five bills Monday. These bills would significantly limit the role of the new Governor and have unintended consequences for people with disabilities.  You can read summaries of the bills here:
Call your State Assembly Rep and State Senator as soon as possible!
Call the toll free Legislative Hotline to reach your legislator: 1-800-362-9472 (Give your address and ask them to connect you if you are unsure who represents you. ) You can also look up and call your legislator’s office  directly:
Here’s what you can say:
Tell your legislator  you are concerned about the bills  they are passing with little review this week and how they will impact people with disabilities. (Republican leadership  introduced the bills on Friday and the Joint Finance Committee is having both a hearing and a vote immediately on Monday.)
Specifically one of the bills would make it harder for the Department of Health Services to make changes and improvements to programs that help people with disabilities. The bill would impact programs like Family Care, IRIS, Badgercare, MAPP, the children’s waiver program, Katie Beckett and more. This is a BIG change in how these programs work and how changes can be made.
Any bill that makes big changes like this to programs people rely on needs more discussion and should go through the health committees of the legislature.
This proposed change needs significant public input and more than one hearing.
There is no way people with disabilities and others have time to understand these bills or to get to the capitol to testify on such short notice.
Ask your representative to slow down the process so there can be more discussion. We do not want unintended consequences.
Please make 2 calls as soon as you can Monday morning!


Survival Coalition Transportation Survey Shows Critical needs for People with Disabilities and Older Adults Statewide

The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations recent statewide survey of older adults, people with disabilities, and their family members reveals major transportation gaps in Wisconsin communities. The Coalition conducted the survey in July and August of 2018. 500 people from across the state responded. Read press release.

Survey results underscore how transportation is a critical—and largely unmet—need that impacts every aspect of people with disabilities and older adults’ lives. See survey results. See additional comments.

Survival Coalition of Statewide Disability Organizations Responds to State Agency Budget Requests

The Survival Coalition of Disability Organizations of Wisconsin recognizes key funding initiatives intended to support people with disabilities in state agency budget requests shared this week, but also notes critical areas that continue to be ignored. Read full press release.